Author: Esperance Tide
Published: August 03, 2018
This winter so far has been a dream. Well, maybe not the for the Esperance farmers who have been patiently staring at the heavens waiting for them to open, but certainly for those of us who have been basking in the glory of these clear, crisp winter days. So although our Instagram feeds are plastered with bikini-clad van lifers lounging next to kangaroos under the summer’s sun at Lucky Bay, is that all our region really has to offer?
Our neighbours in the South West seem to have figured out that winter doesn’t have to be the time to ditch WA on a sub-500-buck return flight to Bali to escape the cold. Instead, they have delivered a range of winter’s food events and festivals that embrace the chill in the air and encourage us to keep our holiday dollars local.
This July the Margaret River region hosted Cabin Fever Festival, a ten-day food and wine festival featuring more than 30 unique events celebrating everything we love about winter. Head just down the road and Manjimup turned on the Truffle Kerfuffle, an all weekend celebration of the truffle, one of the regions hero local products. Event coordinators reported the event attracted an estimated 6,000 visitors to the region, bringing dollars into the local economy. So what could Esperance do to work alongside our neighbours to promote regional Western Australian travel over the cooler months?
Over the weekend, local baker and maker Tiffany Brown from Bread Local hosted ‘By the Fire’, an intimate winter’s feast celebrating the humble campfire and the art of wood-fired sourdough baking. “There was an opportunity for me to assist Warwick Quinton, a master artisan baker from NSW, to visit Esperance and run some workshops on sourdough baking. The workshops were sold out and we were thrilled to see them attract out of town visitors,” said Tiffany. “We also took the opportunity while Warwick was in Esperance to hold a lunch event set in a working shearing shed on a local farm close to town, with Warwick onsite providing a hands-on learning experience to guests. For me, the best part about winter is rugging up, getting outdoors and cooking over the campfire. I believe Esperance has huge scope to develop a fantastic, unique winter’s event, and I would personally love to see something evolve that celebrates our rugged landscape, our stripped back way of life and the simplicity of good food and company.”
Winter doesn’t have to be the time of year to hibernate. In fact, food experiences can be the best way to get out, get social and enjoy the winter produce Esperance has to offer.
Esperance farmer, Michelle Barrett has taken part in organising the upcoming Perth event, Farm2Fork, showcasing some of West Australia’s finest produce. The event takes place on the grounds of Presbyterian Ladies College in Peppermint Grove on August 25 and this year is the second year it has been held.
Photography credit: Hannah Cameron