Hot article Tossing the Fleece

It’s Showtime!

And I thought I was just going to the Perth Royal Agricultural Show to judge the biggest cabbage competition or play guess the celebrity look-a-like onion or something like that.

Of course things never quite turn out as planned.

I ended up on stage shearing sheep with Big Jim, hosting a cookery class for 30 kids, milking a giant fibreglass cow and being interviewed for Channel 9 News with a three metre, 15kg olive python wrapped around my face. Another normal day in the Taste Master office.

The Perth Royal Show is an annual week-long event, showcasing the best of Western Australia’s agriculture, fresh produce and livestock. It’s Perth’s biggest community event attracting more than 400,000 people from the city and the country every year.

Although it was 11am, I sampled some great wines from local vineyards and was introduced to Sheena from The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia who made me up a fresh tasting plate, all made with award winning produce from the area.

There are lots of different aspects to the show, but the section that really impressed me was the Kids Zone. Rather than thinking food just magically appears at the supermarket, children were being educated as to where their food comes from. Classes on how to grow your own veggies, learning about different cuts of meat on cattle, a whole host of kid’s cookery classes and taking turns in milking Bernice the fibreglass cow (udderly inspiring, arf arf).

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Hot article Dragon Boat Regatta - Broome

A Broome with a View

Ahhhhh, and what a view it is Taste Master fans.

I was privileged enough to see Broome for the first time by air on a short helicopter flight, but it was only when I landed that I fully appreciated the beauty of world-famous Cable Beach and felt a real sense of community in the town.

That evening I was invited to A Taste of Broome, a unique multi-arts performance and culinary event which celebrates the regions’ Indigenous culture and multicultural community. I was tagging along with my host Robyn, who’d been travelling with us up the red earth-stained road to Cape Leveque and back. I have to say, Robyn is a constant source of entertainment and enthusiasm and an excellent travelling companion. A resident of Broome for 21 years, she has some great stories (Fatso the Crocodile) and knows pretty much everyone (and their dog…”That big one’s called Beverley”).

With a rich pearling history, Broome attracted divers from countries such as China, Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines in the 1900’s, and that diversity is still present today. A Taste of Broome celebrates this through music storytelling, dance and food.

After an excellent evening’s entertainment it was time for an early(ish) night. I couldn’t stay out too late as I was competing in the annual Broome Dragon Boat Regatta at Roebuck Bay the next morning, and didn’t want to let my team down! I was originally lined up to be rowing with reigning champs the Surf and Rescue Life Saving crew, but got the feeling they weren’t too keen on an inexperienced Pom scuppering their chances of another title. Continue reading

Hot article I Got the Job!

I’m on my way!

Well, 6 weeks ago I was stood on stage at the Sydney Art Gallery, where the Best Jobs winners were announced, in front of a host of TV cameras and news crews,

with my new Taste Master apron hanging proudly around my neck, clutching my giant Western Australia salt and pepper grinders and thanking WA, Tourism Australia and pretty much everybody for making me the new Taste Master of Western Australia.

Since that surreal moment I’ve been back at home in Brighton, preparing for the trip and returning to some sort of normality, with the whole experience seeming like a weird crazy dream. That was until Australia phoned a couple of days ago… “Hi Rich, your visa’s nearly through. When do you want to fly out?!” So 6 months after sending in my application video it’s all about to actually happen. The last couple of days I’ve been frantically packing and organising for the big trip. I’ve had a brief teaser of my first months’ itinerary, and now I fully understand why it’s called The Best Jobs in the World. Talk about a good start to September, I’ll be heading to Australia’s North West for some mud crabbing, pearl harvesting, fishing and foraging in the Kimberley, and then tasting my way around the bountiful flavours of Broome.

So WA, here I come!

I’m really looking forward to meeting you all, embarking on new adventures and exploring WA, starting with Perth next Sunday… I’m hitting the ground running (literally!) and I’ve just registered for the City to Surf 12 km run.

Running shoes: Check
Blister cream: Check

Hope my jet lag’s subsided.

See you all very soon!