SOUTHERN FORESTS, WA
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.