The West Australian culinary landscape is set to shine this week, with consecutive regional and city launches to unveil the cookbook Food of the Southern Forests, by Sophie Zalokar in Manjimup and Perth.
Documenting 12 months of seasonal change within the picturesque Southern Forest region 3 hours south of Perth, the 400 page cookbook is more than what you would usually expect, with Sophie going to great lengths with acclaimed food photographer Craig Kinder, to capture the essence of the people behind the produce; focussing solely on the region that provides the daily backdrop and inspiration for her seasonal, produce driven recipes.
Sophie Zalokar and her husband Chris established and run Foragers Field Kitchen and Cooking School, a farm-based cooking school and dining room with self-contained accommodation located in the Southern Forests region of WA.
Sophie Zalokar said “As a cook in this region, I have had the privilege of working with not only the producers in this book but many others who’ve recognized the special nature of this region and chosen to grow food, preserve culinary traditions and pursue this incredible region’s potential for those wonderful connections between food, people and place.”
Sophie’s passion for supporting local producers and her community is unwavering, with the local launch in Manjimup at Newton Orchards that will see all 40 produce contributors attend, celebrate and see the book for the first time with the official launch being held at the University Club of Western Australia on Wednesday 15th October.
Suzanne Daubney, Managing Director of Bannister Downs Dairy will officiate the Manjimup launch and commented, “Having seen an early copy of the Food of the Southern Forests it is difficult to put down as with each page a different local family story is shared, accompanied by recipes that simply make the reader want to start cooking. A beautifully presented, detailed collection of the heritage of the Southern Forests region that enables it to be so unique in its culinary offering.”
Sophie has undertaken a truly remarkable journey out to the growers within our region and presented their stories and produce in a way that truly pays tribute to the achievements over the generations and captures the spirit of the Southern Forests.”
Set to preside the Perth launch event, Kate Lamont commented, “I’ve been lucky enough to have been eating Sophie’s food for nearly twenty years. She cooks with a genuine connection to and care for produce and delivers delicious meals every day. This book says everything about Sophie’s capability and interest in where she lives and why she has chosen the Southern Forests to be her home.”
The Southern Forests Food Council, supported by the Royalties for Region program and the Shire of Manjimup provided financial support for the project with CEO of the Council Allen Burtenshaw commenting, “Food of the Southern Forests by Sophie Zalokar is a showcase of the diversity and quality of produce the Southern Forests region of Western Australia is rapidly becoming renowned for. The book dedicated to the hard working producers of the region is a wonderful tribute to a region which is on the cusp of a renaissance, as many parts of the world start to focus on quality produce from pristine and safe growing regions.”
Food of the Southern Forests is published and available through UWA Publishing and selected book stores across Australia.