NEWS Corp Australia has announced the winners of the 2017 Delicious Produce Awards presented by Miele at a VIP industry event at QT Melbourne.
Australia's most renowned chefs and food industry leaders joined the Delicious team at the annual ceremony.
The awards are designed to celebrate the country's most outstanding ingredients, inspiring and sustainable producers, farmers' markets, innovators, and regional and emerging chefs and regions.
The Produce Awards Scholarship was awarded to Michael and Cressida McNamara from Pecora Dairy, NSW, to further their knowledge and understanding in their chosen field of endeavour.
The Alla Wolf-Tasker Foundation Delicious Produce Awards Scholarship may be used by the winner for educational travel, 'staging' with other practitioners in their field, and the pursuit of relevant educational courses and workshops or similar.
This year, state winners across the four major categories (From the Dairy, From the Earth, From the Paddock and From the Sea) were judged by the national judging panel, and all state winners were considered for the overall Producer of the Year Award, which was awarded to Ocean Grown Abalone Ranched Greenlip Abalone.
Its 'wild harvest' Greenlip Abalone, grown on artificial reefs in the pristine waters of Flinders Bay in Western Australia, won multiple plaudits from the national judging panel.
Delicious editor-in-chief Kerrie McCallum said innovation continued to be a really important factor with so many of the winners.
"The other trend we have seen, and felt it important to recognise with the introduction of its own award, was the cultivation of extraordinary native produce,” she said.
"As chefs and consumers alike are becoming increasingly aware of the providence of what they cook with and eat, it's so exciting to see so many producers harnessing native produce that is both seasonal and sustainable.
"Congratulations to all our winners and gold medallists.”
Now in its 12th year, the Delicious Produce Awards continue to champion the best Australian produce and the people behind it, thanks to a passionate network of food industry experts who nominate outstanding produce and producers from all over Australia, and the insight of the national judging panel and expert and critic panels.
Delicious Produce Awards patron Maggie Beer said every year it was a privilege to celebrate the winners.
"Produce Awards winners really do make the Australian food scene the trailblazing and exciting industry it is known as,” she said.
"It is wonderful to celebrate the hard-working producers of Australia who consistently set the bar so high.”
The 2017 Delicious Produce Awards VIP event was hosted by senior editor Matt Preston and guests were treated to an incredible menu of canapés inspired by 2017 trophy winners' and gold medallists' produce, and created by the QT Melbourne team.
The food was accompanied by champagne and hand-picked Australian wines by exclusive beverage partner Qantas epiQure and espresso martinis crafted by Miele.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.