From Farm to Plate
Suzanne takes a culinary journey through the State of Victoria, Australia
Do you think about where your meat comes from when buying off the supermarket shelves? Follow the story as I visit farms with MLA and learn more about grass and grain fed beef and lamb. I’m looking forward to exploring the farmers markets and taking in the Yarra Valley and the Melbourne Food Festival. Learning about the ingredients, their provenance and the food culture as I take in the Great Ocean Road and sample the delights of some of the award winning restaurants along the way.
I will be posting photos and Tweeting along the way. Follow me here, or on Twitter at @suzanneradford.
And I’m off, 12.5 hours to Melbourne on the A380 which seemed to pass by really quickly. Inquisitive about the food selection I chose the salmon ceviche with coconut, lime, chilli, avocado and tortilla chips. The restaurant style dishes are designed by Australian chef and restaurateur, Neil Perry. A restful sleep and on board entertainment and some delightful chats with members of the crew and we were ready to adjust our watches forward seven hours and I’m ready for landing.
First day in Melbourne.
Destination St Kilda and the beach. I walked to the end of the pier with a view of the boats, sea, city and went for the cauliflower salad, sharing local fish and the best seasoned chips ever. Soft in the middle and crispy on the outside!!
The Yarra Valley – getting the story on Black Angus at Gateway farm and shop.
Taking in The Yarra Valley
(Image courtesy of www.gatewayestate.com)
Interviewing Brett Spurling of Gateway Estate
Interviewing the Honorable Jaala Pulford, Minister for Agriculture at a Trade Mission event talking about the government’s commitment to trade overseas.
Discovering produce from the Yarra Valley.
At Florentino Upstairs by Chef Guy Grossi, My Kitchen Rules judge. Sublime tasting menu…
Yellow fin tuna, watermelon, fennel pollen, sorrel. Ravioli All’Uovo, egg yolk, smoked ricotta, butter, sage. She Wagyu Rump Cap, Chocolate souffle…
Lunch in the Yarra Valley just an hour outside Melbourne at Oakridge
Wagyu Beef & Egg to start then Marinated Lamb Rump, Pickled Mushroom, White Onion Sauce.
Then pastry chef Chef Rod with his secret recipe for the most divine Carrot cake with goats cheese panacota, a green sprinkle of dehydrated carrot leaves adding a salty flavour. Topped off with crumbled walnuts. Combining sweet, salt and savoury.
Chef Tim Holland gives a lesson in cooking steak without using a flame. On the 46th Floor with Victoria Invitation Programme. Great view of Melbourne.
It’s an exciting time of the year in Melbourne with the Australia Grand Prix Formula 1. I ‘teed’ off with Qantas and explored the culinary choices to ‘fuel’ the body.
Caught up with old friends Chef Guy Grossi who was cooking in the Ferrari hospitality, and Minister of Agriculture & Development for State of Victoria, Hon Jaala Pulford.
Queen Victoria Market
A day at the races and the Flemington Super Saturday event with the Melbourne Food Festival and the grazing trail… Local producers showcasing their food. From Thai strip beef to olives, cheese, chocolate and falafel!
Heading out of the city to the Great Ocean Road with rugged dramatic coastline and fantastic soil for dairy cows and cattle and sheep for beef and lamb.
Morrocan style lamb burger in pitta bread with pumpkin and rocket.
An exquisite experience at The Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld at the foot of Mount Sturgeon in the Grampians.
I stopped for lunch and enjoyed their fresh from the garden produce from the menu. A set menu including an entire of air dried duck, beetroot, lovage. A main of snapper, sorrel & carrots and desert of ginger poached green rhubarb & violet ice cream. Then a tour of the garden afterwards.
Wasabi, garlic and Mount Sturgeon.
With Bill showing me eucalyptus sap to soothe toothache, and to cleanse the hands. Wattle seed for bread and coffee, then I tried kangaroo and emu…
Talking to Charles de Fegely from Quamby Dobie sheep farm about diversifying breeds and getting the best lamb for the plate whilst respecting the animal and working against the weather elements.
With farmer Charlie De Fegely as he explains the farming process working with lambs and sheep.
Meeting with Tom and Lucy Gubbins of Te Mania farm who specialize in breeding Angus cattle and so building on a gene pool already 85 years in the making. It is a one-stop genetics shop – providing Angus bulls, semen, embryos, stud cows and ET recipients for the premium beef industry.
Tom explains how every animal is tagged and coded so being sure all your meat is traceable. The stud is continually expanding its structural assessment program to optimise soundness and performance in its stock. The program involves an independent assessor from BEEFXCEL analysing the structural composition of the herd on an individual basis. The program comprises of an annual assessment of all sale bulls, an annual assessment of all breeding females and donor cows, with any animals deemed inadequate immediately culled.
I met some amazing people along the way with a passion for what they do, for respecting the earth, farming and producing the best livestock and meat they can…
Tom Gubbins from Te Mania Angus…breeding Black Angus for farmers and working on always supplying the best beef they can.
So it’s time to head to the airport and the Qantas First Class lounge and dinner before boarding the A380. I opted for celebrity chef Neil Perry’s pasta bolognaise and my travelling companion went for the Angus beef steak!
Up, up and away I go leaving behind a land of fabulous food and a respect and care for its production and delivery. The journey doesn’t end though until you land back down on UAE soil. I got to continue the magic on board the A380 with fabulous pickings from the onboard menu and fantastic service and interaction from the Qantas onboard staff and it also meant I got to catch up on the movies I have been meaning to watch and time to recline and relax whilst reflecting on all the taste, flavours and people I met in Melbourne and the State of Victoria.