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Chefs get the genuine scoop on a winter tour of the Southern Forests region. Genuinely Southern Forests, getFresh Merchants and Buy West Eat Best have collaborated for the second time to welcome chefs to the region during June 2021. The tour was originally scheduled for April 2020, and again for April 2021 but like many events, had to be cancelled multiple times due to COVID 19 restrictions.

On 14-15 June, the region was finally able to put on the Genuinely Extraordinary Southern Forests Food and Farm Chef Tour for 15 West Australian food service providers, media and guests. The contingent met a wide range of local representatives and visited seven local suppliers during their stay.

The tour was organised by the Southern Forests Food Council with a view to showcase the diversity of the region’s local produce, build closer relationships, and highlight the exceptional natural landscape that nurtures the region’s agricultural production.

“Nothing compares to the experience of being in the region and meeting our growers face to face,” said Kieran Kinsella, Chair of the Southern Forests Food Council.

“Last year was a major challenge for our region to keep our place in the hearts and minds of our customers, who are chefs, grocery buyers and distributers. We are so pleased to have been able to go ahead with the chef tour and once again welcome a new contingent of future advocates to see, smell and taste our produce firsthand,” Kieran said.

Buy West Eat Best Program Manager Melissa Worthington says that the tour is an ideal opportunity for genuine creativity and collaboration between chef and producer.

“A bus full of chefs is a great place to open up discussions and exchange new ideas for menu items and dining events, while experiencing a real connection and deeper appreciation of local suppliers and the complexity involved to ensure delivery of consistent, top quality ingredients to their venues,” said Melissa.

GetFresh Merchants are suppliers of top-quality local produce for food service in Perth and proudly support the Genuinely Extraordinary Southern Forests Food and Farm Chef Tour.

“Our goal is to give chefs every reason possible to continue to support local produce,” says Stephen Kahl, General Manager of getFresh Merchants. “The Southern Forests region offers diverse, high quality and specialty lines that can really take a menu to the next level.”


Patrina Broughton

WA State Manager

Restaurant and Catering Association

“I am so grateful in all of the experiences I had on my tour with the Genuinely Southern Food & Farm Experience 2021.

The “GENUINE” people (chefs, venue owners, producers, farmers, associates) I got to connect with over the past 2 days was on its own an amazing value-add as great connections and relationships were made.

To hear their why, their point of difference, heart behind their product, service, produce, to be able to experience the taste, smells, variety – WOW!!! That alone was pure value!!!

The tour has left me excited about how I can best support further, I truly believe chefs, venue owners – all those within hospitality and alike, need to experience what we did, I will definitely be in support of more to come!!

I thank and applaud Buy West Eat Best, getFresh Merchants and the Genuinely Southern Forests for all that you are doing!!! I am a fan!!”

Timothy Buckton,

General Manager

Warders Hotel, Emily Taylor

“The Southern Forest Food Council invited me down to the Manjimup region to experience and learn more about the products we are already buying on a daily basis at the Warders Hotel Fremantle, which has a 450 person licenced bar and kitchen, Emily Taylor as well as Gimlet Bar and Café, in the Fremantle city.

The events surrounding this farm visit were exceptionally well organised and executed. To be “on-farm” and see the passion all the farmers and producers put into their produce allows chefs and restaurant owners to really appreciate the product we use and understand everyone’s back story.

I feel it is also beneficial for the local farmers with an opportunity to hear how we use their products in our operations and understand the finished restaurant product, which results in happy customers and how much we appreciate their input.

This opportunity to hear from each producer, analysis on the product in details, and understand the work which goes in to get a product from “paddock to plate” will provide the restaurants a deeper understanding of fantastic produce coming out of the Manjimup region.

I would like to thank the Southern Forests Food Council, Buy West Eat Best and GetFresh Merchants for putting on this exceptional experience. I highly commend the efforts made by all parties.”


Attendees: Gurps Bagga - Sauma, Amanda Yong - Coee, Arshdeep Dhillon - Sauma, Jonathon - Frasers Group, Darren - Frasers Group, Melissa Worthington - Buy West Eat Best, Patrina Broughton - Restaurant and Catering Association, Stephan Kahl - getFresh Merchants, Simone Ariano - Joondalup Resort, Jennifer Riseley - Southern Forests Food Council, Tim Buckton - Emily Taylor, Jason Beste - Supper Road, Kate and Dean Baker - Newleaf Orchards. Images: Tristan McKenzie (@t.r.i.s.m.)


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