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For almost two decades Moree on a Plate has celebrated talent from across the Moree community...

Dick Estens and Michelle Baxter of Grove Juice with Sara Chapman of North West LLS, and Tammy Sapphalakvoi and Kevin Cheong from Chill Out Café, who will be exhibiting at this year’s Moree on a Plate Festival.

For almost two decades Moree on a Plate has celebrated talent from across the Moree community, with local regional producers and food innovators remaining firmly at the heart of the festival.

And come Saturday, May 7, producers will once again have the opportunity to showcase and promote the exciting food and agricultural offerings from across the region, and beyond.

Established to showcase and promote the quality produce of the North-West Plains, Moree on a Plate President, Bethany Kelly, was thrilled the region continued to enjoy a strong ‘gate to plate’ culture.

“We are so lucky to know our farmers, see first-hand the provenance of our food and be assured that it is produced safely, sustainably and tastes the best.”

From olives to pecans, oranges to honey, there are vibrant industries developing across the district, all thriving from the rich black soil plains that cemented Moree as a cropping, grazing and cotton heartland.

Having recently enjoyed a string of favourable seasons, agriculture in the region is booming, with cotton currently being picked and winter crop being planted.

Dick Estens of Grove Juice is a long-term supporter of the festival as a stall holder and sponsor, and as a local cotton and orange producer, knows first-hand the strength of agriculture in the region.

“Out here on these black soil plains, if you put it in the ground it will grow.”

“We’re always happy to be involved in Moree on a Plate, the more we can educate audiences about where their food comes from, and share our fresh food story, the better, and Moree on a Plate is the perfect platform for this.”

A rich diversity of flavours will also be on offer at Moree on a Plate, reflective of the various cultures immersed within the community.

Tammy Sapphalakvoi and Kevin Cheong from ‘Chill Out Café’ will have a stall at Moree on a Plate again this year with their sell out Asian street food.

The couple has called Moree home for almost two years ago, after friends encouraged them to make the move.

“We were living in Sydney and the girls at Relaxing Café and Ma Ma Chim kept telling us how great Moree was, but we really didn’t take it seriously,” Tammy said.

Then Covid hit, with Kevin stood down from his job at the Star Casino.

“We packed up our life and headed to Moree and haven’t looked back. Our new life here has definitely exceeded our expectations – the people, the lifestyle – there’s no way we could live back in the city now!”

Tammy is originally from Thailand, with Kevin from Malaysia, and both said the opportunity to raise their children out of the city in a small community was also largely behind their decision.

“We love the freedom they have here, away from crowds, and everyone is just so nice – we’ve felt welcomed from day one and we have a great network of friends and support here.”

The couple runs ‘Chill Out Café’ in the Relaxing Café, selling Asian street food, and said their maiden Moree on a Plate last year was a sell-out.

“As soon as the crowds started to arrive we thought ‘wow’ this is huge! It was a great way to sell our products, promote our business and contribute to a fantastic community event.”

“We’re so excited for this year’s festival and can’t wait to help showcase new and exciting dishes to visitors,” Tammy said.

One of the major sponsors of this year’s festival is North West Local Land Services, with team leader Sara Chapman proud that the organisation is associated with such a premier food and wine festival.

“It’s fantastic to support an event that is showcasing local producers and sharing the message of provenance awareness, now more than ever people are vested in where their food comes from, and we can happily, and proudly, teach them, show them and even introduce them to the people responsible for feeding the nation.”

She believed the festival was not only helped build pride in the agricultural sector, but may inspire other agri and food innovators from across the North West.

“Over the years there have been so many boutique industries established across the region, from lavender to native bush foods, and we want to help provoke thought and encourage our local land holders to see how they too can value add on their own properties, for sustainability not only of their business, but for environmental outcomes also.”

Moree on a Plate President, Bethany Kelly thanked Sara and Dick for their very generous sponsorship.

"Without local sponsorship our festival simply wouldn't be, and we are so grateful to North West LLS and Grove Juice - we feel greatly honoured that organisation of this calibre share our vision and are committed to the ongoing success of Moree on a Plate."

Moree on a Plate, Saturday May 7, 2022


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