Team Peel – Winners of the WA Signature Dish!


Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the WA Day Festival, where one of the main events was the Buy West Eat Best WA’s Celebrity Signature Dish competition. For all involved, particularly each of the celebrities and Chef mentors, it’s been a month long battle of identifying their region’s produce, creating recipes and practising their kitchen skills to be on their game for yesterday’s epic cook off event held at Elizabeth Quay.


Each of the celebrity contestants represented produce from four of WA’s major food producing regions the Kimberley, Peel, Southern Forests and the Swan Valley and soon enough there was a flurry of activity onstage.

IG Peel1

Mark Gibson (7 Perth) who was representing Peel, had a wealth of produce to pick from, as the Peel and Mandurah region has a bounty of fresh produce. A dish featuring Mandurah’s famed crabs was deemed “too obvious”, so to represent Peel this year Mark devised a dish centred around the “hero ingredient” of Harvey Beef with Chef Kenny McHardy.


You’ve gotta have a glass of wine when you’re cooking!


Mark’s Peel region dish featured a huge Slow Braised Harvey Beef Shin which had been cooked overnight in the wood fired oven at Chef Kenny’s restaurant – Manuka Woodfire Kitchen in Fremantle.


On the side were roasted local sweet potato, served with Mundella yogurt and pickled baby carrots. A glass of Peel region wine like a Millbrook shiraz or Drakesbrook malbec complements this dish perfectly. IMG_8572 Continue reading

Preview: WA Day Festival & Signature Dish Cook Off

WA Day

The hotly anticipated 2017 Celebrity Signature Dish is being held at the WA Day Festival, at Elizabeth Quay on Sunday 4th of June. As well as the nail biting cook off, you’ll find something for everyone at the festival – especially us foodies!

WA Celebrity Signature Dish

The 2017 WA Celebrity Signature Dish cook-off will see four Perth personalities put on their chef’s whites to represent four West Australian food regions for Buy West Eat Best.  You’ll see:

  • Mark Gibson (Today Tonight, Channel 7) for Mandurah and Peel
  • Rayne Embley (popular Perth mummy and lifestyle Blogger) for Southern Forests
  • Justin Langer (ex- Australian Cricketer and WACA Head Coach) for Swan Valley
  • Pete Curulli (Radio personality from Mix94.5) for The Kimberley


Come on down at 1.30pm on Sunday to cheer them all on and see who can create the winning West Australian signature dish with the wonderful fresh produce from all around WA. My money is on Team Peel! I’m excited to be involved as one of the social influencers and I am supporting the Peel region.

Meet Team Peel


Mark Gibson, award winning journalist from Today Tonight (and presenter of the action packed “Minute To Win It” on Telethon), is the personality that’s representing Peel and Mandurah. Mark tells me that he’s a bit of a foodie and likes to cook up a storm at home. Let’s hope he’s been practicing his dish! Here’s a few questions I had for Mark…

Favourite thing to do in the Peel region?

I should say visiting my sister because she lives on the canals in Halls Head.

Heading out on a boat spotting dolphins would have to be a close second.


Most delicious item of Peel produce to cook with?

The crabs are delicious and so plentiful, but we’ve decided to use Harvey beef for our signature dish.

Mmmmm, slow cooked Harvey beef!


Why should foodies consider their next holiday in the Peel?

Because the Peel region is full of great places to eat, or if you feel like renting a house and cooking up a storm, there’s so much amazing produce (and wine) to choose from.


Chef Kenny McHardy from Manuka Woodfire Kitchen in Freo has been mentoring Mark with his Harvey beef dish and there’s not many people better qualified to cook a chunk of meat to perfection than Kenny. At his popular restaurant Manuka, the woodfire oven is the hero in their kitchen and their only form of cooking too! That makes for some delicious and tender meat dishes… I really need to check it out next time I’m in Freo, I have heard many amazing things about Kenny’s food.

The Peel region is rich with fishing and agriculture – the Blue Swimmer crab’s are a particularly famous local delicacy. Farms in the area offer a variety of fruits (apples, pears, plums, strawberries) and vegetables (beans, cabbage, pumpkins, radishes, sweet peas). There’s also lots of quality meats, honey and wine produced in this wonderful part of Western Australia.

I can’t wait to see what Mark cooks up on Sunday – Good luck to Team Peel!

What else is happening at the WA Festival?

The festival kicks off from 10am on Sunday 4th and Monday 5th of June and you’ll find something for everyone – especially fun loving, foodie families! There’s a lot planned to showcase and celebrate the very best of WA – food, wine, markets, live entertainment and activities for kids.

And best of all the WA Festival is a FREE event!

Food Trucks – For something tasty, head to “International Eat Street” to enjoy a bite from one of the many food trucks. There’s cuisine from all around the word – representing the state’s multi-cultural heritage. And of course Elizabeth Quays, bars, cafes and restaurants will also be in full swing.

Family Fun – The “Play in WA” area is packed with activities that the kids will love – WAFL footy activities, the Inflatable WA Museum will be there, apron colouring for your Little Chefs, pan for gold with the Perth Mint, a WACA cricket clinic, a virtual aquarium and much more!

Makers Markets (Sunday) – local artisans will be selling their wares under the Centre Stage Big Top. It’s a brilliant place to find a unique gift or to treat yourself.

Swan Bells – The Bell Tower is holding an open day on WA Day, which is a wonderful chance to discover the swan bells. There will be Free Entry all day on Monday.

State of the Art (Monday) – the SOA festival is an all ages music event. Popular WA acts like Karnivool, Gyroscope, Katy Steele and more will be on stage from noon till late.

Get to Elizabeth Quay on public transport – with rail, ferry and bus stations all close by.

Find out more about what is happening at Elizabeth Quay’s WA Day celebrations here.

WA Signature Dish Launch

IMG_6893I was very excited to attend the launch of WA’s best known cooking competition, WA’s Celebrity Signature Dish, at the fabulous Arthouse eatery in Northbridge. The popular comp is back for 2017 with a new twist! In the past the competition was a cook-off between amateur cooks, this year four celebrities have been paired with some of Perth’s very best Chefs.

Each team will represent one of WA’s four major food producing regions: Peel, The Kimberley, Swan Valley and The Southern Forests. Using fantastic local produce, they will prepare and cook a dish that represents the flavours from that area.IMG_6902

I’m going to be the Digital Influencer cheering on “Team Peel” and I’m also very excited to be working closely with the Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation in an Ambassador role. Being a Perth northie I’ve rarely visited the Peel region. So I’ll be exploring that area in the coming month and sharing my foodie finds with you.IMG_6883

Here’s my first find… a delicious rose from Peel winery Drakesbrook, in Waroona. Their Viticulturist, Bernie Worthington, was telling me that they’ve won several awards for it and I’m not surprised. It’s a top drop.IMG_6867

The Department of Agriculture and Food’s “Buy West Eat Best” program is holding the competition during the WA Day Festival weekend at Elizabeth Quay.  Four of WA’s leading media, lifestyle and sporting personalities will compete in a 60 minute cook-off to be held on Centre Stage at the 2017 WA Day Festival. Here’s the line up of “Perthonalities” and their Chef mentors.IMG_6907

Peel Region

Talent: Mark Gibson (Channel 7)

Chef: Kenny McHardy – Manuka Woodfire Kitchen

Blogger: Me!

Southern Forests Region

Talent: Rayne Embley

Chef: Ollie Gould – Shorehouse

Blogger: Martin aka Morsels


Kimberley Region

Talent: Peter Curulli (Mix 94.5fm ‘Lisa & Pete’)

Chef: Pete Manifis

Blogger: Kristy aka Queen of Bad Timing

Swan Valley Region

Talent: Justin Langer (Former Australian cricketer)

Chef: Caroline Taylor

Blogger: Gus aka Gusface Grillah

The cook off event will be hosted by Scott Taylor (Owner of The Trustee Bar & Bistro, Shorehouse and more). A judging panel will make the tough decision on our State’s best dish, including Dan Masters (Rockpool), Anna Gare (Junior Masterchef) and Rob Broadfield (The West Food Editor). The cook off event will be hosted by Scott Taylor (of The Trustee Bar & Bistro,  The Shorehouse and more). It is expected to be a very popular event at the WA Day Festival at Elizabeth Quay. The cook off will commence at 1.30pm on Sunday the 4th of June.

I’ll see you there – go Team Peel!

Stay tuned for more about Chef Kenny McHardy, Mark Gibson and their preparation for the cook off and the wonderful Peel region too.IMG_6876


For more information on WA’s Celebrity Signature Dish visit  the Buy West Eat Best website and visit the WA Day Festival site for program information.