Learning to make the most of Tassie produce Mon 8 October 2012 Scott Bacon Minister for Hospitality Tasmanian hoteliers and restaurateurs will this week have the chance to learn from celebrity chef Simon Bryant at a series of workshops to be held around the state. The Minister for Hospitality, Scott Bacon, said the workshops - to be held in Launceston, Burnie, Strahan, Hobart and Swansea this week - would focus on how the hospitality sector could use local and fresh ingredients to improve their profitability. "Whether it's cheese from King Island, oysters from Bruny Island or wines from the Tamar Valley, it's no secret we have some of the best produce on offer in Australia," Mr Bacon said. "These workshops will support local chefs wanting to incorporate Tasmanian specialities into their menus without compromising affordability or profitability." Mr Bacon said food is one of the highest costs in running a restaurant or café in Tasmania. "Simon Bryant's workshops will focus on how to use local produce in a way that reduces food costs and results in quality dining experience for customers," he said. "The focus on local produce complements our Taste Tasmania campaign, which aims to promote the quality food and beverages that Tasmania is recognised for. "We are exceptionally fortunate to live in Tasmania, an island full of high quality, tasty and fresh produce that is grown in a pristine environment." "Buying local is the best way to ensure that you are getting fresh, food and quality beverages while also supporting the state's primary producers and food and beverage industry workers." The Produce for Profitability workshops commence today in Launceston and will be held in Burnie, Strahan, Hobart and Swansea between 8 and 11 October. The workshops have been supported through the Tasmanian Government's $100,000 funding package for the Hospitality industry this financial year, aimed at workforce development and building industry capability. Mr Bacon said the workshops are part of the on-going series of industry workshops that the Tasmanian Hospitality Association is holding across Tasmania. "The THA has done tremendous work in supporting the sector, and helping them adapt to an increasingly competitive environment," he said. "I congratulate them for their work in delivering workshops looking at marketing and promotion, recruiting and retaining staff and, now, making the most of local produce." For more information on these workshops please contact the Tasmanian Hospitality Association on 6224 7033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.