IF Mandurah needed an ambassador to spruik the City, they’d need look no further than celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue.
O’Donoghue is the headline star for this year’s Mandurah Crab Fest and he is chomping at the bit to get back to WA and immerse himself in everything food, wine and lifestyle.
The 48-year-old, who recently took his mate Jamie Oliver fishing in Sydney, grew up in WA going to school at Midland’s La Salle College and completing his apprenticeship at JoJo’s in Nedlands.
Recalling his teen years in WA, O’Donoghue who spent three weeks in Perth over Christmas, said he took his family down south and visited Mandurah to show them where he spent much of his youth.
“I’m pretty excited to be back,” he said.
“We were over for Christmas and I took the kids and the wife through Mandurah and showed them some of the places we used to hang out down there and while it’s changed since I was a youngster, I love Mandurah.
“When I was growing up, a mate of mine used to have a caravan and we used to go to Mandurah with his family and spend a week down there.
“We used to knock about and surf in North Groyne, go crabbing in the Peel inlet and prawning on the old jetty. It was a pretty good time.”
Kicking off celebrations at this year’s Mandurah Crab Fest with A Taste of Crab Fest event, the Surfing the Menu star said foodies attending the dinner, could expect a seven-course, locally-curated taster/tapas style dinner.
“This event is a celebration of community: the biggest community event in WA,” he said.
“It’s been going for 21 years and it’s a beautiful part of the world.
“You’re going to see some of the best food, experience the crabs and some wonderful demonstrations from me and few others.”
As for his favourite crab dish, according to O’Donoghue it’s a crab spaghetti.
“It’s a classic, you can’t beat it; simplicity at its best.”
O’Donoghue will hold demonstrations on the cooking stage throughout the weekend.
WHAT: Mandurah Crab Fest
WHERE: Mandurah’s Eastern Foreshore
WHEN: March 15 to 17