Sunday saw the Grand Finale of the Buy West Eat Best WA Signature Dish held at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Launched last year, WA’s Signature Dish is a State-wide cooking competition that promotes WA’s local produce and seeks to unearth our State on a Plate.
The four talented finalists from the Gascoyne, Kimberley, Swan Valley & Surrounds and Peel battled it out during a live 60 minute cook off event on the Miele Chef’s Theatre stage hosted by Rob Broadfield (Food Critic at The West Australian).
Gourmet Village attendees were also treated to samples of the four finalist dishes at a Buy West Eat Best regional pop up restaurant, presented by Chef Peter Manifis, where they were asked to vote for their favourite dish for the People’s Choice award. The award went to Rachel Hartshorn’s dish representing the Peel region of Harvey Beef eye fillet seasoned with bush tomato, native thyme and pepperberry with red wine jus.
“It was fantastic cooking on stage, I was very fortunate to have my mentor chef Jason Hutchen beside me. Of course it was completely nerve wracking but I am very happy with the dish I plated and thrilled to have won people’s choice award.” Rachel said
“Big Thankyou to Pete Manifis and his team of talented chefs who worked tirelessly to provide all the contestants dishes in the pop up kitchen. They did a fantastic job!”
Jerolina Rankin’s Gascoyne seafood broth with Shark Bay wild prawns was anointed WA’s Signature Dish at the Grand Finale cook-off judged by Guillaume Brahimi (Bistro Guillaume), Matt Preston (Masterchef) and Shane Osborn (from Michelin starred St Betty’s restaurant and Arcane in Hong Kong).
“I have had so much fun throughout the whole competition, from choosing a hero ingredient and creating a dish that represents the flavours of WA, to working with my mentor chef Peter Manifis and now winning today. It’s been a great experience,” Jerolina said.
Judge Guillaume Brahimi said; “I think many people don’t even realise how lucky they are to have such beautiful, fresh local produce so readily available. “Western Australia has some of the best produce in the world and Jerolina’s dish represents the flavours of the Gascoyne region beautifully without overdoing it. It’s simple, fresh and delicious.
“WA’s Signature Dish is so exciting for me. It’s a real celebration of the foodie culture in WA and all the beautiful ingredients from in the regions and the talented cooks bringing these flavours to life in kitchens around the State. Whether it’s in one of the many amazing restaurants or in a family kitchen,” Brahimi said.
As the winner of WA’s Signature Dish, Jerolina will receive a two day mentorship with Guillaume Brahimi at Bistro Guillaume in Crown Perth and a trip for two to Cable Beach Resort in Broome, compliments of the Hawaiian Group.
Meet the WA’s Signature Dish winner, finalists and mentor chefs and see them cook up the four final dishes at an event at Farmer Jacks, Claremont Quarter on Saturday 5 December between 11am – 2pm.
Photo Credit – Jacqui Simons