WA’S SIGNATURE DISH SEMI-FINAL
COOKING is not a daily obsession or lifelong calling for Community Newspaper Group reporter Arylene WestlakeJennings.
It is simply a means for showing the people she loves how deeply she cares.
Whether satisfying the stomach of her husband or appealing to the appetites of close friends, Westlake-Jennings revels in dishing out delight.
“I have been very blessed in terms of growing up around food in a country where our passion for eating comes second to none,” she said.
“I was brought up in Singapore by a Peranakan mother and Sri Lankan-Portuguese father, both of whom are incredible cooks in their own right.
“And just as it is for me, they cooked for the pure enjoyment of it.”
Her culinary journey began at age eight, perfecting the art of preparing rice.
By 10, she had mastered family favourites such as oyster sauce chicken stir-fry.
Now the real estate writer is one of eight home cooks selected as semi finalists in WA’s Signature Dish cooking competition.
She entered the contest on a whim to see whether her recipe would pique the interest of judges.
Representing the Kimberley region, Westlake-Jennings will prepare and cook Cone Bay barramundi with green mango and mizuna salad at the semi final cook-off on October 14 at Fraser’s, Kings Park.
“This is the first cooking competition I have entered and I am thinking it will be my last because the mere thought of cooking in front of strangers immediately tightens the belly with pure fear,” she said.
“I am going to test my dish again before the big day and if it doesn’t boost my confidence then nothing will.”
The competition grand finale will be held on November 22 at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape event.
The winner will receive a two-day mentorship with Guillaume Brahimi at Bistro Guillaume, Crown Perth, and a trip for two to a luxurious WA locale for a wine-and-dine experience.