CHOCOLATE and dairy experts from across the country gathered at the Wilkinson Gallery, Claremont Showgrounds last Friday to see who won the prestigious Chocolate and Dairy Perth Royal Food Awards (PRFA).
The gelato category this year was the biggest it has ever been, with 62 entries including innovative flavour combinations such as whiskey and bacon gelato by The Milk Barrell, which won gold.
Cono Gelato was the overall winner, taking home the Champion Overall Dairy Product, Champion WA Dairy Product and Champion Gelato for its product Amalfi Coast.
This is the first year Cono Gelato has entered the awards, having started the business in January by going to Kyilla farmers markets with a gelato cart from Italy.
Cono Gelato prides itself on its sustainability, only using reusable glass milk containers, compostable ice cream tubs and seasonal fruits.
Owner Joe Scognamiglio said he knew the flavour was good, but wasn't expecting to go home with a few of the best prizes.
"To be honest with you, I got gelato champion and I was so happy that after that I stopped listening to what was going on because I was like 'oh my god, I won this and all these people have been here for so many years' and I stopped listening," Mr Scognamiglio said.
"And then I heard my name again and I thought 'what the hell is going on'.
"I was in shock and I wish I could live the moment again."
Mimmo's Gourmet Gelato won Most Successful WA Dairy Exhibitor, winning 17 awards.
Bracegirdles won multiple champion awards for its Mango, Cardamon and Honey and Daintree and Davidson Plum Block chocolates.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company was also a double champion award winner for its Mandarin and Black Sesame shell chocolate.
"The event this evening was a marvellous success, all the winners are absolutely fantastic products that have been produced here in WA and throughout Australia, so it is a credit to all our producers who produce us fantastic products," said Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia (RASWA) president David Thomas.
RASWA marketing executive Jane Moulynox said she was really happy with the number of entries this year from such a wide variety of entrants across categories.
"COVID-19 has been tough on everyone and some people have really struggled," Ms Moulynox said.
"If you're a small dairy operation, it's a lot of hard work these people put in. So it's nice to be acknowledged and celebrated.
"And a lot of little duos which is nice, couples just kicking goals."
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