Trevor Perkins is a Gippsland native whose passion for regional cuisine and love of viticulture led to the inception of Hogget Kitchen and its paddock to plate approach to dining.
“I believe Gippsland has everything,” he says. “I grew up exploring the region from an early age; hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, 4X4 driving, abseiling, sailing, water skiing, snow trips… you name it. For a chef, it gets even better. The produce we grow, raise and forage is incredible because of the rich land, heavy rainfall and prosperous climate,” he continues.
Perkins is grateful for the wealth of the environment around him and strives to share this abundance with fellow adventure loving foodies.
Check out his favourite things to do in Gippsland.
1. Cast a line
Discover the beauty of Gippsland and walk upstream of rivers dotting the region with a fly rod. Perkins recommends contacting local guide, Cory, from Fly Addiction for top tips on fishing in the area. For salt water or surf fishing, Ninety Mile Beach is the place to be.
2. Hit the trails
Set off on a hike through pastoral countryside or around idyllic coastlines. Stroll at a leisurely pace or pack a bag and tackle a more challenging trail. Perkins loves discovering the maze of moss-covered granite tors along the Mushroom Rocks walking track. He’s also a fan of Toorongo Falls and the tall mountain ash and blackwood trees peppered across the hills in Mount Worth State Park.
3. Perfect brews
Get your coffee fix at Perkins’ favourite local haunts. Stop in for a strong cup of joe at Main Street in Warragul, or sip a skinny latte or chocolate-infused mocha from South Brew Café, also in Warragul. On the road heading east? Yarragon's Café Piccolo serves up a mean road-trip brew.
4. Discover the Prom
Soak up horizon-to-horizon views at the southern-most tip of Australia’s mainland. Wilsons Promontory National Park is around 50,000 hectares of unspoiled wilderness with white quartz beaches, rugged granite peaks and native wildlife and fauna aplenty. Perkins rates it high on his Gippsland must-see list and recommends the walking trails and camping opportunities.
5. Farm fresh shopping
Browse the stalls of Warragul Farmers Market on the third Saturday of every month. Perkins says you can get everything you need, from seasonal fruit and vegetables to flowers and fresh meat. He also recommends some of the area’s more permanent fixtures, including Baw Baw Food Hub and Warragul Lean and Green, where you can stock up on freshly baked sourdough, organic fruit and small goods from local producers – perfect for a picnic.
6. Tee off
Grab your clubs and spend a relaxing afternoon on the green. Gippsland is home to a number of world-class golf courses, with Perkins' home club, Yallourn Golf Club among his top picks with courses in Trafalgar, Leongatha and Warragul all ranking high on his tee list.
See Trevor and more Gippsland makers in action at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Regional edition in November 2022.