– by Alex O’Neil
Fervor is a pop-up dining company specialising in contemporary Australian cooking. Owner, Paul Iskov, says they have been locally sourcing produce in the hopes of opening people up to sustainable living practices as well as introducing them to our native ingredients.
Growing up in regional Western Australia I loved wandering the bush in search of nature’s bounty. I knew a few native ingredients – one such ingredient being the fruit of the quandong. We would collect the low hanging berry–like fruit and make seasonal jams. However, many ingredients escaped my notice and I find it unsettling to have lived in such proximity, and for so long, without truly knowing the sustaining role of the bush, which had always seemed so dry and unforgiving.
Fervor brings these native ingredients, which have always been there, to light and showcases them as the delicacies that they are. I have had the chance to talk with the business owner Paul Iskov who started the business in March 2013.
What inspires you?
PI: I am very passionate about WA and it is difficult to imagine not being inspired when travelling such an amazing place. Our produce, which many people don’t know about, not only have very unique flavours but have proven to be extremely beneficial to our health and it is wonderful to see how receptive people are to trying these. We hope that with our dinners, we can also create awareness about the importance of looking after our environment and ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
How would you describe a Fervor dinner?
PI: We travel throughout Western Australia, including remote towns, to find the most unique and breath-taking settings to use as the venue for our restaurant. Our dinners comprise of between 8-14 course meals that are based on local, native and sustainable ingredients. We take our diners on a culinary journey where conversation with the chefs and fellow guests is encouraged. This is a highly interactive evening with the guests viewing the cooking and plating throughout the night, finishing off with toasting their own petit four marshmallows as a group at the end of the evening. An evening with Fervor is not just a ‘dinner out’; it encourages people to expand their knowledge, learn, and teach others around them, whilst at the same time promoting, respecting and appreciating the wonderful produce that Western Australia has to offer!
Where do you source your produce?
PI: We source our ingredients from some very supportive farmers such as WA Sandalwood nuts, Marvicks Farm and The Bushfood Factory and where possible, we work with speciality producers. Apart from this, we collect small amounts of fresh foraged ingredients, with a necessary license in designated areas. In each location, we also try and support as many local producers as possible by incorporating their produce into our dinners.
PI: As a majority of our dishes are new experiences to guests, we get exciting feedback about most of our dishes, although if there was one guests are always excited about, it would probably be our local fire roasted marron with shaved youlk, green trea ants, lemon myrtle emulsion and home-made sea salt.
What is the best thing about travelling the state and plating up a purely Australian dining experience?
PI: We get to see all the wonder that Western Australia has to offer whilst meeting wonderful people from many different places. By using Australian ingredients, we not only give guests a new and eye-opening experience, but we also get the opportunity to work with new, amazing ingredients.
Photo Credit: http://www.fervor.com.au