Country Style - - YOUR PAGE - STEVE ROGERS

Af­ter years spent work­ing in Mel­bourne and Paris, chef Steve Rogers and his wife Sarah moved to the Mace­don Ranges in 2008 to start a fam­ily, then opened Kyne­ton restau­rant Mid­night Star­ling three-and-a-half years ago. Steve be­lieves the re­gion has lots to of­fer vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing beau­ti­ful coun­try­side, out­stand­ing pro­duce, and more than its fair share of highly re­garded restau­rants. Can you rec­om­mend some lo­cal restau­rants? Du Fer­mier in Tren­tham is a favourite. Annie Smithers cooks rus­tic French farm­house food us­ing pro­duce she grows in her kitchen gar­den. Kazuki’s Restau­rant in Dayles­ford of­fers an ex­cep­tional din­ning ex­pe­ri­ence. The food is in­spired by owner-chef Kazuki Tsuya’s Ja­panese her­itage and the pro­duce around him. What’s the best place for chil­dren? Pizza Verde in Kyne­ton is a good place to take the kids for an early din­ner. Do you have a favourite café? The Tren­tham Col­lec­tive — they have great break­fast and lunch menus, and the ser­vice is al­ways friendly. Best cof­fee? Mon­sieur Pierre in Kyne­ton serves All­press cofff­fee. What’s your pick of the lo­cal wines? Bindi Wines in Gis­borne is a favourite — Michael Dhillon pro­duces won­der­ful pinot noir and chardon­nay. And Joshua Cooper [the son of the wine­maker at Cobaw Ridge] is mak­ing and sell­ing amaz­ing wines un­der his own la­bel. Are there any no­table provi­dores? The char­cu­terie at Piper Street Food Co. is a must and Powlett St. Ices pro­duce fan­tas­tic ice-cream and sor­bet. What lo­cal pro­duce is worth seek­ing out? The black truf­fles from Ge­orgie at Aussie Truf­fle Dogs in Tren­tham and pas­ture-raised beef from Sam and Mi­randa White at Si­do­nia Beef. Is there a good farm­ers’ mar­ket in the area? The Kyne­ton Farm­ers’ Mar­ket is held on the sec­ond Satur­day of the month at St Paul’s Park on Piper Street. Keep an eye out for Anna Kelly from Plains Pad­dock Lamb — she has great pro­duce and is al­ways good for a laugh. Can you sug­gest some nat­u­ral at­trac­tions to ex­plore? Nearby Turpins Falls — when it’s flow­ing — and Bald Hill Re­serve are both worth a look. In Kyne­ton it­self, the Cam­paspe River Walk is al­ways good.

CLOCK­WISE, FROM RIGHT A beau­ti­ful ta­ble set­ting at Tren­tham’s Du Fer­mier, where Annie Smithers serves rus­tic French food; chef Steve Rogers at Mid­night Star­ling in Kyne­ton; the restau­rant serves clas­sic bistro fare, such as this roasted spatch­cock with pe­tits pois à la Français.

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