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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WA's 'Best Jobs' Winner Gets a Taste for the Kimberley

WA's 'Best Jobs in the World' Taste Master, Rich Keam, has started his six month position with a Kimberley adventure, which included a tangle with a huge mud crab - that he later ate!

The 35 year-old, from Brighton in the United Kingdom, has spent his first two weeks as the Taste Master visiting Broome, the Dampier Peninsula and the East Kimberley.
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"I travelled around the rest of Australia about 15 years ago but never experienced anything like the Kimberley," Rich said.

"The rugged landscapes, the colours, the wildlife, the people and the adventures I've already had have been mind-blowing.

"And the food has been amazing too, particularly in some of the more remote locations like Kooljaman, Cygnet Bay and El Questro - as good as I've had anywhere in the world."

As per the Taste Master job description Rich has had to catch some of that food for himself,  which meant his first ever mud crabbing expedition with Indigenous elder Brian Lee near the Kooljaman luxury wilderness camp at Cape Leveque, 220 kilometres north of Broome.

"Brian Lee is my new hero, no question. Not only is he an expert mud crabber (he caught one monster by hand by duck diving in a tidal lagoon!) but he's extremely wise and a great teacher and story teller," Rich said.

"He showed me how to spot a mud crab hole at low tide, how to feel for the crabs deep in the holes and how to hook them out with a metal pole. It sounds simple but I can vouch that it is very exciting, and slightly terrifying, when you do find one. Brian also taught me how to pick up a mud crab without losing any fingers!

"At the end of a wonderful afternoon we put our catch on a beach barbeque and had an absolute feast of delicious mud crab meat."

To watch Rich's mud crabbing adventure click here (see below for embed code). Additional footage of Rich attemping to catch the mud crab can be viewed here.

Next stop on Rich's Dampier Peninsula road trip was the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Australia's oldest operating pearl farm, on the other side of Cape Leveque.

"Like most people I'd never been to a pearl farm before, and it was absolutely fascinating," Rich said.
"There is such a delicate science behind the whole process and a great deal of hard work to create the pearls. One of the by-products is the fantastic meat from the pearl oysters, which has a kind of scallop taste with a calamari texture.

"Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is an oasis in this rugged wilderness. It has evolved and expanded over the past three to four years, allowing tourists to visit and stay overnight, and they've opened a top notch bistro and cafĂ©. It's quite astonishing really.

"One of the highlights of our stay was the Giant Tides Tour, which is on a fast-boat out to see the huge tidal movement (around eight metres the day we were there) as King Sound was emptying. It was exhilarating powering over the tidal rapids and big whirlpools, then we went around the back of one of the islands to see a waterfall hundreds of metres long as the tide fell away from a reef.

"What a great start to my Taste Master adventure, I can't wait to see what the rest of Western Australia has to offer.

To see more of Rich's Dampier Peninsula road trip click here. (see below for embed code)As part of his six month stint as the 'Best Jobs in the World' Taste Master, Rich will visit all regions in WA. The 'Best Jobs in the World' campaign is a collaboration between Tourism Australia, Tourism WA and five other States and territories.

Rich beat more than 90,000 hopefuls to land the dream job as WA's Taste Master.

You can follow Taste Master Rich Keam on his blog tastewesternaustralia.com, on Twitter @RichKeam and Instagram @TasteMaster_WA.
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