As part of this year’s Gascoyne Food Festival I was attending many of the tasty events in and around Carnarvon. I was told that the festival’s highlight is the Long Table Lunch and I could barely contain my excitement about the 10 course lunch that lay before me!
My word, the location under the shady trees at the Bentwaters Plantation was amazing. We took our seats and spent a sunny winter’s afternoon chatting and mingling over some good wine and seriously amazing food, much of which was cooked using fresh produce that we’d seen the day before, on the Chef Tour of the Plantations.
I was there as part of the media group of food bloggers and journalists, it was so nice to get dressed up, after touring the farms the day before.
Chef Don Hancey
Chatting across the table to WA Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey, I discovered that the long table lunch gets longer each year! This year over 360 guests (locals and visitors) enjoyed the epic meal cooked with local produce by Chefs from all around WA.
As a Chef that’s very passionate about supporting local growers, Don has been one of the key people involved in growing the festival over many years. It comes as no surprise that this year he was awarded with a Gascoyne Hero Award, for his contribution towards the Gascoyne Food Festival. Usually Don is in the kitchen, but this year he got to sit back and enjoy the lunch – which was very well deserved.
The Epic Long Table Lunch
To get our tastebuds warmed up, we devoured a canape of crab and avocado, with a sriracha kick on a tapioca crisp by MasterChef alumni Brendon Pang.
Entrée of the chilled Mareterram prawns, with charred corn and melon salsa and a jalapeno sauce was created by Chef Jason Beste (of Suppa Road, an Award winning south west catering co). What a stunning dish!
The drool-worthy 12 hour beef rib by Chef Matt Neeble (of Arthur and Co, a new restaurant in Hibernian Place) was so meaty and delicious!
Delish Ice supplied the palate cleanser, a combo of tomato, strawberry and basil.
I loved the wood grilled BBQ lamb shoulder by Chef Melissa Palinkas (Owner/Head Chef of Young George). The yellow beans were so crunchy – I could have eaten a bucket-load!
Chef Dean Wood (of Dean Street Quarters, all the way from Esperance!) dished up spiced roasted pumpkin with pickled beans and a smoked yogurt and granola. Chef Lucas Fernandes (of Long Chim, in the Treasury Buildings) created a scrumptious crispy fried goldband snapper dish.
Stuffed eggplants by Chef Gurpreet Bagga (from Sauma, one of my favourite Perth Indian restaurants) were packed with flavour and served with paratha.
The chefs had their own long table, where they carefully plated the components of the MOST spectacular Sweeter Banana Dessert by Chef Nathan Thomas (of Laundry 43, in Busselton).
The bananas were poached in beurre noisette and served with a banana and lime parfait. Trust me, it tasted as good as it looks!
And we finished our feast on a sugary high of the Desert Bloom strawberries and cream. I could smell the strawberries from about 10 meters away, they’re so sweet. A simple way to end the lunch, the strawberries are heavenly. I must have eaten about 10.
It’s so difficult to play favourites. For me, my highlights had to be the beef ribs, the snapper and the banana dessert, but in truth I loved each and every wonderful dish cooked under the verandas of the homestead by the chefs.
Well done to Chef Stuart Laws who brought everyone together and executed such a memorable meal!
The Gascoyne Food Festival Long Table Lunch was a luscious lunch featuring so much of the produce we’d seen growing just the day before. It brought together the amazing local produce, the Chefs, the farmers and the landscape in one blissfully sunny afternoon!
I’d highly recommend you put the long table lunch and the Gascoyne Food Festival onto you WA foodie bucket list. The amazing produce really has to be tasted to be believed.
I attended as a guest of the Gascoyne Food Council.