Toodyay, a Wheatbelt town 90 minutes by car from the CBD, probably isn’t the first place you think of when the conversation turns to Mexican food. Sam Ward, the opening chef of Beaufort Street’s perpetually buzzing cantina El Publico, hopes to change that. For the next instalment of his Más Mexican pop-up series, senor Ward is bringing the show to the Avon Valley, in particular, the shearing shed at Baillee Farm.
Baillee Farm won’t just be providing the venue for Mas 4.0: its produce is also going to be featuring on the menu. From the Black Angus beef, dorper lambs and chooks raised on the property to wild sour grass, chickweed and native herbs, Ward will be filling his shopping basket with as much farm-grown produce as possible.
“The food is still going to have its roots in Mexican cooking, but there’s just going to be a few more Australian ingredients,” says Ward with a mock “Streyne” accent. “Oh, and everything’s going to be cooked over fire on the barbeque I’ve built, too. It’s going to be different and it’s going to be fun.”
Former Más-goers can look forward to more than just a change of location. Rather than a weeknight dinner, this instalment of Más sees Ward cooking a long-table-format Sunday lunch for guests. Speaking of which, numbers for this round of events are smaller than usual with each lunch capped at 20. In short, run, don’t walk (we’re speaking figuratively of course, you should really drive). “Mexico meets the Avon Valley” – to quote Ward – isn’t the sort of Sunday lunch that comes around all that often.
Más season four will be held at Baillee Farm. Lunch will be held on Sunday August 27 and September 3. Tickets are $75 per person (corkage included) and will be available online later this week.