MasterChef runner-up, Sunshine Coast local and part-owner of a popular Sunshine Beach restaurant Sum Yung Guys, Matt Sinclair is the Hot 91 Ignite Chilli Festival’s 2018 celebrity chef. The event will take place Saturday 17 November in Caloundra’s popular Bulcock Street and will include cooking demonstrations, chilli-eating competitions, food stalls and entertainment.

Matt’s appearance on MasterChef Australia has led to a number of ambassadorship and sponsorship opportunities in 2017 which included the chance to lead the Tourism Noosa Ambassadorship program, as well as become an Ambassador for Cobram Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Channel 10’s The Cook’s Pantry series. Despite his national fame, the Sunshine Coast is where Matt’s heart and future lie – most recently he launched his new partnership venture for the Asian-inspired restaurant Sum Yung Guys at Sunshine Beach. “The food is an expression of everything we have come to love about the region and our cocktails have been developed to compliment our passion for Asian cuisine and culture,” Matt said. “I’m looking forward to bringing some of our signature dishes to life at the Festival.”

The Ignite Chilli Festival expects to attract more than 10,000 people making it one of the largest chilli festivals in Queensland. Featuring the Sunshine Coast Chilli Eating Championships, the festival brings together a range of new and diverse food experiences from around the world – each tailored to turn up the heat.

Caloundra Chamber of Commerce President Michael Shadforth said that the Chamber is proud to have given life to the event, bringing people from across the region into Caloundra for a day of food, fun and entertainment. “In 2018 we are working to including Sunshine Coast agribusiness into the mix and showcase to all our festival visitors what’s coming out of our own region. Chilli has a following worldwide and the success of the event last year has given us a ‘taste’ of what’s possible,” said Michael.

Caloundra’s chilli guru – Vicki Taylor – is a passionate advocate and core team member of the festival. “We’ve been working hard to bring new and exciting traders and experiences to the event – and can’t wait to welcome Matt Sinclair to Caloundra and see what he has in store,” the owner of spice emporium and cooking school Red Hot Chilli Pepper said.

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