WE are pretty spoilt here in WA.
You cannot have a meal without finding great wine, beer, cheese, vegetables, grain, meat and seafood spruiking yet another region in our far-reaching state.
The Great Southern is one of these bountiful destinations, located a few hundred kilometres from Perth, which beckons foodies to enjoy its culinary riches throughout the year.
However, if you have been chewing over making the visit for a while, next month’s Taste Great Southern is the perfect reason to head down south.
Celebrating its 13th year, the festival will feature more than 40 diverse events over 18 days, celebrating the local producers and attracting the who’s who of Australian food and wine.
From the famed Rockcliffe Night Market on March 24 to the Albany Wine and Food Festival on April 8, there is much to indulge in.
A highlight of the event and returning for its second year is the Junkyard Feast at Wilsons Machinery in Torbay, hosted by Anna Gare with help from David Coomer (Fuyu), Scott Brannigan (Bread in Common) and Guy Jeffreys (Millbrook Winery).
Diners can expect a barbecue smorgasbord set amongst 130-year-old tractors and cedars to the backdrop of a playlist that was last year curated by Gare’s husband, Luc Longley.
“My husband had also built a gigantic barbecue out of a crane with Ian Wilson last year, which we cooked on and we’ll be doing that again, and we’re also introducing a few novelty ideas; it’s all a bit Mad Max,” Gare said.
“We’re hoping to get some Wagin quail, some WAMMCO lamb, definitely pork, chicken, beef, lots of seafood like marron and beautiful oysters.
“It’s just basically what we can get the week before in this region including some wonderful vegetables including heirloom varieties.”
Gare said diners would be fed well as soon as they arrive but will also be encouraged to wander around the junkyard as all the artwork is for sale.
In terms of food, ticketholders are in for a treat.
“Scott is very much connected to the soil and can make anything, and makes the prettiest food ever,” Gare said.
“I think he’s going to be cooking with pork and seafood and cauliflower if there’s any around.
“David will probably do something Asian, I’d imagine, with the quail or the chicken or whatever we find.
“Guy cooks from his own garden at Millbrook and he seems really keen on the lamb.”
Gare is doing the dessert course and promises to overfeed everyone.
“I can’t help it,” she said.
“There’ll be lots of different types to choose from and there’ll be passionfruit that’s in season, I picked all my apricots off the tree, semi-dried them and might reconstitute them and bring them back to life in a yummy Eton Mess.
“There’ll be lots of fruit from my garden and I’ll be going to the markets and see what sort of stone fruit we have left, and pears and apples.”
The dinner will see eclectic tables set out in groups of six, eight and ten to encourage diners to mingle.
“And if you book a table of ten, you only have to pay for nine,” Gare said.
“It encourages people to get their own little party happening.”Visit www.tastegreatsouthern.com.au/junkyardfeast.