The Gascoyne Food Festival was held in Carnarvon and Exmouth, featuring four days of events, including the trade-exclusive Chef’s Tour, which connected chefs to growers.
The chef’s tour was a full day’s experience on Thursday 11 August for chefs only. The tour started in the paddocks, meeting the growers and producers of the region. The day involved visiting 4 or 5 top growers from Carnarvon, exploring their paddocks, eating produce, a tour of a seafood factory and a stop in to Morels for black sapote ice-cream.
Its early days, but already several of the Perth Chefs involved in the festival have added Gascoyne produce to their menus, including Petition Kitchen, The Mantle and Young George. Many of which found inspiration from joining the chefs-only tour of the tour of plantations and fishing operations around Carnarvon.
Executive Chef Greg Farnan from The Old Brewery and BWG Steakhouse said “Every time I come to the Gascoyne the quality amazes me, the diversity of produce is just incredible.”
There were also a number of events open to both chefs and the general public, including family-style gourmet dining with live entertainment at a BBQ on the Beach, the premier Long Table Lunch at the Bentwaters Plantation, Surf & Turf on Sunrise Beach in Exmouth hosted by the Novotel Ningaloo, and the Gascoyne Growers Markets.
Preparing the feasts were WA food ambassador, chef Don Hancey and his team from Panorama Catering, chefs’ Peter Manifis and Greg Farnan, plus Perth chefs from venues such as The Flour Factory, Kent Street Deli, Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Petition and more.
“The combination of hand-selected produce prepared by acclaimed chefs in tropical locations along with the warm and relaxed approach of the locals is a magical experience. It is just a truly special event for everyone – chefs and visitors alike,” said chef Peter Manifis, who has been involved in the festival since its inception.
Doriana Mangili, Executive Officer of the Gascoyne Food Council said this year’s event has taken the region to a new level of gourmet distinction.
“To consistently attract the best of Perth’s chefs to our region is a massive vote of confidence for our community. We want to make sure that everything we produce is what our market wants – retailers, consumers and chef’s. This event gives us a chance to bring our labour of love to the fore and celebrate the harvest we strive so hard for,” she said.
“It may only be 18 months since the Gascoyne faced incredible devastation at the hands of Cyclone Olwyn, but this year the story could not be more different. All of our crops are growing including the iconic Carnarvon bananas and the region has continued to bounce back with top quality produce across the board.”
For a full list of events check the Gascoyne Food Festival website.