The sunset on arrival and live music made for a warming entrance before guests were called to their seats. Mouths were sent watering as Shore Leave’s Midwest Paddock to Plate began with six long tables overlooking the foreshore and Geraldton Port. Guests filled the space between delicious dishes with paired wines and laughs among friends. The first course created by Vasse Felix head chef Brendan Pratt was a unique dish of beef tongue wrapped in lettuce on top of a pool of beef fat milk. Brined in sea water, apple cider vinegar and juniper berry for 24 hours, slow-cooked for 48 hours and finally shaved and barbecued, the dish brought a flavoursome smokiness similar to a sweet and milky anchovy without the fishiness. A delicious pair that should not have been missed. After the dish was finished guests were left with a gentle saltiness in their mouths, washed down with a Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay. The night started to cool down as guests waited patiently for the second course, a carrot risotto with macadamia, Bookara goats cheese and Block 275 canola topped with Geraldton Wax flower made by chef Melissa Palinkas. The blandness of the carrot with textures similar to quinoa paired well with the goats cheese — an unusual sensation of sour flavor that finished well with the saltiness and crunch of macadamia nut. The crowd cheered as Mid West chef Portia Bodycoat addressed her dish on stage. Third course was a lamb neck croquette with pan-seared scallops and a sea lettuce sauce vert “resembling the connection of the land and the sea”. The mint sauce could have been plated more generously, along with the delectable secret sauce no one could identify as it created a balance between the seafood and lamb. The sea scallops were perfectly cooked, the lamb seemed dry but the flavor was divine. Chef Jenny Lam created the fourth course of pork dumplings with a smacked cucumber salad to share between eight guests was fresh and spicy all in one. Overall, my favourite dish went to Brendan Pratt, the delicious beef tongue dish offered the most flavour and bizarre qualities I would more than likely order again and again.