Everyone talks about paddock to plate these days, but this magazine started talking about it nearly three decades ago. It’s our 30th birthday
early next year and we are delighted that everyone has caught on to the fact that we need to celebrate the people who produce the food we serve to our families; the vegetables we put on the plate at dinnertime for our kids. I’ve just returned from Orange FOOD Week and I had a great time seeing all the regulars — nearly 180 people attended our annual Producers’ Lunch at the Nashdale CWA Hall. I also enjoyed a quick dinner at Lolli Redini in Orange. If you ever get the chance to go to Sim Hawke’s restaurant, you have to try the sweet pea, broad bean and fennel risotto with grilled zucchini flowers. I’m still thinking about it! Sim was one of the first people we featured in our Country Chef series, which launched in 2007. We started it because, when I was living in Katoomba, I had seen how a restaurant can really change a country town. People will travel for hours to visit a good one, and with that comes the tourism dollars for other local businesses, as diners also need accommodation, places to see and things to buy while in town. Tasmania’s New Norfolk must be experiencing this phenomenon right now. The Derwent Valley town recently had a visit from The New York Times, which reviewed one of its latest additions — The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery. The restaurant has been winning rave reviews in Australia for the food coming out of the kitchen of chef Ali Currey-voumard, who has this to say about its success: “We wouldn’t be half the restaurant without the produce and the relationships we have.” Well, we wouldn’t be half the magazine we are without the wonderful people living on the land that feature on these pages each month. You’ll meet some of them — farmers, winemakers and chefs — in this, our annual Food and Wine Issue, which is filled with stories about passionate producers and foodies.
Enjoy the issue,