Melissa Palinkas ~ Young George + ETHOS Deli
Chef and Co-Owner of Young George in East Fremantle, Melissa Palinkas is no stranger to making the most of WA produce. Her favourite thing about the changing season is the challenge to get creative with an abundance of fresh produce.
“Spring is an amazing time of year - things start to come alive and there is lots of colour and a huge variety of produce around.”
Though there isn’t one particular piece of produce she features more than others, Melissa likes to keep her menu balanced, ensuring there’s a taste of spring in every dish.
“At the moment we are using mini cabbages, beetroot and new season baby carrots from Bathgate Farm in our Great Southern, amazing fine asparagus from the Gascoyne, and strawberries from Russel Farm.”
One dish Melissa wants everyone to try is her spring peas with king oyster mushrooms, lupin grits and goat curd; the earthy mushroom flavours are perfectly accompanied by the tangy goat’s curd, making it an unmissable delight.
Sensational spring pea with charred king oyster mushrooms, lupin grits, goat curd.
And for the dessert lovers among us, she says you can’t go past her strawberry on strawberry on strawberry cheesecake dessert, which pays homage to this gem of a fruit, found in abundance in WA during the spring.
To try either of these incredible dishes, make sure you head to Young George soon: www.younggeorge.com.au
Nicholas Duncan ~ Odyssea City Beach
Nicholas Duncan, Executive Head Chef at Odyssea City Beach, shared that a new season means a new menu at Odyssea: “We pride ourselves on serving the freshest locally sourced seasonal produce, so the best thing about a new season is the excitement around creating flavourful new dishes that hero the freshest WA produce available”.
“Spring is one of my favourite seasons in terms of produce and flavours - it’s the perfect palette prelude for summer.”
How is this reflected in Odyssea’s spring menu you ask? Well, it delivers a number of outstanding dishes featuring local asparagus from Torbay Asparagus in the Great Southern region. This ingredient is hugely versatile, featuring on the breakfast menu alongside house made pastrami salmon, hollandaise, cream cheese, Char Col Springs poached eggs and rye. For lunch and dinner, it’s teamed with fresh, local Asian greens to create a delicious seasonal side.
But these fresh menu delights don’t stop there! “There’s a vegetarian dish on our new menu that screams ‘spring’ - our silken tofu served on white bean puree with courgette, green peas, Bookara goats curd, a walnut pangrattato and herbs,” says Nicholas.
“This particular dish was a collaboration dish between the sous-chefs and I; it features tofu, a good source of plant-based protein, but the real heroes of the dish are the courgette and Bookara goats curd. They come together to create a morish light seasonal meal.”
Silken tofu served on white bean puree with courgette, green peas, Bookara goats curd, a walnut pangrattato and herbs.
“We’re lucky in WA to have so many amazing producers and we’ve been fortunate over the years to build some great relationships with regional producers, who help us to create equally amazing dishes,” Nicholas finishes.
Experience the delightful dishes yourself, check out Odyssea City Beach for breakfast, lunch or dinner: www.odysseacitybeach.com.au
But spring isn’t just for chefs!
Here’s our pick of key ingredients to include when cooking at home this season.
Orange (Valencia) – Not just an energising quarter-time snack, incorporating more oranges into your cooking can lead to some truly dynamic sweet and savory meals, like cauliflower, fennel, and orange salad, or citrus marinated roast chicken. Keep an eye out for fruit out WA Citrus and Moora Citrus when stocking up!
Rockmelon – Like your own salad secret weapon, adding rockmelon could make a good salad, great! It’s also perfect served fresh, in a smoothie or made into a refreshing sorbet.
Strawberries – A favourite among West Aussie’s, enjoy fresh strawberries in spring – even better if you head out to pick them yourself! Look out for Buy West Eat Best members Heavenly Strawberries and Berry Sweet Strawberry Farm.
Asparagus – As Chef Nicholas knows, this humble vegetable can really elevate a dish. Cooked to perfection or added raw to a salad, it’s high in vitamin B6, calcium and a very good source of dietary fibre.
Sweet corn – perfect on the cob, grilled with seasoning, sauce or cheese; sweet corn works well as a spring side or bulked up and enjoyed as a main. Check out West Australia Corn Growers for wonderful quality, locally grown corn products.
Zucchini (courgette) – enjoy it steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued or fried; the options are endless, and its malleable flavour can really make a dish!
For the full list of in season fruits and vegetables, click through to our seasonal guide here or head over to our restaurant listings to make sure you are supporting local. Follow us on social for when we share seasonal recipes and cooking tips and #buywesteatbest