Highland winners at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show

DELICIOUS: Gumnut's Yasmin Soulsby and Josh Nickl enjoy some of their award-winning salted caramel tarts. Photo: Lauren Strode
DELICIOUS: Gumnut's Yasmin Soulsby and Josh Nickl enjoy some of their award-winning salted caramel tarts. Photo: Lauren Strode

The Highlands impressed with honey, dogs, cattle, birds and baking at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Gumnut Patisserie’s success is seemingly never-ending, cleaning up with 37 medals including two champion ribbons.

Gumnut won Champion Pastry of the Show 2017 and Samantha Trotter was awarded Best Apprentice/Student Exhibit of the Show 2017.

Of the 37 medals, eight were gold, 19 were silver and 10 were bronze.

It was the salted caramel tart which won the champion pastry and Gumnut kitchen manager Yasmin Soulsby said were one of their bestsellers. The tart will also be served at the lunch for the championship winners on April 18.

“Being a tart we can prepare the filling beforehand so it’s not as dramatic as some of the other desserts we do,” Yasmin said. 

“We’ll prepare the filling and finish them on the morning of and drive them up there.” Gumnut has enjoyed plenty of success at shows throughout the years and Yasmin said they always entered a range of new products along with those sold in store.

“We always enter in the show new products, new gateau, come up with some new cakes and if they do well we’ll put them into the shop.”

Yasmin said passion was Gumnut’s secret to continued success.

“We’re all very passionate about what we do. We use fresh ingredients and we just keep updating our skills and knowledge,” she said. 

“We’re always wanting to better what we’ve done before and not let the ball drop.”

Shows and competitions are another way pastry chefs are able to improve their skills.

“It gives the apprentices a chance to have a go at something new. Most of the competitions we go in have apprentice classes and open classes,” Yasmin said. 

“So we encourage all the apprentices to go in the apprentice classes so they can learn new skills. Once they’ve mastered that, they can do them all the time in the kitchen.”

Bowral-based Bulwarra bees won first place for their dark honey in the open and small producers categories at the National Honey Show, held as part of the Easter Show.

This is after taking first place at the Moss Vale Show for the fourth consecutive year.

Bulwarra bee-keeper Greg McLaughlin said the prize confirmed their product was the best dark honey in Australia.

“This reaffirms the Highlands as one of the best food and produce destinations in NSW and Australia,” he said.

This continues with Bulwarra bees previous success at the Sydney Royal Easter show, winning first and second place in 2015 and third place in 2016.

Bulwarra Bees sells a range of creamed and liquid honey, available from the Bowral and Berrima markets, as well as retail stockists throughout the Southern Highlands and Sydney.

Highlands’ cattle took out senior champion awards in the beef cattle category.

Mittagong’s Anthony Robertson found success after he took out the Reserve Senior Champion Female award in the Limousin class, and Glenquarry’s Greg Ebbeck secured the Junior Champion Bull award in the Speckle Park class.

Bowral’s Stuart and Samantha Moeck took out multiple awards with their Simmental breed.

The couple won the Simmental – Senior Champion Female, Simmental – Grand Champion Female, Simmental – Reserve Senior Champion Bull, and Most Successful Simmental Exhibitor.

Mr Moeck said he was particularly pleased they had won Most Successful Simmental Exhibitor for the past consecutive three years, but there was one title that still eluded him.

“I’m aiming for a Supreme Champion next year, we keep going well but not getting right up where I’d like,” he said.

“It keeps it interested to have to keep striving for it, but I’m glad we keep getting up there, it shows we’re consistent and not producing one-hit wonders.”

The poultry section saw Wildes Meadow’s Nick Gilvarry take out the Champion Buff Silkie section. “I’ve always thought they were an interesting breed, and I’ve won this class for the past six years,” he said.

Bundanoon’s Peacock family won every place with their Welsh Harlequin Ducks. They won first, second and third in both the drake and duck sections, and took home the Champion Ribbon.

The Highlands dogs also sniffed out gold at the Easter Show.

Berrima’s Frances Wilson took out the Intermediate Bitch award in the dog competition, and Bowral’s Victor Hugo won the Baby Puppy dog award with his Shetland Sheepdog Ronashill Blue Tycoon, or Ty for short.

Mr Hugo has been showing and breeding Shetland Sheepdog’s since 1968, and began bringing his dogs to the Easter Show in 1986.

“It’s great fun, we show dogs about twice a month,” he said.

 “They are the friendliest dogs – not too small that they get under your feet, but not so big that they knock things over.” 

The 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show was held April 6 to April 19.