I’ve seared, sautéed, roasted (and very occasionally burnt) food my whole career, but I will still choose quality produce over fancy technique every time.
Apart from it simply being better for you and knowing exactly what you’re eating, taking the time to choose quality produce means you’ll learn to appreciate the work that’s gone into your food – whether it’s the farmer who wakes before sunrise to harvest the crop or the butcher who only works with organic meats. Connecting what’s on our forks back to the hands that feed us is integral if we are to look after our land and ourselves!
I love the continuing trend of paddock-to-plate produce. It’s the foodie embodiment of the KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Here in South East Queensland, we are spoilt rotten when it comes to butchery, deli goods and fresh fruit and veg. Here’s where you can get in on the action.
Alfred & Constance, Fortitude Valley/Anything Jocelyn Hancock does
Perhaps best known for the sweet treats of Jocelyn’s Provisions, Jocelyn Hancock is a paddock-to-plate veteran and hero. As the patron chef of Alfred & Constance, Alfredo’s Pizzeria and Chester Street Kitchen, her connection to local, ethical and no-nonsense food is obvious in all her ventures.
Cake & Bake, Jocelyn’s new West End venture, will use produce sourced from Killarney, where Jocelyn grew up. As well as cakes, slices, and lunch offerings, Jocelyn will stock a line of natural preserves. She will start with a Three Fruit Marmalade and a Meyer Lemon Curd, eventually adding honey from her hives in Killarney.
The Stores, West End
From the fourth-generation butchers behind Schulte’s Meat Tavern in the Lockyer Valley, The Stores brings paddock-to-plate butchery, a fromagerie, and locally-sourced fruit and veg under the one roof. With plenty of parking out front, and a gastropub next door, there’s no excuse for not jumping on the paddock-to-plate bandwagon. With an emphasis on highlighting some of South East Queensland’s finest, you’ll find produce such as Yagaburne Beef, Fairview pork, LíráH vinegar and McClure’s Pickles.
A household name in Queensland, these local producers provide the yoghurts featured on the best brunch menus in the country. The Campbell family transformed their property into an organic dairy farm in the 1990s, and have since taken out many international awards for their milk, cheese and yoghurt. Producing dairy without chemicals or antibiotics, Barambah Organic captures the true essence of the paddock-to-plate philosophy: just keep it simple.
Todd Adams is a fixture of the Brisbane restaurant scene. Having led teams at The Euro, Urbane and Stokehouse, he is now using his expertise and knowledge of local produce to lead the revitalised Lennons restaurant at NEXT Hotel Brisbane. Follow him at @lennonsrestaurant
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