As regular readers will know, I’ve been working with team Southern Forests during the 2017 Buy West Eat Best WA’s Celebrity Signature Dish competition.
For me it’s been mostly about travel and pointing my camera at things, but for the four celebrities taking part it’s been a month long battle of identifying their produce, creating their recipes, practicing their kitchen skills and keeping up with the competitive banter.
The competition concluded with a cook-off at Elizabeth Quay yesterday as part of the WA Day festival, and the winner was Mark Gibson representing the Peel region with a dish of Slow Braised Harvey Beef Shin with Roasted Sweet Potato and Pickled Vegetables.
“I have discovered so much about the region during this campaign,” said Mark. “I always generally thought of the Peel in terms of coast, but the more I found out…that’s one of the reasons we selected beef as the hero ingredient, the further inland you go in the Peel the more there is, and Kenny (Mark’s partner chef for the campaign) showed me how to cook it in such a great way.”
Obviously I’m disappointed that my team didn’t win, but it’s been an honour to have represented such a rich and diverse region, and I’ve met some great people along the way. Congratulations to Rayne and Ollie on their beautiful marron and truffle dish, although I have to admit that beef looked mighty delicious…
The cook off event celebrity talent, partner chef, regions and dishes were:
Southern Forests Region
Dish: Wild Caught Barra Wings, Kimberley Slaw and Black Vinegar Glaze
Partnered by: Kimberley Development Commission
Talent: Peter Curulli (Mix 94.5 ‘Lisa & Pete’)
Chef: Pete Manifis
Swan Valley Region
Dish: Yabbie Tail Pasta with Goats Curd Cream
Partnered by: City of Swan
Talent: Justin Langer (Former Australian cricketer)
Chef: Caroline Taylor
Dish: Slow Braised Harvey Beef Shin with Roasted Sweet Potato and Pickled Vegetables
Partnered by: Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO)
Talent: Mark Gibson (Channel 7)
Chef: Kenny McHardy – Manuka Woodfire Kitchen
Head judge Dan Masters of Rockpool Perth commented, “For people who aren’t chefs the standard of cooking was very good. Justin Langer can cook better than I play cricket. It was great to see all of the talent doing the cooking but it was a lack of seasoning that hurt everyone when we tasted each dish. Having said that, the fish wings from the Kimberley region were stunning, but the beef from Peel was the winner.”
Fellow judge and restaurant critic Rob Broadfield said, “Full marks to the chefs of course, but it was the produce that shined. Good produce equals good cooking.”
For more information regarding WA’s Celebrity Signature Dish and to get the recipes for this year’s dishes visit www.buywesteatbest.org.au.
See below for all the action from the cook-off event!