Page 1

Issue 3

Breeze magazine

Apr/May 2012


The Food Issue

Plus A Day Trip to Long Jetty and Toowoon

Bay, create your own kitchen garden and explore a magnificent hinterland home



Thank you to the ever-wonderful Lisa Haymes for her stunning shot. Thank you to Mike and Wen of Lodgeworthy for the gorgeous table. Thank you to for the perfect feather. And thank you to Nola Charles for kindly lending us her beautiful chairs!

COPYRIGHT Š Breeze magazine. All rights reserved. Copyright of articles and photographs remain the property of Breeze magazine or of the contributer and may not be reproduced without prior permission.

Issue 3


Breeze magazine

The Food Issue! We have clocked up the miles for this one ... and had a wonderful time discovering some of region’s most exciting food producers. The images we ended up with are absolutely stunning, so you’ll have to forgive us if the odd rural scene pops up out of nowhere. A big thank you to all those featured in our food stories. We would like to remind all our readers that this region produces some first-class foodstuff. Get in there and support the producers, farmers’ markets and local grocers! Thank you also to the businesses of Long Jetty and Toowoon Bay who we profile in this issue. And thanks too, to our wonderful contributors, advertisers and readers. You are the people who keep Breeze going.

Until next issue!x


This time, Lisa hit the road with us and took many of the shots in this issue. We love her company and her talent! Lisa Haymes is a Central Coast-based photographer and artist. She graduated with distinction in photography at the National Art School in Sydney, also studying experimental drawing and architectural theory. She has travelled widely and worked in television, publishing and advertising.

Vanessa wrote our piece for Fine Dining, p. 122 UK food and travel writer, Vanessa Teklenburg, has lived in the Middle East, in the South of France and in Sydney. She left London, where she wrote for BBC Good Food, Homes & Gardens and Country Kitchen, in search of “glorious open spaces, blue skies and quiet” for her and family, and to dream about her very own B&B-cum-café. The Central Coast is her new home. Contact Vanessa Rick wrote and photographed Coffee p. 108 Red Magnolia Photography & Design was born out of Rick Dunne and his wife, Tamma’s passion for photography and capturing the beautiful moments that arise as relationships start and families grow. Based on the Central Coast, their photographic interests tend towards weddings, children and family portraits that reflect the joy they find in raising their own two boys. Contact Red Magnolia Photography Daniel produced an amazing companion film to our Spirits and Liqueurs piece p. 90. See the link with the article. Daniel Grey is a Central Coast-based photographer and filmmaker. While most of his training happened behind the camera, there was a brief stint at Newcastle Uni. Currently shooting commercials and music videos, he aspires to one day make a film about Bay Village Shopping Center or some Hobbits.

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10 Day Trip - Long Jetty and Toowoon Bay 30 Reader’s Recipes 44 The Food Issue

74 Chevron

46 Bread

82 Organic Produce

56 Fruit Wines

92 Spirits & Liqueurs

64 Cheese

102 Chocolate

110 Coffee

162 Mushrooms

118 High Tea

172 Seedlings

124 Fine Dining

182 Autumn Gardening

134 Macadamias

198 Hinterland Heaven

144 Herbs & Spices

220 Vietnam

152 Citrus & Avocadoes



A modern beauty salon in the heart of old-style Hardys Bay. Full range of beauty treatments using dermalogica products.


Ph: 0419287994

Shop 5, 1 Killcare Road, Killcare, NSW


Vintage Garden

luxury dog beds find us on facebook!

preston hunter interiors preston hunter interiors consult, design, decorate

consult, design, decorate studio & store hours: tuesday to friday 10am – 5pm studio & & decorating store hours: service: tuesdayby to appointment friday 10am –only 5pm design design & decorating service: by appointment only 61F webb street east gosford nsw 2250 p 02 4324 2000 f 02 4324 2011 61F webb street east gosford nsw 2250 p 02 4324 2000 f 02 4324 2011 w e w b e f b f

Day Trip ↓

The Entrance

Long Jetty

Watkins Jetty

Long Jetty

Blue Bay

Parrys Jetty

Toowoon Bay


Illustrations by

Lauren Merrick

Long Jetty and Toowoon Bay Long Jetty and Toowoon Bay are like sisters from the early 20th century, who married into different spheres. Long Jetty, dusty and sun-bleached, hugs The Entrance Road as it jettisons travellers towards The Entrance and resort towns further north. Toowoon Bay, green and serene, sits snugly behind the action, welcoming a select few who know its charms and those who are staying at the upmarket Kim’s Resort on the beach. The waterways, as much as anything, have helped develop the disparity. Long Jetty, living up to its name, is home to three jetties that extend over Tuggerah Lake. In the 1900s, the jetties formed a bustling fishing and transport hub, and were a significant drop-off point from Wyong in the days before a vehicle-worthy road linked the areas. Eventually, the road was built and did away with Long Jetty’s ferries, but fishing is still synonymous with the area. Contrast this hive of activity with the calm and comfort of Toowoon Bay: situated behind a pristine jewel of a

beach that has seldom had to work for its living. It has remained beyond the reach of commerce, and been set apart for rest, reverence and relaxation. Despite being just streets from each other, I’m pretty sure things are still awkward when these sisters get together for the odd family gathering. However, it is their very differences that make Long Jetty and Toowoon Bay such great day trip destinations. In the last six months, there has been growing momentum in the retails strips of each town. Where else could you experience such different dynamics, in such proximity? Yet there is no sense of competition between these siblings. They each have their own sense of place: Toowoon Bay the elder sister, with all her maturity; Long Jetty the younger half, on a renewed journey of discovery. Set on spectacular waterways and just a stone’s throw from each other, who could resist a day trip to explore these different worlds?


L 12

ong Jetty

For so long looking like a 70s resort town that time forgot, Long Jetty has experienced an energetic influx of young talent, who have opened edgy vintage shops, cafes and galleries. Attracted by the cheap rents and grungy patina, the new kids in town have made Long Jetty the go-to place for great food, coffee and all things vintage. Trading on the area’s flaws has brought out its underlying potential. The regeneration of Long Jetty draws obvious comparisons with Sydney’s Newtown. However, Long Jetty is like the treasure Newtown was 20 years ago, before she got self-conscious and selfimportant. There’s an authenticity here that is hard to fake and equally hard to resist.



eautiful Garbage

ome. Gallery This gallery for hire is Beautiful Garbage owner Brendan’s latest venture in his revitalised ‘hood. An accomplished artist himself, Brendan has provided a stylish venue that also retails vintage and handmade furniture, including his own striking painted furniture. Homewares, jewellery and collectables also feature. The gallery is open by appointment and enquiries can be made directly to Brendan at Beautiful Garbage. 0405097721 Shop 3/308 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


Explore this treasure trove of vintage and new clothing, bric-a-brac and vintage homewares. Owner Brendan Walsh’s artistic leanings are in evidence in his quirky store. It is jam packed with finds, but manages to feel bright and friendly. Brendan has been peddling vintage at Long Jetty for some years and has definitely come to love the area’s rough edges. 0405097721 Shop 300 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW




eautiful Garbage


umpanickle Vintage


umpanickle Vintage Pumpanickle Vintage is one of the recent arrivals in Long Jetty, the brainchild of Leisa Mayes and husband, Ben. The couple have a shared love of treasure hunting and a commitment to giving old pieces a new story. Together they have created a shop that is quirky and welcoming. It’s the small touches that make Pumpanickle Vintage unique - the rainbow layout of racks, the happy yellow walls and the scrawled “No, your bum looks fine” on the changeroom mirrors! Leisa has had a lifelong love of fashion and a dream to open her own quirky shop. There are original vintage finds, sourced worldwide, as well as fabulous pieces made by Leisa from vintage materials and upcycled jewellery and accessories. Pumpanickle Vintage is also the only Central Coast stockist of cult classic Salt Water sandals.

0420311221 Shop 298 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday and will soon venture online. Nothing beats the warm welcome in store though!


umnut Antiques and Oldwares

This is one of the few quality antiques shops left on the Central Coast. It has been situated in Long Jetty for several years now, with Denise and Steven Koszek having relocated from their Gosford store. There is an extensive range of china, glassware and objets d’art, with larger pieces located in two storeys at the rear of the shop. The range is astounding and of interest to both serious collectors and those with a general love of old and beautiful things. Open Thursday to Sunday. (02) 43344444 / 0428257725 Shop 296 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


he Lunch Break

Refurbished and taken over by mother and daughter team, Sharon and Alex, The Lunch Break provides quality takeaway with a limited amount of seating inside. They open at 7 am and close after lunch, Monday to Saturday. Perfect when you need that early caffeine hit or a quick sandwich on the run! (02) 43329779 Shop 304 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


he Glass Onion Society

Wamberal couple Ana Koutoulas and Ben Wright have found the perfect home for their cafĂŠ gallery and clothing shop in Long Jetty. Taking up a large corner site, they have created a visual anchor for the expanded vintage quarter and also supply great coffee. The large space is filled with an eclectic and casual mix of secondhand finds, including a record player, which is constantly spinning

your parent’s vinyl collection. Furniture is grouped informally so that you can find an area to accommodate your number or just a chair that suits you mood. Artwork rotates each month, there is also live music each month and a regular pop-up garden stall. An adjoining room is reserved for clothing and accessories - a nice mix of vintage, upcycled, new and locally handmade items. Despite opening just last November, The Glass Onion Society has quickly established a following and word continues to spread. Open 7 days. (02) 43261650 Shop 1&2/308 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


oastal Country Home Brew Supplies

Making your own wines, liqueurs, spirits and, of course, beers is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment. Bob Watson has over 20 years of experience in this area and a passion for passing on his knowledge. He also makes a point of extensively trialling every product he stocks, making him an invaluable resource for those just starting out. Bob’s shop at Long Jetty has a dizzying array of supplies, including those needed to make most popular types of Australian beers, as well as many foreign beers. Complete kits are available for beers, spirits and liqueurs. Coastal Country Home Brew Supplies is a clever find for novices and experts alike. Shop 304 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty, NSW


he Glass Onion Society



oowoon Bay

A few blocks east from the lake, Toowoon Bay seems timeless, and yet its small retail area has been through huge shifts in the last six months, too. Fresh, new businesses have moved in to add variety, without compromising on quality. The feel is the same but the choice is exploding, and for visitors and locals alike it’s enticing.

Surprising though it seems now, Toowoon Bay does have its origins firmly in ‘trade’. In the mid 1800s, the area was settled by Chinese fishermen who cured and smoked fish which was then shipped to the NSW goldfields, to Queensland and even back to family in China.


a Promenade en Paris

Owner Annabelle has baking in her blood. Her father was the force behind La Tartlette at The Entrance and he now wholesales, supplying many on the Coast, including The Crowne Plaza and Magenta Shores Resort with pastries. He also supplies his daughter’s tiny patisserie.


reakers Bay Cafe & Deli

Gina and Donna supply Toowoon Bay with deli items and café fare, including delicious sandwiches and great coffee. This is the perfect place to grab quick and tasty food on the way to Toowoon Bay’s stunning beach. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten the picnic rug, it’s almost as nice eating inside the café! (02) 43338005 90 Toowoon Bay Road, Toowoon Bay, NSW

Annabelle’s vision of a French-style patisserie for the Central Coast was fulfilled when she saw the old fashioned shop on Toowoon Bay Road. The building was once a barber’s and locals still remember fondly that it also sold lollies. The talented Annabelle also makes beautiful soy candles. To combat waste, candle containers can be refilled, with the same flavour or with a completely different one! 0425288616 78 Toowoon Bay Road, Toowoon Bay, NSW




alon Botticelli

Boticelli’s Venus is an evocative image for a beauty salon. Gabrielle McLachlan and her team offer high-quality hair and beauty treatments in the luxurious yet relaxed environment of this newly refurbished salon in Toowoon Bay. Colourist and stylist, Stacey Dean, is much sought-after for wedding and formal hair and beautician, Vanessa Wheat, has recently joined Gaby’s team. Salon Botticilli is open Tuesday - Saturday by appointment. (02) 43337011 84 Toowoon Bay Road, Toowoon Bay, NSW


rends at the Bay Boutique

This boutique is one of the longestestablished businesses in Toowoon Bay. Lyn Olesen opened the door some 20 years ago and was joined by her friend Jan nine years ago. The boutique specialises in smart-casual wear and sees a lot of business come via Kim’s Resort. They stock brands such as Sabatini, Fred Sabetier, Sandwich, China Doll, Didier Parakian and Nu. There is also an extensive range of jewellery and accessories. Open 7 days. (02) 43342311 87 Toowoon Bay Road, Toowoon Bay, NSW

Coast 89

Peita and Michael were keen to open a café on the Central Coast and fell in love with Toowoon Bay. Luckily they also saw the need for a place that makes quality food and exceptional coffee. They wanted to create something special for locals as well as attracting visitors to the area. The corner location, formerly a fish and chip shop, was the perfect fit for their casual and stylish beach café.

Hard work saw them open two days before Christmas and in the intervening months, Coast 89 has gained quite a following. The café is the flagship location for award winning Di Gabriel coffee on the Central Coast. They specialise in breakfast and lunch but, in response to local demand, have started opening for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, too. This has been hugely successful and bookings are recommended. The café is fully licenced. Open Tuesday - Sunday. (02) 4333 7999 87 Toowoon Bay Road, Toowoon Bay, NSW





wo Birds Gallery CafĂŠ

The two birds in this nest are Kerry Knight and daughter, Merrin. They opened Two Birds Gallery in mid2009, representing well-known and award-winning artists, including many locals, and stocking a stylish array of giftware. When the chance came to move to larger and more character-filled premises within Toowoon Bay, they enthusiastically added a cafĂŠ to their business. Kerry and Merrin seized the opportunity

to bring something original to the area by combining their exclusive range of art and gifts with locally roasted coffee (Glee Coffee in Tuggerah) and fresh, simple food. The plan has certainly worked, with more space are even more incredible treasures available than before. Two Birds is becoming just as well known for their food and coffee as they are for the beautiful products they stock.

Gallery of Lost and Found

Open 7 days. (02) 43336742 104 Pacific Street, Toowoon Bay, NSW

Achecking lso worth out


Huge range of vintage wares. 352 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty.

House of Stuff

More vintage. Some amazing large pieces. 384 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty.

Websters Vintage

And more vintage. Great place to rummage. 10 Thompson St, Long Jetty.

Browse About

Fab source of secondhand clothing. 395-397 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty.

Sorella Pizza Kitchen

Soon to open in the Toowoon Bay shopping village.

Toowoon Bay General Store

Lovely traditional-style corner store. 80 Toowoon Bay Rd, Toowoon Bay.

The Bay CafĂŠ

Long-established quality restaurant. 141-143 Toowoon Bay Rd, Toowoon Bay.



wo Birds Gallery CafĂŠ


Reader’s Recipes

Photograph by Caroline

(recipe from All rights reserved)

Caroline Cumming

Rhubarb Frozen Yoghurt Stewed Rhubarb – makes approx. 2½ cups 12 large stalks of fresh rhubarb Juice and zest of one large, sweet orange 4-5 teaspoons of honey A dash of filtered water Frozen Yoghurt – makes 4-6 scoops ½ cup of plain yoghurt 1x vanilla bean (split lengthwise in half and use the scraped-out extract. Alternatively, use 1 teaspoon of shop-bought vanilla extract) 4 teaspoons honey 2½ cups of stewed rhubarb Stewed rhubarb: place the rhubarb, juice and zest into a heavy-bottomed pan with a dash of filtered water. Bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat with the lid on, until the rhubarb softens and breaks down, stirring occasionally. This takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Once stewed down, remove pan from heat and cool, to room temperature. Add the honey, stirring into the mix. Taste and adjust as necessary. Your stewed rhubarb is now ready or will keep in a jar in the fridge for about a week. Frozen Yoghurt: place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until mixed. Place the mixture in a plastic container with a lid loosely on top. (note: a shallow container will allow the rhubarb to freeze more quickly). Freeze for 45 minutes. Remove container from freezer and place the rhubarb mix into a bowl. Whisk for a few seconds to aerate and break up the ice crystals. Then replace the mix into the plastic container and freeze again for 45 mins-1hr. Repeat the whisking process. This time, tip the rhubarb mix into a smaller, yet deeper, plastic container, to enable good scooping later. Freeze for another 45 minutes. Remove the container from the freezer and fork through the mixture to break up ice crystals. Put back in the freezer until frozen or until you want to use it. Serve and go to heaven: remove the frozen rhubarb yoghurt from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to scoop it. Serve with raw, unsalted pistachios, some fresh and sweet orange and a dollop of freshly whipped cream (preferably organic).



Kathryn Jewkes Photography

Rhubarb Coconut Cake 1½ cups self raising flour 1¼ cups caster sugar 1¼ cups desiccated coconut 125g butter, melted 3 eggs, beaten lightly ½ cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla essence ¾ cup finely chopped rhubarb 2 stalks rhubarb (extra) 2 tablespoons demerara sugar Preheat oven to moderate. Grease and line 20cm round cake tin. Combine flour, caster sugar and coconut in medium bowl. Stir in butter, eggs, milk and vanilla essence until combined. Spread half the mixture into prepared pan; scatter chopped rhubarb evenly over mixture. Spread remaining batter over rhubarb. Chop extra rhubarb into small pieces and arrange over top of cake, sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake in moderate oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stand cake for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Kathryn Jewkes



Kyla’s REAL Custard Slice 2 cups milk 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry 8 egg yolks ½ cup sugar ½ cup cornflour flour 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 2 teaspoons vanilla essence) 20-21g gelatine powder ¼ cup unsalted butter 8 egg whites ½ cup sugar 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice Topping (optional) 1 ½ cup icing sugar 2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp OR ¼ cup icing sugar Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan, bring to simmering point then remove from the heat (this is called scalding the milk). Leave aside to cool slightly. Line a square baking tin (the approximate size of the pastry sheets) with foil, leaving enough foil to hang over the edges (this makes it easier to remove the slice) . Trim pastry to size if required. Place pastry on baking tray lined with baking paper. Prick all over with a fork. Place in oven at 230°C for 5-10 mins. Note that pastry burns easily. When the pastry is golden brown, remove tray from the oven. Protecting your hand with a cloth, press all over the cooked pastry to flatten, then leave aside to cool.

TO MAKE THE CUSTARD LAYER: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until well combined and slightly creamy. Add the flour,vanilla and gelatine powder. Whisk well until smooth. Gradually add the scalded milk to the mixture. Wipe out the saucepan well. Transfer custard mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. Do not let custard reach boiling point or it will scramble and the texture will be grainy. Keep a close watch, as it will take a while to get to the right temperature (about 80°C), then will thicken rapidly. When it starts to really thicken remove from heat and continue to stir. Stir in the butter and set aside. While the custard is cooling whip the egg

Kyla Daniels

whites with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar and beat until sugar dissolves and mixture is stiff. Add the lemon juice and beat until stiff and shiny. Add a small amount of whipped egg white to the slightly cooled custard to lighten it. Very slowly and gradually, gently fold the custard into the stiff egg whites. Place one cooled pastry sheet into lined tray, browned-side down. Pour custard over pastry layer and gently smooth surface. Very carefully press the second pastry layer on top of the custard with the browned-side up. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or preferable overnight to chill thoroughly. If desired, mix together icing sugar and passionfruit and spread over slice. Leave to set. Carefully slice into squares (I find a steak knife works best). If not icing, generously sift icing sugar over the top before serving.


Rhubarb Crumble 10 stalks of rhubarb, chopped into small pieces 75g caster sugar Crumble topping 125g cold unsalted butter, chopped 175g plain flour 50g brown sugar Preheat oven to 170째C degrees. Place rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Rub the butter into with the flour and brown sugar to create a texture like breadcrumbs. Pour the rhubarb into four oven-proof ramekins or one large dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top and bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm with cream, custard or ice cream.

Megan, Wamberal

Chocolate Peppermint Slice 2 tablespoons cocoa 50g butter 2 eggs 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon peppermint essence 1 cup self raising flour Cream 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup icing sugar 1 tbs milk ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Topping 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon cocoa Preheat over to 180°C. Melt cocoa and butter, beat eggs and sugar to mix. Add butter mixture to egg mixture. Mix together, then add essence, flour and salt. Mix well. Pour into a greased 20cm square tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. Set aside to completely cool. Mix together Cream ingredients and spread on cooled cake. Put aside to set. For the topping, melt ingredients together and set aside to cool slightly. Carefully spread onto the cream and allow to set.

Tara, Bronte


Photograph by Daniela

Anzac Biscuits 120g butter 2 tablespoons golden syrup ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 cup desiccated coconut ¾ cup rolled oats ¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup plain flour Preheat oven 140°C. Melt the butter and syrup over low heat. Add the bicarbonate soda and let it cool. Sift the dry ingredients and pour the butter mixture in. Mix well. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place onto a greased tray. Flatten dough a little with a spoon or fork. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Daniela, Leichhardt



BAKE IT BOTTLE IT SELL IT GOURMET FOOD CLASSES Learn how to sell gourmet products, write a business plan, marketing concepts, and add nutrition labels plus more. Lorri Loca has worked in the Food Industry for over 20 years. Launch your product into farmers’ markets and local food providores. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS


1/1 Killcare Road, Hardys Bay NSW

Shop 3, Killcare Road, Hardys Bay NSW

The Fat Goose Cafe is a relaxed setting to enjoy our famous breakfasts, lunch or simply coffee and a chat with friends. We also stock our artisan bread and freshly baked pastries, as well as range of deli goods. Click to see our BREAKFAST and LUNCH menus

Open 7 days from 7:30am to 4pm Public Holidays 7:30am to 2:30pm (10% surcharge) Tel: 02 4360 1888






ick Anthony fell into baking by default. When he met his French wife Laurence (Lottie) in Colorado, both were keen skiers. After marrying, their initial idea was to start a ski shop in the French Alps. The seasonality of the work was less than ideal though. And, let’s face it, if you’re a mad skier, ski season is right when you want some time off! In lieu of a better plan, Nick started baking with Lottie’s cousin in his French Alps bakery, La Tartine. Here, bread was made as it has been for hundreds of years. Flour was stone-ground to avoid overheating and loss of nutrients. Sourdough loaves were shaped by hand, with no added yeast. The French appreciation of bread remained unchanged, too - an integral part of each meal and not merely the walls of a sandwich. After 10 years of baking in France, and having learnt a thing or two about it, the Anthony’s made the decision to uproot their family and raise their young girls in Australia. They were lured to the Central Coast by its lifestyle but there was also the dream of establishing their own organic sourdough bakery within range of Sydney. Basing themselves in Somersby, close enough to their beachside home and just off the freeway for deliveries, they established their very own La Tartine.


They shipped out equipment, tins and ingredients, determined to bake traditional sourdough, just as they had in France, and in the process educate a whole new audience on the health and flavour benefits of this kind of bread. With commercial bread, industrial baking has reduced production time, but bread is not something you can hurry. The result of this fast-paced production is that commercial breads often need the addition of preservatives and flavours to make them palatable. The La Tartine operation has grown to around six people involved in bread making, including Nick’s brother Mark. It’s still very much a small family operation

though, with friendly banter and a relaxed atmosphere. After 13 years of baking in Australia, and Anthony’s message is definitely getting through, with a high demand for their bread. It is delivered to a few discerning establishments on the Coast, including Bellyfish Cafe in Terrigal, who regularly use La Tartine bread, and Ooomph Gourmet Grocer in East Gosford. But the majority makes its way down the freeway to organic stores all over Sydney. Varieties include traditional unbleached baguettes and oval-shaped campagne loafves. There are also multigrain, rye and olive options. Their fruit loaf is a revelation, with an almond-studded base and whole apricots and figs. Bread heaven!


Some tips we picked up on our visit: To avoid a dry, inedible end on your cut loaf, stand it upright on the cut end. The crust will protect the loaf and prevent it from drying out. ~ If you want that freshout-of-the-oven feeling, sprinkle a little water on the top of the loaf and put it in a hot oven for 5 minutes. ~ Nick insists that sourdough gets better after a day or so, but once your bread is a few days old use it for toast. Viola! You can find La Tartine at Sydney markets such as those in Pyrmont, EQ in Moore Park, Castle Hill and Redfern. On the Coast you can buy La Tartine bread at Avoca Beach Growers’ Market and Mangrove Mountain Market. Or make your way up to Somersby from 10am onwards and buy a loaf or two fresh from the oven.

Sourdough Organic sourdough has no added leavening agent such as yeast. The distinct and delicious sour taste comes from lactic acid, which is produced by bacteria fermenting in the dough. This fermentation is what causes the bread to rise, with carbon dioxide forming in the loaf. It is also what makes sourdough a healthier choice of bread - the fermentation process breaks down proteins, making it easier to digest. Some research also suggests that the bread aids in the digestion of other foods, too.

La Tartine 43400299 Shop 2, 111 Wisemans Ferry Road, Somersby, NSW





hink of wine and you generally associate it with grapes. Why not strawberries? Guavas? Kiwifruit? It’s true that the grape has certain qualities that make it perfect for winemaking, but with some careful nurturing, almost all fruit and herbs have the potential to become wine. The art of fruit winemaking has been mostly overshadowed by the mainstream grape wine industry. Huge sums of money go into planting row upon row of single varietals and purchasing harvesting machinery - the quantities of grape wine produced worldwide are staggering. In contrast, fruit wine production, despite its parallel history to that of grapes, has largely remained the domain of home winemakers and small producers. Ellie Walker and Peter Buteux started making fruit wine when they just couldn’t bear making any more jam. As a young couple, they found themselves with a garden full of productive fruit trees. Their combined science backgrounds and interest in sustainability nurtured their desire to put this harvest to use. Today, Ellie and Peter produce small releases of stunning, award-winning wines from their Holgate property.



The most noticeable thing about Firescreek Fruit Wines is their clean, light taste. Unlike grape wines, which use methods such as oak-casking to enhance flavours, fruit wines allow natural flavours to take the lead. They are also surprisingly dry. Firescreek Fruit Wines do make sweeter dessert wines, such as their Strawberry Fruit Wine that is the perfect accompaniment to creamy desserts, but most of their range sits in the soft, dry category. The Kiwifruit Wine is a classic, light, dry wine – far too easy to drink and ideal served chilled with seafood.

The Elderflower Wine is a little more sophisticated, with a longer finish and a delicious mellowness. Rose Petal Wine, made from sweet-smelling red rose petals collected from the property, is delicate and aromatic, perfect with a creamy cheese such as Camembert. Elderberry Wine, with its berry and spice notes and rich colour, is a good choice for colder months and strong cheeses. However, to really ‘warm your cockles’ you can’t go past Firewater Fruit Wine. A wine made from orange and chilli, it has a soft sweetness, yet just enough chilli for a pleasant glow. Try it with good-quality dark chocolate, or over ice as an aperitif.


As many of the ingredients as possible come from the Firescreek gardens. A tour of these gardens is a real treat, with small plantings of numerous fruit and herbs. The entire garden is run organically and is amazingly abundant and healthy. From ground to glass, you can see the kiwifruit vines, guava trees and herb beds whose harvest has been transformed into the wine you sample at the cellar door, and you can even sneak a peek at the fermenting process. Formal rose beds and lawn areas supply rosehips and petalsused in the wine, and are popular backdrops for weddings. Because Firescreek Fruit Wines are made in such small batches, with Ellie and Peter overseeing each one, there is always something new on the way. The Strawberry, Guava and Elderberry wines have just been released for autumn, and winter will see the release of a Violet Wine – a blend of thousands of violet flowers picked from the gardens and durif grapes from the vineyard. Yes, they do use grapes occasionally! There is also a dessert-style fruit wine on its way, made from blackcurrants and coffee. As autumn sets in, the trees on the two-and-a-half acre, creek-side property will be ablaze with russet colours – mirrored by the crackling wood fire that heats the winery’s rustic ‘tin shed’, where tastings and sales take place from Wednesday to Sunday.

192 Wattle Tree Rd, Holgate. NSW Phone {02} 4365 0768 Cellardoor Wine Tastings: Wednesday to Sunday. 10am-5pm DST 10am-4pm EST






ittle Creek Cheese, the Central Coast’s only gourmet cheese producer, began with an idle question three years ago: how do you make cheese? What followed was a decision to find out, and an eventual love of all things cheese. After much research, Sue and Russell Parsons began their budding business by stealth, surreptitiously bringing out homemade cheeses at family gatherings and judging the reaction. The results were overwhelmingly positive, although few family members believed the couple when they announced they had actually made the cheeses themselves! Sue and Russell continued to make cheese as a hobby, until a year ago when they took a leap of the faith and became cheese makers full-time. They converted a wonderful space at the Old Wyong Milk Factory to suit their needs, then began in earnest. Cheese making is a serious business in which care, patience and hygiene are paramount. And although Sue and Russell are relatively new to the craft, they both have a wealth of experience in food retailing that has allowed them to tap into a growing market for quality, fresh, Australian gourmet cheeses.



Much of the cheese we consume today is more about science than craft, with large computer-aided factories churning out block after predictable block. One of the most striking things about watching the cheese making process at Little Creek Cheese is the lack of ‘impressive’ equipment. The reason being that each batch of cheese here is handmade, with relatively simple tools, lavish only in time and love. This also means that each batch of cheese is individual, with its own unique nuances, just like wine and other natural products created in a similar way. It is especially true of matured cheeses, as cheese constantly evolves during maturation, until it is deemed ready to eat. Despite being in operation for only one short year, Little Creek Cheese has attracted quite a bit of attention. There is of course the novelty value of exploring something new to the area, but its cheeses are gaining fans fast. Local retailers are beginning to pick up on the popularity of Little Creek Cheese products, and to include them as part of their regular stock. Still, the most reliable place to access the entire range is their own shop, located within the factory in Wyong, where Sue and Russell will happily show you where and how their products are made and chat extensively with you about all things cheese.


Little Creek cheeses are entirely handmade, using Australian and Hungarian family recipes. They have no added colours and use non-animal rennet, making them suitable for vegetarians. Testing cheese in Australia is stringent: 1 in every 10 batches that Little Creek Cheese makes is submitted for pathology testing.

Little Creek Cheese (02) 43532433 Building 12, Wyong Milk Factory 141-155 Alison Road, Wyong, NSW OPEN: Monday to Sunday 10am-4pm

BBQ Cheese

THE RANGE: Körözött a flavourful creamy hors d’oeuvre cheese blend with traditional Hungarian spices.

Little Creek Salad Cheese a Greekstyled cheese in brine or marinated with herbs and spices, garlic and dill, mustard seed, multi-coloured peppercorn and more.

BBQ Cheese a Haloumi style of cheese, which can be barbecued, grilled and pan fried. Perfect with lemon juice on top or a variety of different toppings.

Wyong White a soft, creamy surfaceripened cheese, with an earthy fresh smell and flavour.

Wyong Washed a soft, creamy washedrind cheese, with a bit of poignancy.

Fromage sweet or savoury: BBQ, garlic, cracked pepper, seaweed and wasabi, sundried tomato and olive.

Wyong Yellow firm to hard varieties include mild, tasty, mature and vintage, with or without added herbs.

Central Coast Gold a dry, sharp cheese with a pungent aroma, suitable for grating and use in salads and pasta dishes, from mild to vintage.

Little Creek Cheese also make a delicious yoghurt, natural and with fruit.




hen they took over management of the family’s poultry farm in Mangrove Mountain, Anthony Luci and his wife Shelley decided to use the empty paddocks that surrounded the house to explore their respective passions. For Anthony, it was all about grass. He has pasture improvement and land management down to a fine art, and hates to see a plot sitting idle. Shelley, on the other hand, was keen to try farming goats. Fortunately both passions proved a complimentary combination, allowing the Luci’s to pioneer one of Australia’s healthiest free-range farms. In 2004, the Luci’s purchased their first Boer goats. Although originally bred in South Africa as a meat goat, Boers were introduced to Australia in the 1990s as a show goat - from which the Australian Red Boer Goat, or ‘Aussie Red’, is derived. This hardy show-ring reject has short legs and a stocky body, making it perfect for meat farming. Australians are way behind when it comes to goat meat. Did you know goat is the most popularly consumed meat in the world? Chevron, the common term for goat meat (from the French “chèvre” meaning goat), is a healthy, low fat meat, with less saturated fat than skinless chicken and more protein than beef. The flavour, which you might expect to be gamey, is a cross between lamb and beef.



Once you know how to cook chevron, it’s easy to appreciate. Like other very lean meat, chevron can dry out during the cooking process, so is best suited to slow cooking on a low heat. Slow cooking, braised stews, curries, tagines and roasts are all simple and easy options that ensure this super healthy meat always tastes delicious. Green Mile Stud goats have the added advantage of Anthony’s landmanagement practices. They spend their lives roaming pastures and grazing on grasses that include winter oats, rye and clover - in stark contrast to most other red meat commercially available,

which comes from animals who are grain-fed via feedlots for quick weight gain before slaughter. This prevalent farming process is what gives other meat much of its fat. White fat, which you’ll find on most supermarket meat, is a tell-tale sign of grain feeding. A grass-fed animal produces a creamy yellow shade of fat, as a result of the beta-carotene in pasture grasses. Grassfed meat has around three times the Vitamin E and twice the Vitamin A found in grain-fed meat. It also has optimal levels of Omega-3 and 6, compared to the extremes found in grain-fed meat that contribute to serious health issues, such as heart disease.


Of course, it’s not just consumers who profit from grass-fed meat farming. There are clear benefits for the animals, too. This farming method ensures that animals reared for meat live in the best possible conditions and are kept healthy and unstressed. At Green Mile Stud, there is an obvious affection between Anthony, Shelley and their goats, and prime concern for their welfare. For the Luci’s, the condition and contentment of their animals is of equal importance as the nutritional outcomes of grass-fed farming.

Anthony and Shelley hope to continue expanding their stud and educating people on the health and taste benefits of meat from their free-range Aussie Reds. It is so important to know the origins and growing conditions of our food! Green Mile Grass-fed Goat Meat is available from Mangrove Mountain Farmers’ Market and Avoca Growers’ Market, or directly from the stud. It includes succulent tenderloins, frenched cutlets, mince, gourmet sausages, rib racks and leg and shoulder roasting pieces.

Cooking chevron: tips and tricks

SHELLEY’S CHEVRON TAGINE For a more authentic dish, cook this in a tagine. We use an oven bag.

★ Don’t add salt to chevon prior to cooking, as it draws out moisture.

★ Marinading is the way to go, even for just 15 minutes prior to cooking, although a few hours is ideal.

★ When cooking, quickly sear all sides of the meat to seal in juices.

★ Use an oven bag or double wrap in foil to seal moisture for roasting.

★ Chevron loves these flavours: lemon, mint, garlic, rosemary, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, and Middle Eastern spices such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon.

★ Make a simple yoghurt dressing with lemon and mint to serve with cutlets or skewers.

1 large oven bag 1 large onion cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons oil 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon and vegetable stock powder 1 Green Mile Stud roasting cut of chevron - leg, shoulder or rib roast Combine all the ingredients to make a fabulously aromatic marinade. Massage the marinade into the chevron and put it in the oven bag. Add ¾ cup of water before sealing the oven bag. Seal the bag and place it in a baking dish. Punch two or three holes in the top of the oven bag with a skewer. Cook slowly for up to 3 hours, depending on the size of the cut. Rest the meat before serving. The juicy spices and onion can be drizzled over the meat - divine!

Green Mile Stud (02) 43741130



Organic Produce




Michael Champion has been growing certified-organic produce for over 20 years in Mangrove Mountain. On the day we visited his farm, new plants were going in and old ones were coming to an end – the wet and overcast summer has been a tough growing season. On the up side, it gave us the perfect opportunity to get a behindthe-scenes look at Michael’s methods.

Michael is a well-respected grower in the area and supportive of the local growing community. His produce has a great reputation. He supplies many top Sydney restaurants, sells at several markets, including Mangrove Mountain Country Market, and stocks some local co-ops. Michael’s produce is also available in several of Sydney’s organic stores. The first thing you notice about Michael’s farm is that, apart from some lovely neat rows of salad vegetables, the rest of the property looks haphazard. And there are weeds! Lots of weeds! Surprisingly,. Michael explains that both these observations are part of the backbone of organic growing - the Champion way.

Mountain Organics Let’s talk weeds first. Weeds are removed, but judiciously. For example, when we arrived, weeds were being singed out of a bed that had been prepared for planting. Because all the plants hadn’t gone into the bed, the empty section was then being repopulated with weed species, to eventually be cleared again. Just metres away there are beds filled with weeds growing way above head height. Who knew weeds could be useful? They protect the garden beds from erosion until they are needed for produce planting. Vegetables that thrive with a little protection are planted in pockets underneath towering weeds, with the weeds almost forming mini polytunnels. This brings us to the other anomaly: the haphazard planting.



What initially seems like random planting is actually a structured framework. Michael is an expert at spotting microclimate opportunities on his property. Plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions are planted up the slope so that water can drain away and they can catch more sunlight. Those that require colder conditions are planted down the hill, near a tall row of trees, ensuring these plants receive much shorter periods of sun and grow in colder temperatures. Blood oranges, for example, need frost to develop sweetness and flavour, and so they live downhill. This intelligent planting is what makes Michael’s property so different to the neat rows we are used to seeing elsewhere. When explained, his methods seem like common sense, but intense farming, prevalent in the last few decades, is more about manipulating or changing the environment in order to grow your produce, rather than using the natural advantages your land has to offer in the first place. Another secret to organic success is biodiversity - growing a variety of produce. Michael has purposefully cultivated an equally diverse selling chain, which includes a mix of

restaurants, wholesalers, famers’ markets and co-ops that in turn allows diversity back home in his paddocks. Can we go back to the weeds for a moment? With plants that have been traditionally classed as weeds now popular ingredients in green salads at Sydney’s best restaurants, Michael has found weeds are no longer just his organic gardening allies, but a profitable commodity. It started with a few orders for nettles and grew from there. Michael now supplies restaurants with nettles, chickweed, farmer’s friends, purslanes and dandelions, among others, on a regular basis. So how are the beds prepared at Champion’s Mountain Organics? First, weeds in the bed are cut down with a slasher and mowed to make a fine mulch. The bed is then covered in heavy plastic for several months. This was a revelation - the plastic mimics the role of snow in colder climates. The plastic blanket warms the earth underneath, and allows microorganisms to do their thing and break down the organic matter, which in turn enriches the soil.. In Australia, we don’t have that period of enforced


Champion’s Mountain Organics (02) 43741036

Check out the farm blog for what’s in season

dormancy that snow brings, so this is an easy way of imposing it. After a few months under the plastic you are hopefully left with a rich, friable soil, full of beneficial microorganisms. Tilling is done mostly by hand and kept to a minimum to avoid disrupting the soil structure. That top 10cm is crucial to the growth of the vegetables. Planting is also done by hand. Preferably, seedlings are planted rather than seeds, to give them a jump on the weeds, which inevitably reappear. As long as the seedlings have a head start, there is generally no problem and they out-compete the weeds. Besides selling his own produce, Michael has set up a selling co-op with other organic growers in the Mangrove Mountain region. It supplies customers with a larger and more reliable range, and frees up growers from the responsibility of taking their produce to market. Not to mention the petrol saved by pooling resources in this way! Michael’s purpose in all these pursuits is to make the best quality, fresh, organic produce available to as many people who want it. And all this is born out of a fundamental love of nurturing soil and growing plants.


Spirits & Liqueurs




Botanica Known for more than 40 years as The Fragrant Garden, Philip Moore transformed the property into Distillery Botanica in 2005. As founder of Renaissance Herbs, Australia’s largest wholesale herb nursery, Philip brought his wealth of knowledge on plant aromas and flavours to his new passion as a distiller. He has re-established the gardens with fragrant flowering plants, herbs, Australian natives and botanicals, all of which he uses in the Distillery’s luscious liqueurs and spirits. According to alchemists of antiquity, when a fermented beverage is distilled it becomes a spirit. During distillation the liquid is heated, which converts

the alcohol into a vapour that disappears into the spirit world. When the alcohol miraculously condenses, it returns to the beverage as a spirit with magical properties. Distillery Botanica has enhanced these magical properties by including Australian native plants in distillations – to the overwhelming approval of judges in spirit competitions around the world. Its Aniseed Myrtle liqueur was awarded ‘Herb Liqueur of the Year’ and given 95 points out of a possible 100 in the International Spirit Competition in Germany. And its Moore’s Vintage Dry Gin, which boasts four Australian native plants including wild lime and


cinnamon myrtle, gained a silver medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. Equally impressive is the complex Mountain Pepperberry liqueur, whose Tasmanian berries smell like plum pudding spices. This liqueur took home a silver medal and won ‘Best in Class’ in the London competition. With its origins closer to home, the Lemon Myrtle liqueur, made from leaves grown in the Distillery’s own garden, was awarded a bronze medal. The Distillery uses the highest quality plants and the simplest possible techniques to express pure and authentic aromas and flavours from each botanical it uses. Recently, it introduced the process of maceration, soaking fruit and herbs in alcohol and water, to further coax authentic flavours to surface. The resultant macerate is pressed and filtered, which produces a luscious, extremely rich liqueur. Visitors to the cellar door are advised to hang on to the bar when tasting! Varieties include raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant and sticky date. The berries are from Tasmania, whose cool


climate provides a long growing period that results in intensely flavoured fruit, while the dates are the Medjool variety, from Alice Springs. They exude a strong butterscotch, caramel aroma – hence the sticky date moniker. The Luscious Raspberry liqueur is a great way to build willpower. After the first glass it’s almost impossible to resist a second, unless self-discipline rears its ugly head. In the pipeline is a coffee liqueur that uses spicy beans from northern NSW, fruity beans from Ethiopia and supercaramelised beans from Brazil. As with all Distillery Botanica’s liqueurs, this latest offering will enhance the authentic flavour of botanicals rather than being loaded up with vanilla and other flavour maskers.

CLICK HERE to view an accompanying short film by local film maker, Daniel Grey

(02) 43653968 25 Portsmouth Rd, Erina, NSW Distillery opening hours are 10am–5pm Wednesday to Sunday. (Closed public holidays)




I say chocolate but Cocopure is about much more than that. In fact it’s really about coconut ...

Steven Lawson and his wife, Monique, first came across cold-pressed coconut oil after they chucked in a life of city-based desk slavery and headed off sailing with their young family. With little space for storage or for cooking, they came to truly see it as a ‘miracle food’. The oil they sourced is a raw food and so has the many health benefits of higher nutrition; it has a lower heating point than other oils; tastes delicious; and can be used in many ways when cooking. It is also great for your skin when applied externally. The Lawson’s used it on insect bites and as a general moisturiser for their skin and hair after swimming. Once they returned to dry land, Monique’s interest in healthy eating continued, inspired partly by some ongoing health issues that Steven was experiencing. The family included much more raw food in their diet and cold-pressed coconut oil was a big part of their new way of eating drizzling it melted on vegetables along with honey, freezing it as coconut ice cream ... they were limited only by their imaginations.




Steven’s health dramatically improved on his raw food diet, but he did feel the diet was a little lacking in joy. Monique had always been a keen dessert maker and baker but most traditional cooking no longer fitted with their food philosophy. So Steven began experimenting with coconut oil to create healthy chocolates and sweets. The result was coconut butter, in various flavours, which can be used in a myriad of different ways to create healthy desserts and treats. When it became clear that Steven’s sweet coconut butters were a hit, Cocopure was born. The coconut butters are a 100% raw, 100% vegan and 100% delicious. All ingredients are Superfoods - raw cacao, cashew, vanilla, agave syrup for sweetening and, of course, the virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil as the base. Cocopure Coconut Butters are made to a raw-food philosophy - they are carefully stone-ground at low temperatures to keep vitamin and nutrient levels at a maximum. Raw cacao is completely different to your average cocoa, which is processed to such an extent that it


has little nutrient value. The raw cacao that Cocopure uses is uncooked and unprocessed chocolate, sourced from small producers in Peru. It has four times the nutritional value of processed chocolate! The Cashew Coconut Butter is made from raw cashews blended to a creamy texture. The Vanilla Coconut Butter contains organic vanilla powder, raw organic Peruvian lucuma powder and is blended with organic coconut flakes. The most important fact to us, though, is that they taste fantastic! These butters are decadent and delicious. There is no way you could want a Mars Bar when you could have Cocopure Coconut Butter. Spread on baked goods, and fresh fruit - the best thing I have ever tasted was a medjool date with a nugget of the Vanilla Coconut Butter inside - or eat straight from the jar. They are the perfect treat to have on hand. Varieties currently available: Chocolate Coconut Butter Cacao Cashew Coconut Butter Cashew Coconut Butter Vanilla Coconut Butter Chilli Goji Chocolate Butter Intensio Chocolate Mint Crunch Butter

Cocopure also sells an amazing range of oils, drinking chocolates, coconut flours, sugars and more. The health benefits of these products are incredible. And they taste great! Check the WEBSITE for details on the full range.



Place a small amount of coconut shreds at the bottom of each mold.

So simple it’s hardly a recipe. Split the date. Spoon in the Cashew Coconut Butter. Delicious. If you really want to complete the experience, serve with Moroccan mint tea.


I jar of Cocopure Chocolate Coconut Butter 50g of Organic Coconut Shreds Chocolate mold or mini-muffin tray

Gently warm jar (best done in warm water) and spoon into mold. Place into freezer to set. To serve, remove from freezer and sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.



I jar of Cocopure Cashew Coconut Butter 5 medjool dates (or figs if preferred.) 50g of cashew nuts (crushed) Chocolate mold or mini-muffin tray Slice each date into 4 pieces and place in the bottom of each mold. Add a small amount of crushed cashews on top of the dates. Gently warm jar (best done in warm water) and spoon into mold. Place in freezer to set. To serve, remove from freezer and sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.


Cocopure Cashew Coconut Butter Medjool dates



3 spoonfuls of Cocopure Cashew or Vanilla Coconut Butter Selection of fruit, e.g. bananas, rockmelon, watermelon, pineapple, and medjool dates cut into bite-sized pieces Place fruit in a serving dish. with the banana on the bottom. This lets the banana soak up all the juice from the other fruits. Remove Coconut Butter from the fridge and let stand for 5 minutes to allow it to soften slightly. Use a spoon to carve wedges from the jar and place on top of the fruit. Adding coconut butter to fruit dishes ✚ makes for a more filling meal and gives extra energy, to keep you going longer.



words and images by Rick Dunne

Loo Loo’s

Coffee Warehouse “Specialty coffee” is hardly a new concept, but beyond our nation’s busier capital cities, finding a café that delivers something truly “special” is hit and miss to say the least. Take comfort all you coffee aficionados out there – help is here! LooLoo’s Coffee Warehouse, tucked away in the Kincumber Industrial Centre, offers one of the most unique coffee experiences on the Coast. And despite the wealth of knowledge and experience behind the counter, there’s not an ounce of pretentious coffee-vibe going on here. Instead it’s “welcome to the family!” Forget the vast majority of cafés who serve big brand coffee, LooLoo’s coffee is entirely their own creation, with single origins roasted on the premises and a private blend formulated by coffee guru Instaurator. Author of The Espresso Quest and coffee consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the coffee industry, Instaurator also happens to be store owner (LooLoo) Lynn Forsyth’s husband.


friendly vibe and soon have your coffee order and name memorised. Nestle into one of the many chairs that once resided in LooLoo’s family home and embrace the sense of belonging. If you need further convincing that this place is the real deal, just look at its location. Most successful cafés are situated around high volumes of foot traffic or busy transport routes. LooLoo’s is the opposite. Its loyal customers actually go out of their way to maintain their daily coffee routines. For most there’s no “passing by” - people make the effort to search the place out on the recommendation of a friend, then are forever hooked. Beyond the blend of beans is that soughtafter craft of pouring the perfect coffee. Two-time Australian Barista Champion Mitchell Faulkner is on hand, training café staff and ensuring that every coffee is professionally prepared, consistent and delicious. He also offers barista training for home devotees and people in the coffee industry. Atmosphere? LooLoo’s oozes an endearing style of customer care that is light hearted and personal. Enthusiastic staff nurture a


Kids are more than welcome to pull out the toys provided or enjoy a babycino while mums and dads relax with their precious coffee fix. There’s no target age bracket; LooLoo’s welcomes all coffee lovers, regardless of age or walk of life. The menu covers specialty coffee and a selection of quality tea, and although it’s not the place to come for a fullcourse meal, there is a variety of snacks to take-away or eat in.


You can find the LooLoo’s Coffee Warehouse doors open at 8am–2pm Monday to Friday, and 9am–12:30pm on Saturday. Unit 12/11 Cochrane Street, Kincumber Industrial Estate.

Roasting Coffee T

he roaster used at the Warehouse is small in commercial terms, built to handle 5kgs of beans. Large commercial roasters can handle up to 120kgs of beans. Regardless of size, it is an advanced piece of machinery that balances convection heat (hot air blown through the drum), radiant heat (heat emanating off the drum) and conductive heat (heat transferred from the hot drum to the green beans from direct contact.) It can be programmed to heat at different rates and at different times throughout a roast. Green beans go into the hopper at the top of the roaster. The Warehouse predominantly roasts for espresso and Instaurator’s exclusive “recipe” takes between 14 and 16 minutes. Occasionally, Instaurator will have a project on the boil that requires lighter roasts. When the roast has finished and the beans have reached target temperature, they are dropped into a cooling tray where they are cooled rapidly by a fan

and a stir-flex, which stirs them. Rapid cooling retains the flavours that develop during the roasting process. Once cooled, a small trap door in the cooling tray opens and the stir-flex pushes the beans out into a container. The beans are weighed into bags and labelled according to their country of origin. As a rough guide, 2kgs of green beans yields between 1.6 and 1.7kgs of roasted product, depending on the type of bean used. Theoretically, the beans can be ground and used as soon as they are cool, but freshly roasted coffee is a little volatile, so you often get better coffee if you let it rest for a short time. There are varying degrees of quality throughout coffee production, from growing beans all the way to the barista pouring the finished product. LooLoo’s Coffee Warehouse concerns itself with every one of these stages to bring you the very best coffee possible.

High Tea


Avoca Tea House Avoca Tea House is all about fresh, home-made cuisine. Under the ownership of mother-daughter team, Donna Judge and Mel Alce, it has gained a loyal following. The emphasis is on delivering old fashioned favourites and quite possibly the best scones on the Central Coast. One thing people keep coming back for is the High Tea.. It consists of sandwiches, a range of savouries, cupcakes, sweets and, of course, scones. With it you can have coffee or one of the Tea House’s amazing range of 33 teas. Your cup is bottomless, so you are free to endulge in as many cups, and as many flavours as you wish. There are black teas, herbal and fruit infusions, oolong teas, green teas and white teas to choose from.


During our high tea we had delicious cucumber sandwiches, ham and dijonaisse sandwiches, sundried tomato and cheddar mini muffins, mini toasts with cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, strawberry cream cupcakes, chocolate cake bites, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter cups and scones warm for the oven with jam and cream. All of these delights were handmade by the Avoca Tea House team - and were all divine. The teas we tried were Island Breeze (obviously!) Sundance and Cocoa Haven. All delicious! Island Breeze is a coconut-flavoured black tea infused with a touch of mint. It’s very refreshing and was delicious with the sandwiches and savouries. We enjoyed it without milk but you can add milk if you prefer. Sundance, infused with mango, lychee and a touch of pear, was a wonderful accompaniment for the scones and their rich jam. Our last tea was a chocolate one, a combination of organic cacao from Mexico, black tea and carob. Add milk and it is like a cross between hot chocolate and tea. It created a chocolate double-whammy with the cake balls and peanut butter cups. That’s three down, 30 more flavours to sample.


Many of the teas feature organic ingredients and some are blended especially for Avoca Tea House. After you sample a few as part of your bottomless cup, you can take your favourite home as the teas are all for sale. Twenty grams of any tea costs $5 and 50g is $10. Avoca Tea House is open seven days, from 9am to 4pm for breakfast, lunch and Devonshire tea. High Tea is available by reservation only, due the work that goes into the food. It is $30 per person and a highly recommended experience!

Avoca Tea House (02) 43811214 326 Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach, NSW.

Fine Dining


Vanessa Teklenburg



rom the outside, the impression is a staid, suburban eatery. Tucked away in the corner of a quiet parade of shops in Erina Heights, Flair has probably lost passers-by with its ‘creative_style_ cuisine’ sign. Blame the previous owner, but don’t hold it against the place. There’s plenty to like. Chef Jason Martin runs Flair with respect for the best ingredients – something, he says, that has stuck with him since his time working in the UK, where he had stints at Pied à Terre and Skibo Castle, before working as sous chef at the Park Lane Hilton. ‘It was a time when cooking had become more produce-led, when restaurant menus had really embraced seasonality and local producers,’ says Martin. ‘They were sourcing beautiful game and doing amazing things with offal. I loved it, and it’s a philosophy I brought with me when I came back home to the Central Coast and eventually opened my own restaurant.’ A simple but elegant amuse-bouche of potato and rosemary cappuccino with just a hint of jerusalem artichoke is perfect, especially when I find out the jerusalem artichokes were grown in a customer’s backyard. A bag of limes arrived this morning from someone else, and his grandmother is always popping by with herbs and nasturtiums. Martin, too, has herbs growing out the back, supplied by the organic plant seller on Ocean View Drive in Wamberal.



He isn’t afraid to play with flavours or give classic dishes a contemporary nudge (though, sadly for me, he only brings out the likes of sweetbreads and other obscure cuts for diehard offal parties who book ahead). Despite its roots in classic French technique, the menu boasts several mod-twist South American dishes, owing to Martin’s Ecuadorian wife. Scallop ceviche with crab mayonnaise, avocado and chilli popcorn looked a picture with tender purple basil leaves and coriander flowers. Traditionalists will love Martin’s fine twist on duck à l’orange: a duck and fig terrine with crisp shards of prosciutto, orange and brioche and a subtle fig and Earl Grey purée, all laid prettily on a slate plate. I enjoyed hearing tales of whole roast pig feasts that his wife’s family lay on for him when he visits, and how his mother-in-law cooks goat’s milk with sugar to make sweet, toffee-coloured dulce de leche, as well as the popular humitas (steamed ground corn cakes). If you like the sound of South American street food, choose the crisp chicken wings and chorizo, served with Martin’s take on humitas.

Smoked salmon, poached prawns, wasabi, miso chantilly, pickled daikon, tobiko caviar and mirin vinaigrette.


From the mains, there’s an impeccably cooked Petuna Tasmanian ocean trout (sourced from Molly’s Gourmet Grocer in Erina) with a wondrously delicate squid consommé. Meat lovers should try the trio of pork with sauerkraut and apple. Onto dessert and a nicely dark chocolate brownie, made from Ecuadorian chocolate, set off by peanut butter ice cream, is not to be missed. Added elements of dulce de leche, white chocolate mousse, dried brownie crumbs and brûléed bananas make this one exciting dish. You’ll make equally fast work of the pear fool with meringue and caramelised pear ice cream, rolled in crushed honeycomb.

If you need more convincing, you can bring your own wine (how refreshing to combine fine dining and BYO), or choose from the predominantly Hunter wine list. There’s real passion at work here. Martin is determined to change the face of the Central Coast’s restaurant scene and to make it work from behind a hidden shop frontage. ‘Some of the best restaurants in London and New York are in basements,’ says Martin. ‘When I go out to eat, it’s for the food, the company and the wine. I’m not out to be seen, or to soak up an ocean view.’ CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE RECIPE FOR TRIO OF PORK.

Previous pages: Trio of pork: fillet, belly and black pudding with sauerkraut, cauliflower and apple. Blueberry jelly, lemon curd, elderflower cream, blueberry sorbet and lemon sponge.

Flair Restaurant 488 Central Coast Highway, Erina Heights NSW (02) 43652777 Open Tuesday to Saturday 6pm-close Starters $24 Mains $38 Desserts $15 BYO (wine only) $5 per person

Macadamia Nuts


wenty kilometres upstream from Wyong, on the Wyong River, lies the beautiful valley of Yarramalong. The valley’s lush landscape can come as a surprise to visitors, because it is such a contrast to the beach environments that most people associate with the Central Coast. The area has pockets of rainforest, rolling hills of green pasture, manicured turf farms and interesting historic buildings. The name Yarramalong means “cedar country” in the language of the Darkinjung people. Prior to settlement in the 1850s, timber cutters from Maitland and Wollombi used teams of oxen to extensively log the area. Unfortunately, this denuded the landscape, so much so that older residents still remember the sparse scenery. Today, you would never guess at this secret history. Standing on the deck of the Firefly Bistro at the Macadamia Nut Farm, trees cover the landscape as far as the eye can see. Yet as we stand bewitched, absorbing the beauty of the view, Doris tells us of her childhood days when established trees were a rarity in the valley. Much of the timber from the area was used to build the city of Sydney.



The Yarramalong Macadamia Nut Farm is the southernmost working macadamia farm in Australia. And it is as picturesque as its valley home. Elizabeth and George Rakusan established the organic farm in the early 1970s, planting 900 trees and selling the fresh nuts from their back shed. They lovingly worked the land until the late 1990s. When Adam Craig acquired the property 20 months ago, he embarked on a courageous journey of regeneration. The farm had been reduced from the Rakusan’s original 100 acres to just 35 acres, and the trees were neglected.


Adam’s first priority was to regenerate his 500 trees. Fortunately, he has farming in his blood, coming from a long line of Matcham citrus farmers and market gardeners. Adam nurtured his trees organically, just as the Rakusan’s did, and has seen them flourish into a breathtakingly beautiful grove. Productive once again, all harvesting is done by hand and today the grove returns between 3.5 and 5 tonnes of nuts annually. Following his success on the land, Adam took over the farm’s café 12 months ago. Having had a long career in food and hospitality, he has relished the challenge.


The Rakusan’s original farm and the shed used to sell nuts to the public. Adam roped in his sister, Steph, who has an equally impressive hospitality background, to help out with the business and together they gave the café a facelift and installed a new kitchen. They also gave the place a new name – Firefly Bistro – a reference to the fireflies that often visit on humid evenings. Backing onto lush rainforest, which is home to an abundant range of bird life, including black cockatoos, it’s hard to imagine a more serene setting. The menu has been revamped and consists of simple, delicious food with a twist. Of course macadamia nuts feature heavily: macadamia oil is used throughout; pesto is made with the nuts; and the macadamia and pistachio dukka is irresistibly moreish. The highlight for many visitors,

though, is the freshly made macadamia scones served with jam and cream. Adam has exciting plans to extend the bistro and create a dining destination that incorporates some of the stunning grounds into its seating area. What a pleasure to see the connection Adam has established with his 35 acres, his café and his trees. The Yarramalong Macadamia Nut Farm is already a wonderful stop-off on a Yarramalong drive, and I sense it will only improve under his stewardship. Yarramalong Macadamia Nut Farm 32 Macadamia Lane, Wyong Creek, NSW Open Wednesday to Sunday 11am-3pm (02) 43561836 WEBSITE


Herbs & Spices



After making a success of business back home in England, Nick and Jill Ashby moved with their daughters to Australia five years ago in search of a new challenge and more sunshine. The Central Coast was the place they settled on and luckily they found the perfect business here, too. Located in a picturesque building in Booker Bay is Pure Blends, producers of fine, handmade spice and herb blends. It is a business based around the couple’s passion for cooking, health and good living. The premise being that there is so much flavour available that doesn’t involve sugar, salt or various additives. Pure Blends products contain no preservatives, artificial colours or


blends flavours, anti-caking agents, MSG, gluten, wheat or soy and contain only GM-free ingredients. They are also a lot lower in salt than most supermarket products, with many of the most popular completely salt-free. Put simply it’s all the good and tasty things without the nasties. Jill and Nick personally source all the ingredients for their blends. Their premises are rather like a (hygienic) Middle Eastern bazaar, with the wonderful aromas of freshly ground spices wafting through the door. On the day we visited, Moroccan Spice was being bagged up and so the air was full of cumin, mint, cloves and caraway seeds. A heady mix!


Pure Blends, products are also about making life a little easier. All of the powdered herb or spice blends can be mixed with water and a little oil to create marinades or sauces. And there is an easy-to-remember formula: 1, 2, 3. One part oil, to two parts blend, to three parts water. Simple! The Satay Sauce blend is particularly impressive - just add 100ml of water to 100g of blend and you have the most wonderfully fragrant, and quite fiery, satay sauce. And the great thing is that it doesn’t taste like any sort of short cut. It tastes exactly as it should, because Jill and

Nick have hit on the perfect blend of spice and ingredients. They have done the “from scratch” bit for you, and sealed it in a neat package to create an Aladdin’s lamp of flavour whenever you need it. They have a large range of products and flavours to suit whatever style of cuisine you might prefer. There are blends as well as straight herbs and spices, which are the same quality as those used in the mixes, sauces and dressings, including a caramelised balsamic vinegar with coconut sugar, which is particularly tasty, cereal mixes, tea blends and more.


THE HEALTH BENEFITS It seems that spices do more than flavour your food. Research has found that many appear to have the power to inhibit tissue damage and inflammation brought on by high blood-sugar levels, and they are rich in antioxidants, which are thought to protect cells from damage. Sprinkling some spice in your food can add a lot of antioxidant power, without adding lots of extra calories. It is also a lot cheaper than other food products and supplements. RECIPES Nick and Jill love to cook with their products and they’ve given us three of their favourite recipes to share. Check out their website for lots more tasty ideas.

Pureblends 203 Booker Bay Road, Booker Bay, NSW (02) 43422970


cRiSPy Bacon, PeaR and Rocket Salad Serves 2 Pureblends Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar 2 heaped teaspoons Pureblends Italian Blend 4 rashers of bacon 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced 2 handful of rocket leaves (or mixed salad leaves, spinach etc). 8 cherry tomatoes, halved 4 tablespoons pine nuts 1 slice of bread, chopped into small cubes Parmesan cheese, shaved Handful of fresh mint, chopped Olive oil chop bacon into small pieces and put under medium grill till crispy. Set aside. lightly toast pine nuts under a medium grill. Set aside. in a bowl, mix bread cubes with Pureblends italian Blend. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil into a fry pan and heat. add bread mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown, turn occasionally. toss fruit, vegetables and mint together in a bowl. Sprinkle with bacon, pine nuts and parmesan. add crispy bread croutons. drizzle Pureblends caramelised Balsamic Vinegar in lines over the salad.

thai Baked coconut Salmon Serves 4 2 teaspoons Olive oil 4 heaped teaspoons Pureblends Thai Spice 6 tsp water 4 salmon steaks 1 tin coconut milk 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Handful of finely chopped coriander 1 spring onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 4 kaffir lime leaves 1 tablespoon fish sauce Juice of 1 lime Olive oil in a bowl, mix marinade ingredients together, add cumin seeds and mix well. add salmon and stir till well coated. in a large frying pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium to high heat. add salmon and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until skin is crispy. Remove and set aside. add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce to pan. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add salmon steaks. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Plate up and pour remaining sauce over steaks. Sprinkle with coriander and spring onion. drizzle with lime juice. Serve with rice and steamed asian greens.

Gado Gado Salad with Peanut Satay Sauce Serves 2 2 cups bean sprouts 2 cups Chinese cabbage cut into cubes 2 cups blanched long green beans cut into 5cm lengths 2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced half a cucumber sliced into chunks 1 carrot, finely sliced Handful of fresh coriander, chopped 2 spring onions, finely chopped Juice of 1 lime 50g Pureblends Satay Sauce Blend Prepare satay sauce mix by combining 50g Pureblends Satay Sauce Blend and 50ml of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir for 2 minutes. toss vegetables, coriander and lime juice in a bowl. arrange vegetables on a large serving platter. add sliced eggs on top. Pour satay sauce mix over the top. note: also good with BBQ Spice Blend chicken or thai beef strips on top of salad

Citrus & Avocados

Meliora Farm

Tim Kemp is a third-generation citrus farmer on the family property, Meliora, in Peat’s Ridge. Many of the farms in the area started as land grants after World War I. Meliora was established in 1924 by Tim’s grandfather, who planted passionfruit and citrus along with some vegetables on the farm. Quick growing produce, such as passionfruit and tomatoes, were often planted to complement citrus and provide a harvest while the fruit trees grew. The word ‘meliora’ is a Latin adjective that means ‘better’, and by extension ‘getting better’. Yet despite all the hard work to create this viable farm, it’s hard to imagine how you could improve on the natural wonder of the place. It must have been a beautiful escape from the horrors of war. Today the farm is a green and lush 120 acres, with 50 acres under cultivation. There are large areas of


virgin bush and rainforest, along with the picturesque remains of farming from different eras. Perhaps it is because for almost 90 years the same family has cared for this farm, that its fruit trees seem to fit so well with the land and blend in as part of the bush.

make up half of the Kemp’s total harvest. Peat’s Ridge avocadoes are the southernmost on the eastern seaboard. Thankfully, the region’s even climate is ideal for many forms of growing; the Kemp’s have found that planting a variety of citrus means yearround fruiting on the farm.

In recent times poor prices have made citrus production less viable, forcing the area’s traditional crop to undergo some changes. Tim’s father began experimenting with avocado growing in the early 80s and avocadoes now

Tim is passionate about food being fresh. Many nutrients are lost in the time between harvesting and consumption, especially in supermarket stock. He picks fruit the day before market and you can taste the difference!



Farming has already mostly disappeared from our coastal areas - it is only 60 years or so since Avoca was known as a farming region that had been predominantly growing fruit for about 120 years. The plateau region also faces pressure from urban encroachment and imported fresh produce in our supermarkets. Not only is this produce so far from fresh it’s not funny, it also undermines our local growers. Add to this a couple of difficult summers in a row and you start to understand how tough farming has become. The advent of local growers’ and farmers’ markets has been a boon for our growers but even more so for local consumers. We can now go and buy fresh produce from farmers like Tim and know that the avocado or orange we are cutting into was picked only yesterday and came from the farm direct to our tables. You can’t get fresher than that without growing it yourself!

Did you know that avocadoes have more potassium than bananas and are an excellent source of folate?

Meliora Farm 1528 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge, NSW (02) 43731826

What’s in season when? Oranges Valencias are in season now until late May. New Haul Navels and Navelina will replace them in late May through to early July. Washington Navels then come in until mid September. These are replaced by Late Lane Navels until late December. Then we are back to Valencias.

Tangelos are available from late September to late December.

Lemons are generally available year-round.

Avocadoes are in season from late September to late December. Tim has a small amount of fruit outside of this main harvest time, and usually has some avocadoes at market until mid-year.

Limes are harvested in late March to July. A small crop from September to October are a treat for market goers.

Mandarins are in season from early May to mid-August. Tamarillos are available from late March to August.

You can find Meliora Farm produce at the EQ Village Markets at Moore Park, Sydney, and at the Avoca Beach Growers’ Market. You can also purchase from their roadside stall at the farm.







Kim Margin comes from a considerable line of soft drink and ice cream manufacturers dating back to 1906 - the slogan ‘Make Mine Margin’s’ is still familiar to many. In the mid-80s the business came to and end and Kim was left with an idle ice-cream factory. He experimented with different reinventions of the factory which is housed on his property in Woy Woy, including using it as a storage facility for homemade wine. But it wasn’t until he converted it into a space to grow mushrooms that the factory was truly reborn. Its three small cool rooms were modified to provide the humidity necessary for mushroom farming, and in 2009 Margin’s Mushrooms emerged.

Sadly, today fresh mushrooms are so hard to come by they are considered by many to be a novelty. That’s why when people come across Margin’s Mushrooms they swoon! The factory’s growing capacity of 200 blocks was soon unable to keep up with demand, so the business relocated to the old Woy Woy abattoir, which had lain dormant for several years. The building’s structure was solid with sealable rooms. To create the perfect mushroom-growing environment, the Margin’s just had to provide the right amounts of water and air to the space. After these modifications were complete, the new premises was ready to accommodate 1000 blocks.



Today, the Margin’s grow white mushrooms to button, cap and flat stages, as well as Swiss Browns and Portobellos. They only use certifiedorganic blocks, called Phase 3 Blocks, which are sourced from a major supplier in Singleton. The blocks arrive as compost blocks, already colonised with mycelium. This is the vegetative part of a fungus and is a mass of branching threads. Mushrooms are the fruit of the mycelium. The blocks are covered with peat moss, which is a labour-intensive job for the family when you consider the number of blocks they cultivate. Next, the blocks are watered for three days to prepare them for the first flush. This first harvest can take several weeks. Each block produces four flushes, about a week or so apart, after which it is removed and resold as garden compost. Much of the work in mushroom farming revolves around keeping contaminants and insects at bay. Ideal growing conditions are moist and warm, which is also the favourite environment of many pests. Margin’s Mushrooms are completely chemicalfree, so hygiene and vigilance are the


family’s main weapons in fighting off intruders - one insect in a room can multiply to hundreds within just a day or two. The positive pressure of the rooms helps keep insects out and for any sneaky ones that make it inside, there’s a bright light and sticky paper!

drained and incredibly fertile. Perfect for the vegie garden! Stop by the farm on Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy to buy Margin’s Mushroom Compost direct, or head to your local markets to discover what a revelation really fresh mushrooms can be.

STORING MUSHROOMS Margin’s Mushrooms is very much a family affair. Kim and his wife Chris spend most of their time at the farm and personally man their stalls at various markets. Their two sons are also involved in the business and when there is a big flush, it’s all hands on deck.

Mushrooms are best stored in a brown paper bag in the crisper section of the fridge. Don’t wash the mushrooms before storing as this can cause them to ‘sweat’ and deteriorate. You will notice that mushrooms as fresh as Margin’s are will store a lot longer than those bought in a supermarket!

The mouth-watering mushrooms have quickly achieved a loyal following. They are available at several Sydney markets, including Redfern and North Sydney. Locally, you can find them at Avoca Beach Growers’ Market and Mangrove Mountain Country Market. Their mushroom compost from finished blocks is also popular with home gardeners and available for purchase. After supporting four flushes of mushrooms, it is weed free, well

PREPARATION With mushrooms, the less they are handled, the better. If you are eating them raw wipe them over with a damp paper towel. If you rinse them, do so under cold water and quickly pat them dry with paper towel. The best method is to give them a gentle brush with a pastry brush to loosen any dirt. Mushrooms do not need to be peeled and yes, the stalk is there to be eaten too.

Mushrooms this fresh don’t need a lot of primping. Here’s our favourite way to cook them:

Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and toss with butter to coat.

Mushrooms Sautéed in Butter

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, reduce heat to very low. Just before serving, toss parsley through. Makes 4 first-course servings.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ¾ pounds mall white mushrooms; wiped clean and sliced in half 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley; chopped


Margin’s Mushrooms Woy Woy Rd, Woy Woy (old Woy Woy abattoir) (02) 43442468

43653968 25 Portsmouth Rd, Erina, NSW Distillery opening hours are 10am – 5pm Wednesday to Sunday. (Closed public holidays)




Delightfully Fresh Organics Darren and Kim Craig both have a love of gardening and growing things. It was nurtured independently as children in Australia and England respectively, and was one of the things that drew them together.


After moving to the Central Coast to take up teaching posts in Agriculture and Science, and raise a family, the Craig’s started growing and selling, vegetables and herbs from their Saratoga garden. Just as demand for the couple’s fresh produce was getting way beyond the capabilities of their suburban plot, Kim, with her science background, developed a keen interest in the connection between food and health - and the seed of an idea was planted.



The transition five years ago from teaching to full-time gardening may have been a slower one if it hadn’t been for Kim spotting an ad for a property in Mangrove Mountain. Not only did it have the required space for the organic seedlings and produce the Craig’s wanted to specialise in, it also had a large comfortable house that could provide a wonderful lifestyle for their growing boys. They made the move. Farming on this larger scale involved much trial and error. Kim and Darren found that what they had learnt from books, and subsequently taught to hundreds of

school children, did not necessarily cut it in the ‘real world’. Dreams of livestock had to be mostly abandoned and an early polytunnel was lost to the wind, but by growing slowly and learning along the way, the Craig’s carved out a neat niche for themselves. They still grow and sell fresh produce as they have always done, but now their main business is growing NASAAcertified organic vegetable and herb seedlings, including many unusual varieties that are hard to source elsewhere. The seedlings are sold to

home gardeners at farmers’ markets and a few select nurseries on the Coast, as well as to commercial growers keen to acquire hardy, organic stock. Not only are there health benefits from seedlings grown in a chemical-free environment, the plants are also much more robust than those grown traditionally in hothouses with pesticides. The seedlings are cultivated in raised trays, with open-ended polytunnels protecting them from strong wind and rain. At first glance they look so vulnerable, but then you notice how amazingly healthy they


all are - practically bursting with colour and vitality. And that’s the real advantage in buying directly from a nursery like Delightfully Fresh Organics: the plants that will provide you and your family with sustenance go straight from the care of Kim and Craig to you, with no downtime in transit or shelftime awaiting purchase. In breaking news: Delightfully Fresh Organics now offers an organic produce home-delivery service. It runs fortnightly over the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month, to complement The Entrance Farmers’ Market, which is held on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, and Avoca Growers’ Market, which is held on the 1st Sunday of the month. With these regular weekly options you need never run out of organic goodness! You can purchase products from their WEBSITE or from the following markets: ORANGE GROVE MARKET every Saturday. BROADMEADOW FARMERS’ MARKET every Sunday. THE ENTRANCE FARMERS’ MARKET 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. AVOCA GROWERS’ MARKET 1st Sunday of the month. Delightfully Fresh Organics Maroney Road, Mangrove Mountain, NSW (02) 43741355

WWOOF! Delightfully Fresh Organics are enthusiastic hosts to ‘WWOOF-ers’. Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a volunteer exchange program where the Volunteers (WWOOFers) do 4-6 hours of farming/gardening-type work per day in exchange for food and accommodation. The scheme promotes cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchanges, helping to build a sustainable global community. Find out more at

Carnivorous plants Delightfully Fresh Organics have added a range of carnivorous plants to their products. The plants include Venus fly traps, Sarracena and Nepenthes and come in a variety of sizes. They are stunning plants as well as being a bit of fun. And in a country where flies are often an annoyance, they are a good option for chemical-free insect control. Place two or three at your kitchen window to keep the flies at bay.

What is NASAA? The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) is Australia’s leading organic certifier. It provides certification and inspection services that cover the organic supply chain – from input manufacturers to producers, processors, wholesale and retail operations – ensuring organic integrity ‘from paddock to plate’. Certification is rigorous and involves inspections of all aspects of the business, and a lot of paperwork! It also means that your business is regularly audited to ensure practices and quality are maintained.



Autumn is the perfect time to give your vegie garden an overhaul. Or start one! Adam McCall and David Braunstein from Adam’s Garden gives us the low-down on what your soil needs and what to plant.

Autumn Gardening

What a funny summer it has been in the garden! This year has seen our second ‘La Nina’ summer in succession and the long-range forecast says more wet and humid weather to come ... But with the arrival of


autumn, it’s a good time to prepare the for winter crops. We work with raised no-dig beds, so autumn preparation means replacing the nutrients in the soil that summer crops have depleted.

Autumn in the vegie patch...

1 First, it’s important to weed out and

compost any unwanted plants. Don’t forget to collect seeds from summer vegetables when removing the plants.

2 Next, we like to put down a layer of

the herb comfrey as a green mulch. It’s a great herb to grow to activate your compost bin and has fabulous medicinal uses, too. We often use it to help the breakdown of mulch layers in no-dig garden beds.

3 Add some mushroom compost over the

comfrey. Margin’s Mushrooms in Woy Woy is a great source.

4 Then add a layer of lucerne hay, which

is high in nitrogen. Pea straw seems to work just as well but if neither is available, just straw will be fine. Don’t use hay as it contains seeds and your lovely garden bed will become pasture.

5 Next, if you have a compost bin, add

some really well broken-down compost with worms. At this stage you also want to add a selection of organic fertilisers, such as cow manure, chicken manure or blood and bone. If you keep chooks be aware that their manure needs to be composted. If you add fresh lawn clippings to it and then compost, you will get a lovely mix for your garden.

Watch your poo! Chicken manure is a great source of nitrogen. Unfortunately, most commercial manure comes from battery hen farms and is laden with residual antibiotics and other chemicals. Ensure you source chicken manure from organic farms. Even better, have your own chickens and harvest your own manure! As a rule, you should make sure all your animal manures are from free-range animals. When you use manures you concentrate whatever those animals ate into the soil, which you then use to grow your vegies. If you use manures sourced from animals in industrial farming, the chemical inputs end up concentrated in your soil AND in your vegies. Also be cautious with chemically produced fertilisers, which often contain heavy metals and superphosphate. Superphosphate is lethal to worms and does nasty things to soil fauna and flora, and heavy metals are carcinogenic. If the product doesn’t have a certifiedorganic sticker, it’s not organic, and can contain any amount of heavy metals and superphosphate.



6 Add some dolomite to the mix to boost the calcium in the soil. If you add a lot of eggshells to your compost you may not need this additive.

7 Finally, top it off with another layer

of lucerne mulch. Now you are ready to plant winter crops as well as some that you can harvest in spring.


We’ll be planting a selection of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, beetroot, coriander, parsley, rocket, English spinach, silverbeet and lettuces. And it’s a good time to plant broad beans to give you a supply of legumes for later in the winter. Autumn is also when a lot of root vegies go in, such as carrots, parsnips and turnips. If you are growing these in raised beds, it’s worth noting that they need a depth of at least 150 mm of friable soil. If you are establishing a new vegie x garden, remember to select a sunny site - vegetables like around six hours of sunshine a day. Conditions will change with seasons, so make sure you are familiar with the site year-round. Some shade from the hot westerly sun is good for summer, but make sure the garden bed will receive adequate sun in winter.

Growing garlic We’re definitely going to plant some garlic; we use it a lot in cooking and also raw as a general health tonic. The summer before last we bought some garlic from a grower up at Somersby. It was incredible! It tasted so much better than what we had been buying from the supermarket. We went back and bought more, and it started to sprout in the cupboard. We planted it and what a revelation! You can buy planting stock from organic farmers at a local growers’ market. Most of the garlic you buy from supermarkets won’t strike because it is sprayed with chemicals to extend its shelf life and inhibit cloves from sprouting. Online, you can try Green Harvest for certified-organic bulbs. Elmswood Farm is also a good source of quality bulbs. Garlic hates wet feet, so prepare your soil well, making mounds in rows about 20-30cm wide for good drainage. Break up

the bulbs into individual cloves and plant them, pointy end up, into good loamy soil a hand’s width apart and about 3-4cm deep. Water them in and cover with a layer of mulch. Garlic needs at least six months or so of mild temperatures to form plump, juicy (pungent) bulbs. Harvest when the leaves are yellowing and drying out. Then hang the whole plant in an airy, dry space to dry out further. READ MORE ABOUT GROWING GARLIC ON THE ADAM’S GARDEN BLOG

Want to know more about establishing a no-dig garden?


follow Adam’s Garden on facebook



Adam’s Garden is running an Autumn Gardening Workshop on the 21st of April. Learn about the organic principles of sun and how to optimise sun exposure x how to build raised no-dig layered garden beds x when, what and how to plant x how to make great compost x different types of mulch x worm farming x how best to enjoy harvesting your own vegies and more! CLICK HERE for more information.

Hot off the press ...

David and Adam of Adam’s Garden are half of the dynamic business Garden 2 Plate, along with Mel and Allie from Full on Flavour. We told you a little about them last issue but we thought they were worth a revisit, as there is a bit of buzz happening at the moment. Right about the time Issue 3 goes live, there will be dancing in the streets of Hardys Bay - an opening-night party as the area gets yet another high quality store. Yes, the Garden 2 Plate brand is opening a shopfront! We can only assume they will be bring the same joie de vivre to their new as venture as they do to their regular cooking and gardening classes. Here are some photos from the last class - a pizza making night, complete with wood-fired pizza oven held at the fabulous Ooomph Gourmet Grocer and CafÊ in East Gosford. 26a Adelaide Street, East Gosford, NSW. 243211133

Daryl Braithwaite Thursday 19th

Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything) Friday 10th

Michael Peter Album Launch


Live and Local Wednesday 4th

Jazz and Chilli Crab Night

Sunday 22nd

Rock Trivia Thursday 26th

Afro Moses Friday 27th

Aya Larkin Saturday 28th

Pete Hawkes and Phil Emmanuel Sunday 29th

Easter Saturday 7th


Jon English

Hat Fitz

Easter Sunday 8th

Friday 4th

Live and Local

Liam Burrows and Band

Wednesday 11th

Saturday 5th

Annabelle Kay

Steve Poltz (USA)

Thursday 12th

Sunday 6th

Vika and Linda Bull

Bic Runga

Friday 13th

Tuesday 8th


Mike McCarthy

Sunday 15th

Thursday 10th

Jon Gomm (UK)

Nick Rheinberger

Tuesday 17th

Friday 11th

Live and Local

A Date with Effie

Wednesday 18th

Saturday 12th


Mothers Day Lunch with Katrina Burgoyne Sunday 13th

The Idea of North Thursday 17th

Cookin Up Comedy Friday 18th

Harry Manx Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th

Oscar Jiminez (Watussi) Wednesday 23rd

The Black Sorrows Thursday 24th

The Brewster Brothers Friday 26th

Tex Perkins Sunday 28th

Lot 3 Avoca Drive, Kincumber, NSW. (02) 43682017

SOLVING YOUR COMPUTER PROBLEMS BUSINESS SUPPORT Supporting businesses all over the Central Coast and Sydney. PROJECT MANAGEMENT Over 20 years experience in business relocation and fit-outs. HOME SUPPORT Specialists in home office technology, saving you time and money. (02) 4324 1169






Interior Designer Nola Charles made incremental steps towards her dream home in the Central Coast hinterland. She and husband John first moved to Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River, wanting to breathe fresher air and grow vegetables. The novelty of island life soon wore thin and they were craving more space and sunshine, so when this creek-side property came on the market, it seemed perfect for their next move. Nola had long dreamed of living in a barn at the top of a high-grassed hill. When she first saw the property, the slope up to where the present house sits was swathed in tall grass. Upon occupancy, she soon found that this had to kept well cut to keep snakes at bay. Not just for her sake but for that of the kangaroos that graze the hill, too. However, Nola did build her barn.



The home is typically barn-like in structure, lined with corrugated iron. Nola was inspired by the architecture of Glenn Murcutt and he, too, sites iconic structures such as corrugated-iron wool sheds amongst his influences. Large windows are a feature that takes advantage of the views and the natural light. By orienting the structure correctly, Nola has built an energyefficient home, and the addition of clerestory windows have allowed airflow within the house to be controlled. This also meant that eaves weren’t necessary - an important factor in maintaining the barn aesthetic. Directly outside the large main window is a beautiful dam that was already on the property. A large deck has been built to give the feeling of extending over the water, like the deck of a ship. The deck was another key element, as the couple do a lot of large-scale entertaining.

The main living room is large, again to allow for entertaining, but with furnishings grouped around the space it feels intimate and warm. As a designer, Nola is known for her use of colour. In her own home she has kept many of the walls white to accommodate various artworks. However, there is still clever use of colour. The soft mauve on the feature wall infuses into all aspects of the decor - the shadows of the leather and velvet, the artwork on the main wall - and echoes in the bark of the gums outside.

While this room is sumptuous, there is much evidence of Nola’s love of industrial and agricultural detail. The mezzanine level, seen above, features reinforcing mesh and galvanised steel, the same materials used outside. The cushions made from hessian sacking contrast with the fur of the throw rug, and the stack of wood used to fuel the large Jetmaster fireplace is both a practical and decorative feature.






The dining area is the site of Nola’s serious splash of colour. As with the mauve wall in the living room, this vibrant tangerine seems completely at home in the space, highlighting touches of red and rust throughout the house. Both Nola and John have a keen love of pop art and the banners seen on previous pages are from an Andy Warhol exhibition in Los Angeles in 2002. Metal Tolix chairs and stools reflect the industrial feel of materials elsewhere. They are light, stackable and stylish. Perfectly practical and a design classic.

The kitchen is made for entertaining Nola has been known to plate up for 70 people here. To the rear of the house is a generous pantry where she stores extra crockery, cookbooks and the fruits of her large kitchen garden. The kitchen cleverly features roller blinds, which can be lowered to hide waiting dishes from guests’ eyes. In contrast to the modern art and furnishings, the unusual light fittings in the dining area are antique French grapepicking baskets. They are draped to diffuse the light, which creates a surreal effect of floating, hooped skirts.


Upstairs are two bedrooms and adjoining bathrooms. The rooms are almost identical in layout but where the guest room is a serene mix of taupes and charcoal, the main bedroom features dramatic black walls and a stunning antique bed. It still manages to be a peaceful room though, with a magnificent view over bushland. Nola’s love of cane is evident throughout the house. The large basket in the bedroom was bought new and cleverly aged outside before finding its way to the master bedroom. The corrugated iron roof seen inside the house is an inner layer, separate to that on the exterior of the roof. In between the two layers is insulation, vital in a building made of metal.



On the side verandah is a mirror that came as a bonus from a hotel design job, and more of Nola’s beloved cane. The main deck continues to explore her passion for rust and industrial materials. These are the same materials used on the balustrade inside. The two old gates are part of the kitchen garden (see overleaf). This beautiful rambling space framed by the bush, provides Nola, a talented cook, with plenty of her own fresh produce.



0413 095 352

Nola is very involved in the Mangrove Mountains Country Market, a foodfocused market on the last Sunday of each month, 9am-2pm. Come and sample fresh produce from the area’s growers, including many featured in this issue. Recent markets have had a theme and the next one, on the 29th of April, will be centred around Honey and Bees. Sounds delicious!



Macmasters Beach local, Paul Duffy, fell in love with Vietnam. Now he helps others do the same.


Paul Duffy has lived on the Central Coast all his adult life, mostly by the scenic shores of Macmasters Beach. However, for around 20 years he was a commuter who spent 2 to 3 hours travelling to the city each workday, worked long hours, then faced the long return journey alone, again. Suffice to say he didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy the beautiful area. Weekdays were a blur. He’d walk in the door around 8pm every night and before he even spoke to his family, Paul would head straight to the bedroom to get his clothes ready for the following day. When he started to hate Saturday nights because they were too close to Monday and another week of commuting, it was time to do something drastic. Paul quit his city job and started a local business that gave him the flexibility to travel overseas. The first place he visited was Vietnam. He fell instantly in love with the country and all it had to offer, and has forever since made it his second home. After spending much time there, living with Vietnamese families for short periods, Paul was bursting with local knowledge and experiences that he wanted to share. He started taking small groups of friends over to Vietnam and showing them local hidden gems, and before long, hardly a day went by without him getting calls from people who




had been referred to him. Paul spent hours providing advice on where to go, where to stay, how long to stop in each place and the best ways to get around. He quickly realized this was what he wanted to do with his life, and the travel company Global Adventures was born. The business is a partnership with his sister, who extends Paul’s passion and local knowledge of Vietnam to the many countries she has lived in and extensively travelled. Over the years, Paul has watched Vietnam transition from a place off-limits to travelers under the ruling communist government post-Vietnam War (or the American War as the locals call it), to the early 90s when it repositioned itself as the fabulous South East Asian holiday destination that warmly welcomes tourists today. Vietnam has it all: old-world charm, distinctive culture, warm people, beautiful beaches, spectacular countryside and shopping and food to die for. But it’s easy to be trapped by the many mass tourist attractions and miss out on the subtleties of this country’s culture, people and history. In response, Global Adventures creates individually designed, flexible, small personal guided tours for 1 to 10 people. And for the independent traveler, they


provide a personalized itinerary planning service based on what you want to do and treasures beyond the typical tourist list of places to tick off. An Australian and local Vietnamese guide lead all of Global Adventures’ tours, which helps with language and ensures local Vietnamese knowledge is passed along throughout the journey. People often complain that they don’t know how long to spend in a certain place when they plan a holiday; and most books and information out there don’t give you the answer. It can only be provided by people who have both local

knowledge and an understanding of what your individual likes and dislikes are. So when Global Adventures asks what you want from your holiday experience, they use this information to ensure you get the best holiday for you. If your preference is to experience the “real” Vietnam, Global Adventures can organize for you to spend time in traditional villages and witness firsthand the day-to-day life of a Vietnamese family and their commune. Or if you want a more physical holiday, a cycling tour through the Vietnamese countryside is like no other in the world.

Of course, whatever you want to see and do will always include food – and Vietnamese food is second to none in taste and freshness. One way to capture this is to include a Vietnamese cooking class as part of your travel plans. The beautiful town of Hoian is particularly popular with cooks – chefs guide classes through the bustling food markets, help you select fresh authentic produce and teach you to cook classic recipes. And naturally, you get to eat the results! In Vietnam, food is either picked or killed the day you buy it. While there are many great customary dishes, the seafood and the traditional

Vietnamese dish called Pho, a noodle soup often served with beef, are particularly hard to go past. It does not matter what time of the day or night hunger strikes you, a great range of Vietnamese street-food stalls and restaurants are on hand to satisfy your deepest cravings. WWW.GLOBALADVENTURES.COM.

Global Adventures’ next tour is planned for June and involves a 20-day adventure through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. There are still a few vacancies in the small, personalized tour group, so be quick and contact Global Adventures before they fill up.

Thank you to Laurence and Nick, Ellie and Peter, Sue and Russell, Shelley and Anthony, Michael, Philip, Steven, LooLoo, Mel, Jason, Craig, Jan, Tim and Elise, Kim and Chris, Darren and Kim. Without exception you were gracious, giving and just really nice people! We have loved the opportunity to meet you and see what you do.

And a big thank you Jen.

Breeze magazine is designed and produced by designit4u

See you in June for Issue 4

thank you for reading!

Issue 4 out June

Breeze Magazine Central Coast Issue 3  

Welcome to Breeze Online Magazine's third edition, a special "Foodie Issue" concentraing on growers and artisan producers of the Central Coa...

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