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13 April 2022

A group of fifteen Navy Chefs from the HMAS Stirling, located on Garden Island, have been welcomed by five Manjimup farms this week, hosted by the Southern Forests Food Council as part of its agritours program.

The bespoke Genuinely Southern Forests Food and Farm Experience was developed to inspire and rejuvenate the chef’s natural passion for fresh, local quality produce through education of seasonality, what goes into producing the food we eat, and the insights into the logistics of getting produce from farm to the plate.

Lieutenant Kingsley Klau, already connected with the region through regular visits to third generation farming family the Fontanini’s, was inspired to share his experiences with his fellow chefs.

“I wanted to share the joy of wandering through an orchard and plucking fresh fruit from the tree whilst hearing the family’s history and passion for what they grow,” said Lieutenant Klau.

“My love of the region sparked the idea to collaborate with Genuinely Southern Forests to connect and inspire a group of Navy Chefs from HMAS Stirling on an inaugural autumn chefs agritour,” said Lieutenant Klau.

Autumn is an ideal time to enjoy the bountiful produce of the Southern Forest region, from fresh fruits and vegetables, premium meats, mushrooms and much more. The chefs were shown a slice of what is available through visits to the following venues:

  • Yanmah Pasture Raised Pork

  • Pessotto Family Farm

  • Guadagnino’s Orchard and Southern Forest Fungi

  • Willarra Gold

  • Three Ryans

  • Tall Timbers Manjimup

  • Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park

“We are thrilled to have hosted these charismatic and passionate chefs on a fantastic agritour that we tailored to their needs, and our growers are genuinely excited to have been involved with this great group of Navy Chefs. We certainly look forward to future opportunities to further connect and inspire our friends at HMAS Stirling with the great range of Genuinely Southern Forests premium food offerings,” said Southern Forest Food Council Spokesperson Laura Bolitho.

Lieutenant Klau added, “it has been fantastic to explore the Southern Forests, get on farms, and make those connections with genuine and passionate farmers. The tour has provided the HMAS Stirling crew with so many opportunities to inspire and enhance knowledge and awareness of quality local produce. A tour of this magnitude has many long-term benefits for any foodie!”


Please contact Laura Bolitho on 0419 971 080 or

Facebook: Genuinely Southern Forests

Instagram: @genuinelysouthernforests


Photo: HMAS Stirling Navy Chefs on the farm with Carlo Pessotto looking at his potato crop (photo: Kingsley Klau).

Photo: HMAS Stirling Navy Chefs with Jess and Adam Broad of Southern Forest Fungi (photo: Kingsley Klau).


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