FRESH produce was the flavour of the day as more than 15,000 people embraced the region's diverse offerings at the Bundy Flavours and Winterfeast Farmers Market.

Crowds came early on Saturday and numbers reminded strong well after the 2pm finishing time as they stocked up on fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and were inspired with cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs Janelle Bloom and Javier Codina.

Run by Bundaberg Regional Council under the 10-day WinterFeast banner, council's community and environment general manager Gavin Steele said he was thrilled with the support for the event.

"It was a fantastic day, great weather and most of the stall holders sold out," he said.

"It's great to see all the locals supporting local farmers, which is what we're trying to do.

"These days you go off to the supermarket and fill up and you don't really understand where the produce comes from. But to actually be able to speak to the farmers who are growing it, I think people really value that these days."

Mr Steele said there were grand plans for WinterFeast and he believes the region is uniquely placed to enable WinterFeast to become the country's premier food festival.

"We think we've got the local produce and the local products that can get us there because very few areas can actually claim the diversity that we've got," he said.

"We're one of the only places in Australia, if not the world, where you can have steak and vegetables or seafood and salad and a locally produced drink ... and everything on that plate can be sourced from within 50km of the Bundaberg CBD. We're very lucky."

Bundaberg and North Burnett Tourism general manager Katherine Mergard said WinterFeast was really exciting from a tourism perspective and provided an opportunity to grow visitor numbers through culinary tourism.

"Saturday was a great day, I spoke with people from all over Queensland," she said.

"Next year with a little more time to promote WinterFeast we'll be able to look at creating holiday packages to drive visitation."
 



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