Okay Perth, a little rain never hurt anyone right? Rug up, take your brolly and wear your elastic waisted pants as wonders await at Taste of Perth. The restaurants and producers have geared up for a big weekend of fun and whilst the sunshine might be waning, there's no reason to hide indoors!
Sometimes sequels don't live up to expectations but this wasn't anything like Dirty Dancing 2. I ate my way through the second instalment and had just as much fun as last time! I think the best way to tackle a foodie event is with a partner in crime who truly enjoys eating as much as you do, so it made perfect sense to head in with the other half of The Food Alternative.
Ai-Ling (aka Blue Apocalypse) and I created our own eleven course degustation menu and washed it all down with a shot of soju, a cocktail and a spicy turmeric tonic. I walked away with a full belly plus a New Norcia loaf and Hampshire on Eighth roast for tomorrow night's dinner. My only regret is not having enough room for Bib & Tucker, Print Hall and Next Door No. 4, at least there is always Sunday. Taste of Perth, you rock.
el PUBLICO has been awarded Best Dish of Taste of Perth two years in a row! BAM. In the words of Max Brearley 'some folk just have that golden touch'. And those folks are el Publico and Mary Street Bakery's Paul Aron and Michael Forde, great guys who just know how to do things right.
El Publico's original Head Chef, Sam Ward made such a memorable imprint on our tastebuds (and our hearts, we love you Sam!) and is a seriously tough act to follow. After carving out his skills in Mexico City, Baja and Oaxaca, Tommy Payne landed in Perth to head up the busy Beaufort Street kitchen. Receiving Best Dish for his twice cooked lamb ribs served with sticky sesame, cucumber and lime in his first year at the helm is pretty darn impressive.
I like to think that Mary Street Bakery pioneered the way for Perth's recent obsession with doughnuts. These bad boys are stuffed with peanut butter, jam and crunch and you'll be finding them as you scroll through your Instagram for days.
By night, Mary Street Bakery transforms into Mary's, the older unruly sister who plays hip hop records whilst snacking on fried chicken skin, slayin' soju well into the night. Chefs Simon Gruger and Nick Malanzac clearly have a bromance going on and know how to sling a great Asian infused menu. My dining comrade Ai-Ling watched the boys doing their thing on the food stage and when quizzed on the topic of current Perth food trends, they replied with 'white guys doing Asian food'.
Taking out Best Dish Runner Up with Mary's aged rump tartare is such an awesome feat!
Pack more punch into your day by booking into the workshops or cookery school and catching a session or two with some of Perth's most revered chefs in the theatre. You can pretty much sample your way down the aisles, filling up your belly as you go. Brave the weather and do your tastebuds a favour, head over to Taste’s Instagram for regular updates.