Too many times I’ve eaten at events touting local produce only to be disappointed that while the hero ingredients have a local connection, quite a few impostors have crept on to the plate as well. A cheese platter or grazing table is the classic – beautiful locally sourced products served with Coles-bought crackers, or out-of-season exotic fruits.
So, it was a welcome delight to enjoy the decadent menu at last Friday night’s long table dinner in Gingin. Launching the Flavours of Gingin the following day, the event took place overlooking the rolling greens of Granville park under a perfectly positioned pergola at the recreation centre. Elegantly styled, the scene was beautifully set to highlight the best the region has to offer.
As we know the Shire of Gingin, along with its Wheatbelt neighbours, is a powerhouse of food production growing a significant quantity of the State’s fruit and vegetables, citrus, berries and lettuce. Combined, the Wheatbelt accounted for over 27% of the State’s agriculture, forestry and fishing economic output in 2019, and of course as locals, we believe the best of the best comes from the Northern Valleys region comprising Gingin, Chittering, Moora and Dandaragan, so I was eager to taste the combinations put together by local chef Tiffany Polette on the night.
To begin guests were welcomed with canapes of roasted beetroot and Local Goat cheese, ceviche marron on Littlefoot Local sourdough crackers with avocado mousse, and delicately rare Borrello beef with black lime chutney – all locally sourced – and highlighting some very interesting artisan products from the Gingin region (you can read our story on Local Goat here – and watch this space for our investigation into new-kid-on-the-block Australian black limes). Servings were substantial and abundant (perhaps even a little too generously sized to juggle alongside the welcome sparkling!).
A series of shared mains platters included beautifully braised lamb from Wakedale Farm (read our story here), a spicy chicken couscous, huge arrays of fresh marron and a roasted pumpkin dish with goats cheese, all artfully presented. It was delightful to enjoy the fresh sweet corn and beans from Trandos Farms (read our story here), delicately served along with a choice of salted, sweet and spicy butters – what a treat! Microgreens from Dobra Garden, Loose Leaf Lettuce Co Greens (read our story here), apricots from Beermullah Produce and honey from Piesssful Bees Honey all made appearances and were all acknowledged on the menu sheet (a detail sometimes missed). I must mention though, the mystery marron was a lost opportunity for whomever is growing them – or perhaps they want to keep the location of their dam a secret?
The orange blossom panna cotta was my standout of the pretty dessert quartet, with the mango and white chocolate tart a close second. And while the banquet style meal was plentiful, it was also summery and fresh, with the produce taking the limelight (nary a heavy sauce in sight!).
Shire CEO Aaron Cook shared a few words, but the evening was well and truly focused on the food and its producers. With plenty of Gingin movers and shakers enjoying the event, conversation was free flowing, along with the Swan Valley wines (look for our social pics of the glam crowd in the December issue!) Accolades to the organisers as well as Tiffany and her crew for bringing together such a lovely showcase of the region.