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.