The Inaugural National Feast, Government House

The Inaugural National Feast

It was an honour to attend the Inaugural National Feast on 21 June 2015 and to see Australian honey as the centrepiece of a new celebration of Australian produce.  Their Excellencies the Honourable Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Lady Cosgrove hosted the event at Government House, Canberra. It was an acknowledgement of the contribution agribusiness makes to our Australian way of life and to celebrate the quality of Australian produce. The Agribusiness Council of Australia (ACA) launched the National Feast as their flagship event to coincide with the winter solstice and have similar events planned throughout Australia for 2016.

Paula and Scott Faser with Mitchell Pearce (4th generation)

Paula and Scott Faser with Mitchell Pearce (4th generation)

All generations of our family contributed to the festivities and we were very proud to see our produce included with other examples of excellent Australian produce. The honey comb display case had been hand made by our 2nd and third generation (Len and David Walker ) last year and its raw unpolished appearance was stunning against the polished silverware of the buffet.

Len and David (2nd and 3rd generation) hand made the honeycomb display case used as a centrepiece of the inaugural national feast

Len and David Walker (2nd and 3rd generation) hand made the honeycomb display case used as a centrepiece of the inaugural national feast

Australian honey as the centrepiece of the inaugural national feast

Australian honey as the centrepiece of the Inaugural National Feast

The Capital Region Farmers Market was well represented with local produce showcased on the menu. Of course our Canberra Urban Honey was the stand out produce on display in the buffet and the dining room.

Canberra Urban Honey on display in the dining room

Canberra Urban Honey on display in the dining room

The menu was designed by Clayton J Donovan, from The Jaaningtree, who is Australia’s only indigenous hatted chef. It was a remarkable feast prepared by Government House Head Chef, Jane Booth.

It was lovely to share the event on social media with a small number of people who also joined in the event across Australia. ACA executive chair, Roy Duncanson, hopes the event gets bigger and better every year, and said: “This is how we “first-feasters” toast everyone involved in making our remarkable agribusiness sector what it is today and we look forward to hearing how you all join in for the 2016 National Feast”.

It was a wonderful event, creating a memory of a lifetime and looking back, I wish I had taken more photos. These photos are collection of photos from our camera and also major contributions from Pip Courtney (Landline) , Scott and Paula Fraser (Obe Organic Beef) as well as Clayton Donovan (Jaanning Tree Restaurant)

Clayton Donavan with their Excellencies the Governor General Sir Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove with

Clayton Donavan with their Excellencies the Governor General Sir Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove

The Inaugural National Feast, Government House

The Inaugural National Feast, Government House

A magnificent entree greeted guests on arrival at the dining table

A magnificent entree greeted guests on arrival at the dining table

It tasted fresh and light and the trout was delicate and smokey

It tasted fresh and light and the trout was delicate and smokey

Medium raw lamb was tender and cooked to perfection

Medium raw lamb was tender and cooked to perfection

The most superb, full flavoured kangaroo. The wattle seeds created a final coffee flavour.

The most superb, full flavoured kangaroo. The wattle seeds created a final coffee flavour.

Surprisingly light and crispy, perfectly sized portions that melted in the mouth

Surprisingly light and crispy, perfectly sized portions that melted in the mouth

The familiar game-taste of duck was exciting when paired with citrus and caramel sweetness

The familiar game-taste of duck was exciting when paired with citrus and caramel sweetness

My favourite of course, the feta was refreshing and the dominant sweet taste of honey was comforting as it evokes memories of family for me

My favourite of course, the feta was refreshing and the dominant sweet taste of honey was comforting as it evokes memories of family for me

My Brussell sprout bravery was rewarded (I don't usually like them). This dish was an adventure for my palate: buttery flavours of smokey bacon and warm chestnuts

My brussell sprout bravery was rewarded (I don’t usually like them). This dish was an adventure for my palate: buttery flavours of smokey bacon and warm chestnuts

I'm glad this one is blurry - it was a funny moment with Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs

I’m glad this one is blurry – it was a funny moment with Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Senator Richard Colbeck (Tasmania), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture

Senator Richard Colbeck (Tasmania), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture and our Mitchell (4th gen) in the background

Paula Fraser (OBE Organic Beef) and Clayton Donovan

Paula Fraser (Obe Organic Beef, Brisbane) and Clayton Donovan

Colin Bettles (Fairfax Agriculture Media)

Colin Bettles (Fairfax Agriculture Media)

Our 4th generation Mitchell Pearce, Managing Director of Canberra Urban Honey

Our 4th generation Mitchell Pearce, Managing Director of Canberra Urban Honey

Bill Lark of Lark Distillery, Tasmania and His Excellency Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner of India

Bill Lark of Lark Distillery, Tasmania and His Excellency Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner of India

A moment to toast across the twitterverse to @bushboywhotweet in Grafton, NSW

A moment to toast across the twitterverse to @bushboywhotweet in Grafton, NSW

The dessert buffet was exciting, not only because of the treats it presented, it was breathtakingly pretty

The dessert buffet was exciting, not only because of the treats it presented, it was breathtakingly pretty

The final treat - served with tea and coffee - a proud moment for our family

The final treat – served with tea and coffee – a proud moment for our family

It was a wonderful night, and I’m so glad to see it featured on Australia’s premier agricultural television program –  Landline .  I hope we inspire you to all join in next year to celebrate the quality of Australian produce.

I’d encourage you to have a look at the Agribusiness Council of Australia, and get involved in recognising the excellent produce Australia has to offer. Or, as ACA executive chair, Roy Duncanson, said on the evening:  ”We could all do more to Advance Australia Fare”.

Regards

Carmen

Carmen with Pip Courtney (Journalist, Landline)

Carmen with Pip Courtney (Journalist, Landline)

This blog has been archived on the Australian Web archive - Pandora - by the National Library of Australia

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