Buy West Eat Best has announced the four finalists who will battle it out in the WA’s Signature Dish Grand Finale.
Hosted by Rob Broadfield and judged by Guillaume Brahimi (Bistro Guillaume), Matt Preston (MasterChef) and Shane Osborn (from Michelin starred St Betty’s restaurant and Arcane in Hong Kong), the Grand Finale will be one of the highlights of the Margaret River Gourmet Escape event on 22 November.
Finalists will cook-off against each other in a 60 minutes session at the Chef’s Theatre at Gourmet Village to decide which regional dish will win the annual title of WA’s Signature Dish.
The successful finalists and their regional dishes include:
Cone Bay Barramundi with green mango and mizuna salad By Arylene Westlake-Jennings
Gascoyne seafood broth with Shark Bay Wild Prawns By Jerolina Rankin
Swan Valley & Surrounds
Lemon myrtle marron laksa inspired curry By Matt Cook
Harvey Beef Eye Fillet seasoned with bush tomato, native thyme and pepperberry with wine jus By Rachel Hartshorn
Each finalist won their regional Semi Final by creating a dish that truly represented the beautiful produce available in their region.
Brooke Nazzari, a semi finalist for the Peel region used Peel Sea Mullet in her dish along with gremolata and mediterranean potatoes.
“I thought to do Peel Sea Mullet because it was an uncommon fish to use. I knew the other components went well with strong flavoured fish so it all matched well.” she said.
Rachel, who used the famous Harvey Beef in her winning dish, is a big believer of supporting local Peel producers saying,
“I live reasonably close to the Peel Region and feel it is a region that is a well kept secret. There is some amazing fresh produce to be found and there is nothing like heading down to Peel local market and buying fresh beautiful produce direct from the source.”
With only one hour to cook at the semi final held at Frasers Restaurant in Kings Park, both Brooke and Rachel felt the pressure with Rachel saying,
“I was very nervous as I have never cooked under this sort of pressure before! It’s one thing creating your dish at home, where you are use to your own stove and cooktop, to working in an environment you are not familiar with. It was a fantastic and exciting challenge.”
Brooke, who has her own cooking website – Cooking 101 – Learn, Create, Inspire added,
“Cooking under a time restraint was difficult! I’m so used to pottering around my kitchen, cooking at my own leisure with a glass or two of wine and my music blaring! Sticking to a particular method and set ingredients was another challenge as I usually throw things in as I go with whatever I have in my kitchen! I am a true stay at home mum cook!”
The WA Signature Dish competition is delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Food as part of the Buy West Eat Best program.
“WA Signature Dish is a wonderful way to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding produce and culinary talent we have in this State,” Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said.
Believing that food helps to drive tourism, Mr Baston added, “The signature dish is important to Western Australia as it links the raw product to the cooked dish. Finalists play an important role in the Western Australian food industry.”
The winner receives a two day mentorship with Guillaume Brahimi at Bistro Guillaume in Crown Perth and a trip for two to a luxurious remote Western Australian location for a wine and dine experience.
Photos courtesy of Peter Maloney, Department of Agriculture and Food WA