THURSDAY’S Australian Traveller magazine had a couple of surprises for Orange when it named the region on the 2014 Foodie Hot List.
The magazine asked a panel of six food and travel experts to reveal their favourite food destinations and experiences to compile the top 10 gourmet weekends away.
Orange was one of three NSW destinations alongside Bathurst and Bowral.
Interstate offerings included the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Geelong, the Huon Valley in Tasmania, Canberra, Auburn and the Clare Valley in South Australia, north-west Tasmania’s Cradle to Coast, and the Margaret River.
In Orange, the experts nominated travellers visit the Agrestic Grocer, the Rustic Cafe, Factory Espresso, Bissy’s Cafe, Ferment, the Swinging Bridge cellar door and Borrodell Vineyard.
Factory Espresso co-owner Lisa Parianos said she was unaware the business had been featured, but was excited to have it listed.
“I’ll have to get a copy,” she said with a laugh.
“We are very passionate about our food and coffee and we take a lot of pride in what we present.
“It’s a pretty eclectic mix of businesses listed - I think it’s a great food destination and it’s getting recognition for it.”
Taste Orange marketing manager Charlotte Gundry said Orange’s popularity as a food and wine destination was proving itself year on year.
“There’s certainly a lot of activity around the festivals - especially in the last five or six years, FOOD Week’s attracted big numbers and the 100 mile dinner and Forage have sold out very quickly,” she said.
“We’ve got a really suitable climate to grow great quality products and that opens the door for businesses to create destinations around those products.”
Australian Traveller editor Georgia Rickard said Orange made the list because the panel felt it was not celebrated enough for its food.
“It’s quite well known as a wine destination, but most people haven’t heard of it for its food and if they have, it’s not high enough on the agenda,” she said.
“We decided on the places we were going to feature and within those, the businesses, so if the mix seems eclectic, it’s because we had a number of people looking at it.”