As an amateur foodie lover and first time attendee to this years Tasting Australia, we were fortunate enough to be invited to a Riverland feast by world-renowned chefs Duncan Welgemoed (Africola) and Mark Best.
A regionally sourced 8 course feast on the beautiful Loxton riverfront was exceptional. It truly was a captivating night full of culinary delight.
‘As cooks, we are simply custodians of the hard work of producers who have tamed this place to create unique and absolutely world-class tastes.
We put before you our interpretation of this region and celebrate the collective efforts of the Riverland community’
Behind the scenes…
An event like this takes plenty of research and an incredible team of people to pull it off. A new venture for the Riverland—was their first affair hosting such an event. And one they were wanting to succeed for future Tasting Australia events. An event that truly highlights the amazing produce that the Riverland provides.
Having spent a lot of his childhood years in Murray Bridge, the Riverland was no new feat for Mark Best. Both Mark and Duncan’s road trip along the Riverland started back in February—time was dedicated to visit the Riverland producers to source the ingredients to create their menu and the wine to match for the evening.
They were blown away by the produce, people and awe-inspiring beauty of the region.
Old school cooking over coals was part of their inspiration and one team members job was to create a smoking apparatus to house the Murray grey steer… an old galvanized water tank was recreated. Spit roasts were used for the dorper lamb and man-made grills were used for the carp and yabby larb creation which certainly became a talking point and to my amazement was absolutely delicious!
Pre-feast drinks on the banks of the River Murray, a welcome to country ceremony before 300 patrons made their way into the large marquee filled with long beautifully decorated trestle tables all designed for mingling and meeting new people.
The feast began, and a feast it was… multiple large sharing platters per table with matching wines made their way into the marquee and they progressively came through-out the evening.
Plenty of chatter, laughter and a master of ceremony keeping the evening flowing with good humor and entertainment. Question time with both Duncan and Mark about the night we were all enjoying…
It was clear the menu did not disappoint—the platters were empty and so were the wine bottles!
If you are interested in watching a video of the night, you will be entertained by local @the bushbeeman hosting—by the end of the evening, it was obvious he had a great time…
More about Duncan & Mark…
Mark Best is actually my cousin, so I might be slightly biased… a love of food and cooking certainly does run in our family, but Mark and his mastery of his craft takes it to the next level @markbest
Story and photos by: Selena Launer