Various images above courtesy of Craig Kinder Food Photography, Violet Millieri, Astrid Volzke @ourphotostories and Tracey Cotterell
Join Tracey and Anthony Cotterell with a local Southern Forests Food Council guide to explore our very own gem, 300km’s from our urban doorstep. This is a spring getaway that will be truly memorable. A genuine experience.
Maybe it’s the clear, crisp air. Or the extraordinary fertility of the soils. Maybe it’s the 365 growing days a year. Or the purity of the rainfall. Or maybe it’s a combination of all these things. Truth is no-one knows for sure. One thing I do know is farmers put their lives into agriculture, country folk seem to have something special in their souls. You will love getting to know them as you discover the treasures they grow, the jobs they provide and their commitment to bring us the end user an exquisite array of nutritious food.
Whenever you break an egg for breakfast, break open broccoli into florets or cut an avocado in half to reveal the milky smooth flesh you’ll be eating the best the state has to offer, in fact possibly the best on offer, period.
This bespoke tour is a collaboration with Southern Forests Food Council and has been specifically designed for our group. We are so excited to be working with this wonderful initiative funded by Royalties for Regions. this not-for-profit organisation does such an excellent job. Many experiences are only accessible for our group due to the close relationship SFFC has with its’ members. This tour does require a moderate level of fitness, as walking around farms, pack houses and nature experiences are included.
As this tour is within Western Australia the package price includes travel by private bus to our destination as well as accommodation at the Karri Valley Resort in Lakeside Rooms amongst the giant Karri trees themselves.
WELCOME LUNCH WITH SOUTHERN FORESTS FOOD COUNCIL
Your hosts for the lunch will be the team from the Southern Forests Food Council Inc. (SFFC), a not-for-profit organisation established to represent the interests of local producers, culinary and agri-tourism operators and to foster the Southern Forests’ status as one of the nation’s key food bowls and culinary tourism regions.
The Southern Forests’ produces a huge amount of different fruits and vegetables, truffles and boutique produce, dairy and cattle farms, as well as award-winning wineries, and exceptional culinary experiences.
You will receive your welcome pack, and be provided with a full overview of the region and what to expect over the next few days.
FRUIT & NUT ORCHARD EXPERIENCE
The temperate Mediterranean climate of the Southern Forests is ideally suited to producing high quality, great tasting fruits and vegetables which are supplied both domestically and internationally. Today you will visit the family-owned and operated farm, by the ultimate couple duo and their children (3rd and 4th generation).
The farm includes a variety of tree fruits including apples, avocados, sweet persimmons (fuyu fruit), feijoas, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Here you’ll cruise around the farm in a purpose-built tractor and trailer, tasting the farms offering as you go. The perfect experience to kick start your tour.
LOCAL PRODUCE DINNER
With breathtaking views over Lake Beedelup, the recently renovated Lakeside Restaurant within RAC Karri Valley Resort offers visitors from far and wide a generous selection of dishes based on local and West Australian produce. Tonight’s dinner will be a select menu that focusses on the seasonal Autumn offerings of the Southern Forests, sourced from some of the growers you will be visiting over the course of your bespoke Food & Farm Tour.
An introductory taste to the agricultural heart of this beautiful region.
SOUTHERN ROASTING Co ROASTING EXPERIENCE
Starting out as a temporary pop-up café in Pemberton, Ian & April Pianta have very recently established a more permanent footing in Manjimup, offering a popular modern café experience within a coffee roasterie.
With the greatest respect for the farmer, the terrain and community, Southern Roasting sources the highest quality green coffee beans in micro lots, roasting and blending with a craft-based hands-on approach twice weekly to produce an unparalleled local coffee experience. Our coffee roasting experience this morning will be the perfect fuel to set off for a morning of farm and apple orchard walks. We LOVE this cafe and its’ owners and wish they were in Perth!
SPRING LAMB AND BRASSICA EXPERIENCE
Farming is a family affair in the Southern Forests, often with three or more generations working the land together. Matters of Taste Cooking School already has a great relationship with this family, with a lamb butchery class being held on our premises and many on-farm tours having been led by Jake Ryan and his dad. Today you will meet the youngest member of the family, Jake, who is taking the reins and working alongside his father on their mixed horticultural farm.
About 25 hectares is planted with cabbage, including red, Savoy, Chinese and megaton, plus broccoli, cauliflower, some beetroot and kale. The rest is under first-cross heifers, lamb and pasture-raised eggs, which are available through some outlets in Mandurah and Perth.
Tour the property and hear about the various breeding programs and unconventional hybrid growing systems.
LOCAL PRODUCE LUNCH EXPERIENCE
This local restaurant prides itself on showcasing the quality and diversity of produce from this amazing region. Your lunch will focus around introducing your tastebuds to some of the produce you will visit during your stay, as well as other tantalising tastes and genuine food and drink experiences.
The restaurant also offers a diverse range of products from award winning wines to beautifully crafted olive oils, jams and condiments, all made from local produce.
APPLE PACKHOUSE and ORCHARD EXPERIENCE
This family owned and operated orcharding business has been in operation for more than 85 years and is one of the most progressive and respected pome fruit producers Australia-wide, supplying apples direct to major retailers across Australia; one special variety being the brand new BRAVO™ This new generation, burgundy coloured luxury apple offers a distinctive fresh fruit eating experience and delicious cooking possibilities. The pristine and protected environment of the Southern Forests, the original home of the world-famous Pink Lady, allows apples to naturally develop a fantastic flavour profile and appearance.
Led by a third-generation apple grower, today you’ll experience a tour of the packhouse, so you can understand the passion and process involved to get a crisp and tasty apple safely from the tree to your fruit bowl.
LOCAL WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE
This winery is owned and operated by Bill, Sandra and Dan Pannell. Bill and Sandra were pioneers of the Margaret River region, establishing Moss Wood Vineyard and winery in 1969. Situated on deep gravelly loamy soils, elevated altitude and proximity to the ocean for summer breezes, they grow and produces Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Today you will see and taste the Pannell family’s extraordinary attention to detail in their wines that have led them to being one of Australia’s leading premium boutique wine producers together with their great love of French architecture and culture.
LOCAL WINE BAR DINNER EXPERIENCE
With a relaxed, local-centric atmosphere and focus on local wines and seasonal Southern Forests produce, this tapas and wine bar opened in 2017.
Tonight’s dinner will be a selection of delicious small-plate dishes designed by Pauline to capture the season and match with their local wine list offerings offered by Mitch.
ROBOTIC DAIRY EXPERIENCE
With a herd of more than 2,200 Holstein Friesian cows, this global leader in ethical dairy has an incredible story of pioneering hard-graft, community, dedication to quality products and cutting-edge innovative methods. This brand new, state of the art dairy and creamery offers sophisticated processing systems from robotic milking, low-temperature pasteurisation and environmentally sustainable packaging.
You will have the chance to see all these extraordinary processes in motion along with hearing about their journey-filled story.
THE ‘KITCHEN TABLE’ LUNCH EXPERIENCE
The Kitchen Table is warm hospitality and rustic delicious country-style food served with simplicity and heart in a modern café space within the amazing new robotic dairy complex. Today’s wholesome lunch will be prepared with local ingredients by local cooks utilising the dairy’s signature ingredients for a memorable treat.
AVOCADO PRODUCER EXPERIENCE
Manjimup has been home to this Macedonian family for more than 80 years with viticulture, dairy cattle and beef, mixed horticulture, potatoes, cauliflowers, beans and recently avocados. Here you’ll discover the story of this generational hard-working, community-dedicated family, taste the fruits of their labour, which at this time of year includes this region’s celebrity-fruit: avocados
‘THE GRILL HUT’ FOOD & WINE EXPERIENCE
It’s a short stroll from the avocado orchard to the cellar door as this dedicated family introduces us not only to the fruits of the labour but to their award-winning wines.
Described by esteemed wine writer James Halliday as an ‘Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality’, this evening will include a tasting of these superlative wines and a unique Nordic / Macedonian cross-cultural food experience inside the ‘Grill Hut’. A cosy timber hut full of Danish hygge or Swedish fika that can only be loosely translated as a cosy feeling of warm hospitality, peace and tranquillity.
MANJIMUP FARMERS MARKET EXPERIENCE
First stop for your Saturday morning will be the Manjimup Farmers Market to taste and buy some of the regions great offerings. Enjoy the bustling Farmers Market featuring fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, value-added gourmet food, local wines and artisanal products.
Take this opportunity to meet the genuine down-to-earth locals who produce this genuine fresh local produce and other local offerings.
LOCAL LIVING LIBRARY EXPERIENCE
This organisation was founded by a descendant of two pioneering Western Australian farming families. Named after two grandmothers, the entity is an arts and cultural centre modelling sustainable living that works to reconnect people to a more grounded way of life through events, workshops and demonstrations such as growing and preserving food, living soils and healthy land stewardship. Today you will hear Lucinda’s story and why local initiatives such as this keep the vital importance of diversity, cultural and agricultural history alive.
LOCAL LUNCH EXPERIENCE
Today’s local lunch experience will be at Southern Roastings’ new café venue called ‘Park’. Park is located within the brand-new entrance building to the redeveloped Manjimup Heritage Timber Park that is also home to the Manjimup Visitor Centre and the Age of Steam Museum. As part of the Manjimup Town Centre Revitalisation Project, this new tourism drawcard offers historical exhibitions and displays that tells the story of the region.
Your local lunch experience will offer a variety of fresh and preserved ingredients that tells the region’s agricultural history in the making with as few fresh food miles as possible.
MIXED FRUIT ORCHARD & SOUTHERN FORESTS FUNGI EXPERIENCE
Coming back towards Manjimup along the fertile Seven Day Road, we will be visiting a mixed fruit orchard producing everything from cherries, apricots and nectarines to passionfruit and figs. With strong Italian heritage the Guadagnino family have thrived in the Southern Forests since arriving in 1950. For over 60 years they have been growing delicious produce for the Manjimup community and is now available direct from the farm shop facility.
A recent exciting addition to the family’s diverse production is a variety of fungi. Today, next generation Jess and Adam will introduce you to their exotic range of unique fungi that have Perth chefs lining up to source!
LOCAL WHISKEY BAR AND DINNER EXPERIENCE
Whiskey is about time and storytelling. This long-awaited new bar located in Pemberton offers a curated mix of classics, award-winners, rare-finds, cellar-door exclusives and New World creations to be sipped and savoured in surroundings framed with unique interior local timber detailing, leather recliners and a warm pot belly fire.
Matched with tasting platters of local produce and recipes from local Italian heritage this last evening will be the beginning of the final chapter of your Spring food and farm tour experience.
TRUFFLE HUNTERS BREAKFAST AND EXPERIENCE
Visit the largest producer of Tuber Melanosporum, more commonly known as black truffle or Périgord truffle, in the southern hemisphere. Today you will learn how truffles are produced and harvested with the help of highly trained truffle dogs, and gain some understanding of how this gastronomic delicacy journeys from the paddock to your plate.
You will be able to delight your senses with a truffle-infused morning tea. Plus, you will have the opportunity to see the range of truffle products available and also taste the award winning wines at the onsite cellar door. We encourage you to experience the earthly delights of the rare and aromatic black truffle alongside the award-winning wines and fabulous food.
The tour concludes following the truffle experience and you will depart the region and travel back to Perth as a group in our private bus.
“The tour was one of the best I have been on. The visits to the farms and restaurants were first class. The food was amazing and the people we met on the tour were all lovely and generous. They were all so enthusiastic about what they were doing. I learnt a lot about paddock to plate I will never look at the humble egg or apple the same way again. ” Susan
“Our recent trip with MOT on their “Southern Forests Winter Tour”, was without doubt one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips we’ve been on. We’ve both been “raving” about the wonderful food and wine we tasted, the passionate producers we met and the knowledge that we gained from our 4 day experience.” Graham and Sue
Tour price includes:
Tour price does not include:
Did you know that Cooks Collective Members enjoy a 5% discount on this Food Tour?
PLEASE NOTE: All tour experiences are subject to natures seasonal weather and any change in operation of local businesses/suppliers.
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