EARLY START: Erin Brown of Vines at 139 will be in the Grafton Showground kitchen from 4.30am on Sunday as part of her role as head chef for the Gate to Plate degustation lunch.
EARLY START: Erin Brown of Vines at 139 will be in the Grafton Showground kitchen from 4.30am on Sunday as part of her role as head chef for the Gate to Plate degustation lunch. Kate Mathews

Best of Valley on display

SERVING up the best of Clarence Valley hospitality and fresh produce, Causley Fresh Gate to Plate will reveal its entree tomorrow with two food trails and a master class.

With a handful of tickets left for the food trails, the master class, and Sunday's much sought-after degustation lunch in "The Barn" being all but sold out, organisers are confident they're well prepared to dish up another top-notch event.

In fact Gate to Plate key organiser Sandy Munro and committee member Gai Pritchett reckon this year's showcase will surpass all that have come before and are welcoming the return of Erin Brown to the kitchen for the degustation lunch.

Managing a team of more than eight chefs and serving up more than 2200 plates from a temporary kitchen might be a challenge for some, but Ms Brown says she's looking forward to it. Even if it does mean starting work at 4.30am on Sunday.

"I do it because I have a passion for food," she said.

"I think I'd be mad to do it for any other reason.

"Plus I get to meet and work with a few different chefs that I don't normally have involvement with... it's a good day."

But Ms Brown admits when the last plate goes out she'll be happy.

"A lot of people don't realise how much work goes into it."

Naturally the seven courses will feature Clarence Valley produce, with individual chefs adding their own distinct flavours to the table - championing one course each.

Dozens of TAFE hospitality students will be on hand to assist, both out front and in the back of house.

Ms Munro said Gate to Plate was a great chance to bring the community together and showcase the produce and talent in the Clarence Valley.

"The quality of chefs and produce, and the country spirit - there's so much out there and the food trails, the master class, the big lunch and the Festivale (on September 15) show you just what they can do," Ms Munro said.



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