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Marlene Katich from Kato’s @ 3000 in Caversham with table grapes at a Meet the Makers tasting lunch. Picture: ANITA McINNES

Swan Valley produce at Meet the Maker

SUPPORTING Swan Valley food producers is easy once you understand the wide variety of tempting produce they supply.

The produce includes grime ice-cream made by Marlene Katich from Kato’s @ 3000 in Caversham, Australian bush spices such as lemon myrtle from Spice Fetish and chenin blanc wines from Swan Valley Wines.

Paula Hoffman from Swan Valley Wines harvests some top-notch figs as well.

Glen Jordan of Aveley, who runs Spice Fetish, said the fragrant bush spice lemon myrtle, which could be used in sweet or savoury dishes also had many health benefits.

She said it was best added towards the end of cooking so the delicate flavours and essential oils were not destroyed.

At a Meet the Maker tasting lunch organised by Buy West Eat Best and the City of Swan she distributed some suggestions for using the spice including recipes for lemon myrtle cheesecake and lemon myrtle pikelets.

Ian Lever from Gidgie Distilleries also brought along jujubes, including some crystallised produce for people to try.

The event was held at Taylor’s Art and Coffee House and guests were treated to a selection of food designed to showcase produce from the Swan Valley and surrounding areas.

Taylor’s Art and Coffee House chef Caroline Taylor said all the ingredients were sourced from small authentic small plot producers who believed in flavour before profit.

Ms Taylor said she had been excited when approached by Buy West Eat Best to host a lunch for restaurants taking part in the program to meet some Swan Valley producers.

“At my café in the Swan Valley we champion local produce in our menu year round and absolutely love the quality, flavour and reliability of the produce available to us.

“To be able to trust where and how the produce is grown and then gets to my door is a real privilege and extremely rewarding as a chef,’’ she said.

“We are so lucky in Perth to have a food bowl 25 minutes from our CDB and even luckier that we have such passionate, skilled growers that keep their historical properties thriving.’’

She said the Swan Valley had some very inspiring farmers and it gave her great pleasure to highlight their produce wherever she could.

“To be able to introduce city chefs like Stewart Laws from Don Tapa and Jesse Blake from Petition kitchen is a real honour and I’m pleased to say they were blown away with our Swan Valley and surrounds offering.

“The menu showcased wood-fired grass fed Gingin beef, indigenous spices, yabbies, locally grown Jerusalem artichoke, jujube liqueur, figs, grape and melon ice cream, extra virgin olive oil, vinocotto, nougat, free range pork and fresh mangoes.’’

She also made goat milk labne for the first time.

Her favourite five products she loved to cook with and create meals around are Sylvia’s Vineyard Vinocotto – it can be used in a sweet or savoury dish and adds incredible complexity as a finishing sauce, Mondo Nougat crumble – great for adding to muffins or decorating cakes,  Caprino Goat Farm milk and yoghurt – the taste is sensational and can be made into goats curd with a few simple steps, Little Creek Pastured free-range eggs –the flavour is incredible and the ethical way in which they are farmed is a double whammy and 3 sheep extra virgin olive oil – Mikhaela and her family have taken over the famous Mann family estate and are producing some of the best Swan Valley olive around.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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