Taste Great Southern
With a line-up of over 40 events, including festivals, markets, degustation series, dinners, wine tastings, beer, coffee and spirit sessions, wine pairing, masterclasses, and seminars, Taste Great Southern 2018 was the one of the most spectacular food festivals in the region. Running for a period of 18 days, Australia’s biggest food festival this year brought together thousands of F&B industry professionals, celebrities, influencers, and culinary enthusiasts from around Asia Pacific in celebration of the Great Southern of Western Australia.
The Great Southern of Western Australia represents one of the most diverse and engaging tourism, food and wine regions. Located along the pristine southern coastline and expanding into the farming hinterland, it includes major centres, such as Albany, Denmark, Mt. Barker, Kojonup and Katanning. Produce from these areas are known to be distinctively fresh, natural, seasonal and exceptional.
Event Director, Richard Campbell, remarked that “Taste Great Southern is a great opportunity to discover the flavors of the region. With a focus on fresh produce and fine wines, the event showcased some of the amazing people behind those products.”
Some of the star foods include oysters and seafood, cereal crops, beef and lamb, vegetables and milk products, all exposed to the nourishing elements of the south coast. Producing wines such as Shiraz and Riesling, which are already competing strongly on the world stage, the main wine sub regions include the locations of Frankland River, Mt Barker, Porongurup, Denmark and Albany. The broader area of the Hidden Treasures promotes the general northern and eastern part of the region including the towns of Kojonup, Katanning, Gnowangerup, Ongerup and Bremer Bay.
A line-up of dozens of international, national and local chefs, combined with a mouth-watering series of food and wine events over three weekends in March, made Australia’s biggest food festival the most spectacular yet.
Mr. Campbell said that having chefs the calibre of England’s Marco Pierre White, Indonesia’s Chandra Yudasswara and Masterchef’s Justine Schofield provided a huge focus on food, produce and wine in the Albany region. Add in some of the state’s best chefs and the reason to take time to enjoy what the region has to offer becomes almost impossible to ignore.
“As well as having some fabulous chefs cooking at events ranging from secret dinners to long table lunches using ingredients ranging from seafood to Waygu beef and the wonderful fruit and vegetables of the region, there were seemingly endless activities for everyone,” Richard says.
There were at least 40 events in Albany, Denmark, Mount Barker, Porongurup, Frankland River, Katanning and Kojonup from March 8 to 25, all designed to attract people to the region and give them reasons to visit again, as well as allowing consumers to understand and discover what is available in regional Western Australia and also opens up exposure and branding for organizations and business aligned with the festival.
The Porongurup Wine Festival which took place in Karriview on Sunday, March 4, celebrated its 30th year Anniversary with local wineries presenting their award winning cool climate wines for tasting. There were live music, fine wines, local food stalls and entertainment for the family including treasure hunts and grape stomping, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs and wine masterclasses, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Porongurup Ranges.
On March 9, The Rockcliffe Night Market at Rockcliffe Winery showcased the best of Great Southern produce along with a cooking demonstration with guest chefs Justine Schofield and Anna Gare in a family-friendly event filled with music, food, wine and fun. And then later in the evening, Wish You Were Beer at the Brig Amity in Albany brought together Liberte’s Amy Hamilton and Wilson’s Brewing Co, and with a BBQ sundowner featuring top seafood and ale from the region aboard the replica of the vessel which brought the first white settlers to Albany.
Barker + Bordeaux at Plantagenet Wines, Mt Barker on Saturday, March 10 provided informative comparisons between wines from the climatically similar Mt. Barker and Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon was evidently the King in both regions and the event showcased some very expensive Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines from Bordeaux from good vintages, against the much less expensive cousins from Mount Barker from several of the regions wineries.
Visitors to the Albany Wine & Food Festival at Eyre Park, Middleton Beach Rd, Albany on Saturday March 17 rubbed shoulders with special guest Marco Pierre White and discovered amazing local wine and produce. The day continued with live local music, wine seminar sessions, Great Southern wine, local food, craft beers, spirits, produce, local crafts and more.
On March 22, Indonesia’s very own Chef Chandra Yudasswara collaborated with Chef Vincent Lim to deliver their interpretation of fantastic Southern produces with a touch of Asian flavors and cooking techniques. The fabulously tasty dinner was kicked off with sparkling wine and canapés and then followed by a sit-down mysterious banquet matched with fine wine in a hearty atmosphere.