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A Fitting Foraging Finale

Morning folks, I’ve cracked it.

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