I recently received a comment on this very blog from a chap called Oscar who sounded like he was going through some pretty tough, emotional times. He was rather sad that the blog was ending, as it was the highlight of his week (his actual words!).
Well, FEAR NOT OSCAR! I may be back home in the UK but the blog lives on!
Just before I departed I headed down to Esperance on the Southern Coast of Western Australia and made two short films (the first of which was aired on the blog last week “What’s Up Doc?”).
In the second film I’m taken on a pretty regular day out down in Esperance….4WDing at Lucky Bay (Australia’s whitest beach), a master-class in photography, and scaling Frenchman’s Peak in beautiful Cape Le Grand National Park, before an Abalone collecting session followed by a beach BBQ, all with local photographer and very nice chap, Dan Paris.
The colours in this film are incredible. Some of the shots of Lucky Bay look as if Dan and I are in front of a blue screen on a film set and the background’s been digitally produced.
But I assure you Taste Master fans, there’s been no tampering or special effects on this blog!
The blues really ARE that blue, and the sand really IS that white.
(…and Dan Paris really IS that fella off Neighbours who went out with Libby Kennedy)
I may be frantically packing to catch my flight back home in three and a half hours time, but the journey doesn’t end there!
I’ve recently been exploring Esperance on the Southern Coast of Western Australia and been hanging out at Lucky Bay, the beach with the whitest sand in all of Australia. Whilst there we made a couple of short films all about foraging and fotography (or is that phoraging and photography?)
The first sees me teaming up with Doc Reynolds, a Senior Aboriginal Cultural Custodian of the area. Doc takes me on a journey where I learn all about foraging, cooking with native ingredients and using paper bark as aluminium foil, knowledge that has passed down through countless generations and thousands of years.
He also has the best located coffee van you’re likely to see anywhere in the Universe…
On my very last sojourn as Taste Master I think I’ve got to the very heart of what this campaign is all about.
I’ve eaten at fantastic restaurants and bars and had unbelievably good food from all over the State, but what it comes down to is how you GET the food, the UNIQUENESS of the setting and the PEOPLE you’re with. In this regard, Australia has it all.
Native ingredients in out of this world locations with great company.
I’m writing this on the plane back to Perth after an overnight trip to Albany on the Southern Coast of Western Australia. I was attending the launch for the region’s Taste Great Southern festival, a five week food fiesta celebrating the quality local produce and growers that they have in absurd amounts down here (Feb 22-March 30). Before the evening’s event I spent the morning foraging with Local chef and freelance caterer Dan Sharp (Organiser of Taste Great Southerns Oyster Festival) and Paul Iskov from Fervor Food.
Fervor Food is a special company, organising native pop-up dining events combining bush ingredients with locally sourced produce in spectacular locations. A dinner they held recently used native ingredients just metres from the table.
This is where I’ve come to realize that what Western Australia has is so unique. I love learning about bush foods, some of my favorite moments have been with Indigenous guides passing on their knowledge. I spent an AMAZING day with Doc Reynolds in Esperence recently, learning all about paper bark, coastal rosemary and traditional fishing techniques (film about that coming soon folks!)
It’s about having a deep respect for nature. If you look after the land, the land will look after you.
Anyway, I digress slightly, the day started off with lots of eggs. Four in fact…
…and then it was straight down to the water’s edge to collect some cockles. This is what an official cockle collecting implement looks like…
….this is how you use it (kind of)…
…and this is the bounty of cockles I collected in about 30 seconds, enough for a taste at lunchtime.
Then it was onto foraging for native ingredients and bush foods. Have a flick through this gallery, you’ll be amazed at the variety and abundance of edible wild plants, flowers, herbs and shrubs growing right under your nose. A lot of bush plants and fruits are very strong in flavour so only small amounts need to be used to add completelty different dimensions to cooking.