Liz Egan has an ad­mis­sion: when it came to buy­ing toma­toes, she would usu­ally opt for Ital­ian. But ever since tast­ing Ard­mona’s vine-ripened sweet­ness, it’s Aus­tralian­grown all the way for the Vic­to­rian chef.


Growingin Vic­to­ria’sup on Yarra the Val­ley Wan­tirna meant Es­tate be­ing Vine­yard en­veloped in a pri­mary-pro­duc­ing, food-lov­ing fam­ily for renowned chef Liz Egan. “I was so for­tu­nate to spend my child­hood there,” she says. “It re­ally gave me a clear, early un­der­stand­ing of where food comes from and about sea­sonal grow­ing and eat­ing.” Know­ing the source of the in­gre­di­ents she’s us­ing is clearly very im­por­tant to the chef, but no more so than depth of flavour.

daugh­ters know best

“My mother came from an Ital­ian fam­ily,” says Liz, “so I first learnt about cook­ing beau­ti­ful food from her, and she’s still a big in­flu­ence. It’s prob­a­bly partly why I had a pref­er­ence for Ital­ian toma­toes. But, also, taste has al­ways been a guid­ing fac­tor for me. It was ac­tu­ally my daugh­ters who con­vinced me that Aus­tralian toma­toes can be just as flavour­some as Ital­ian, if not more so. So I gave Ard­mona a go and now, hon­estly, it’s all I buy.”

home, sweet home­grown va­ri­ety is the spice

While Liz has only re­cently made the switch to Aus­tralian tinned toma­toes, the fact is, for more than 90 years, Ard­mona prod­ucts have been the ul­ti­mate cook’s com­pan­ion. The brand is 100 per cent com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing lo­cal grow­ers by only choos­ing Aus­tralian-grown, vine-ripened toma­toes – in this in­stance, from Vic­to­ria’s beau­ti­ful Goul­burn Val­ley. “I love the fact Ard­mona uses pho­tos of the ac­tual grow­ers,” says Liz. “Each tin tells a great story in those im­ages.” For this In­dian-in­flu­enced lamb dish, Liz is us­ing Ard­mona Diced Toma­toes, their sweet­ness com­bin­ing well with the spices: “Tomato is one of the most ver­sa­tile in­gre­di­ents you can use – it plays such a big part in much of the world’s best food. “So many home cooks are ac­com­plished th­ese days and en­gaged in Aus­tralia’s food cul­ture, which means be­ing open to many cuisines. Home cook­ing has never been bet­ter, es­pe­cially with eas­ily avail­able, great pro­duce like th­ese toma­toes.”

CLOCK­WISE (from top): Liz Egan grates gar­lic for the lamb dish; adding the Ard­mona Diced Toma­toes; pre­par­ing the spice mix; and rub­bing it on the leg of lamb; sea­son­ing the onion mix.

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