Last Friday saw 920 members of the Perth business community join together in the Crown Towers Ballroom for Perth’s Longest Lunch, an annual fund-raising event for local aged care and disability services provider Brightwater. I attended the event last year, and was once again fortunate enough to be invited.
This year’s menu was created by Crown Towers Executive Chef Sean Marco, focused around the produce of Western Australia’s Southern Forests. Each course was paired with an outstanding WA wine.
Shane Jacobson returned as MC. Always an entertaining host, he kept the crowd amused and under control when necessary, but didn’t overstay his welcome. He featured in plenty of selfies during the afternoon.
The amuse of olive oil poached Southern Forests marron, persimmon, finger lime and cucumber was served in the foyer before lunch-proper began.
This rather decadent and delightful bite was served with Sitella Grand Vintage 2012 Sparkling.
Seated lunch started with this colourful vegetable course of beetroot fondant, roasted carrot skordalia, grilled baby leek, rosemary crisp, green olive and purple sprouts.
This dish was accompanied by a Heydon Estate 2013 Chardonnay.
Auction items for those with plenty to spend – most went for over $20K – included a trip to Mount Everest Base Camp, business class flights anywhere in the world from Qatar Airways and a luxury Mediterranean cruise. An Audi A1 was also raffled off at $100 a ticket.
Entree was South West lamb, mountain pepper, rosella and baked onion puree, quandong curd and samphire.
This course was paired with Houghton Small Batch Rojo Grande.
Main Course was roasted venison, chestnuts, glazed kohl rabi, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, and sweet and sour plum.
Accompanying this dish was a Watershed Premium Wines 2010 Awakening Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dessert was a chocolate sphere with roasted hazelnut and fig ice cream.
Presumably the intention was for the sphere to be melted by hot chocolate dispensed by the serving staff, although – as you can see – we needed a lot more for the desired effect. Even so, this was the best course of the day. The sphere contained layers of biscuity chocolately goodness which combined nicely with the hazelnut and intense raspberry dotted around the plate.
This course demanded a dessert wine, and we were treated to a super-sweet Talijancich Swan Valley Liquer Verdelho.
The cheese course was served individually, and was another attractive plate of food. Featuring Camembray, Blackwood Blue, pear, vanilla, port and pickled apricots, my only complaint was the need for more crackers 🙂
The wine this time was a Leeuwin Estate 2012 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon.
To finish was a box of handmade chocolate truffles…and yes, that box was made of chocolate and completely edible. Brilliant.
And there you have it – six courses and an impressive $230,000 raised for charity later.
The event had a different feel to last year, with less intrusion from the music and better lighting making it easier to relax and talk to the people around you. The food was also better than last year. Six hours may sound like a long time, although it flew by and I had a most enjoyable afternoon!
Next year’s lunch is on Friday, 18 May 2018 – mark it in your calendars now.
See more photos from the event below. Thanks once again to Mills Wilson and DG Global for my invitation to the lunch.