Master Chef and renowned pâtissier Adriano Zumbo brought his prodigious culinary talents to Bundaberg, creating sweet treats from local produce.
For the launch, he showcased how the products, such as freeze-dried fruits, crumbles and fruit powders, could be used to create elegant and delicious desserts and pastries.
Adriano said he had been working with freeze-dried products for years and he was happy to see an Australian product join the market.
“It's great to be able to support an Australian local producer of it,” he said.
“Sometimes it comes from overseas, sometimes it comes from different places, now I think Australia's industry is starting to catch up a little bit.
“It's great to see that a product that usually kind of goes to waste for a lot of farmers, they're putting it into different technology to be able to produce these here in our country.”
Adriano said he thought the locally sourced and produced ingredients would appeal to chefs around Australia.
“I think a chef would rather buy something that's produced here, than buy something from Europe or wherever that freeze dried is coming from at the moment,” he said.
“Chefs love freeze dried powders, freeze dried bits, it's just like it's a nice little touch on the end of their desserts.”
The freeze-drying process involves placing frozen food items such as fruits or vegetables in a refrigerated vacuum where ice crystals in the product are converted into water vapour, leaving behind the structure of the original.
“Different applications become available because the moisture has been taken out,” Adriano explained.
“When you're adding something to another product, sometimes you don't want that moisture, sometimes you have to kind of calculate and play around to get it right.
“But when it's in powder form and concentrated, it's much easier to be able to get that flavour across.
“I think it's pretty amazing.”
As well as opening a world of fantastic flavours for chefs and home cooks, Adriano said he thought the facility was an opportunity for farmers in the region.
“I think it will help the region immensely,” he said.
“(The facility) could help other growers doing different vegetables and products to be able to freeze-dry their products.
“You can freeze-dry anything, I've seen savoury vinegars, freeze-dried vegetables are quite big as well.”
For the launch of the Gina’s Table factory, Adriano made delicious treats of strawberry and coconut marshmallow, raspberry tart with pistachio and green tea cream, and chai spice rice pudding with the berry compote and a berry crumble, all of which went over very well with the guests.