HomeNewsAn adventure at WA's largest foodie experience the 'Gascoyne Food Festival'
An adventure at WA's largest foodie experience the 'Gascoyne Food Festival'
So honoured to have been invited up to Carnarvon for Australia's largest regional gastronomic food experience, the Gascoyne Food Festival for a local farm tour and the highlight event, the Twilight Gala Dinner.
The region is an abundant food bowl where fresh fruit and vegetables are grown along the Gascoyne River, supplying Perth with over 47 tonnes equalling $100 million of produce annually.
We were taken on the most wonderful and insightful tour around the region by Robyn Bumbak. We visited the amazing hard working farmers and their luscious plantations including –
Bumbak & Sons for table grapes
Carnarvon Sweeter Banana Co-operative for bananas
Emerald Plantation for white asparagus
Cosh’s for corn, tomatoes, bananas
Dudley Maslens for citrus and stone fruit
Mr Su’s for tomatoes and Asian crops
Wonderful to hear them talk about the sustainability and value add products that are coming from 2nd grade fruit and vegetables and how they are turning ‘ugly’ produce into delicious products.
Our last stop was the the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Research Centre in Carnarvon, where our juiciest tomato dreams came true!
The facility covers 65 hectares close to the Gascoyne River in the plantation district, and is available for research trials of many fruits and vegetables.
We were blown away by the 80+ different varieties of tomatoes including beautiful heirloom varieties, capsicums and chillies.
Warning… the chillies were extra HOT after biting into a yellow ghost chilli that we thought were going to be mild. They are actually 200 times hotter than a jalapeno! #mindblowing
Shoutout to the team for delivering the freshest produce for us to create a stand-out Thai tomato salad at the Twilight Gala Dinner. We love using fresh tomatoes in our curry pastes and chutneys from the Gascoyne region.
Day 2 was an upbeat prep day in the kitchen with the culinary experts and chefs including Sophie Budd (Taste Budds Cooking Studio), Chris Cheong, Meliss Palinkas (Young George and Ethos Deli), Emily Jones (Republic of Fremantle), Margaret Roberts (Hart and Co) and MC by WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey.
We had the best assistance from the Geraldton College and Carnarvon students who helped us wash and chop all the fresh produce. A fruitful partnership for culinary students to experience and be part of a large scale real life event.
Using produce from the region picked fresh by the local farmers was an absolute dream. Very rewarding to see the farm to table ethos unfold right in front of our eyes. Paddock to plate all the way!
Turban Chopsticks took up the challenge by incorporating a fruit and a vegetable featured in a dessert special. We delivered a Malaysian Nyonya corn custard kueh with freshly picked Gascoyne corn topped with Carnarvon Sweeter Banana caramelised bananas. So delicious!
It takes a huge community effort from many to pull off an event like the Gascoyne Food Festival Twilight Gala Dinner for 250+ guests hosted at stunning Bentwater Plantations in Carnarvon.
Thanks to the events team, growers, collaborators and partners for a very memorable night! Special shout out to Head Chef Sophie Budd from Taste Budds Cooking Studio and the Gascoyne Food Council including Paul Kelly for one of the most memorable foodie experiences.