News & Events

Sophie Zalokar Talks Local Produce

13 June, 2016

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.

Her cookbook Food of the Southern Forests is a collection of recipes featuring local produce. She also tells the stories of the producers in the region, such as that of the Ryan Family.jacket Image Food of the Southern Forests by Sophie Zalokar

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.Flatbread photo by Craig Kinder

“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 –

  1. Head to Foragers Field Kitchen and Cooking School website
  2. 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

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  • Reply Lily 14 June, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Why, potatoes of course! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t drool over the very thought of a creamy mash, a crispy chip or dropping these into a lovely curry to bring out the natural sweetness! (Or if I did know someone who didn’t, I’d have to get rid of them :)

    • Reply Leon 15 June, 2016 at 1:35 am

      Passionate words right there!

  • Reply Casey 14 June, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Some black truffles and some Great Southern wine makes for one happy lady right here!

  • Reply Georgina Butterwood 15 June, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Great article – now I want to book our next trip away and head to one of the dinners Sophie holds!!
    I do have to agree with one of the other comments, honestly who can go past a creamy mash potato with slow roasted lamb and veggies, with a glass of Shiraz on a cold winters evening!
    Off to peel potatoes for dinner now, just need that red!

  • Reply Gusface Grillah 15 June, 2016 at 2:54 pm


  • Reply Ronnalyn 15 June, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I have to agree with potatoes. They are so versatile, if you’ve got potatoes there is a meal ready to be made.

  • Reply Jessica Liebregts 15 June, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    It is hard to chose, what’s not to love! Avocado (it goes without saying, and it goes with everything), figs, organic garlic, and to top it off I think my new favourite is the Bravo apple + the local wines!

  • Reply Rachel K 16 June, 2016 at 12:58 am

    Cherries because they remind me of Christmas. Cicadas buzzing, cherries ripening, the “rellies” are coming, the temperature’s climbing. Christmas in the Australian summer is my favourite family get together.

  • Reply Kylie B 16 June, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Manjimup Cherries and Truffles are my two favourite choices from the region although last time I was in Pemberton I tried local trout and a some beautiful white wine.

  • Reply Jaime Lawrence 17 June, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I am in love with Southern Forrest produce lately I’ve been buying Kanzi & Bravo Apples so delicious. But my most favourite is Pickles and Relish from The Pickled Wife! Always a crowd pleaser.

  • Reply Katherine YY tan 17 June, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Salad rose potatoes
    I have just discovered them at manning road farmers markets. They are so versatile and make the best homemade potato wedges!!

    • Reply Liz 21 June, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Congratulations you won a copy of the book! I have just sent you an email to get your details :)

  • Reply Karen Chuang 18 June, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Can’t go past those amazing truffles!! I look forward to my June birthday every year because I get to celebrate with truffles!!

    • Reply Liz 21 June, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Congratulations you won a copy of the book! I have just sent you an email to get your details :)

  • Reply Belinda 20 June, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Fresh crispy apples mmmm straight off the tree

  • Reply Wendy Christidis 20 June, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I love fresh apples from Donnybrook orchards, Truffles and chestnuts from Manjimup and olives and grapes and berries from the Margaret River Region

  • Reply Sarah 21 June, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Cherries and truffles are my favourite (not together though haha)

  • Reply Marie 21 June, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    I love me some potatoes!

  • Reply Ariane bowie 21 June, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Mmm Potatoes, so many delicious I can do with them – Roast, Chips, Mash, Potato bake, boiled and my favourite – Potato gnocchi, I love making this by hand, it is so light and tastes amazing

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