SOUTH­ERN FORESTS, WA

Country Style - - YOUR PAGE - SO­PHIE ZALOKAR

Since mov­ing to Pem­ber­ton with her fam­ily in 2005, chef So­phie Zalokar has be­come an un­of­fi­cial spokesper­son for the re­gion’s farm­ers and show­cases lo­cal pro­duce at her For­agers Field Kitchen. She be­lieves vis­i­tors come to the South­ern Forests to ex­pe­ri­ence the abun­dance of fresh pro­duce and cool-cli­mate wines on of­fer, as well as the na­tive karri forests, serene wa­ter­ways and un­spoilt coast­line. Name some of the re­gion’s great pro­duce. The di­ver­sity of pro­duce in the South­ern Forests is im­mense. The main prod­ucts that spring to mind are ap­ples, av­o­ca­dos, pota­toes, marron, truf­flf­fles, milk and cream, and wal­nuts. Where can you buy lo­cal pro­duce? Aside from the nu­mer­ous road­side stalls, the Manjimup Farm­ers’ Mar­ket is the best place to ac­cess sea­sonal fresh pro­duce. It’s held on the fi­first and third Satur­day of the month at Man­jin Park. An­other must is For­est Fresh Marron in Pem­ber­ton, where you can buy lo­cally farmed marron and rain­bow trout. Are there any pro­duc­ers that do far­m­gate sales? Lys­ter Or­chards on the South Western High­way near Manjimup are fan­tas­tic and Phil’s Veg­gie Patch, a road­side stall on the Pem­ber­ton North­cliffffe Road, about fi­five kilo­me­tres out­side North­cliffffe. What are the best places to eat? The South­ern Forests re­gion pro­duces ex­tra­or­di­nary black Périg­ord truf­flf­fles that are har­vested dur­ing win­ter. Try the truf­flf­fle tape­nade pizza at The Truf­flf­fle Kitchen, which is part of The Truf­flf­fle and Wine Co, a Manjimup prop­erty where the truf­flf­fles are dug daily when in sea­son. Tall Tim­bers, in the town of Manjimup, of­fers a com­pre­hen­sive range of lo­cal wines and are famed for their mar­i­nated Black An­gus sir­loin steak sand­wich — it’s a hun­gry farmer’s favourite. Can you sug­gest a good café? Pad­dock Pop Up is a new café in Pem­ber­ton and is the gor­geous shopfront for South­ern Roast­ing Co. They offf­fer cre­ative toasted sand­wich com­bos, sweet treats and qual­ity ham­per pro­vi­sions. Also in Pem­ber­ton, the Nour­ish Whole­foods Café is a one-stop shop for su­per-healthy eat­ing. Dine in, take away or buy pro­vi­sions for self-cater­ing. Best cof­fee? Pad­dock Pop Up or Two Littt­tle Black Birds Café in Manjimup. What nat­u­ral at­trac­tions would you rec­om­mend vis­it­ing? There are so many, but my favourites are: Big Brook Dam, Beedelup Falls and the Glouces­ter Tree [a gi­ant karri] in Pem­ber­ton. Fonty’s Pool and the Tim­ber and Her­itage Park in Manjimup. The Un­der­story Sculp­ture Walk and Yea­garup Dunes in North­cliffffe. In Walpole, ex­pe­ri­ence the Tree Top Walk and a WOW Wilder­ness Ecocruise. What are your favourite beaches? The littt­tle beach at Cathe­dral Rock or Salmon Beach, both at Windy Har­bour.

Chef So­phie Zalokar picks wild greens on her seven-hectare prop­erty near Pem­ber­ton. ABOVE The din­ing room at For­agers Field Kitchen, where So­phie hosts sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce din­ners. BE­LOW RIGHT Green tea short­bread and white cho­co­late ice-cream sand­wiches may fea­ture on the menu at For­agers.

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