The West

Chef to dish up history

Good food is good for tourism.

And 6.6 million visitors to WA enjoy the State's food and wine offerings every year.

The tourism industry is keen to boost that number to 11 million by 2020 and chef Don Hancey wants to help. But it's the history of food that he hopes will prove attractive.

As part of the national cultural and tourism summit Arts & Edges, to be held in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in October, Hancey is gathering information about the cultures and foods that have influenced the Goldfields over the past 100 years and beyond, ranging from the Afghans and Chinese to indigenous bush tucker.

He is working with local hospitality students and will present his findings - with a contemporary twist - at the summit.

"When you want to understand a place and its culture, an important first question is to find out what the locals eat, what they grow, the dishes that fuel their conversations and what part that food plays in community life," Hancey said.

"I want to create something that is as authentic as possible. The Kalgoorlie Historical Society is helping me - they have sent some old menus from special events in the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s.

"I think the end result will be something very interesting."

Hancey will not restrict himself to the immediate Goldfields region but will also look at influences "on the road to Kalgoorlie" as he follows in the footsteps of legendary prospector Paddy Hannan.

Arts & Edges runs from October 16-19 and is expected to attract thousands of visitors from around the globe. More information is available at www.raasummit.com.au

The West Australian

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