The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

JAMES Viles is chef and di­rec­tor at Biota Din­ing in Bowral, in the NSW­south­ern high­lands. Best re­cent din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: Syd­ney’s new Gas­tro Park: great peo­ple, great fit-out and a pro­gres­sive ap­proach. Must-buy in­gre­di­ent: Edible ferns — for­aged, of course. Most em­bar­rass­ing pantry item: A tin of suspect Asian mush­rooms that’s been in the same spot for about three years. Can’t live with­out: 70 mi­cron vac­uum bags. We use about 1000 a fort­night as all our root veg­eta­bles are slow cooked sous-vide along with the Bul­tarra Salt­bush Lamb and pork neck. Next big thing: Vapours — the dis­till­ing of botan­i­cals from the kitchen gar­den. We store them in tiny vials and use them through­out the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Favourite cui­sine: Ja­panese for sim­plic­ity, and clean flavours. What I’m cook­ing at home: Slow-cooked ev­ery­thing. It’s quick, pain­less and yummy. I hate: Any­thing moulded on a plate. Keep it hon­est, nat­u­ral and free form. Worst meal I ever ate: Camel cooked in a sand hole — gelati­nous camel hump does not sit well. I had this in Oman when I was in­vited to eat with a lo­cal fam­ily. Big­gest culi­nary in­flu­ence: Michel Bras and Marc Veyrat. My last sup­per: Any­thing in­volv­ing pork, Mount Ma­jura wines and my beau­ti­ful wife.


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