Brilliant new batch of SA chefs rising

A new league of star chefs is making a big impression on South Australia’s dining scene. They are driving restaurant kitchens with aplomb and flair, even though many have taken the top job in kitchens for the first time, and their inventive menus are enticing a steady stream of curious diners.

Annual festival Tasting Australia has helped shine a light on this activity. In celebrating the nation’s best culinary experiences, the festival’s series of special banquets and dining events have put rising SA chefs in the spotlight, celebrating the flair and talent at work in our top restaurants.

Daniel Murphy is making a significant fine dining statement since taking over the stoves at Appellation restaurant, at The Louise resort in the Barossa, although his rise comes as no surprise to Barossa locals.

Daniel has cooked in the region at Fino Seppeltsfield, Saltram’s and was recently head chef at St Hugo Restaurant (ironically working beside executive chef Mark McNamara, who established the Appellation kitchen 12 years ago). Daniel’s first opportunity to construct his own menu has resulted in bold presentations of the finest regional fare.

Daniel Murphy of Appellation restaurant at The Louise resort in the Barossa Valley.

Max Sharrad recently moved from his head chef role at innovative pan-Asian hotspot Shobosho to now drive the stoves at Nido in Hyde Park. This new attraction, one of restaurateur Simon Kardachi’s popular suite of hip eateries, was beloved by locals through 20 years when it was called The Pot, before a recent refurbishment and change in style to an informal Italian-accented menu.

Max, who cut his teeth in the kitchen brigade at Orana, won the national Young Chef of the Year at the 2018 Appetite for Excellence Awards.

Oliver Edwards came to The Summertown Aristologist in the Adelaide Hills after leaving chic Melbourne dining den Cumulus Inc. He was inspired to dig for his own fresh vegetables on a nearby farm, then find inventive ways to present them as the primary attractions in his ever-changing Aristologist menu.

His hands-on commitment to producing all dishes from scratch extends to milling his own wheat (for house-baked sourdough bread) and corn, making cheeses, vinegars, preserves and smallgoods.

Oliver Edwards of Adelaide Hills establishment The Summertown Aristologist.

Such incisive thinking about food informs striking authenticity and integrity on the plate, capturing supreme freshness and vitality in a range of dishes that change almost weekly, in accordance with what Oliver harvests from the farm.

Tom Tilbury has made sustainability his signature, taking a serious view of the paddock-to-plate philosophy that ensures his menus at Gather @ Coriole in McLaren Vale embrace flavour from the ground up.

Foraging formed an integral part of the kitchen output at his previous restaurant – the tiny Gather Food and Wine in Robe – and has remained important to him since moving to the bountiful Coriole Vineyards estate last year. Tom’s close relationship with local farmers brings maximum freshness to his seasonal dishes.

Quentin Whittle at Herringbone is no stranger to Adelaide diners, although this is the first time that he has an ownership stake in a restaurant. He has a wealth of impressive cooking experience, from The Melting Pot, through The Stranded Store at Colonel Light Gardens, to Stone’s Throw at Norwood.

Quentin Whittle of Adelaide restaurant Herringbone.

All through this progress, Quentin delivers great generosity as he embraces many different cultures on every plate, finding delicious harmony between Middle Eastern, South-East Asian and southern European influences.

Flying under the radar of many diners is Janghoon Choi, the Korean-born chef and proprietor from +82 Pocha, a new Korean restaurant in Grenfell Street, Adelaide. Modest and highly skilled, Janghoon came to Australia in 2005 to study cookery and hotel management at Le Cordon Bleu campuses in Sydney and Adelaide.

“I want to be a cultural ambassador with my food,” he says. “Not many people know very much about Korean food apart from kimchi, but I aim to show that there is so much more to enjoy.”

The deliciousness of Janghoon’s food has caught the attention of Orana chef and Tasting Australia programming director Jock Zonfrillo, who included Janghoon in the festival’s elite Glasshouse dinners program.

“He’s a rising star,” says Jock. “He’s very talented, and as he gets more experienced, we’ll see some awesome things from him.”

Janghoon Choi of new CBD Korean restaurant +82 Pocha.

A rising generation of female chefs is also making an impression in leading Adelaide kitchen brigades and will be worth keeping an eye on as they progress.

This includes quiet achiever Hayley Goodrick, who is now head chef at SC Pannell winery restaurant at McLaren Vale, and Amelia Hussey, who has joined ambitious new North Adelaide restaurant L’Italy (which has superseded Walter Ventura’s Spaghetti Crab and Spaghetti Meatballs pop-up eateries).

Tasting Australia ambassador and Salopian Inn proprietor Karena Armstrong, respected among Adelaide’s most assured chefs and kitchen leaders, is fostering a great talent in Alisha Shurville – first employed casually as a 14-year-old student and now a permanent part of the Salopian team after having recently qualified as a chef, while scooping the award pool at trade school.

“If she stays focused,” says Karena, “I bet she will run her own restaurant one day.”

Feature image is Max Sharrad who is now driving the stoves at Nido in Hyde Park.

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Adelaide’s expanding appetite for vegan dining

Growing curiosity about veganism in SA has lead to a broader acceptance of vegan food in mainstream Adelaide restaurants.

No longer isolated as a fringe interest, vegan dishes are being featured in eateries that cater exclusively for vegans – and also at restaurants that had initially staked their success on the popularity of meat dishes.

American-born chef Greggory Hill has made vegan dishes a star attraction at Hispanic Mechanic Mexican Restaurant at Frewville in Adelaide’s southern eastern suburbs.

Appreciating that vegans shun all animal products, and eat only plant-derived ingredients, he has introduced a separate vegan kitchen and degustation menu as part of what the restaurant provides.

Hispanic Mechanic’s 10-dish vegan feast includes pantacones (crisp slices of deep-fried green banana and guacamole); tostones made with smoked corn, black-bean soy protein and chilli; bola sin carne (non-meat balls made of soy protein, rice and quinoa in chipotle sauce), and his quirky and delicious KFC (Korean-Fried Cauliflower), which has now become the restaurant’s most popular taco filling, far exceeding meat and fish options.

The popular KFC taco by Hispanic Mechanic.

“I’m always looking for the delicious factor, and I find it in how creative and inventive the Mexicans are with plant-based materials,” says Greggory. “This is where the really exciting deep flavours are.”

The spread of established vegan restaurants throughout Adelaide is growing, with notable attractions including Raw Conscious Eatery in Chapel Street, Glenelg, Salem Vegan Café on Marion Road, Ascot Park, and V-Vego at Gawler Place, Adelaide, where proprietor Coco Chen has noticed a surge in attention for the eatery since she opened in June.

She says it’s not just about serious eating, with the Asian-influenced vegan dishes featuring grilled zucchini, banana blossom salad and Dengaku Nasu (miso grilled eggplant). It’s about enjoyment and fun, as Coco Chen notes that pomegranate gin and tonic is V-Vego’s signature cocktail.

More new vegan eateries are emerging, including the recently opened Bob Bowls Café in Port Adelaide.

Jessie Morris of Bob Bowls Café in Port Adelaide.

Vegan caterer Jessie Morris has created a café space within the large Cult & Harper art gallery and retail space, after deciding to take a serious step beyond providing regular pop-up food stalls at events and markets.

“I seized the opportunity to have a crack at presenting this food in a permanent space – and I call it delicious street food rather than vegan, so that I don’t limit the number of people who’ll eat it,” says Jessie.

“I’m pleasantly surprised by the reaction, especially from 30–40-year-old blokes from offices, who first try it tentatively, but keep coming back for more.”

To demonstrate Jessie’s point, his All In Bob Bowl (sumac roasted pumpkin and baby spinach stacked with red lentils, pickles and coleslaw, toasted hemp seeds, fresh dill and house sauces) has become a universal favourite.

He points to other eateries in the heart of Port Adelaide featuring vegan and vegetarian options, at Raw Earth, Red Lime Shack and Drummer Boy, as a sign that vegan eating options are shifting towards mainstream acceptance.

“There’s no sign of this slowing down,” says Jessie. “There’s no limit to what a vegan menu can offer. It’s a springboard for a chef’s imagination.”

These vegan pumpkin tarts are works of art!

To underline the broadening interest in veganism, the annual Vegan Festival Adelaide has recorded a sharp escalation in attendees, from 7500 in 2015 to about 18,000 last year, including a sharp increase in curious non-vegans.

Numbers are expected to be even higher at this year’s festival in Victoria Square/Tardannyanga on Saturday 27 October, from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday 28 October, from 10am to 4pm.

“Everyone’s jumping on board, but I can only look at this in a positive light,” says Vegan Festival Adelaide director and festival co-ordinator Lea McBride.

“The number of options that vegans now have is so very exciting. To get people tempted into trying vegan dishes, we have to make our food taste so much better.”

Diverse food choices – from pickles through to extravagant vegan chocolate desserts – are being presented within a festival program packed with live performances, speakers, cooking demonstrations and more than 80 stalls with merchandise, information and food.

The informative nature of the festival also shines a light on I Choose SA Day on October 27.

Chocolate almond torta by Francesco’s Ciccetti at last year’s festival. Photo by Linda Tobitt.

Stallholders at the Adelaide Vegan Festival will display I Choose SA Day merchandise, so that consumers know the products are sourced from SA.

Escalating esteem for vegan food is also evident in the popularity of the Veguastation Dinner – an elite five-course dining statement that will open the festival on October 24, hosted in Prohibition Gin’s Gilbert Street warehouse.

Tickets for the fine dining experience, prepared by Sydney caterers Alfie’s Kitchen, who are flying into Adelaide especially for the event, sold out four weeks ago.

“Chefs are experimenting, working outside the norm with plant-based menus, and the results are both fascinating and delicious,” says Lea. “Adelaide is proving to be a leader in this area. Yet again, South Australia rides at the forefront of a powerful social movement.”

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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The rise of Mt Gambier’s Metro Bakery and Café

Two years ago, Mt Gambier’s Metro Bakery and Café was named the nation’s best bakery/patisserie at the Restaurant & Catering Association Awards.

Toni Vorenas heard the whispers from the crowd as the unsuspecting squad of South Aussies walked on stage.

“Everyone was saying ‘What’s Metro? Where on earth is Mt Gambier?” she laughs.

Just ask any Limestone Coast local and they will point you in the direction of this main street eating institution in the heart of the Blue Lake city.

Expect queues; the business now takes up five premises in order to cater for demand.

Aside from the lure of the baked treats and goods, Metro Bakery is a vibrant and quirky hotspot for wall art.

“When we opened at the end of 2009, it was my husband Theo’s dream to have a little coffee shop,” Toni says.

“We started from scratch and had no hospitality experience – Theo was a mechanic and I was a teacher – and we had a single room with one table, one coffee machine and five sandwiches on the menu.

“Now, we’ve expanded into the two shops beside us and one behind, added a bar, two commercial kitchens and an outdoor dining area.”

There’s also a second smaller venue, A Slice of Metro, at the eastern end of town, for customers on the go.

A former deputy principal, Toni counts many of her students among their 44 staff, but Metro has also attracted talent from much further afield, including three Filipino pastry chefs who have worked in Paris, Dubai and Sydney’s Star Casino.

Metro Bakery and Café owner Toni Vorenas with some of the delectable sweet treats.

“We advertised all over Australia for chefs without success, so then we turned to an immigration company,” Toni says.

“We are so lucky – they came with enormous skills and they are teaching them to our local kids.”

The Metro ethos is ‘one family’, and the staff are incredibly close. Toni and Theo have nurtured the sense of camaraderie with their strong focus on wellbeing.

“Last year we paid for yoga lessons, and this year we funded 10 weeks of boot camp; it’s not just about knock-off drinks, and that’s the old teacher in me,” Toni says.

“They have become one another’s closest friends.”

Desserts almost too good to eat. Photo by Frank Monger.

The sense of family extends to the customers, many of whom visit daily for a coffee fix, meal or take-away sourdough loaf.

Metro is the regular meeting spot for book clubs, park runners, mothers’ groups and live music fans, with a growing number of performers stopping by on their travels from Melbourne to Adelaide.

They all contribute to the Metro vibe, which Toni and Theo sum up by the Greek word ‘Kefi’.

It’s a vibe so powerful that many staff, including Toni, have the word tattooed on their skin, such is their devotion to this magnetic place they have created.

“Kefi means spirit and passion for life – that moment when you let go of everything that isn’t important and embrace everything that is – family, life, love, and joy,” Toni says.

“That’s what we encourage here.”

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Millicent’s Mayura Station a cut above the rest

A beef producer from the state’s South East has won top honours in Delicious magazine’s National Produce Awards.

Mayura Station at Millicent on the Limestone Coast won Best Product From the Paddock for its full-blood Wagyu beef, as judged by a panel top-heavy with some of the country’s most respected chefs.

“We’re over the moon,” says Mayura’s owner, Scott de Bruin. “But it’s almost as if we had an unfair advantage. We’ve got the rolling green hills and, it being the Limestone Coast, beautiful soil full of calcium, which is just what growing animals need.”

Mayura, founded in 1845 as one of the state’s first pastoral leases, came under the stewardship of the de Bruin family in the 1980s and the first Wagyu herd was imported from Japan in 1998 by Scott’s father.

Mayura Station owner Scott de Bruin.

At first they focussed solely on producing breeding stock, but Scott soon realised there was an opportunity to do more, so he bought some cattle from his father and started his own breeding program, focussing on the production of prime beef.

His hunch paid off when he took some samples to Adelaide. Mayura Wagyu first appeared on a menu at The Grange, headed by iconic SA chef Cheong Liew, and its popularity just exploded from there.

“Consistency has always been the key for us,” says Scott. “There’s a lot of science behind delivering a product with the best possible flavour and texture.”

The cattle go through a carefully regulated management regime to maximise the quality of the meat. The final stages of feeding, at what Scott calls the Mayura Moo Cow Motel, include some unusual ingredients; e.g. chocolate.

The stock are fed chocolate during the final stages of feeding.

“Yep, chocolate,” he confirms. “Usually factory seconds – Kit Kats are a favourite. It gives the meat a genuinely unique flavour that’s instantly recognisable.”

“Traditionally beef production is focussed on rapid growth at the lowest cost,” Scott continues. “But at Mayura our focus is on quality – slow, steady growth, which gives the beef a fine texture and a beautiful mouth-feel.”

Their hard work has certainly paid off, if the number of awards Mayura has received over the years are anything to go by.

Mayura Station is a major employer and tourism drawcard in the Millicent area, particularly since opening The Tasting Room, an award-winning on-farm restaurant that showcases prime cuts of export-grade Wagyu, matched with a range of top quality local produce and “museum wine vintages” from around the region.

“We’ve always had a strong emphasis on locals supporting locals,” says Scott. “Through our Wagyu Experience, Head Chef Mark Wright introduces diners to some of the delicious but lesser-known cuts of beef, matched with the best local ingredients and wines.”

For the record, Scott’s favourite cut of Mayura Wagyu is the Zabuton – a small fillet named after the Japanese pillow that it resembles – grilled over charcoal.

“One of the great things about good quality Wagyu is that nearly every cut is a grilling cut,” he says. “A couple of minutes each side and it’s ready.”

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Hong Kong has a taste for Adelaide’s The Yoghurt Shop

Adelaide Central Market-based The Yoghurt Shop is expecting to triple export sales into Asia in the next 12 months, with tubs of the locally made dairy product hitting Hong Kong shelves in August.

The 15-year-old company has been working with retail giant, Dairy Farm International Holdings, to have products stocked at 50 sites across Hong Kong.

The Yoghurt Shop’s tubs will make their way into two of Hong Kong’s leading gourmet fine food stores, Oliver’s and Market Place by Jasons, which is considered one of the highest end chain supermarkets in the region.

The Yoghurt Shop managing director Simon Reynolds.

Launched in Adelaide by owner Simon Reynolds in 2003, The Yoghurt Shop hit the Brunei market in August last year, and has its sights set on the entire South East Asia region by 2022.

“We’re optimistic and excited to be able to have our customers try more of our range as we spread across the territory – this is part of our paced and community based rollout across South East Asia,” Simon says.

“Looking forward to the next 12 months, we expect to triple our export sales in South East Asia from 3% of our total business to around 8%, with expansion in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as entry to Thailand and mainland China.”

The Yoghurt Shop sells more than 25 million tubs of yoghurt at 2000 retailers across five countries, offering flavours such as apple crumble, cacao crumble, rhubarb, and cappuccino.

Simon Reynolds, right, after The Yoghurt Shop’s natural Greek yoghurt won gold at the Dairy Industry Association of Australia awards.

It also stocks a range of frozen yoghurts, granolas and frozen berries.

In 2017 The Yoghurt Shop’s natural Greek yoghurt was crowned best in the country by the Dairy Industry Association of Australia.

The Yoghurt Shop products can be found at Foodlands, IGAs, On the Run service stations, Drakes Supermarkets and independent grocers and cafés across South Australia.

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Barossa Fine Foods rolls out big plans for 2018

Smallgoods producer Barossa Fine Foods is facing big changes in 2018, taking on another renowned SA business, undergoing a packaging rebrand and celebrating its 100-year-old family history.

Barossa Fine Foods, which has a long-standing retail presence across SA, announced today it has acquired 58-year-old seafood brand Angelakis Bros.

The company says it has acquired an agreement with Angelakis, officially taking over on May 4 and continuing with no disruptions.

The announcement comes a week after Barossa Fine Foods revealed plans to overhaul its branding and packaging to celebrate the Knoll family history and prepare the name for “rapid national expansion”.

Fourth generation family member and Barossa Fine Foods development manager, Alex Knoll, says the company is looking to have a larger presence in the eastern states.

“We’re approaching 100 years since my great uncle, Andreas Knoll, first ventured into the area of smallgoods and started a dynasty that, through various iterations both in Germany and SA, is now Barossa Fine Foods,” he says.

“With this milestone looming – and with us looking to gain a stronger foothold in the eastern seaboard states of NSW, QLD and VIC – we thought it timely to refresh our branding, and at the same time, have a bit of fun by sharing our history in a series of light-hearted back stories featured on our packaged goods.”

The company says the rebranding will also drive a large push into the burgeoning markets of Asia, while stimulating the local economy, creating new jobs and offering current workers greater opportunities.

It is understood the new packaging will hit the shelves from May.

The new packaging will be on shelves in May.

It will have a “consistent look and feel” across its 100g sliced range of more than 20 products, its 300g cooked sausages, 500g fresh sausages, pâté, kabana and ambient products.

Alex says that while the family prides itself on being progressive, innovative and forward-thinking, upholding tradition was paramount.

“So, while the brand identity has evolved to more accurately reflect a thriving 21st Century business with strong family traditions, we remain true to our high-quality award-winning products and artisan production standards as well as sourcing as many local ingredients as we can,” he says.

Barossa Fine Foods’ origins date back to post WW1 Germany when 15-year-old apprentice Andreas Knoll mixed his first leberwurst at a small goods factory in Munich in 1924.

The Barossa Fine Foods family.

The brand we know today was born in the early 1990s when third-generation Franz and Barbra Knoll purchased an existing business of the same name in the Adelaide Central Market.

Barossa Fine Foods currently employs 250 people across nine retail outlets throughout the state and in Victoria and has almost 300 stockists nationwide.

With its factory based at Edinburgh North, the company has some 600 products from hams, bacon, sausages and other Bavarian treats.

Barossa Fine Foods also runs Standom Smallgoods and Schulz Butchers at Angaston.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Loxton’s humdinger of a burger bar

A funky burger bar which wouldn’t look out of place in Adelaide’s vibrant laneways is drawing in regional crowds and reinvigorating a local live music scene in the Riverland.

It all started when local couple Jarrod and Kylie Loxton renovated a vintage caravan, turning it into a mobile bar for weddings and private functions in 2015.

“We named it after my pop, Ted, because he was a bit of a character,” Jarrod says.

It all started with Ted, the vintage van.

Ted was soon followed by Ruby, a 1956 Carapark Caravan – complete with porthole windows and named after Jarrod’s grandmother.

They leased a shed off Mill Road in Loxton (yes, the couple’s surname is also Loxton), to work from while renovating the vans – that then turned into Here’s Your Beer, a pop-up themed burger bar in November, 2016.

“That went gangbusters,” Jarrod says.

Shortly after, the couple was approached by the Moorook and District Club with a proposal – the venue, about 30km down the road was struggling to remain viable – did Jarrod and Kylie want to take it on?

“It wasn’t part of the plan,” Jarrod says.

But they took it on anyway and Locky’s Place was born.

The business now has three components – the vans which appear at various events, Here’s Your Beer Burger Bar at Loxton and Locky’s Place at Moorook.

Inside Here’s Your Beer at Loxton.

“Our main objective was to create a job for myself, I’ve been in hospitality since I left school but always worked for other people,” Jarrod says.

“We’ve grown over the three years and now employ 13 people including our daughter and our two eldest sons.

“It’s lots of hard work but it’s pretty enjoyable.”

Here’s Your Beer has a ‘pop-up restaurant’ feel and features an eclectic mix of vintage/retro furniture – much of which has been sourced from local garage sales and is often recognised by patrons.

Meanwhile, down the road at Moorook, Locky’s Place has been renovated with an “industrial New York” theme, and features booths and polished concrete floors.

The Loxton family.

Both venues often feature regular acoustic performances while jam sessions are held at Locky’s Place.

It’s not only local musicians who are put in the spotlight at Jarrod and Kylie’s venues, but produce is sourced from the local IGA and the local bakery supplies the hamburger buns.

The beverage list boasts lemon coolers from the Arnold Brothers at Loxton, beers from the Woolshed Brewery near Renmark and ciders from Jachmann at Loxton.

While you’d expect a trendy bar of this type would be popular with a younger crowd – which it is – it’s also proved a hit with older generations.

“I cannot put a blanket over the clientele, older people make a good proportion of our customers,” Jarrod says.

“I think they like that it’s casual and different to what they would normally go to and they get a good hearty meal. They’ll often walk in and say ‘this is a pretty cool venue, are we old people allowed in?’”

Here’s Your Beer’s most popular burger – the Humdinger.

The burger bar menu is “pretty simple – we’ve added to it as we’ve gone along”, according to Jarrod.

It boasts eight burgers including the popular ‘Humdinger’.

“The kids in the kitchen created that one day – it has hash browns, onion rings and a beef burger – it’s become the most popular on the menu,” says Jarrod.

Header photo courtesy of Stephanie Thompson, The Loxton News. 

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Woodside Cheese Wrights in for a slice of the USA

Self-taught cheesemaker Kris Lloyd is celebrating the next milestone in her business Woodside Cheese Wrights which is now exporting to the USA.

The Adelaide Hills cheesemaker’s first shipment has landed and is being distributed to major cities including New York, California, Boston and Connecticut.

“It’s taken quite some time and reams of paperwork, but we are finally able to get the shipment across the line and we are thrilled,” says Kris.

“It’s incredible to see stores in the US on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posting about our cheeses.”

Kris’ renowned Monet flower cheese has already made its way to the Big Apple with new packaging that extends the product’s shelf life from two weeks to six.

The Lemon Myrtle Chévre, Saltbush Chévre and the Artisan Buffalo Persian Style Feta are also hitting the shelves.

Stores stocking the 100% SA-owned cheeses include Plum Plums Cheese in Pound Ridge, New York, which Kris says sold out of Monet as soon as it arrived.

Woodside Cheese Wrights CEO Kris Lloyd with the famous State Brand shaped Monet. Photo by James Knowler / JK+Crew.

Woodside Cheese Wrights products can also be spotted at Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market in Connecticut and Hudson Valley Connect in New York.

With follow up orders already in the system, the Woodside cheese factory is preparing to send its second shipment.

Kris says there has been particular interest in Woodside’s native cheese range, which she has been producing for more than a decade with ingredients such as saltbush and lemon myrtle.

“It makes me realise, once again, that we should not take for granted what we have in our own backyard,” she says.

“This is something they don’t have so we can truly be competitive and give the distributor we are dealing with a point of difference to add to their portfolio.

“We are also working on trying to get Anthill – a goat cheese covered in Australian native green ants – to the US as well, as there is so much interest in that cheese.”

The Anthill caused a buzz among foodies in 2016 when it came 11th in a line-up of more than 3000 cheeses from all over the world at the World Cheese Awards.

Kris Lloyd was among the international judges.

Fellow judge Stephanie Ciano, who heads up the US Distribution Agency, describes Woodside cheese as “beautiful and delicious”.

“We are excited to have these lovely cheeses produced by Kris now available in the USA as they are a great representation of Australian terroir, tradition, and innovation,” she says.

Aside from her pursuits at Woodside Cheese Wrights, Kris is also behind Adelaide’s Cheesefest – an event celebrating the world of cheese – which is being resurrected in October after a three-year hiatus.

In 2017 she ran the inaugural Ferment the Festival in Rundle Park in 2017 which included not only cheese, but other fermented foods such as chocolate, bread, spirits and kombucha.

It is understood that Ferment will this year be incorporated into Cheesefest on October 27 and 28.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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TAFE SA patisserie lecturer to compete on world stage

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams is hoping to achieve sweet success when he represents Australia in the “Olympics of pastry” on April 24 and 25.

Justin, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA’s Regency Campus, will head to Singapore to compete in the prestigious Asian Pastry Cup in hope of qualifying for the world championships in Paris in 2019.

The pastry chef, who teaches a patisserie course at TAFE SA, has been working with teammate and Sydney pastry chef Sonia Quek, training for 15 hours a day for the event.

The duo has spent the past six months cooking with hundreds of kilograms of chocolate and sugar in preparation for the contest.

TAFE SA patisserie lecturer Justin Williams will compete in the Asian Pastry Cup in April 2018 in hope of qualifying for the world championships.

The Asian Pastry Cup is the biggest live pastry competition in Asia and is attended by talented pastry experts from a number of different countries.

Contestants must create two elaborate chocolate and sugar-themed showpieces, 20 desserts and two modern gateaux in eight hours.

Details of exactly what Justin will create are top secret.

“This event is highly competitive – it’s basically the Olympics of pastry – so we need to keep our cards close to our chest to get an edge on our competitors,” he says.

“We have put in many hours of training, trying and testing new techniques and finessing our creations for the event.

“We have put a lot into this so hopefully we can get a good result on the day.”

Justin says the pair has collaborated with 3D chefs and an industrial designer to help create structural elements for the chocolate and sugar showpieces.

“Our 3D chef creates a 3D image of our showpieces then prints each component using 3D printers and we then make moulds out of silicon from these printed items,” he says.

“Our industrial designer is designing and building our finished buffet decorations.”

The live competition will involve patisserie experts sweating it out over eight hours in hope of creating the winning elaborate showpieces.

Justin has years of baking experience under his belt after working as a pastry chef in hotels around the world.

TAFE SA educational manager Fee Lee says he is confident the Australian team will finish in the top three.

“TAFE SA has a strong record of success in these competitions winning in the SIGEP Remini in Italy and the Mondial Du Pain in France,” he says.

“Justin has taught the Certificate IV in Patisserie at Regency Campus for seven years. He has a strong background as an executive pastry chef having worked for many years in Australian and international hotels.”

Fancy a career in cooking? Check out TAFE SA’s courses here.

Pure joy for Tiff on Kangaroo Island

There aren’t many general managers whose daily to-do list of meetings and paperwork also includes crutching sheep and taking care of abandoned lambs.

But that variety is part of the joy which Tiff Turner finds in her role at Island Pure Sheep Dairy at Cygnet River, Kangaroo Island.

Previously an earth mover and panel beater in Western Australia, Tiff holidayed on Kangaroo Island and fell in love with the natural surrounds.

“I looked at the countryside with its mix of rural landscape and ocean views and decided this was where I wanted to be,” Tiff says.

Her first role at Island Pure was as a part-time milker, a job she did alongside earthmoving, operating rollers and a water cart as part of a road grading team.

Tiff Turner with Coco at Island Pure Dairy.

During the Christmas/New Year period one year, when road grading is put on hold because of the annual influx of visitors, Tiff took on the milking role full-time.

She was an excellent fit for the company, so the owners asked her to stay on full-time.

Working her way up into the role of general manager, she makes a point of staying hands-on and connected to the animals and the farm.

“If I am not careful, my role can get bogged down in paper and office work,” Tiff says.

“So I try to spend around three or four hours each day with the animals, and make sure I continue to be involved in all the roles including front-of-house, tours, the dairy and factory.

I like to be immersed in everything I do, and I wouldn’t ask my staff to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.”

The business, owned by Geoff Rischbieth, encompasses a dairy, cheese making factory, cellar door, permanent food van and soon, a micro-brewery.

Pure Island Sheep Dairy is not only a production facility, but an interactive tourism experience. It’s also soon to launch a micro-brewery.

Kangaroo Island Beer Co, as it will be known, is awaiting the final pieces of paperwork to come through, and the beer should be flowing in a couple of months.

If you visit before then, you’ll have to be satisfied with tasting the new cheeses that are on offer, including a Jersey Cheese, made with 100% Jersey milk from Fleurieu Milk Company.

A camembert and curd are also on offer, in addition to a red wine cheese made by repeatedly “drowning” the Island Pure kefalotiri in Kangaroo Island Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, drying it and ageing it.

“It is a unique cheese – not hard, not soft,” Tiff says.

“People who have tried it, love it, and they keep coming back for more.”

The products are available from the Island Pure online store, in IGA supermarkets, the Adelaide Central Market’s Kangaroo Island Stall, and at the Wayville Farmer’s Market.

“It is great to see the increase in visitors to Kangaroo Island,” Tiff says.

“Even better, people tell us they are staying for longer periods, or that they will be back to see us on their next holiday.

“The island is a beautiful place, and I love sharing that beauty and peacefulness with everyone who visits.”

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