Sutherland Shire is set to become a beacon of hope for local restaurant owners with ‘A Taste of the Shire’ attracting more than 10,000 visitors.

A Taste of the Shire is an annual, late autumn celebration of food and wine established by the Sutherland Rotary Club.

President of Sutherland Rotary Club, Robert Fox said the event is a perfect opportunity to showcase the very best of Sutherland Shire’s restaurants and food providers, whilst providing a variety of cuisines.

“The concept is to allow businesses to publicise their outlets,” Mr Fox said.

“More than 10,000 people attended the event last year and by looking around today, there seems to be more.”

Last year, the event only had businesses from within the Sutherland Shire. However, Mr Fox said that this year, things were very different.

“We’ve asked some outlets in surrounding areas to partake,” Mr Fox said. “We’ve got businesses from Kogarah, Hurstville and Sans Souci to name a few.

We hope that it’ll also attract business owners to open up shop here in the Sutherland Shire.”

Italian food producer Giuseppe Lombardo business On Ya Gnocchi is dedicated to food festivals and markets.

He believes events such as ‘A Taste of the Shire’ provided an opportunity for small businesses to flourish.

“It was an honour to be asked to join the festival,” he said. “It gives people like me a chance to survive against food chains and well established businesses.”

However, he said that it is much more about simply surviving against big food chains.

“We can’t forget that it’s also about the love for food,” he said. “Bringing a smile to people’s faces as their tastebuds explode is the main reason why I love doing what I do.

“It’s not been an easy journey to survive in this industry, but it sure has been satisfying.”

Every token purchased to exchange for food at the festival went to support the Sutherland Rotary Club, as well as local charities, such as PCYC Sutherland and Headspace Miranda.