Curious About Food Stories & Recipes From The Southern Forests?


November 12, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson

Cherry-almond-cakeCurious About Food Stories & Recipes From The Southern Forests?

I hope you are as curious as me!

First of all, thank you to UWA Publishing for sending me Food of the Southern Forests; this “glorious” and “mouth-watering, stunning cookbook” with “truly unique photography” by Craig Kinder “graciously” as a courtesy!

Honestly, I didn’t know where to begin in sharing this “almost interactive” cookbook.

Food of the Southern Forests introduces the owners of “some of the produce grown” in this unique region, and incorporates “a little of the wonderful migrant food heritage,” let alone terrific recipes by the Sophie Zalokar!

This book is “to be devoured and enjoyed,” and you can quote me on that!

For my readers who may not be familiar with the Southern Forests, the region is located in the lower south-west of Western Australia here in Australia.

The native Karri Forest is home to one of the “tallest hardwoods in the world.”

The first “caretakers to the region were the Aboriginal Nyungar/ Murrum people,” that dates back approximately 30,000 years ago.”

The agricultural land of the Southern Forests makes up only 15% of the whole area with the farm gates existing between “the wilderness, national parks, state forests and reserves.”

Sophie Zalokar has been running the infamous Forager’s Field Kitchen
as part of Foragers “a farm based cooking school and dining room with self contained accommodation,” a “unique culinary Western Australia tourism experience!”

A foodie lover’s dream to experience indeed!

If there is one piece of advice I can give you while perusing Food of the Southern Forests, it would be to bring your appetite, because you are going to need it and you will want to S-L-O-W-L-Y take in each and every recipe and revel in reading the stories of the producers of the region over and over and over again!

The book is broken down into numerous chapters highlighting the foods, history and BEST of all, the recipes; I did mention the great photography, didn’t I?

APPLES, PEARS & QUINCES – Newton orchards of Manjimup & Valleyview Organics
ASPARAGUS – Bob Peruch
AVOCADOS – George, Stewart & Mitchell Ipsen
BAMBOO SHOOTS & BETAL LEAVES – Kevin Fitzpatric & ‘Jeep’ Puntip Binsirawanit

Did I mention there is a photo of everyone highlighted along with their wonderful produce?

I sense even people who reside in Australia will be surprised to discover something new; like the Southern Forests “are the largest apple growing region in Western Australia.”

BEEF – John Della Gola
BEETROOT & KALE – Wayne Edwards
BROCCOLI – Brad & Eric Ipsen
BUCKWHEAT – John Della Franca
CAULIFLOWER – Garry, Ian & John Ryan
CHERRIES – George Grozotis

While you know by now I don’t play favorites, I could not help myself to pick Cherry, Almond & Kirsch Cladoutis as I always do “The Cherry Happy Dance” when the cherry season begins here and it is always sad when it ends!

I LOVED this recipe and Chef Georgio gave it two thumbs up as did friends!


Cherry-almond-cake-whatsonthelist Almond-cherry-cake-whatsonthelist
FEIJOAS – Robert Taylor
FIGS & RUSTELBERRIES – Kay & Phil Gravett
FINGER LIMES – Rov & Jill Baker

Are you getting a “sense” of how unique the produce of the Southern Forests are?

Throughout each section, you can help but smile at the PASSIONATE, smiling faces of the producers smiling back at you!

GARLIC – David MacDonald & Catrin Iversen
GREEN TEA – Kathy Dawson
HONEY – Lee Fontanini
JAM – Beth Shorthouse
LAMB– Jim Walker

Are you curious about Jim’s “black-faced Suffolk sheep” connected with Jim’s English family heritage?

Foods Of the Southern Forests is truly a foodie dream read!

LIMES – Brian & Val Thornley
MARINE FISH – Judy Dittmer
MARRON – Sue & Ray Harris
MILK & CREAM – Mat & Robert Daubney
OLIVE OIL – Luigi Bazzani
PERSIMMONS – Tom & Faye Backhouse
PORK – Susan & Allan Ronk
POTATOES – Glen & Dean Ryan
PUMPKIN – John Kilrain
REDFIN PERCH – Pat Stubberfield
SAFFRON – Terry MacFarlene

Did you know The Southern Forests region is now well known for its prized black truffles?

Saffron is also another “small and rare” highly valued gourmet product!

SAUSAGES – The Southerners Football Club
TROUT – Paul Thomsett
TRUFFLES – David Pottinger

Sophie was born and bred in the Barossa Valley here in South Australia and trained under our “iconic” and “legendary” Maggie Beer and is now settled with her husband Chris and family in Western Australia!

I don’t know about you, but EVERY time I open Food of the Southern Forests, I salivate with all of the great recipes!

It was CERTAINLY not an easy task to decided which recipe I would make for this review!

Food of the Southern Forests is “a classic” book that is not like any other cookbook I have come across to date!

Just like I am a PASSIONATE South Australian who loves nothing but sharing about what makes our state great; its PASSIONATE local producers, local businesses, local produce and local wines, while “experiencing” Food of the Southern Forests, Sophie’s PASSION about the Southern Forests region, the PASSION from producers who grow the foods and the PASSION of the heritage and history of the region TOTALLY shines through!

Experiencing Food of the Southern Forests is a book that will make a great pressie (Aussie lingo for present) for any foodie, food enthusiast, and or anyone who wants to feel good about the stories behind the foods people enjoy throughout the year.

There is nothing better than eating seasonally and in being up to the challenge of re-creating these gorgeous and mouth-watering “winner in my book” recipes!

The words of this review are my own and have not been influenced because UWA Publishing sent Food of the Southern Forests “graciously” to me “as a courtesy!”

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my Food of the Southern Forests review with you and also hope you enjoyed it and look forward to experiencing it yourself too!



12 thoughts on “Curious About Food Stories & Recipes From The Southern Forests?

  1. I really enjoyed reading about Food of the Southern Forests, Joanne, and I hope to get hold of a copy soon! Your Clafoutis looks absolutely mouthwatering as well. Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  2. The book sounds really interesting and what a privilege to train under Maggie Beer. I do love the look of the clafoutis – gorgeous and so pretty xx

  3. A totally unknown part of Australia to me, sounds amazing and the book just ‘lucious’, the clafouti is a wow too. Cheers, Evelyne!

  4. Hello Joanne! I am seriously drooling over your clafouti! The cookbook looks incredible and I thank you for sharing it with us. As always, your post was very educational and completely enjoyable.

  5. Your cherry creation is just stunning and this article was very interesting. The cookbook cover is just A-MAZING.

  6. Those are very interesting books, Joanne. Granny says she like to read about all the healthy stuff. Pawkisses for a Happy Wednesday 🙂 <3

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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