Each year, new chefs are appointed as ambassadors of the local potato industry. Named Potatodors, these chefs are passionate about local produce and supporting the WA potato industry.
Through Fresh Potatoes WA, Potatodors engage with local growers so they can get to know their producers. This includes growers providing samples of new varieties for chef feedback and working together to understand what chefs want and how growers can supply it.
Sophie Zalokar, chef and owner of Foragers Field Kitchen and Cooking School in Pemberton, is a Potatodor and huge advocate for local producers, especially in the Southern Forests region.
They have been growing potatoes in Pemberton for over 30 years and are currently the biggest producers in WA.
“The Southern Forests region is blessed with deep rich soil, good rainfall and cool nights during the warmer months, which means it’s possible for growers to have very good harvests over a longer period of time compared to other regions,” says Sophie.
“Our local potato growers are extremely dedicated and always looking to improve soil conditions. They have consistent high quality. I know I am biased but Southern Forests potatoes are second to none!”
Foragers is a farm-based cooking school and dining room with self-contained luxury accommodation. Sophie and her husband Chris established the business where Sophie works as the chef and culinary instructor.
One of the aims of Foragers is to present fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce from the Southern Forests region at their dinners. Potatoes used at Foragers are 100% West Australian from seed to harvest. Sophie believes this is not only important to her business but to all WA consumers.
“As with all fresh produce, supporting local growers makes sense and is vitally important on many levels,” she says. “Keeping seed potato growers in business here in WA relies on local WA growers being financially sustainable.
“For our growers to be viable, we need to keep a strong level of engagement with West Australians, ensuring the message about superb quality and variety diversity for interesting eating is always evolving.”
Just for Breakfast Confidential readers – Sophie has kindly provided her recipe for potato and buckwheat flatbread from the cookbook.
“I originally made these flatbreads with Royal Blues but this past season I’ve cooked with Salad Rose,” says Sophie. “They make lovely light croquettes and would be the right dry floury texture to make crispy flatbreads. Virginia Rose or Ruby Lous would be very similar.”
Potato & Buckwheat Flatbread
- 300g mashed potato, cooled
- 100g buckwheat
- 1 large free range egg
- salt flakes
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
Mix the mashed potato, buckwheat flour and egg with a pinch of salt until a soft dough.
Divide into four portions and place on a lined baking tray. Flatten each with flour-dusted fingers into round discs, prick the breads with a fork and bake for 20 minutes until the edges are browned.
Serve sprinkled with a little sea salt flakes.
These gluten free flatbreads would be perfect with the patatas bravas recipe on Cooking 101 – Learn Create Inspire.
If you would like some tips on buying the best WA potatoes – check out the post on Foodie Cravings
Food of the Southern Forests is published and available through UWA Publishing and selected book stores across Australia.
Thanks to Sophie Zalokar, you could win 1 of 5 copies of Food of the Southern Forests – 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; focusing solely on the region that provides the daily backdrop and inspiration for her seasonal, produce driven recipes.
To Enter –
- Head to Foragers Field Kitchen and Cooking School website
- Comment below or on Facebook – what Southern Forests region produce do you love to eat.
Entries will be drawn 21st June 2016
Winners will be notified via email.
Open to West Australian residents only
This article is sponsored by Fresh Potatoes WA
Feature photo credit – Peggy Saas for Foragers
Flatbread photo credit – Craig Kinder Food Photography