Preview: WA Day Festival & Signature Dish Cook Off

WA Day

The hotly anticipated 2017 Celebrity Signature Dish is being held at the WA Day Festival, at Elizabeth Quay on Sunday 4th of June. As well as the nail biting cook off, you’ll find something for everyone at the festival – especially us foodies!

WA Celebrity Signature Dish

The 2017 WA Celebrity Signature Dish cook-off will see four Perth personalities put on their chef’s whites to represent four West Australian food regions for Buy West Eat Best.  You’ll see:

  • Mark Gibson (Today Tonight, Channel 7) for Mandurah and Peel
  • Rayne Embley (popular Perth mummy and lifestyle Blogger) for Southern Forests
  • Justin Langer (ex- Australian Cricketer and WACA Head Coach) for Swan Valley
  • Pete Curulli (Radio personality from Mix94.5) for The Kimberley


Come on down at 1.30pm on Sunday to cheer them all on and see who can create the winning West Australian signature dish with the wonderful fresh produce from all around WA. My money is on Team Peel! I’m excited to be involved as one of the social influencers and I am supporting the Peel region.

Meet Team Peel


Mark Gibson, award winning journalist from Today Tonight (and presenter of the action packed “Minute To Win It” on Telethon), is the personality that’s representing Peel and Mandurah. Mark tells me that he’s a bit of a foodie and likes to cook up a storm at home. Let’s hope he’s been practicing his dish! Here’s a few questions I had for Mark…

Favourite thing to do in the Peel region?

I should say visiting my sister because she lives on the canals in Halls Head.

Heading out on a boat spotting dolphins would have to be a close second.


Most delicious item of Peel produce to cook with?

The crabs are delicious and so plentiful, but we’ve decided to use Harvey beef for our signature dish.

Mmmmm, slow cooked Harvey beef!


Why should foodies consider their next holiday in the Peel?

Because the Peel region is full of great places to eat, or if you feel like renting a house and cooking up a storm, there’s so much amazing produce (and wine) to choose from.


Chef Kenny McHardy from Manuka Woodfire Kitchen in Freo has been mentoring Mark with his Harvey beef dish and there’s not many people better qualified to cook a chunk of meat to perfection than Kenny. At his popular restaurant Manuka, the woodfire oven is the hero in their kitchen and their only form of cooking too! That makes for some delicious and tender meat dishes… I really need to check it out next time I’m in Freo, I have heard many amazing things about Kenny’s food.

The Peel region is rich with fishing and agriculture – the Blue Swimmer crab’s are a particularly famous local delicacy. Farms in the area offer a variety of fruits (apples, pears, plums, strawberries) and vegetables (beans, cabbage, pumpkins, radishes, sweet peas). There’s also lots of quality meats, honey and wine produced in this wonderful part of Western Australia.

I can’t wait to see what Mark cooks up on Sunday – Good luck to Team Peel!

What else is happening at the WA Festival?

The festival kicks off from 10am on Sunday 4th and Monday 5th of June and you’ll find something for everyone – especially fun loving, foodie families! There’s a lot planned to showcase and celebrate the very best of WA – food, wine, markets, live entertainment and activities for kids.

And best of all the WA Festival is a FREE event!

Food Trucks – For something tasty, head to “International Eat Street” to enjoy a bite from one of the many food trucks. There’s cuisine from all around the word – representing the state’s multi-cultural heritage. And of course Elizabeth Quays, bars, cafes and restaurants will also be in full swing.

Family Fun – The “Play in WA” area is packed with activities that the kids will love – WAFL footy activities, the Inflatable WA Museum will be there, apron colouring for your Little Chefs, pan for gold with the Perth Mint, a WACA cricket clinic, a virtual aquarium and much more!

Makers Markets (Sunday) – local artisans will be selling their wares under the Centre Stage Big Top. It’s a brilliant place to find a unique gift or to treat yourself.

Swan Bells – The Bell Tower is holding an open day on WA Day, which is a wonderful chance to discover the swan bells. There will be Free Entry all day on Monday.

State of the Art (Monday) – the SOA festival is an all ages music event. Popular WA acts like Karnivool, Gyroscope, Katy Steele and more will be on stage from noon till late.

Get to Elizabeth Quay on public transport – with rail, ferry and bus stations all close by.

Find out more about what is happening at Elizabeth Quay’s WA Day celebrations here.

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