Chilli fest goes green

Chilli fest goes green

Araluen Botanic Park foundation’s Tenielle Doutre in the park’s chilli garden. Photograph – Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne.

Araluen Botanic Park’s wildly successful Chilli Festival will have a new ingredient added to its recipe this year, the humble avocado.

The Botanic Park foundation decided to merge its chilli festival with its fledgling avocado festival in a new location on the Victoria Park foreshore on March 11 and 12 this year.

Foundation manager Grant Nixon said they made the decision to merge the festivals because the two ‘super fruits’ complemented each other.

“We just felt there was a really good fusion between the two super foods if you want to call them that,” he said.

“If you think about salsas and guacamole and those sorts of things its mostly avocado with a bit of chilli in it or mostly chilli with a bit of avocado depending on where your heat tastes are.

“They just work really well together so it was felt we could extend the chilli festival to something that was a little bit special by adding the avocados.”

Araluen grows thousands of chilli’s each year to sell at the festival.

He said the festival gave the foundation a chance to showcase the park and local hills growers to the rest of the city.

“One of the first marquees you walk through will be the Araluen village, it’s all of the things we do at Araluen and there will be tulip bulbs, avocados and chillies for sale.

“We also have the hills orchard improvement group selling local produce.

“It’s about showcasing the hills and Armadale.

“We’ve been running the chilli festival for 14 years now, its trying to get that connectivity so people say wow that’s fantastic we’ll go up and have a look at Araluen or go up and buy fruit from the local fruit growers.”

This year patrons will be able to sample Perth’s best chilli and avocado alcoholic beverages including avocado margaritas, ‘avocoladas’, avocado beer and chilli wine.

For the sweet tooth there will be products like chocolate chilli filled Bomboloni or for savoury lovers French crepes with avocado and chilli wiener schnitzels will be on offer.

Celebrity Chefs will be on stage demonstrating how to use chilli and avocado in everyday cooking.

On the garden stage horticulturalists will provide expert knowledge to grow and create avocado and chilli orchards at home.

Tickets are $20 for adults with the proceeds going toward the Araluen Botanic Park foundation.

For more information go to facebook and search for Araluen’s chilli and avocado festival.