What I love about Taste Great Southern’s food and wine festival is that it celebrates the local produce and the people behind it.
I was excited to be able to experience Western Australia’s Great Southern first hand last month and meet some of the passionate producers and chefs in the region. The same passion and energy I got from the locals is what I felt last week at the Taste Great Southern 2014 launch & 10 year anniversary celebrations at the WA State Theatre Centre.
The launch showcased the region’s beautiful produce very creatively! Anna Gare’s 7ft edible food sculpture was impressive and tasty. It featured all the produce Anna loves in the region including 3,000 blueberries, 2 kilos of olives, 36 punnets of strawberries, 280 yabbies, jazzed up frittata and Over the Moon farmhouse fetta. Like most producers and chefs we met last month, Anna Gare’s love for the region’s amazing produce has attracted her to the Great Southern. Anna announced at the launch that she will be making the move down south with her husband in the next couple of months!
At the launch there was even a wedding dress designed and hand made out of a base of sliced dehydrated mushrooms, oriental orchids and salt crystals! This dress was designed by Bridget Waters from Ripe Art and modelled by Sarah Blangiardo. It was spectacular to look at but not sure I’d be game enough to wear it
We went crazy for crustaceans whilst we were in the Great Southern so good to see it made it to the launch. Although we did slightly jump when we realised the cray fish were still alive…
These Butterfield Beef and Duxelle Wellingtons with Howard Park Cabernet Sauvignon Jus Reduction were so good, could have had a few more…
It was mouth-watering watching Albany’s Dan Sharp and Incontro’s Peter Manifis cook up local produce from their mystery boxes…
If I wasn’t heading to Singapore for my 30th next weekend, I would have headed to the Great Southern for a week next month. Our last visit of three days was too short! These are some of the Taste Great Southern events which would have been awesome to go to:
- Sat 1st March: Albany Oyster Festival, I’ve got Poh Ling Yeow’s cookbook and would love to watch her cook on stage with Don Hancey and Dan Sharp
- 18 – 22, 25 – 29 March: Mt Barker Graze, regional produce and wine matching.
- 16 March: Food, Wine and Fun at The Lakehouse Denmark. Verity James was so entertaining and engaging at the Taste Great Southern launch so I can only imagine a day with her and guest chef Herb Faust would be fun!
- 18 March: Poaches Plate four course lunch – we were meant to stay at Poaches Ridge one of the nights we in the Great Southern but ran out of time. I would have loved to taste their wine and the seafood at this event.
- 22 March: Three Anchors Crab Boil – Chef Amy Hamilton is awesome and she’s cooking up a crab boil with Must Wine Bar’s Russell Blaikie. Judging by the food we tasted at Three Anchors, this is an event not to be missed if you are heading down south!
- 29 March: Ivy on York – Street Food Fair & Markets. I’ve been loving the emergence of food markets and trucks of late
- 30 March: Three Cooks Lunch at Pepper and Salt. After seeing Anna Gare’s edible sculpture at the launch, meeting Forager’s Sophie Zalokar and dining at Pepper and Salt last month – I’d love to see what these Chefs and Stephanie Alexander will design for this three-course lunch using the region’s best local produce.
Taste Great Southern food and wine festival is on until the end March. For more details on these events, visit Taste Great Southern’s website www.greatsoutherntastewa.com and my latest Perth foodie news listing. Even if you can’t make it to the festival, the region is well worth a visit – you’ll come home energised with the same passion as the local and perhaps a few extra kilos.
I am still working through my blog posts from my Taste Great Southern trip last month (it’s been a busy February!) so watch this space for more on the venues burger boy and I visited, the passionate local chefs/producers we met and of course the amazing food we experienced. If junior burger weren’t in the making, I would have indulged in more wine!
Taste Great Southern posts on foodie cravings:
- Taste Great Southern WA preview – on what a beautiful state we live in!
- The Old Marron Farm – first Taste Great Southern stop
For something closer to home, our very own Swan Valley has tours which showcases Perth’s local wine and produce.