Q: With the urban sprawl of Sydney, do we have truly local produce available?
The Crave, Sydney International Food Festival is well and truly underway with Sydneysiders (and travelling foodies) basking in the glow of World Class chefs and the latest food trends. Despite its international focus, the festival keeps some things close to home. The 100 mile meal challenge, is a series of events that throw down the gauntlet to Sydney chefs, challenging them to host an event where their menu is made up entirely of locally grown produce. There are over twenty 100 mile meal events being held this year, with sustainability champion Jared Ingersoll from Cotton Duck going so far as to host a 10 mile waddle.
Outside of the Crave Festival, Sydney chefs are increasingly requesting local produce; actively embracing the market culture and the benefits of using seasonal ingredients with low food miles. A prime example is the redesign of Café Opera at the Intercontinental Hotel, where Executive Head Chef Tamas Pamer and Executive Sous Chef Julien Pouteau took on the challenge of using seasonal, locally produced ingredients in their signature buffet.
Simon George & Sons works closely with Sydney producers and has a strong offering of local produce this Spring, much of which is grown within 50 miles of Sydney, never mind 100! To prepare your palate for the 100 Mile Meals series, here is a snapshot of some of our best produce from close to home:
Exotic Mushrooms- Oyster (white, pink, yellow), Nameko, Enoki, Gold Enoki, Porcini, Shimeji, Shitake, Swiss Brown, Woodear
Heirloom Carrots- Purple, White, Yellow
Carrots- Golfball, Dutch
Beetroot- Standard, Baby Beetroot, Baby Goldne Beetroot
Edible Flowers- Season about to start
Asian Veges- Most ranges
Tomatoes- Truss, Cherry Truss, Roma
Hydroponic Lettuce- Baby Cos
Lettuce- Cos, Iceberg
Garden Vegetables- Shallots, Spring Onions, Radish etc
Herbs- Basil, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme etc
Sprouts and Shoots- Bean Sprouts
Cucumber- Telegraph, Lebanese
Get into the spirit of 100 Mile Meals with your own local produce menu. Contact Simon George & Sons for more information on this season’s best local produce.
A: Yes. Greater Sydney produces 7% of the state’s total agriculture and 12% of its total vegetables. The Sydney region overall produces 90% of the fresh Asian vegetables consumed in the state and 80% of its fresh mushrooms (Ecos Magazine). In 05/06, the Hawkesbury produced $61 million worth of veges, fruit and eggs, Penrith $32 million, Liverpool 19million, Camden $17milion and Campbelltown $3.4 million (Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036). Now that’s true local.