Broome’s resident Masterchef Tamara Graffen takes her turn at being the judge.

Broome’s resident Masterchef Tamara Graffen takes her turn at being the judge.


Broome’s Tamara Graffen, 2017 Masterchef Contestant is looking forward to being on the other side of the score card at this year’s Willie Creek Pearl Meat Cook-off, held annually as part of the Shinju Masturi Festival in Broome.  

"I'm so excited to be on the other side of a cooking competition for once! In past Pearl Meat Cook-Offs, I've really admired the creativity of local chefs using such a unique ingredient that we are so lucky to have access to in Broome.” Mrs Graffen said.

Tamara will be following in the footsteps of fellow Masterchef contest Adam Liaw, who judged the 2016 cook-off.

Every year the event attracts Broome top chefs, who compete for the Pearl Meat Cook-Off Champion title. Each contestant is given a portion of pearl meat, a delicacy that retails for over $100 per kilo, and asked to create a unique dish for tasting. This year contestants will also be asked to include at least one native ingredient, and pair this dish to a selected wine.

“I can't wait to taste what the chefs come up with; the competition will be fierce and the additional pairing of wine and native ingredients with the pearl meat is guaranteed to produce some incredible and interesting dishes that won't be found on any restaurant menu in Australia." Added Mrs Graffen.

Willie Creek Pearl’s Hospitality Manager, Katie Halsey is coordinating the event for her second year running.

“Excitement is really starting to build around this year’s pearl meat cook off. Standards were really high last year, but I’m expecting the dishes to be even more creative and really ‘out there’ this year!” Ms Halsey said.

Pearl meat, is the the adductor muscle of the pearl-producing Pinctada Maxima oyster, which is removed when the oyster is no longer able to be used for producing pearls. Pinctada Maxima oysters are the largest in the world, and are native to the Broome region. Pearl meat is often exported to Asia or other countries,

Over 200 people are expected to attend the Cook-Off at Pearl Luggers in Chinatown, enjoying live entertainment and a true celebration of some of Broome’s best produce, including a Matso’s Beer tasting and even a Mango Beer Cocktail or two.

The Pearl Meat Cook-off takes place on the on Sunday the 3rd of September 2017. Tickets to the event are available online via the Willie Creek Pearls website and at the gate subject to availability. The event runs from 4pm, winner announced at 7pm.

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