Harvey Beef burger the best

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman

For amateur home cook Gus Gallagher, of Belmont, his rendition of turning South West beef, processed by Harvey Beef, into a winning recipe, captured the essence of the high standard of quality produced in WA.

As the Bell Tower bells tolled and the San Cisco band’s drums beat, the Best Burger in the West competition winner was announced at the WA Day Festival at Elizabeth Quay on Monday.

The burger cook-off was an initiative of the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Buy West Eat Best program.

The Department’s project manager Melissa Italiano said with burgers trending in the national food scene, the contestants delivered recipes that were at the cutting edge of “dude food” — creative, fun, funky and appealing.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


The three expert judges were served samples from four finalist, from 17 entries, who earlier qualified by submitting their idea of an extraordinary WA home-grown burger.

The State was well represented as the competition demanded that all ingredients be derived from local produce.

The heat was on the judges as plated before them for top points was David Feighan’s Lambungus Burger, using Amelia Park lamb, Gus Gallagher’s Ruckus Burger, using Harvey Beef (mostly blade chuck), Shannon Vaz-Filion’s Charch Burger, using Mt Barker chicken and Joshua Goodacre’s Pulled Pork Burger, using Linley Valley Pork.

Judge Rob Broadfield said it was the complexity of smoked flavours from Mr Gallager’s beef burger that won the day.

“It was all about the heavy smoked protein,” Mr Broadfield said.

The judges also described the winning burger as a “labour of love” featuring beef three ways – beef patty, home smoked pulled beef and home-made crispy fried pastrami topped with cheese which had been cold-smoked.

Mr Gallager was having a WA of a day after the judges scored his winning burger 88 out of 105 points and Goodacre was a gracious runner-up on 77 points followed by Vaz-Filion (74) and Feighan (69).

Harvey Beef national sales manager Ben Martella contributed the win to the long association the beef abattoir and processing facility has had with the WA industry.

“We just experienced 97 years of processing all wrapped up into one delicious burger,” he said.

Judge and principal of JusBurgers Justin Bell will be serving Mr Gallagher’s Ruckus Burger for a limited time at his Perth locations to recognise the amateur cook’s accomplishment.

Meanwhile also bringing colour to the WA Day was Jakki Dodds, an inspiring horticulturalist, who runs her own garden of over 100 vegetables, fruit and herbs.

Ms Dodds, who suffered a stroke in 2012, said the garden was in part a healing therapy after being partially paralysed.

She also believes in colour therapy and how wearing colour can change the effects of moods.

“The brighter the colours you wear, the better you feel,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails