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29 November 2010

Airlie Beach Hotel's Capers crowned best in State

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For the first time the Airlie Beach Hotel has been named number one in Queensland for their restaurant and catering services.

Capers at the Beach BAR|GRILL, situated on The Esplanade at Airlie Beach, received the award for best Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services at the Queensland Tourism Awards on Friday (November 19).

Airlie Beach Hotel Executive Chef Tim Whitehorn said it was a great achievement for the waterfront restaurant and hotel to be recognised on a state level.

"At Capers we are committed to providing innovative food, exceptional service and a relaxed atmosphere, and it is real credit to all of our staff to be rewarded at this high level", Mr Whitehorn said.

"We are thrilled to receive this award after being finalists in the same category since 2008, as they say third time lucky."

Capers has consistently been a high achiever in many other local, state and national industry awards, however this is the first Queensland Tourism award the waterfront restaurant has been presented.

Mr Whitehorn said the Localvore concept had played a big role in Capers being crowned the Queensland Tourism award.

For well over a year now diners at the waterfront restaurant have had the opportunity to indulge in some of the region's finest produce with the distinctive menu.

"The concept was created as an environmentally friendly and community minded initiative, keeping local money circulating.

"The menu consists of produce sourced from within a 100km radius of the restaurant and has come to include everything from seafood, meats, vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, jams, teas, coffee, sugar, pepper and even oil.

"I drive to Bowen every Friday in a truck and pick up at least two tonnes of fresh produce the growers are always very accommodating."

After such an amazing response from diners of the Localvore menu the restaurant took a further step and established 'Paddock to Plate', a monthly dinner tour for guests to see the fantastic little farms where all of the produce is sourced from.

"The tours are completely unique to the Whitsunday region and have been designed for guests to discover, touch and taste the growing produce and to experience the delights of organic farming," Mr Whitehorn said.

"I thought it would be a great concept to create a dedicated tour to show diners exactly where their meals were coming from.

"I wanted to share these hidden gems with the diners. It is one thing sitting down to a meal of local grown produce, but hand picking your own hydroponic lettuce and aromatic herbs is another."

Some of these farms are the region's best kept secret, like the lemon myrtle farm which has a plantation of 1.2 million trees or the home style farm growing and drying delicious tropical fruits including mango, banana and strawberries.

"It is also quaint to visit the most spoilt and happy little pigs in Queensland at the Berkshire Gold Pork Farm. These little ones take mud baths while listening to classical music, it is just something you have to see with your own eyes," Mr Whitehorn said.

It seems the proof is on the plate, and Localvore's tantalising menu is ready for tasting. The final dinner tour for the year will take place on December 11.

For an incredibly low price of $69 per person the group tour includes a scenic bus trip with a Capers host, a visit to four working farms, taste testing including Lemon Myrtle Tea and produce gathering such as hydroponic lettuce and aromatic herbs. The tour culminates in a two course Localvore dinner with a glass of Queensland wine served at Capers as a group dining experience.

Capers also have a $299 accommodation package which includes one night accommodation, a Localvore dinner tour for two people. Private tours are also available for parties or community groups.

Capers will now go on to compete in the Tourism Restaurant and Catering Services category at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Perth, Western Australia on Friday, March 11, 2011 at Burswood Entertainment Complex.

Finalists from every state and territory will compete in 27 categories to receive one of these prestigious awards.

For further information:

Tim Whitehorn
Capers Executive Chef
P 07 4964 1999

Katrina Hinschen
Positive PR
M 0439 460 245
P 4724 5123


For media inquiries, please contact:

Mark Bell, Manager
Airlie Beach Hotel
+61 7 4964 1999

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