Top chefs gather for foodie fest

26/05/2017 - 15:27

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Farmers, cooks, producers and consumers will join one of Australia’s top chefs Ben Shewry this Sunday for a series of workshops, panel discussions and talks as part of Perth’s inaugural Food and Drink Symposium. 

Top chefs gather for foodie fest
Residents from Foundation Housing’s 100 Hampton Road will help prepare afternoon tea with produce sourced from Food Rescue. Photo: Jean Horre Photography.

Farmers, cooks, producers and consumers will join one of Australia’s top chefs, Ben Shewry, this Sunday for a series of workshops, panel discussions and talks as part of Perth’s inaugural Food and Drink Symposium.

The Jim Webster Pavilion at Claremont Showgrounds is set to transform into a foodie hub, with event founders Ai-Ling Truong and Katrina Lane hoping the symposium can start conversations about the issues residing in WA’s food industry.

Mental health, the history of WA’s alcohol industry, food waste and seasonality are some of the topics that feature on the program’s menu of events.

In addition to Mr Shewry, other industry leaders who will speak at the event include Vasse Felix chef Aaron Carr, Liberte chef Amy Hamilton, Indian Ocean Brewing Comapany brewer Jackson Purser, Newton Orchards farmer Nic Giblett and Blackwood Valley organic beef farmer Warren Pensini. 

Ms Lane, who grew up in a farming family and has worked in the food industry for the past 30 years, said the symposium provided an opportunity for the state’s food industry members to discuss important industry issues.

“We’re keen to talk about thoughtful production and the consumption of foods,” Ms Lane told Business News.

“That’s what the driver is - to bring a community together.

“There’s lots of amazing sectors in the food industry and community in WA but we very rarely talk together as one, so the idea is to bring everyone together and provide an opportunity for everyone to mingle in the same room.

“It’s only by all talking together that we’ll be able to solve the problems that need solving.”

Afternoon tea will be served up by residents from Foundation Housing’s 100 Hampton Road that have been working alongside prominent cook Taste Budds Cooking Studio owner Sophie Budd.

“All of those residents have come from broken homes,” Ms Lane said.

“They really grow from the experience and learn all sorts of skills.”

The team will use produce collected from Food Rescue to prepare afternoon tea for event attendees.

“We want to highlight that food that is deemed as unusable, whether it’s being thrown out by supermarkets or farmers can’t sell produce as prime fruit, that this food is still perfectly fine,” she said.

To cover the costs of the new event, Ms Lane and Ms Truong have turned to crowdfunding platform Chuffed and have raised just over $41,000 of their $45,000 goal so far. 

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