Fervor Long Table Degustation

Ever since I first heard about Fervor last year I’ve been keen to attend one of their dining events. Created by brother and sister Paul and Bree Iskov, Fervor is a travelling pop-up restaurant that offers a uniquely Australian dining experience with a focus on fresh, locally sourced produce and native ingredients sustainably foraged or supplied by specialist producers. Fervor’s dining tables have been set in stunning, intimate locations all over Western Australia – out in the bush under the stars, on secluded beaches and in shearing sheds. Last year, Fervor events were held in Perth and regional WA, including at Lake, Jewel and Mammoth caves in Margaret River, Mukinbudin in the wheatbelt, Kalgoorlie, and Denmark. Next month, the Fervor team will hit the road to pop up at The Pinnacles, Port Hedland, Karratha, Paraburdoo, Broome and Exmouth.

This year’s Eat Drink Perth festival included a Fervor ‘secret location’ long table degustation and I didn’t hesitate to get tickets. Being an Eat Drink Perth event, we knew the venue would have to be somewhere within the City of Perth, and a few days before the event, it was revealed to be Whipper Snapper Distillery in East Perth.

The evening began with pre-dinner drinks (Whipper Snapper Crazy Uncle Moonshine with tonic water and Moore River finger lime) and snacks (Shark Bay crab with finger lime; grilled chorizo; saltbush; and sandalwood nut crackers with sour cream). For me, the macadamia, scallop, emu and kangaroo main courses were the stand-outs – beautifully presented, texturally interesting and incredibly flavoursome. The smoke featured in several courses wasn’t to my taste but provided spectacular sensory moments – warm, craggy damper served with soft pats of butter sprinkled with redgum ash (tasted like ashtray to me); melt-in-the-mouth meringue toasted with red hot coals; and milk ice cream with candied sandalwood nuts, cinnamon myrtle and Donnybrook honey, served in individual jars with puffs of sandalwood smoke.

Fervor dining is an interactive, social experience. Each course was introduced by one of the Fervor team, explaining the dish and its ingredients. We were encouraged to go up to the pass and chat with the guys as they cooked and plated our meal – mesmerising to watch and enthralling to photograph. At the long table, Jac was in her element, making new friends and sharing stories.

Degustations can be marathons; including the pre-dinner drinks and snacks, this one lasted almost five hours. By the time the petit fours of sandalwood fudge and sunrise limes were served, we were fading fast. But we’d had a sensational, memorable evening.

DSCF3711In addition to a distillery, Whipper Snapper is a whiskey and coffee bar (they serve 5 Senses coffee).

Chef Paul Iskov and the Fervor team welcomed guests with drinks and snacks. Co-founder and chef Paul Iskov and the Fervor team welcomed guests with pre-dinner drinks and snacks.

CrabShark Bay crab with finger lime

SaltbushSaltbush looks like twigs you’d step on or throw away but the savoury leaves were surprisingly easy to munch on. When snacking on saltbush, make sure you’ve got something to drink – trust me, you’ll need it. It’s not called ‘salt’ bush for nothing.

The popup kitchen The pop-up kitchen

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Plating the macadamia and lemon myrtleMacadamia and lemon myrtle made an unusual and wonderful first course.

Plating scallop

Esperance scallopRaw Esperance scallop with bush tomato emulsion and dried scallop chips, topped with dashi.

Plating abalone

Plating abalone Augusta farmed abalone was served with bunya nut and seaweed.

Scorching crocodile Scorching the crocodile fillets.

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Crocodile Crocodile with burnt butter, stonecrop and desert limes.

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Emu tartare Emu tartare with pepper berry, my favourite dish of the night.

DSCF3989Witnessing the crafting of the dishes was like watching artists at work.

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Kangaroo Kangaroo with lemon aspen + caramelised onion.

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Coal-toasted meringue Coal-toasted meringue with wild rosella

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DSCF4186Milk ice cream, candied sandalwood nuts, cinnamon myrtle and Donnybrook honey – the sandalwood smoke wafted out as we opened the jars.

Petit fours - sandalwood fudge with sunrise limes Petit fours – smooth, creamy sandalwood fudge with lightly scorched sunrise limes.

Photography geeks: the pictures in this post were all taken in very dim lighting using a Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens. I almost sold that lens, but think I’ll keep it now.

The Fervor Long Table Degustation was held on 11 April 2015, part of Eat Drink Perth.
AU$170 per person included pre-dinner drink and snacks, 8-10 courses, petit fours.
Water was provided; all other drinks were BYO.
Check out the Fervor website to find out where they’ll be next.

Whipper Snapper Distillery
139 Kensington Street, East Perth

There was to be a second Eat Drink Perth Fervor dinner with Custard & Co Cider, at Perth City Farm on 22 April but that event has been postponed.

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  • What a gorgeous meal! I love the whole concept of what they do, it’s such a great way to showcase Australian ingredients many people wouldn’t have tried! YUM :) (gorgeous photos BTW I can only imagine how dim it was there)

    • Thanks, Kristy, agreed – so many native ingredients are so foreign to us, it’s quite an eye-opener having them part of a dinner like this.

  • Wow! The event looks amazing and so delicious! As part of the IGA Great Southern Taste festival I had attended an event held by Mark Olive where we shared a long table. It’s really amazing eating food using native ingredients. Why aren’t they mainstream? Patrons are missing out. The native ingredients evoke some really amazing flavours.

    • Shaun, “Why aren’t they mainstream?” is an interesting question. Some of it may be related to the cost of procuring the ingredients fresh and in quantities required for a restaurant kitchen; some may be related to chefs’ preference to use ingredients they are familiar with, and that (they perceive) their customers will be comfortable with. Kylie Kwong has done amazing things with native ingredients in recent years, but it’s a particular sort of diner who will be open to trying new things and paying for the privilege.

  • Gourmanda

    How cool that you got to get up so close and personal with the chefs, and shoot as they were working away on plating up.

    • For me, that part of the experience was as enjoyable as actually eating the food. :)