Some of the world’s best surfers, the World Surf League organisers and crew savoured some of the South West’s finest produce at a function for Drug Aware Margaret River Pro at Surfers Point on Monday night.
The Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association invited Farm House Margaret River butcher, Garden Basket produce, Ocean Grown Abalone and 34 Degrees Blue to showcase their offerings, which were all beautifully prepared by Dany Angove Catering.
Event Director and Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane said that the nature of competition could sometimes limit opportunities to experience the great food of the region.
“The organising team and travelling broadcast crew work long hours and have little day-light hours to explore the area – often going between the event site and their accommodation,” Mr Lane said.
“Of course, if lay days are called, that’s a different story. But as we’ve had this year, the first five days have been pumping surf, the competition was called On, so everyone has been busy behind the scenes working.
“A function like this is great, they can hear from local producers, taste their food, and have a chance to socialise with locals and their colleagues.”
Ocean Grown Abalone CEO Brad Adams addressed the room to explain how his abalone farm operates.
“We have the perfect environment and habitat for abalone to grow at our ocean farm in Augusta – the water is clean, between sixteen and twenty-two degrees, and there’s lot of algae in the seagrass beds for the abalone to feed on,” Mr Adams said.
The sliced ceviche abalone was served with jamon salt; it has a unique meaty texture and ocean enhanced flavours.
Currently producing 30 tonnes of abalone per year, Mr Adams said that in three years he expects them to be one of the biggest abalone producers in Australia with a projected annual output of 100 tonnes.
The Arkady lamb sliders with zucchini pickle and mustard flew off trays as soon as staffed stepped out of the service area.
Tom Hayward from Farm House Margaret River said that the British breeds of lamb, Suffolk and Dorset, were hormone free and grass fed to produce top quality meat.
Luke Clayton from Garden Basket produce spoke about the heirloom carrots and beetroot and how he works closely with farmers in the south west corridor to ensure he gets the best produce for his customers, which include acclaimed restaurants at Aravina Estate, Wills Domain, Vasse Felix and Leeuwin Estate.
The Panko breaded nannygai fish served with sushi rice and kewpie was crisp and succulent, and proved to be popular with the health-conscious guests.
Grae Vitnell from 34 Degrees Blue explained that the nannygai fish was line caught from a boat off the coast of Gracetown.
“We use six lines that have twenty hooks and catch most of our fish this way,”
34 Degrees Blue has a small retail shop in Margaret River’s light industrial area where they also supply primarily prawns and scallops.
Guests enjoyed local wines from Howard Park, Mad Fish, and Aravina Estate.
Mr Lane said that it was fantastic to see everyone enjoying themselves and talking about the food they were eating.
“This is just another way we are connecting local businesses with Drug Aware Margaret River Pro – it’s a win-win for all involved,” Mr Lane said.