Carnarvon Celebrates Industry Champions at Gascoyne Food Festival

Inaugural Gascoyne Food Hero awards presented at Long Table Lunch.

The 2018 Gascoyne Food Festival has provided the perfect opportunity to present the inaugural Gascoyne Food Hero awards at Carnarvon’s Long Table Lunch in front of 360 guests. The Gascoyne Food Council created the award to recognise it’s recipients for their incredible commitment and dedication to the region, that has led to better opportunities for the food industry and boosted the profile of the Gascoyne.

Don Hancey, Vince Catania, Kel Brown and Michael Nixon at the Long Table Lunch in Carnarvon.

This year two Gascoyne Hero Awards were presented to both Chef Don Hancey, WA Food Ambassador and Nor-West Seafoods founder Kel Brown.

Don has been an avid supporter of the Gascoyne region for many years. Having been involved in the Gascoyne Food Festival from its inception, Don has contributed time, ideas and probably some blood, sweat and tears on the journey to increasing the profile of the region’s food industry. Don has also introduced countless chefs, media and consumers to the region’s food over the years, including to over 2000 members of the public at a recent event at Perth’s Yagan Square in July. 

In 1993 Kel bought and brought back into WA the seafood business then owned by the British Aristocrat Lord Vestey, now known as Nor-West Seafoods. Kel brought vision, leadership and extensive business experience to the business and he quickly got to work moving the company into the 21st Century, leaving little time for his hobbies of river and ocean sailing including a Sydney to Hobart, and his passion of aviation and flying. Fast forward 22 years and Kel succeeded in gaining the coveted Marine Stewardship Certification, ensuring prawns are harvested in a sustainable way in the pristine Shark Bay World Heritage area. 

The Gascoyne Food Council undertakes a range of important activities to support the regions food industry. The aim of the organisation is always to increase returns at farm gate by improving standards, quality and developing access to markets through networking and awareness. 

Chairman Michael Nixon states, “in today’s competitive environment, the industry needs the Gascoyne Food Council more than ever to ensure the industry remains relevant and sustainable.”

“Marketing our food is vital, and these Gascoyne Food Hero’s have played a critical part in building the profile of the region and creating opportunities for a sustainable future,”said Michael.

“Today, more than ever, the Gascoyne needs a fully funded and resourced Food Council if we are to pursue opportunities to ensure the future success of this incredible region. If we fail, the human and financial cost to the region are great,” Michael concluded.

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