There has been quite the buzz around Taste of Perth over the weekend. I’ve read about chilli-salted crickets from El Publico, the very impressive Chocolate Garden dessert from No 4 Blake Street, and the giant salted caramel macaron from Bistro Guillaume that was featured heavily on Instagram. Perth has slowly but surely sunk its teeth into the foodie scene, and the Taste of Perth was proof of that.
Aside from feedback about the food on offer I have been reading quite a bit about what people thought of the cost. I have to say that I was very fortunate to have received some complimentary tickets (thank you to the folks at Leaf Bean Machine) but I have to agree that $38 to enter does seem somewhat exorbitant. I went to my first ever food festival in Melbourne which was free to enter, so I still don’t quite understand why there even needs to be a door entry fee. I personally think the cost of the dishes at Taste of Perth were reasonable, for Perth prices. I also acknowledge that the dishes on offer were ‘tastings’, which I think the costs of most dishes reflected this. If patrons thought they were going for main meal portions they would’ve been sorely disappointed, however that was never my expectation. The idea that for less than $100 I could dig into a broad array of flavoursome tastings is fine by me. I know to sit down to a degustation menu I would be looking at that anyway.
What I most enjoyed about the festival was the diverse range of food on offer. There really was something for everyone. I follow a lot of Perth food bloggers and frequently read great things about Co-Op Dining, El Publico, Bib & Tucker, Print Hall and Lalla Rookh to mention a few, so to have the opportunity to sample their food all in the one place was brilliant. I am also a huge fan of Karvan Coffee, Rekorderlig, The World’s Healthiest Juice Company and now thanks to Taste of Perth, The Honeycake (boy that cake is good!), so to be able to visit and enjoy their products at the festival felt a little ‘homely’. The beauty of such an event is not only being able to support the local food folks I already love, but to be able to sample others I have not previously tried.
I also loved that aside from food and drinks, there was a great array of masterclasses and tasting sessions on offer. The guys at Grape & Grain held back-to-back tasting sessions that were extremely popular. Cooking classes, cocktail classes and ‘how to’ sessions ran all day across the weekend. I found the overall opportunity to see all of this in the one spot made the festival a very worthwhile event, as well as the chance to purchase great food products from local producers and sit back and enjoy music in the ‘Beats and Seats’ area. I suspect the reduction or removal of an entry fee would see more people attending, I know of a few that couldn’t afford the entry fee so missed out. Bummer, as I thoroughly enjoyed both my visits.