AS perceptions grow around a ‘disconnect’ between consumers and their food's origin, so do the number of venues around Australia delivering experiences for customers very close to the farmgate.
Whilst many celebrity chefs use agriculture or the origins of food for a competitive advantage, the experience stops there. This is great messaging, but even better are those venues committed to ensuring you’re left in no doubts about what’s dished up and where it came from. They give an experience that reflects strong relationships with their suppliers and farmers.
So to help spread the good word about our produce, I’ve listed a few of my favourites that I’ve stumbled across in Sydney and Brisbane.
If you’re going to cook at home, and you’re in Sydney, Victor Churchill will see your jaw on the floor with a shop and experience that rivals a French clothing boutique.
Meats are labelled with what they are, where they’re from and who grew them. The product's presentation is almost a personal experience and you’re left feeling proud that you’ve bought a product from a farmer who also places pride in growing the best and supplying the extraordinary.
From freshly shaved prosciutto to prime cuts of beef or lamb, you can come in and see the butchers chop, slice and cut through some of the best meat available behind floor to ceiling glass next to a ‘moving cool room’ that rotates hanging product for display.
Moving north to Brisbane we’re staying with beef. Wine bar and grill Moo Moo features more than 15 cuts of beef, sourced from all over Australia. When you arrive you’re greeted by a large dim-lit glass case filled with a hanging ageing forequarter.
From grass-fed Angus in Tasmania to some off AACo’s best grain fattened Wagyu, the staff here can tell you the breed, days on feed, feedlot name, days aged, fat score and in some cases the farmer that produced it. I reckon some would even know the colour and number on the name tag. Apart from shavings of Wagyu in Japan, I had not eaten well cooked Wagyu steak before. So I went for it. The menu tells me Wagyu is a western term for Japanese bloodlines: wa=Japanese and gyu=cattle. News to me!
I chose the F1 Wagyu 300g Rump Cap with a marble score of 6-9. Grain fed for 360+ days at Goonoo Feedlot in the Darling Downs. All information off the menu. It was the most flavoursome beef I’ve ever eaten and it melted in my mouth making it perfect for infants and the elderly but not to wasted on any specific demographic but be enjoyed by all.
To finish, dessert is a must and you couldn’t go past Cowch. Sounds like a couch, but looks like a cow... and gives a whole new meaning to a ‘milk bar’.
It’s a comfortable place to lounge and relax but comes with large traces of milk. This cocktail and dessert bar located in the guts of Brisbane’s Southbank and leaves you in no doubt of where the white stuff comes from. You can select from 22 different yoghurts, mouth-watering alcoholic cocktails and smoothies (that are served in glass milk bottles) or lash out and create your own ice-cream on a stick.
It’s easy, choose a ‘naked pop’ and then dress it up with molten white, milk or dark chocolate then decorate with berries, chocolate pearls, shredded coconut, brownie, mini marshmallows or even raw seed mix. You can sit around a central fire pit under light fittings that resemble cows udders.
These are some great places that border on education whilst championing Australian produce. Along with some very strong, positive and transparent media attention these last 18 months in Australia, not forgetting all the countless TV shows, we’re starting to see some of the best and safest food in the world being revered and a little more understood by those that enjoy it.