24 Jun 2017, 3:37 p.m.
GUESTS were eating sheep cheeses, drinking local wine and cuddling lambs at an Allenview farm’s Scenic Rim Eat Local Week event.
Towri Sheep Cheese farm owner Carolyn Davidson welcomed more than 50 visitors to her property on Friday to Lunch with the Lambs.
Executive chef Cameron Matthews created several shared courses with Ms Davidson’s sheep cheeses, Kalfresh carrots and Witches Falls wines, to enjoy a taste of the region’s local produce.
Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen welcomed guests, including High Commissioner of Singapore Fook Seng Kwok and Senator James McGrath.
Mr Christensen also presented the special guests with an Eat Local book and a frame of the Scenic Rim before the lunch began.
Ms Davidson said she has been a part of Scenic Rim Local Week since the annual campaign began.
“We are a family of entertainers so we love inviting people into the farm and this is definitely one of our highlights of the year,” she said.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase what Scenic Rim has to offer and it’s amazing how big the spectrum is of what there is here, from sheep cheesemaking to camel milk.”
Coming from a Merino wool breeding background, Ms Davidson said it was no surprise she opened her own sheep cheese farm in the Scenic Rim 12 years ago.
“I think sheep might be in our DNA – we can’t get enough of them,” she said.
“It took a while for people to get their heads around sheep cheeses but more and more people now are realising there’s more things out there than cow’s milk.”
Fantastic!!! what more can I say, truly the best example of a “modern” bistro that I have eaten at in my time in Paris, Amazing service, interesting wines and delicious, interesting interpretations of some classics……
Its taken me a few days to think about this meal, and to actually make up mind as to whether I enjoyed it or not, unfortunately I have come to conclusion, that it just didn’t work for me……although I love what the Septime team have done for sustainable practice throughout the Paris restaurant scene.
SO before I go on – here are the 14 reasons why Septime was awarded the San Pelligrino worlds top 50 restaurant, most sustainable restaurant award……pictures of my meal after!
Of the produce used at Septime, 99% is grown in France – the exceptions being coffee, sugar, vanilla and certain citrus fruits. The restaurant recently invested in a farm near Paris and also sources from a number of urban farmers within the city.
- Seed saving
Like former winner Azurmendi, Septime is into seed preservation – the restaurant works with farmer Christophe Collini and 10 other chefs to save 1,400 seed varieties in a project called Conservatoire du Gout.
- Vegetable focus
Veg accounts for 80% of the menu at Septime, with dishes such as roasted cauliflower, pickled pears, bottarga and seaweed butter
- Whole animal
When using meat in the restaurant, chef Grébaut buys the entire animal and uses it seasonally, enhancing the more unconventional cuts in terrines and broths or in staff meals.
- No beef
Because of the negative environmental impact of beef and the difficulty of finding meat that meets Septime’s high standards (France is more geared towards dairy than beef cow production), the restaurant doesn’t serve beef.
- Meat sourcing
Septime uses free-range chicken slaughtered after 150 days – that’s nearly three times the UK minimum of 56 days. Pork is sourced from three natural farms raising native and local breeds: the Basque Kintoa pig, the black Bigorre and the White Western pig – the three breeds are endangered because they’re unsuitable for the intensive farming industry. Lamb, rarely served in the restaurant, comes from Mont Saint-Michel.
- Sustainable seafood
Septime only deals with fishermen using 12m or smaller boats focusing on sustainable methods – angling, bottom gillnets, traps and trammels, coastal and dive fishing – which limits the impact on the marine environment. The previous day’s catch determines what goes on the menu. Grébaut also favours a number of less ‘fashionable’ fish, such as sardines, hake, horse mackerel and pouting.
- Fair treatment of farmers
The restaurant sources seafood from a supplier who deals directly with small-scale French fishermen and pays 20% more than the market price. In some cases, Septime asks farmers to plant special vegetables and then guarantees to buy all of the produce at the best price.
- Natural wine
Septime has its own 2.5-acre vineyard in Saint Emilion, which is being converted to biodynamic production. All the wine served at the restaurant is natural and much of it delivered by barge from the Rhone to Paris. The producers refuse all forms of pesticides, herbicides and other synthetic chemicals often used in winemaking. The restaurant also supports vineyards hit by recurrent poor weather through a scheme called Vendanges Solidaires.
- Filtered water
Refusing plastic containers, the restaurant only serves filtered water served in old wine bottles.
- Spreading the word
Team Septime actively participates in Mangeons Local, a movement to support local agriculture and the local economy. They are also members of Bon Pour Climat, reducing the carbon footprint of the hospitality sector. In serving their dishes at the restaurant, front-of-house staff make special efforts to detail the contents of each dish and the origins of all ingredients.
- Supporting the community
Grébaut and Pourriat are involved in a number of ways to support the local society, including involvement with Farm Africa and an organisation called Ernest, which links restaurants with charities feeding those in need. They offer internships and apprenticeships to locals, and tips are divided equally between all employees, from the maitre d’ and the sous chef to the dish washer.
- Gender parity
Septime is fairly unusual in the male-dominated restaurant industry in that it employs 51% women. All staff are paid at least 1.3 times the French minimum wage and with tips, this can rise to twice the minimum wage.
- Environmental impact
The team at Septime wasn’t satisfied with the recycling and waste management offered by their local authority in Paris so they started working with a private contractor who helps them measure and monitor waste. Ingredients and cut-offs that would usually be thrown away are instead reused in sauces and dishes, and any surplus is used for staff meals. The restaurant is also working on a to-the-gram correct portioning concept.
Would I go back? – yes, I think that the presence of Celebrity Action Bronson, filming and cooking in the restaurant may have cause a hiccup in our dinner and caused the team to lose concentration. Interested to see where this restaurant heads over the next couple of years, one to watch closely.
The special pop-up event was organised by UKHarvest – a new national charity based in Chichester which redistributes quality waste food to people who need it.
CEO Yvonne Thomson, from Chichester, said: “It went really, really well.
“To have such an incredible chef as Cameron was a massive coupe and he was so impressed with the young people at the college.
“He led on the menu made from all food that would have ended up as landfill.
“I think the young people were shocked with what can be done with surplus food.”
The event, on Wednesday, June 7, was the first of many planned as part of a new collaboration with the college.
Yvonne said: “I have to say it was an absolute privilege working with Chichester College. It’s the start of a new alliance and the level of support was amazing.
“We are not just about rescuing food but also education, showing people what can be created from waste food and the college got that straight away.”
Australian chef Cameron – who runs a top restaurant in Brisbane – was at the college’s new £3m Café 19 and 64 Restaurant & Bar most of the day teaching the six students how to create the meal, which was then served to around 35 guests.
UKHarvest launched in March this year from homeless charity Stonepillow’s hostel St Joseph’s in Hunston Road.
The charity redistributes waste food from supermarkets like M&S and Waitrose to those who need it.
It helps Stonepillow feed up to 100 people each day and Yvonne says she’s amazed by its success already.
So as it turned out, Frenchie Paris is just at my doorstep, great planning (except i had no reservation) and although I couldn’t get into the restaurant as such (they have a one month waiting list) the Frenchie bar across the lane was fantastic, the atmosphere & service were just as you want in a packed Parisian bar & the sound was track very cool. The food verdict, equally as good (if not better) than Covent Garden!
After visiting French earlier in the year (see the dishes from that visit below), I wanted to return to see what a new season had to bring, it didn’t disappoint either, great (simple) food, cooked with passion……..potentially too much much passion judging from the language coming from the kitchen when Chef Marchand arrived, making the ladies on the opposite table to me blush but who am I to speak………I love the food & atmosphere here.
The dishes from my May 2017 visit
Another awesome lunch, amazed at the amount of Australian talent working here, was served by a waitress from Noosa, a Sommelier from Brisbane and knew one of the chefs in the Kitchen.
Scottish langoustine in two servings
So after gaining some insider knowledge after a meeting with the Sustainable restaurant Association, last nights dinner was at Duck soup in Soho, Delicious food served shared style in a way too cool basement…….what more could you ask for, oh they also played vinyls…….excuse the pictures, it was only lit by candle light, but need to share the food as is was fantastic.
The first course, smashed it – it had been a long day – and I didn’t remeber to photograph before it was devoured, but a simple dish of finely sliced yellow courgette, dressed with dill, yoghurt and barley, with a great olive oil and vinegar……..alongside a text book negroni, yes please.
I have been a follower of Amass and Chef Matt Orlando via social media for some years now and it seems some what unreal to have had the privilege to spend time in the kitchen and dine here, it was an awesome experience in not only food but true “hospitality”. Here what a lunch a this fantastic restaurant looked like!
“At Amass, we believe in a holistic approach to food that not only prioritizes our guests and gastronomy, but also the environment and our future as an industry. Our gold organic certification, which insures that 90% to 100% of our food and beverages are organic and free of pesticides, is only one of the many initiatives we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint. By sourcing nearly 95% of our products locally, minimizing ingredient waste and saving water, we want to go beyond labels and give as much care to how we operate as a restaurant as our farmers and purveyors do with the soil and sea.
Furthermore, we want to prove that both environmental and financial sustainability as well as deliciousness are mutually reinforcing, not mutually exclusive. Food trim and brown cardboard provide compost for our on-site garden. In the kitchen, we are constantly thinking of how to extract the most out of our ingredients without resorting to the waste bin. We use coffee grounds for flatbreads, dehydrate herb stems for seasonings and fry fish bones as snacks.
Everyone, from restaurants to home cooks, can make a difference, but it first requires a will to do so. Many of our ideas are not the most technically advanced, but they do require effort. We hope you are as inspired as we are to make the most of what we have now, so we can protect the food we love for the future.”
taken from the Amass website
The lamb loin was well aged, as all the meats that are used are, upstairs in the specific meat aging rooms.
“The garden at Amass represents the soul of the restaurant. We currently have more than 80 different varietals of plants, including leafy vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers that appear on our menu daily. But our garden is more than ingredients: It’s the inspiration for dishes to come, making each day a work in progress.
Our garden isn’t just for us. We want our garden to be a learning environment and urban oasis for our guests and community. The garden amasses friends, family and neighbors to have a glass of wine next to the sunflowers, a post-dinner coffee by the nightly bonfires, or even a sniff from our lavender patch.
As an educational tool, everyone, from chefs to locals, are welcome to learn from our sustainable agriculture initiatives. We also use the garden as the basis for the Amass Green Kids Program, our farm-to-table initiative for local schoolchildren.
So please come and enjoy our small piece of nature amidst the industrial settings of Refshaleøen.
taken from the Amass website
AMASS & ORGANICS
“Every restaurant has a choice and at Amass we choose to use organic products whenever possible, from beverages to produce to meat and even some of our linens. Because of this commitment to organic sourcing, the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment has given us the Gold Organic Certification, which guarantees that 90-100% of our products and ingredients are organically certified.
The Danish Gold Organic Certification is an assurance to our guests that their food and wine are free from pesticides and the meat on their plates comes from livestock in which animal welfare is paramount. Gastronomically, we depend upon the health of farmland to deliver superior ingredients not only in the present, but also year after year. By relying upon pesticides and chemical fertilizers, we don’t have that guarantee: we will eventually have to pay the price in degraded soil and inferior crops.
For us, organic products are just the beginning of a much larger dedication to ethical procurement. We want to work with vintners and farmers who also believe that organic principles are not simply a series of checks on a spreadsheet. In our kitchen, we respect the product as a whole and by visiting nearly all our purveyors, we can be secure knowing that they treat the land and natural resources with as much consideration as we do with their goods.
We also want to insure the financial health of small farms who produce specialty products. To preserve the forgotten fruit varietals, rare heritage crops and breeds, we collaborate and support those farmers who care more about saving endangered flavors than making profits.
To protect marine health, we carefully research how our seafood is obtained: All of our seafood is wild and caught using non-invasive methods such as line or non-trawler fishing. We also use wild fowl in season and herbs provided by professional hunters and foragers that not only meet but agree with our ethical standards.
We recognize not all goods can be certified organic; however, we would rather adapt our menu than to compromise our sourcing principles.
There are, of course, problems with organic farming, regulations and certification and we realize this. But in promoting organic practices, we hope for an agricultural future not dependent upon chemicals, high yields and minimal environmental protections, but one which has farmers working symbiotically with nature to produce delicious food sustainably.”
taken from the Amass website