Food Festival Delivers Hope to Gascoyne Region in Western Australia

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Food Festival Delivers Hope to Gascoyne Region in Western Australia

Synonymous with gastronomy, the stunning Gascoyne region is situated approximately 900km north of Perth in Western Australia.  A region abundant with tropical fruits, succulent seafood, beef, sheep and a vast array of temperate climate fruit and vegetables, it is where art meets science in the world of good eating. 

This year, against a backdrop of setbacks, the Gascoyne Food Council has coordinated a sell-out festival of events during August.  The 2015 Go for 2&5 Gascoyne Food Festival attracted nine of the best chefs from the States capital of Perth, to visit the region, meet the growers and prepare amazing dishes for guests to enjoy. 

A spate of natural disasters in recent years has caused repeated setbacks for producers in the Gascoyne region. Locust plagues, drought, flood and most recently Tropical Cyclone Olwyn in March this year causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Despite tough times, locals have picked up and pushed on, and pulled together an expanded schedule of events for the festival. 

“After the cyclone in March the locals were at a very low point, but within days had started the mammoth task of rebuilding and repairing. We knew we had time to get enough supply for the market and for the festival.  Going ahead was the best thing for everyone,” said Doriana Mangili, Acting Executive Officer of the Gascoyne Food Council. 

“The important thing to help our region get back on its feet is to tell our story, build customer loyalty and continue to do our best to deliver the delicious beef, seafood and fruit and vegetables that we are renowned for. The festival gave us the opportunity to speak directly to customers and chefs, who can in turn help spread the word,” she added. 

The Festival incorporated four days of events with a Paddock Tour, family-style BBQ on the Beach, Gascoyne Growers Markets and the premier Long Table Lunch in Carnarvon with 195 guests.  The 2015 festival also introduced events in Exmouth and Dirk Hartog Island with luncheons On Dirk’s Dinner Plate held at Cape Inscription and Surf and Turf on Sunrise Beach hosted in Exmouth by the Novotel Ningaloo.

Throughout the festival, chefs had the challenge of developing dishes to reflect the stunning ingredients from the region. Gascoyne Green Bean salad, sous vide Abacus Pink Snapper with pickled vegetable ribbons, Shark Bay wild prawns with incredible Gascoyne salad, rangeland pressed goat terrine and grilled Lyndon Station scotch fillet were just a few of the mouthwatering creations served during the Long Table Lunch.   

Executive Chef of Ultimo Catering Matt Leahy summed up his experience “Great people, great region, great produce, what else could a chef wish for?” 

Details of next years festival will be available in the next few months.