18/10/2005 - 22:00

Northbridge festival’s cultural feast

18/10/2005 - 22:00

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Ten of Northbridge’s best-known restaurants are set for a culinary cook off as this month’s Northbridge Festival builds to a climax.

Northbridge festival’s cultural feast

Ten of Northbridge’s best-known restaurants are set for a culinary cook off as this month’s Northbridge Festival builds to a climax.

Called Progressive Consumption, the event is a part of the community event organised and produced by the City of Perth and Artrage.

The restaurants competing in the inaugural consumption competition are Valentino’s, Nostalgia, Utopia, The Brass Monkey, The Fishy Affair, Golden Tandoori, Il Padrino, Sorrento, Il Gelato, and The Greek.

Each will produce a single dish and chefs have been busy refining specially prepared dishes for the event. While some are versions of Northbridge favourites, others are entirely new creations inspired by the festival.

The 10 dishes will be available for public tasting right up until the grand finale this weekend.

On October 22 James Street and surrounding areas will be transformed into a street party, home to stages, marquees and more. With a touch of the dramatic, respective waiters and chefs will parade the 10 dishes through the streets of Northbridge to a panel of VIP food judges at the ‘kings table’.

The judges then deliberate over each dish and crown one restaurant the Progressive Consumption champion, all in the middle of a Northbridge street party.

The extravagance of the occasion is intentional, with organisers this year looking to breathe a new life into the festival, and take the Northbridge area in a new direction.

And food is playing a major part in selling the area to the Perth community.

“We became involved [in the event] to help bring families back to the area,” Golden Tandoori manager Joanne Ha said.

Golden Tandoori on James Street is one of the restaurants competing, and Ms Ha believes the event

will reinvigorate Northbridge’s community atmosphere.

For the event, chef Kesavan Lakshmanan has chosen to create a tandoori chicken dish authentically prepared in his tandoor oven.

Mr Lakshmanan describes the dish as a speciality from Northern India and says it has proved to be popular with patrons.

In many ways the list

of restaurants participating in Progressive Consumption is typically Northbridge, representing the wide range of tastes, cultures and traditions found in the popular inner-city nightspot and surrounding suburb.

And it is no coincidence that the organisers of the festival have chosen to use food – one of the most tangible and pervasive cultural ambassadors of Northbridge’s personality – to represent this diversity to the public.

Progressive Consumption project manager Paula Hart believes the event has worked well in bringing community groups together.

“Working for Artrage, we always wanted to take a different theme to the project,” Ms Hart says. “We wanted to get as many people involved as possible.”

Believing that a family focus was not something that Artrage initially concentrated on, she agrees it has definitely been a by-product of the event.

Among those competing for the Progressive Consumption prize with the offering from Golden Tandoori will be: traditional woodfired fisherman’s pizza from Il Padrino; tendergrine beef fillets filled with blue duxelle from The Brass Monkey; a vegetarian combination barbecue from Utopia; poached ocean trout fillet from The Fishy Affair; and crispy skin quail and pork belly from Nostalgia International.

So if you are a committed local or haven’t visited the area for some time, grab a fork and take a tasting tour of Northbridge.

Festival dishes are available at participating restaurants until Friday October 28.

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