Taste the diversity of Clarence Valley produce at this weekend's Gate to Plate event.
Taste the diversity of Clarence Valley produce at this weekend's Gate to Plate event.

Serving up Valley's food diversity on a platter

THE Clarence Valley foodie event of the year, the Bendigo Bank Gate to Plate Long Lunch, will take place this Sunday at Grafton's famous Barn so if you haven't booked your seat yet, get online and secure your ticket to this feast for the senses.

This year's event is a reflection of the vast array of food produced in the Clarence Valley, with a handful of guest products completing the bill. Guest chefs Zac Roberts (Karrikin) and Charly Prétet (The French Pan Tree) have designed a menu incorporating produce of the land and the sea with native Australian bush foods.

A supplier from Lawrence with product at the heart of the six-course menu, is recent Clarence Valley Business Excellence Award Winner Mirrabooka Pork. Owner Scott Graham has been a vocal supporter of buying local, pointing out how product labelling can mislead consumers into thinking they are buying Australian produce when, according to Scott, "sometimes the only Aussie ingredient in bacon is added water.” Mirrabooka's pigs are pasture-raised, roaming free and foraging at their leisure. This results in a superior product that our guest chefs use regularly in their restaurant menus and which can be purchased at various local markets.

The Clarence Valley legends that are the Causley family will be supplying the majority of fruit and veggies, while several other local growers such as Yamba Organic ensure that even the ginger, chillies and garlic are grown in Clarence soil. The attractive edible flowers that provide a splash of colour and original flavours to so many dishes, are the product of Maclean grower Little Things Grown.

As for purveyors of seafood, the Clarence River Fishermen's Cooperative are responsible for the kingfish, fresh mullet and king prawns, while the oysters will be supplied by Yamba Bay Oysters.

The specialist native Australian bush foods such as finger limes, wattle seed, pepper berry and Davidson plum are carefully packaged by Natif, who while based in Melbourne, source their products from all over Australia, including the Clarence Valley.

The guest products are Granite belt wines, including past Gate to Plate supporter Robert Channon, Symphony Hill and Balladean Estate Wines. Also featured this year is Heritage Estate Wines who are supplying their excellent white Fiano and Rabbit Fence Red.

Rounding off the Clarence Valley suppliers, are Sunshine Sugar, Big River Milk, I Scream who are making a lemon-lime sorbet and Nicholson Fine Foods, who are matching their exquisite pickles and jams to the cheeses supplied by Nimbin Valley Dairy.



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