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From plant to plate with the Urban Forager at QT Sydney

Much loved among locals and visitors alike, Gowings Bar & Grill at QT Sydney has provided guests with some of the most distinctive and vibrant cuisine since its opening in 2012. To further cement its reputation as a leading stalwart in the Sydney dining scene, QT Sydney has appointed Georgie Neal to the newly created role of Urban Forager, allowing the chefs at Gowings Bar & Grill to have direct access to the finest ingredients, while at the same time lending much-needed support to local growers.

Paying tribute to some of the best produce Australia has to offer, Georgie will develop a long-lasting and mutually beneficial network with growers nationwide to bring fresh, organic produce to the diners at Gowings Bar & Grill. Sustainable cuisine has always been at the heart of QT Sydney’s culinary philosophy, and the introduction of the QT Forager takes this commitment one step further. Georgie’s close relationship with the producers ensures the hotel knows exactly who is growing the produce, where and how it is grown. This intrinsic value chain system set up to support growers ultimately benefits everyone in the food chain. As growers are paid directly, fresher produce can be transported to the hotel within a shorter time, reducing the need for cold storage. Harvesting and delivering with minimal delays reduces food waste and diners benefit by experiencing produce at the peak of its season.

With the appointment of the QT Forager, the hotel also aims to increase awareness of the importance of eating and buying local. To this effect, the restaurant will share the stories of the passionate producers and farmers supplying the kitchens of Gowings Bar & Grill with sustainable meat, vegetables, fruit and herbs. Diners will develop a greater appreciation of the work that goes into the production of the seasonal produce and regional specialties, some of which are grown especially for the hotel. They will be featured on the monthly changing menu and examples include beautiful flower shaped salanova lettuces and red baby cos seedlings. Through this partnership, the hotel hopes to celebrate the extraordinary work of these inspirational, creative producers and acknowledge their expertise and knowledge. 

The 200-room hotel is set within two of the city’s most iconic buildings – the historic Gowings Department Store and the heritage-listed State Theatre. While the façades have been restored to their former glory, inside is a stunning mix of original features, curated art installations, eclectic artefacts and quirky design pieces inspired by the retail and theatre history of the buildings. Dramatic LED art walls are framed by restored art deco and baroque details, next to show-stopping spotlights and ornate gilt display cases throughout the hotel.

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