I’ve shared info on WA’s Signature Dish competition in the past – and I’m excited to be on board again for 2017 as one of the social influencers. For the next four weeks I’ll be supporting the Kimberley region in the competition, which boasts not just an expansive area but also some pretty killer produce. The likes of chickpeas, barramundi, pumpkin, watermelon, chia seeds and corn are just some of the delicious things that come to us from this area of Western Australia.
The competition this year sees a twist on previous iterations. Instead of being open to the public to enter, Buy West Eat Best have extended their search beyond amateur cooks. This year it’s all about WA’s best celebrity signature dish. And that means that four local West Aussie personalities are on board with some stellar chefs to craft dishes that highlight their region best.
Here’s the lineup:
- The Kimberley region – Mix 94.5fm’s Peter Curulli with Chef Pete Manifis
- The Swan Valley region – Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer with Chef Caroline Taylor
- The Peel region – Channel 7’s Mark Gibson with Chef Kenny McHardy
- The Southern Forests region – Lifestyle guru Rayne Embley with Chef Ollie Gould
All eyes are on this group as they gear up for the final cook off which will see a panel of judges (Dan Masters, Anna Gare and Rob Broadfield) choosing a winner. The event will be held at Celebrate WA’s WA Day Festival at Elizabeth Quay at 1.30pm Sunday 4 June.
Make sure you come down – and for some added entertainment check out this great video Peter Curulli, the Kimberley region celebrity contestant, put together.
The launch event definitely got my tastebuds raring and the talent in the room was evident. Manuka is easily one of my favourite restaurants in Perth so I was especially happy to see Kenny on the pots and pans. Some of the snaps show the quality of food we’re talking about (big thanks to the Department of Food and Agriculture WA for the images).
So why am I involved?
I actually am such a huge advocate for low food miles and utilising local produce. I think that we have such an incredible abundance of beautiful fruit, vegetables, grains, meats, seafood and the like which food enthusiasts need to get behind more. It’s so easy to cook lovely and tasty food at home when you have fresh ingredients – and that’s why I think Buy West Eat Best’s work is really valuable.
The Kimberley is an area I find particularly interesting; with its coastline covering Broome to Wyndham. I touched on some of the ingredients earlier, but it’s even more widespread – particularly when it comes to seafood. Amberjack (had a yummy one as Sam Ward’s MAS pop-up last year), rankin cod, gold band snapper, sweetlip bream, trevally… oh the list goes on and on. Included is pearl meat, which is something I tried for the first time at a Fervor dinner not too long ago – and I was really impressed by it’s delicate profile.
I think I’ll be taking lots of inspiration and hitting up my kitchen with some cooking inspo. Make sure you stay tuned on social media to see more. In the mean time I’ve been hitting up The Hummus Club to get my hands on their Ord River chickpea hummus. YUM.
Like the sound of this?
If I’m speaking your language, there’s also another event on the Kimberley’s calendar which you might want to know more about.
“Taste the Kimberley” is the perfect excuse to head north to Kununurra from 21-23 September 2017. It’s part of the broader Kimberley Economic Forum, and will include renown indigenous Chef Mark Olive (aka Black Olive) showcasing the diverse produce of the region at the events Gala Dinner. Mark will be championing the fresh produce and native cuisine of Kimberley with selections from the coast, rangelands and Ord Valley in a backdrop of local art and culture at the award winning Hoochery Distillery.
Tickets go on sale late May. This is an ideal way to champion our state even more but if you’re not able to travel during that time, keep it as a possible destination in the future and at least head down to keep me company at the WA Day festival. I’ll be the one shoveling food in my gob all in the name of research and support (right?).