23 March – 9 April
Sydney-based celebrity chefs Colin Fassnidge and Miguel Maestre will head a line-up of dozens of chefs who will cook and make appearances at up to 50 events at Taste Great Southern over three weekends and two weeks from Thursday March 23 to Sunday April 9, 2017.
The event will be the 13th year of what has grown to be Australia’s biggest food and wine event.
As well as the events in the Great Southern, centred around the port city of Albany, this year an event will also be held in Perth to show off produce from the Great Southern.
Leading up to the main program will be satellite events, Graze Mount Barker and the Porongurup Wine Festival staged over the long weekend at the beginning of March and will provide a taste of what will be on offer over the full program.
Living Room co-host on Channel 10, Miguel Maestr, will be appearing at Rockcliffe Night Market with Anna Gare on Friday, March 24 from 5pm to 8pm at Rockcliffe Winery, Denmark; on Saturday, March 25 he will be making various public appearances including a meet and greet in Albany; on Sunday, March 26 from noon to 3.30pm he will be at Lunch by the Lake at The Lake House Denmark.
Other prominent food and wine personalities taking part in Taste Great Southern include WA’s own celebrity chef Anna Gare, prominent WA chefs Jed Gerrard, Don Hancey, Paul Iskov, Kiren Mainwaring, Amy Hamilton, Russell Blaikie, David Coomer and Scott Brannigan and Sydney based wine guru Mike Bennie, along with the hosting skills of WA personality Verity James and many more.
Restaurant owner and My Kitchen Rules judge Colin Fassnidge will make appearances during the final week of the event.
Fassnidge will be a guest at the Lake House Denmark Soiree, a cocktail function by the lake on Friday April 7; at Albany Wine & Food Festival on Saturday April 8, with cooking demonstrations at noon, 1.30pm and 3pm; and a degustation dinner, 3drops at Garrison Restaurant with Colin Fassnidge on Sunday April 9 from noon to 3.30pm.
Events will be held all across the more than 39,000 sq km region which is only slightly smaller in area than Switzerland.
The Great Southern region of Western Australia represents one of the most diverse and engaging food and wine regions in the country.
Located along the pristine southern coastline and expanding into the farming hinterland it includes major centres Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker, Kojonup and Katanning.
It also boasts some of the most beautiful and unique natural tourism attractions in the state.
TASTE GREAT SOUTHERN ORGANISER RICHARD CAMPBELL, CMS EVENTS
“When you talk about Great Southern produce, you include words like fresh, natural, seasonal and exceptional.
“Foods like oysters and seafood, cereal crops, beef and lamb, vegetables and milk products all excel on the south coast and the wine varietals such as Shiraz, Riesling and Pinot Noir all compete strongly on the world stage,” he said.
Mr Campbell said a key objective of the event was to highlight the diversity of the region, both in terms of its tourist potential and its produce.
The State Government is proud to support Taste Great Southern through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, made possible by Royalties for Regions. Premier Colin Barnett said the Great Southern region of Western Australia was a slightly less well-travelled part of WA that warranted greater exploration by visitors.
“Our rich south coast is home to a growing array of great wine makers backed up with producers growing a wide range of food from fruit and vegetables to some of the best beef in the world, in an environment rated as one of the most pristine anywhere,” Mr Barnett said.
“When you consider those producers are set among some of our most spectacular mountains, world-class walking trails, forest and wildflower regions The Great Southern should be a must on any visitor’s agenda.
“Taste Great Southern presents visitors a perfect opportunity to combine great food and wine events with a chance to explore the natural scenic beauty of the region,” the Premier said.
The timing for this year’s Taste Great Southern has been planned to fall just prior to the school holiday and Easter breaks and provide an opportunity for people to visit the region in the prime autumn period.
Events in 2017 will include festivals, markets, degustation dinners and lunches, wine tasting, beer, coffee and spirit sessions, food and wine pairing, masterclasses and community events.
Check out the highlight of events below.
FERVOR & SKYHOOK HELICOPTERS PICNIC ON BREAKSEA ISLAND
Friday March 24, 10am – 3pm.
An exclusive 15 minute scenic helicopter flight to Breaksea Island, you will have the chance to experience Albany like never before. On arrival expect a two hour period of exploring with the finest local beer or wine in hand and canapés provided by Fervor focusing on native Australian ingredients. Sit back and enjoy the view, whilst learning more about the mysteries of the Island.
ROCKCLIFFE NIGHT MARKET
Friday March 24, 5pm – 8pm
Brings the best of Great Southern produce together in a market atmosphere on their beautiful cellar door lawns. Meet local producers, enjoy cooking displays from Miguel Maestre and Anna Gare and savour local delicacies to eat and take home in this free family friendly Taste Great Southern event.
LIBERTE GARDEN PARTY
Saturday, March 25, 6pm – 11pm
Chef Amy Hamilton, Must Wine Bar’s Russell Blaikie and internationally renowned wine writer Mike Bennie will help lead guests down the garden path at the Liberte at the London Hotel in Albany to indulge in a picnic style long table BBQ feast that showcases the new wave of Great Southern food and wine producers doing great things from their own back yard.
IN THE RAW
Sunday March 26, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Wine guru Mike Bennie teams up with chef Russell Blaikie and local shell fisherman Robert Michael showcasing Great Southern Shellfish matched with premium whites from the region at the Emu Point Boat Harbour.
Saturday April 1, 6pm – 9.30pm
Enjoy a gourmet banquet in the rustic setting of Wilsons WA’s amazing artisan setting of old trucks and wrecks as a backdrop to some of the finest fare of the region. Rustic fine dining could never be better in one of the highlights of the festival.
SEAFOOD DEGUSTATION WITH JED GERRARD AT PEACEFUL BAY
Sunday April 2, noon – 3.30pm
Enjoy the unique offerings from the sea caught off the south coast from the Peaceful Bay sustainable fishery. From the ocean to the plate, flavours you will not experience anywhere else in Australia.
ALBANY FARMERS MARKET
Saturday April 8, 8am – noon
Real farmers from their farms down the road come and sell fresh produce they have grown or reared themselves. On offer is a huge range of the very freshest seasonally available fruits, vegetables, farmed meat, dairy, cheese, fish, seafood and much more all from the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.
ALBANY WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL
Saturday April 8, 11am – 6pm
Celebrate the wine and food of the Great Southern at Eyre Park on Middelton Road Albany, with a range of great wine, local food, craft beers, spirits and more. Enjoy live music and sideshow coffee sessions. Chef Colin Fassnidge will share his inspiration from local produce at cooking demonstrations and there will be wine seminar sessions.
GALAFREY WINES CELEBRATING 40 YEARS
Sunday April 9, 1pm to 3pm
Galafrey Wines, established in 1977 is celebrating 40 years in the wine business. Join them on the fabulous verandah with their famous view matching fantastic wines with local produce and celebrity chef. A great long table lunch, hear the stories, learn the history and be a part of this great journey with this family winery.