The Gascoyne Food Festival pulled out all the stops to deliver another sell-out line up of events to over 2000 guests across the region this year. From gourmet dining experiences in Carnarvon, Dirk Hartog Island, Exmouth and Mount Augustus, to new events at Wooramel River Retreat and Quobba Station, Western Australian chefs are cooking up the best of local produce through August and September.
Sell out launch events in Carnarvon hosted media, industry, government and tourists and included the Taste of the Gascoyne Sunset BBQ for 260 guests and the iconic Long Table Lunch along the banks of the Gascoyne River for 280 guests. Dirk Hartog Island also welcomed a sell-out crowd to its once-in-a-lifetime Gourmet Island Escape experience. The menu’s showcasing a smorgasbord of the finest food from the region, including seafood, fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and rangelands meats.
The Taste of the Gascoyne Sunset BBQ kicked off the culinary events in Carnarvon, with guests enjoying an Asado-style BBQ featuring rangelands goat and lamb as well as local fish and prawns alongside amazing fresh Gascoyne salads and premium Sweeter Bananas. Local business Borich & Sons also got behind the event serving up a family recipe for breskvich peaches.
The highly anticipated Long Table Lunch at Bentwaters Plantation, MC’d by much-loved TV personality Carmen Braidwood, served an 8 course shared-degustation prepared by a stellar group of Western Australian chefs, including Scott Bridger of Bib & Tucker, Melissa Palinkas of Young George and Chase Weber from the Standard.
The team of 8 chefs, led by Stuart Laws of Showcase Events WA, prepped mouthwatering dishes including buttermilk Kailis Spanish Mackerel, BBQ Sea Harvest king prawns, Harvey Beef and a huge array of local fruits and vegetables. An arguable favourite was the dessert prepared by Chef Chase Weber called “Comfortable in our Skins”, including Sweeter Bananas, banana skins, Nguyen passionfruit and burnt honey.
Minister Alannah MacTiernan joined the celebrations in Carnarvon at the Long Table Lunch and in her speech made the welcome announcement of a $1.4 million investment into the Carnarvon Research Centre to support new programs and upgrades for a sustainable, profitable and diverse industry in the Gascoyne.
“Horticulture is absolutely central to Carnarvon’s economy and identity, and our investment alongside fantastic events like the Gascoyne Food Festival – will help this sector grow and prosper,” said the Minister.
Popular Perth Chef Scott Bridger was moved by his second visit to the region, “it was an amazing weekend cooking with a bunch of legends for the annual Long Table Lunch, and inspiring to meet the producers that work so hard to bring the amazing Carnarvon produce to Perth,” said Scott.
“We can’t understate the impact of this annual festival to our region. In welcoming the broad range of guests from media, government, chefs, tourists and other business people, we provide exposure to our industry for its hard work and create new opportunities. The Ministers announcement of 1.4 million investment into our industry is going to provide an absolutely incredible platform for us to continue to grow and thrive and we are very grateful,” said Gascoyne Food Council spokesperson Doriana Mangili.
“This years festival is once again the result of an exceptional amount of effort by all involved. The Carnarvon Visitor Centre has become more integral to the planning and delivery of the events which has created some amazing outcomes in showcasing our region. Thank you to everyone who makes this all possible and to all our guests – we hope to see you again,” said Doriana.
Gascoyne Food Hero
The Long Table Lunch in Carnarvon also provided the perfect opportunity to announce the Gascoyne Hero Award, presented to Farmer Jacks Supermarket’s Founder and Owner, Fred Fairthorne. Fred was honoured for his ongoing commitment to the supporting Gascoyne food through investment, support and advice and through his supermarkets.
The Gascoyne Food Council created the award to recognise its 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.
Follow the Gascoyne Food Council on social media to find out the dates for next years festival!