Join us at Biota in Bowral for a party celebrating local talent.
At his restaurant Biota in the Southern Highlands of NSW, chef James Viles is passionate about cooking with what surrounds him. What better way to showcase the region’s finest fare than a laid-back lunch with local producers?
CHEF JAMES VILES CALLS his guests today – a group of passionate local Southern Highlands producers – his bread and butter. “That’s how it’s happened at Biota. The relationships we’ve formed over the last seven years have been natural and local,” he explains. There’s Jo Dodd, from Quarter Acre Farm, who grows James unique wild weeds like flickweed and dandelion, as well as edible flowers – today she plucked a load of citrus from her trees and dropped them on the kitchen pass before sitting down to lunch. Jo introduced James to John Scott, a beekeeper, who keeps hives on the Biota property. From early days, cheeses from Pecora Dairy down the road have appeared on the restaurant’s menu. Garlic grower Russell McKean arrives at lunch brandishing a soil-laden bunch of fragrant green garlic – it’ll appear later tonight. What this means for Biota is a menu that changes not only seasonally, but often daily depending on who drops by.
Inspired by New York State’s Blue Hills at Stone Barns, a big expansion is in the works at Biota: luxury accommodation, a vertical garden, and a fruit orchard out the back. Of his guests, James says: “I want these producers to connect. They are bloody good people and they support us as much as we support them.”