Interview with Rhiannon Birch, WA’s Signature Dish Perth regional finalist

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I was really excited to hear that foodie cravings reader Rhiannon Birch made it to WA’s Signature Dish’s Perth & Surrounds regional finals.

Tomorrow, Rhiannon will be battling it out with a cook off against other finalists Bree Nash, Ron Timmins and Wanida Chua-anusorn at Fraser’s Restaurant. The Perth & Surrounds winner will then be mentored by Fraser’s Executive Chef Chris Taylor for the State Final which will be held on WA Day 2 June 2014 at the Perth Cultural Centre.

Besides being crowned WA’s Signature Dish, the ultimate WA Signature Dish winner will receive a two-day mentorship with Bistro Guillaume’s Guillaume Brahimi and two nights accommodation at Crown Perth.

Last week I had a chat to Rhiannon about her WA Signature Dish and love for Western Australian food/produce… 

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Tell us more about your WA signature dish

My dish is a celebration of local ingredients and produce with a bit of an exotic twist. Dorper lamb is such a pleasure to cook with, bursting with natural flavour, it only needs a small amount of seasoning and cooking to create an outstanding meal. It is a lean meat and when combined with a high protein, gluten free, crumb and served with a salad it makes the perfect wholesome and flavoursome meal.

What inspires your cooking? 

I prefer to let the flavours of the ingredients shine through so I try not to overcomplicate things with my cooking. We are blessed with the most amazing produce in this beautiful state so I like to source local and seasonal ingredients and use them to create fresh and light meals. I like to stick to fresh ingredients and produce, vegetables, legumes, meats and seafoods, nothing too overly processed. Natural ingredients combined with fresh flavours to create simple, tasty and nourishing meals.

Your favourite Perth restaurant?

It is hard to pick a favourite! There are so many great places but I do love Barque in East Freo, flavoursome Asian, Western fusion dishes that are great to share in a relaxed and character filled surround. Also Solomans in Highgate is consistently amazing for its creative dishes using fresh, organic produce. Natural, unprocessed and delicous food; you always leave feeling nourished and energised.

Whose your favourite Chef and why?

I love chefs like Lee Holmes from Supercharged foods and Teresa Cutter, the Healthy Chef. Teresa is a classically French trained chef who continually inspires me with her nourishing, healthy meals featuring pure and functional ingredients. I admire Teresa’s philosophy to keep her food as pure and natural as possible, using organic and natural wholefoods, to develop nourishing, energising meals.

Where do you shop for your local WA ingredients? 

I like to shop at the Growers’ Green Farmers Market in Beaconsfield on Sunday mornings when I can forego my sleep in! Otherwise Beetroot Brothers in Myaree and Gelati and Sons in South Freo for fresh fruit and vegetables. Reids Meats and Delicatessan for meat and the fish shop located inside Metro Fresh for a good selection of fresh seafood.

Follow @foodiecravings on twitterinstagram and facebook for live updates from the regional finals cook off at Fraser’s Restaurant 10am – 1pm Tuesday 6 May 2014. 

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About Author

I have foodie cravings all the time and sometimes at very odd hours, hence the name of this food blog, where I share my love for food and appliances that save me time in the kitchen. I also own Crust Mount Lawley with my burger eating half burger boy and am a mum to two girls - junior burger and baby cravings.

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