In the hot seat for this year’s Mount Augustus, Australia’s Biggest BBQ, chef Gord Kahle is excited to be heading back to the Gascoyne. “Last year’s festival was my first time up there and I was really taken aback. It really exceeded my expectations because I always thought of the Gascoyne as this powerhouse in growing; the reason why Perth transcends seasons in terms of produce. But it was the family farms which really impressed me, the levels of production they were getting out of their acreages, and the huge variety.”
Previously the chef-owner at East Fremantle’s Cook & Mason, Kahle was opening chef at one of Perth’s original BBQ restaurants, Old Faithful. Hailing from Vancouver, he recalls his formative years as a chef, working with a prominent restaurant group that “were on the forefront of local sustainable eating,” he says. “I think we always preached a 1000km catchment for produce. Canada like Australia has those big distances. That ethos has always stayed with me, pushed me, it’s how I structure myself, and how I pick and choose what i cook; even where I cooked when I was younger.”
“It’s my first time at Mt Augustus and I’m kind of excited,” he says of this outback event with a growing reputation. “I really like the idea of the place and the event,” says Kahle. “It’s a pretty mammoth task, cooking for 200 people.
The menu is a whole lot of beef. For the first course I‘m looking at making flatbreads and koftes served with some great salads. I’m actually leaning on a pretty veg heavy menu, as while it’s a beef focused event I think you can get some good balance in that way. It’ll be fairly capsicum heavy. Another really great ingredient from the Gascoyne. I’m going to do beer braised brisket stuffed peppers. It’s also been requested that I do something with pumpkin because when I came up last year for the annual Long Table Lunch at Bentwaters Plantation I did pumpkin and it seems that it went down well. I’m going to do a ratatouille, using loads of that great produce up there, stuffed into a pumpkin and then I’ll put them in the fire and bake them for a couple hours, so it all cooks together, and serve that alongside some really delicious beef ribs.”
Australia’s Biggest BBQ is on Saturday 29 August at Mt Augustus (Burringurrah) Tourist Park. See here for more details.