Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I was soooooooooo excited to have been chosen as the 1 in 4 top finalists for the Great Southern Region in the search for WA's Signature Dish.

WA Signature was a competition held by Buy West Eat Best showcasing 4 of the many regions in Western Australia being Perth & surrounds, Great Southern, Southern Forests and the Gascoyne.

From the Buy West Eat Best Website you could choose any 1 of the regions and the ingredients listed and produce a dish you'd think would be crowned WA's Signature Dish.

I chose Mt. Barker Free Range Chicken Breast from the Great Southern Region as the main component in my dish.

I chose to butterfly the breasts, on top of some layered prosciutto with spinach leaves on top then rolled them up. Served with a grilled vegetable stack of sweet potato, zuchinni and potato, some grilled WA tiger prawns and a creamy white wine butter sauce.

Living in Perth I was a bit overwhelmed with the cook off being a 4 hour drive from my home in the lovely town of Denmark. "just do it" hubby said "it's a great opportunity and you've put so much effort into it". Who was I to disagree! I felt on top of the world being asked to re-create my dish in a commercial kitchen of Pepper & Salt Restaurant at Forest Hill Winery with Chef Silas Masih as the Head Chef.

I was lucky to cook off against 3 lovely Ladies, and although I didn't win, a fantastic winning dish was produced. Well done Clare with her Celebration of Beef Fillet Thai Style, using fantastic WA Butterfield Beef.

I was lucky enough to meet Rob Broadfield, Perth Restaurant Critic and Editor the of West Australian Good Food Guide. It was so funny, i'd say to people 'I met Rob Broadfield.....!!" and they'd look at me with a blank look 'who's he?' I guess you'd only know if you were a foodie. Sigh. Follow Rob on Twitter!


Anyhoo, being down in Denmark and having to cook off on the Monday, we decided to book ourselves in for a nice Lunch at Pepper & Salt Restaurant on the Sunday before, mainly to calm my nerves and get a 'feel of the place I'd be cooking off in the next day!

The views at Forest Hill/Pepper & Salt are amazing!! Rolling hills, high and low and rows and rows of vines. Some being the oldest vines in WA!

Walking into the restaurant, its very open and has windows all the way around to take in the stunning views. We were also impressed to find they had a kids menu and crayons for our daughter to keep herself occupied with.

We chose a bottle of Forest Hill 'The Broker' SBS, which was lovely and dry and paired with both our dishes well.

We decided to give an entrée a miss and so my hubby chose The Scottsdale marron, shiitake mushroom water chestnut dumpling with bacon hock broth for his mains.

The marron slid right out of the shell and my hubby said the bacon hock broth was very flavoursome and satisfying.

I decided to go Chef Silas' chilli coconut prawns, curry leaf and kang kong in vermicelli rice noodles. The prawns were butterflied and perfectly cooked. The sauce spicy but nothing too hot, reminded me of a Laksa!

I've never heard of kang kong before and loved the fact Silas has put a 'glossary' of cooking terms and ingredients on the menu some people might not be familiar with. Turns out Kang kong is a highly nutritious water spinach that can eaten cooked or raw.

We all shared a Sour cherry and dark chocolate pudding with chocolate anglaise and a sour cherry and chocolate parfait. YUM!

After lunch we went downstairs the Wine Tasting Room and talked to Cellar doorman Lee who was very helpful in helping us choose some bottles to take all that way home to Perth!


We tasted a few reds and whites and came home with The Broker SBS, Cabernet Merlot and a fantastic 2012 Reisling, which I can say is the BEST wine I have drank to date! It was a fab light, dry tasting drop. I'm on the hunt for a stockist in Perth.

With our bottles in hand we walked around to the vege garden and out on the grassy fields to take more photos.

Lunch was great and being involved in the Competition was an amazing experience!!

Pepper & Salt Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Watch The WA Signature Dish Story Here! Part 1

Read The Write Up On Yahoo for WA's Signature Dish - Great Southern Region

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  1. Your dish looks (and sounds) amazing! You should be very proud.

  2. You did amazingly to get this far in the competition, well done. After witnessing the regional up in the Gascoyne I have a heightened level of respect for all of you that competed. It looked full on!

    1. Thanks Martine! There was a bit of pressure but I love cooking so had so much fun! It was more nerve racking the cameras being there, but we all did well. All the ladies out up amazing dishes, the kitchen smelt great!! xx


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