Seafood Shines at 2018 Gascoyne Food Festival
Over 2000 guests flocked to the 10th annual Gascoyne Food Festival that focuses on giving patrons gastronomic pleasures using local fresh produce prepared by renowned chefs, in the outback oasis at the edge of the world. Kicking off on August 5, the festival was promoted as the ultimate winter foodie get-away, where some of WA’s finest produce from the North West of our state were on show.
Featured were multiple events including Taste of the Gascoyne Sunset BBQ, Long Table Lunch and the Gascoyne Growers Market, all highlighting seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables produced in the region.
Mantarays Ningaloo Resort in Exmouth also hosted a special evening, ‘Outback Meets the Reef dinner’, against yet another stunning backdrop, welcoming WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey as MC and to serve up a special Exmouth prawn dish.
Using his 75kg iron pan, Don cooked Kailis Exmouth Gulf prawn cutlets coated in sesame, Gascoyne chilli, honey and lemon myrtle. The delectable dish complimented other WA produce, as well as local wines and ciders.
Don congratulated Mantaray head chef Nick Daniels’ and his team for showcasing ceviche of Shark Bay scallops with finger lime and papaya, Rockcliff shiraz brined goldband snapper smoked and served on sourdough crostini and local seafood en papillote with Kakadu plum and samphire.
Another highlight of the festival was the annual long table lunch at Bentwaters Plantation where 360 people enjoyed an eight-course degustation prepared and cooked by 10 of WA’s most passionate chefs. Seafood dishes included creamy Shark Bay crab with Frzop avocado and Moore veggie sriracha, chilled Shark Bay prawns and crispy fried goldband snapper from local Northern waters.
It was during the event that NorWest Seafoods founder Kel Brown and WA Food ambassador Don Hancey, were presented with the inaugural ‘Gascoyne Food Hero’ award in recognition of their contribution to the regions food industry.
In 1993, Western Australian Kel Brown purchased the seafood business, now known as NorWest Seafoods from British Aristocrat Lord Vestey, bringing the company back to WA. Using vision, leadership and extensive experience he turned the company into a 21st century viable business.
Fast forward 22 years, Brown has seen evolution of the industry – from replacing smaller vessels with larger boats to being part of the Shark Bay Prawn Trawlers Operators Association (SBPTOA) that helped the Shark Bay fishery receive the third-party accredited Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC).
WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey has been a strong supporter of the Gascoyne region for many. He has not only contributed time and ideas he introduced numerous chefs, media and consumers to the region’s food.
Gascoyne Food Council Chairman Michael Nixon said that both Gascoyne Food Heroes have played a critical part in generating opportunities and promoting the region to the community.
“Marketing our food is vital, and these Gascoyne Food Hero’s have played a critical part in building the profile of the region and creating opportunities for a sustainable future,” said Michael.
Luckily the Gascoyne Food Festival is not over just yet! On September 8, patrons will enjoy Australia’s Biggest BBQ under the world’s biggest rock.