UPDATE 3pm: In case you were in any doubt about Ainsley Harriott's safe arrival in Perth this week, a glance at Twitter would have confirmed it.
Yes, the adorable chef with the great big personality and smile to match is in town for the annual Good Food & Wine Show.
He is one of the UK's most recognised and successful chefs whose recipes leave fans thinking, "Yep, even I can cook that".
Since landing in Perth, Harriott has been busy meeting the locals, trying the food at various venues and chatting to local media. Even Nine News Perth featured Harriott in the kitchen last night while he whipped up a couple of dishes to leave viewers drooling.
In the lead-up to his first visit to WA, Harriott told The West Australian that he intended to take in the sights and enjoy the local food and wines.
"I am particularly keen to find out more about marron and yabbies, which I hear are unique to WA, and to sampling some of your fine West Aussie wines," he said.
Harriott, who has visited venues including Heritage, Trustee and Rockpool, said he had been impressed by the quality of food in Perth since he had arrived in the city on Monday.
He said the exceptional dishes in Perth restaurants were benefitting from the amazing fresh produce in WA and the fact that chefs knew the origin of their ingredients.
Although time constraints meant Harriott had been unable to visit producers around the State during this visit, he said he had managed to check out the fresh produce at Boatshed Markets in Cottesloe.
He was aware of the "buoyancy" in Perth.
"Some people are calling it a gold rush," Harriott said of the mining boom.
But he cautioned against restaurants making food so expensive that it was out of reach of people on tight budgets.
He has been in Australia for two weeks, and this is his first visit to WA. He leaves on Sunday night.
Harriott will be joined on the Perth leg of the Good Food & Wine Show by Australian chefs including MasterChef judge George Calombaris, My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel and the macaron king himself, Sydney patissier Adriano Zumbo.
Feildel, who visits Perth 2-3 times a year, also praised the "fantastic" food served in Perth restaurants and small bars, particularly Pata Negra, Andaluz, Greenhouse and Balthazar.
He said that although he would love to open a restaurant in Perth, time and travel constraints would make that unlikely.
Feildel said his parents would visit Australia from France in January and he hoped to visit Broome with them.
Calombaris, who rates WA's food scene highly and even has West Aussie chefs in the kitchens of his seven Melbourne restaurants, said he could not wait to visit Perth so he could eat freshly shucked oysters from Rottnest Island.
The Melbourne-based chef landed in Perth today with two of his head chefs from his restaurants - Joe Grbac from The Press Club and former Andaluz chef Brenton Pyke from The Little Press & Cellar - to take part in his cooking demonstrations at the Good Food & Wine Show.
Pyke said Perth had changed considerably during the past nine months that he had been based in Melbourne.
"Perth is really on the edge in terms of great food and people are a lot more informed about food and food trends," he said.
Calombaris said the team of chefs would dine at East Perth chef Hadleigh Troy's Restaurant Amuse, which Calombaris rates as among the top 20 restaurants in Australia.
He said Troy's attention to detail in the kitchen was very clever, and yet there was a great deal of "humility about the place".
The MasterChef judge and cookbook author said he hoped to also visit Pata Negra this weekend. The restaurant is among his favourite Perth venues, which also includes West End Deli, Andaluz and Greenhouse.
"There's a real honesty in people's cooking in Perth and a lot of that is because there is amazing fresh produce in WA," Calombaris said.
Calombaris said his Melbourne establishments served West Australian produce including Rottnest Island scallops, marron and truffles, as well as local wines.
The crowd went wild for Zumbo, who was on stage showing food lovers how to cook his astronomical desserts - and treated some lucky fans to boxes of his delicious macarons.
Zumbo said he loved visiting Perth and would be thrilled to open a bakery in WA, but for now he would concentrate on the opening of his fifth store in Sydney.
The store would be based in Sydney's eastern suburbs and was expected to open in the next 2-3 months. His second cookbook is due to hit bookstores in October.
Good Food & Wine Show will be at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre July 13-15.
For more information, visit goodfoodshow.com.au/cityhub/perth.
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