An idea to boost Geraldton transformed into a fine dining experience under the stars on the weekend after travelling chefs Fervor dazzled guests with a 10-course degustation experience.
Geraldton women Pam Sherlock and Emma Jackson organised the Taste of Geraldton experience at Gunnadoo Farm after brainstorming ideas to boost Geraldton at a Pollinators Lunchtime lab earlier this year.
They saw a hole in the market for dining experiences that capitalised on the region’s produce, particularly lobster, and the idea slowly morphed into the weekend’s dining extravaganza, profits from which will serve as seed funding for other innovative ideas for the Mid West.
Some 30 people attended the Friday night dinner, while Saturday’s dinner attracted 40 guests.
Guests dined on gourmet creations inspired by the tastes of the Mid West.
The Fervor team foraged throughout the region to gather local bush foods and regional produce to create and inspire their dishes. Fervor chefs were impressed with Geraldton’s local produce, and will be using Bookara cheese in future dinners around WA. The local producers used were:
Geraldton Fishermens Co-Op
Bookara Goats Cheese
Eagle Vale Olives
Drylands Permaculture Farm
Vegetable Store on Gregory Street
Indian Ocean Fresh Australia
Ms Sherlock said it was incredible to see an idea once simply tossed around as a concept materialise into an unforgettable dining experience.
“The whole thing was absolutely amazing,” Ms Sherlock said.
“I loved every course – the food was just to die for – and the Fervor team were incredible.”
Ms Jackson described the food as a work of art.
“The food was mindblowing,” she said.
“To watch the Fervor team create the dishes – and it really was like watching an artistic creation – and to be able to ask them questions and chat to them meant we weren’t just passive diners but really part of it.”
Diners also heard from Aboriginal elder Graham Taylor, who did a welcome to country, as well as Merrilyn Green who talked about the stunning location of Gunnadoo Farm, which is owned and managed by the Geraldton Streetwork Aboriginal Corporation.
Gunnadoo Farm was created to help Aboriginal youth reconnect with Country, through programs like the Aboriginal Green Army team who pulled out all the stops to prepare Gunnadoo for this event.
Ms Sherlock said she was excited that profits from the event would go towards funding other new ideas for the region.
And Ms Jackson said she was so grateful to have been inspired to action by participating in the Pollinators Lunchtime Lab.
“It was so great to be part of bringing such an amazing experience to Geraldton,” Ms Jackson said.
Special thanks to the following supporters of this community initiative: Fervor, Ian Blayney, Paul Brown, Angus Dufour, Pollinators Inc, Melissa Price, Shane Van Styn, Darren West and Eugene Enslin.
Photo credits: Eugene Enslin Wood Fire Media. Visit him on Facebook.