Matt Moran. Picture: Supplied

His love of fresh Australian produce and passion for food has taken him all around the country but *WA *holds a special place in celebrity chef *Matt Moran *'s heart.

The Sydney chef is set to head west in early May to begin filming the second season of his popular Foxtel series Paddock to Plate, and can't wait to get back over to explore more of the State's burgeoning foodie scene.

Moran revealed that his WA trip would take him to a number of regional areas in both the north and south.

"We're doing *Perth *, *Margaret River *as one episode, then we go to the *Southern Forest *, then we come back up and we go home for a week or so then we come back for a week or so and we do the *Gascoyne * and the *Kimberley *," he explained to _AAA _while in Sydney last week for the ASTRA Awards, where Paddock to Plate picked up most outstanding lifestyle program.

"I'm really excited, actually, because I know WA really well. I've been to *Broome * twice, and people ask me all the time what's your favourite place in West Australia and I'd have to say Broome. I went there once when I was in my early 20s and I went back there a couple of years ago."

On top of his upcoming visit to Perth in May, Moran will head west again in July to greet Perth foodies at The Good Food and Wine Show.

While he first gained recognition on national TV screens appearing on reality cooking series including MasterChef and Seven's former show My Restaurant Rules, Moran said working on Paddock to Plate felt like a more natural fit.

"For me, it's a great show to make, I've been involved in lots of reality TV for many years and this, to me, has a lot more integrity and meaning to me because, one, I'm a chef and, two, I'm passionate about produce," he said.

"Don't get me wrong: I'm incredibly grateful to the other shows like MasterChef. But at the same time, it's not what I want to do; I want to cook and I want to showcase the amazing produce we have."

But he also admits that the huge popularity of reality cooking shows has seen a renaissance in people's passion for fine food and dining.

"The more knowledge they can pass on to the average person, the better it is for me, because the more knowledge they have about food and what to eat better food, the more they'll want to go to better restaurants," he said.

"It's educating people;, I think shows like MasterChef and MKR, they're educating people about food."

Moran describes Perth's growing food and restaurant scene as "phenomenal" and hasn't ruled out one day bringing his foodie empire to Perth.

"To be honest I'd never say I wouldn't but there's nothing on the drawing board at the moment," he said.

VANESSA WILLIAMS

_ ·The writer travelled as a guest of Foxtel. _

'This to

me has a lot

more integrity and meaning to me because one, I'm a chef and, two, I'm passionate about produce.'

The West Australian

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