Chefs help cyclone hit growers

Grace Millimaci

When news spread of the destruction cyclone Olwyn caused in the State's north last month, Perth chef Pete Manifis was determined to help farmers whose quality produce has played a starring role in restaurants across Perth.

Manifis and friend Don Hancey are among 25 chefs who have volunteered to cook for 500 people at the Chefs for the Gascoyne fundraiser at the Urban Orchard at Perth Cultural Centre on Sunday.

The chefs will use almost a tonne of fresh produce donated by producers from around WA who wanted to help mates doing it tough in the Gascoyne after the cyclone wiped out crops and destroyed infrastructure, leading to a damage bill of tens of millions of dollars.

Locals dubbed the category-three storm the worst cyclone in more than 50 years.

Chefs for the Gascoyne aims to raise $60,000. Gascoyne Food Council executive officer Alex Maslen said the money would be used for a marketing campaign to promote the region's products.

"We'll be looking at the bigger picture, to let people know that growers have been out tidying up and replanting, so they are only a month behind schedule with some products," Mrs Maslen said.

"Many winter fruit and vegetables will be back in the market around the end of May.

"There's over 150 growers in the Gascoyne, with most of them in Carnarvon, and they are certainly resilient."

Tickets to the fundraiser cost $150 and are available at gascoynefood.com.au