Issue Fourteen THE
DIY
ISSUE
With Raph Rashid, Rosheen Kaul and more

Contents

Editor’s Letter

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Editor’s
Letter

 
 
 

MJ with the team from Emilio's Specialty Butcher in Rozelle.

MJ with the team from Emilio’s Specialty Butcher in Rozelle.


 
 
 

Welcome to Issue 14 in which we explore the theme of DIY – doing it yourself.
 
In People Places Plates, Pat Nourse profiles self taught cook and the king of food trucks in Australia, Raph Rashid. When Raph started his food truck business in 2009 he had no experience and in fact had never even driven a manual car, let alone a truck! Now with six food trucks and two venues, Raph’s story is one of determination, drive and doing it yourself.
 
Mark Best explores different paddock to plate models in his Spotlight On section – where the venues are located on-farm and utilise their own beef or lamb on the menu. The ultimate in DIY, the four venues discuss the challenges and opportunities of producing their own livestock for the menu.
 
This issue, What’s Good in the Hood does the NSW South Coast and despite the torrential, record-breaking rainfall, Myffy Rigby uncovers some absolute gems of coastal dining. There are lots of DIY inspired stories from a half eaten pie on a fence prompting a father and son to open their own pie shop in Ulladulla; to a Merimbula girl recognising the need for a decent watering hole in her hometown. Hit the road and discover some incredible dining along the beautiful NSW coastline.
 
Our Cut Two Ways for this issue is Goat – and it sure does shine in the hands of two of our favourite chefs Nick Stanton and Alex Prichard with goat from The Gourmet Goat Lady. Our featured butcher is Emilio’s Speciality Butcher – two butchers who decided to do it their own way by opening a butchery committed to ethical and sustainable meat.
 
Finally, Young Guns features one of the hottest young chef talents in the business – Rosheen Kaul from Etta in Melbourne. We talk to Rosheen about the challenges of her first head chef role and her DIY journey of developing her style of food through cultural and family connections, historians and anthropology.
 
The stories, photos and videos in this issue are brimming with inspiration, ideas and incredible people who have found a way to do it their way – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
 

Mary-Jane Morse
 
Meat & Livestock Australia
[email protected]
@_raremedium

 

Copyright: this publication is published by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited ABN 39 081 678 364 (MLA).

 
 
 
 

People Places Plates

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So you want to open a little something of your own? Raph Rashid has two questions for you. What do you want to get out of it? And who is your customer?

The food truck OG - Raph Rashid.

The food truck OG – Raph Rashid.

“I think it’s good to quantify what you feel like your return should be.” And Rashid doesn’t just mean the bottom line. What do you want this business to do for you? Make you money? Let you express yourself? Change your community? Give you a vehicle to explore something that you’re interested in? Save the world? Buy yourself a job you like? All of the above?
 
“What are the metrics to your success and happiness?” If that’s outlined and you’re happy with that, he says, you need to figure out who your customer is. “That idea of that customer doesn’t have to stay set in stone, but you have to have an idea of where this person is. Does this person actually exist? That’s huge for people.”
 
About once every two weeks someone who wants to open a food truck hits Rashid up on Instagram, and he hits them back with the two questions. “And then if they’ve thought about it, and say, ‘this customer exists at this farmer’s market on Sunday and I’m willing to go there and do this for them every Sunday’, then cool. But if they’re like, ‘oh, we’re just gonna park up outside the MCG and you know’, I’ll say, that’s fine too, but you probably need to put in a little bit more work. You might not be able to park there. And does that person coming out of the MCG really want to eat a Scotch egg right then? You’ve got to think about those things. I return to these questions all the time.”

Raph runs three Beatbox Kitchen burger trucks, three Taco Trucks, a Beatbox Kitchen diner and Juanita Peaches, a combined burger and donut shop.

Raph runs three Beatbox Kitchen burger trucks, three Taco Trucks, a Beatbox Kitchen diner and Juanita Peaches, a combined burger and donut shop.

This is not to say Raph Rashid asked himself these questions before he opened his own thing. Right now, he runs three Beatbox Kitchen burger trucks, three Taco Trucks, a bricks-and-mortar Beatbox Kitchen diner on Sydney Road, and Juanita Peaches, a combined burger and doughnut shop in Brunswick that is home to the trucks. He’s the author of three books, has been by turns a graffiti writer, a teenage T-shirt mogul, a recording artist and a sandwich hand, and last year made his first-ever TV series, Mean Cuisine.
 
If you’re looking for a through-line there, it’s doing it yourself. His first book, Behind the Beat, has nothing to do with food – it’s all about hip-hop producers. But it’s about their home studios, taking you inside the spaces where the likes of Cut Chemist, Madlib, Mario Caldato Jr and the late MF Doom and J Dilla did their work.
 
 
 

“I was deeply into home studios and how people were DIYing their own music. One of my favourite albums of all time was DJ Shadow, and he made it all at home. I thought, people need to see what’s going on here.”

 
 
 
Whether it’s skateboarding, graffiti, hip-hop or taco trucks, Rashid deep dives into subcultures, and takes his time to absorb the details while he’s there.
 
When you take a look at the (many) cookbooks on his office shelves, beyond the extensive taco and hamburger literature – you might discern a bias for chefs who forge their own path: Roy Choi, David Chang, Gabrielle Hamilton, Fred Morin and David McMillan, the guys from Joe Beef in Montreal. “I still trip on the new Joe Beef, you know – Surviving the Apocalypse – how’s that timing?”
 
Then as you walk past a stack of shelves towards the other end of the room, the cookbooks and bottles of mustard give way to more 1970s copies of National Geographic, and scale models of treehouses. Less Enrique Olvera, René Redzepi and fermentation, more Ken Done, Henry Darger and books about crochet, tissue paper and kite craft. A poster dominates one shelf with the legend THEY DRANK ALL THE MILK AND ATE ALL THE BUTTER.

Raph’s wife Beci says he loves learning and is always on a mission to better himself.

Raph’s wife Beci says he loves learning and is always on a mission to better himself.

Now you’re in the workspace of Beci Orpin, designer, prolific author and Rashid’s wife, the mother of their two sons, Tyke and Ari, and his key creative collaborator. Take a look at the titles of the (many) books Orpin has produced and it’s not hard to see why they’re kindred spirits: Make & Do, Find & Keep, Take Heart, Take Action, Watch This. “Beci is the DIY queen,” says Rashid.
 
Orpin says Raph is a unique individual – incredibly motivated and never reliant on anyone else to make things happen.
 
“His best skill is making things happen and I think that’s the difference between him and others – everyone has ideas, but not everyone can make them happen. He has many ideas and some of these ideas reach obsession level, and he will obsess over them until they become a reality.”
 
 
 

“He loves learning and is always on a mission to better himself and he’s genuinely passionate about anything he decides to undertake. He has a lot of energy, and reacts greatly to the energy of others.”

 
 
 
“He also loves food. Like really, really loves food, and the satisfaction he gets for cooking and providing for others. At least once a week he’ll revel in a weekday meal he has cooked for our family, especially if the kids love it. Those small things are never lost on him.”

For all his obsessiveness and attention to detail, when Rashid started out back in 2009, not only did he have essentially no experience running a food business of his own, there was also no one doing food trucks he could ask for advice. Oh, and he’d never driven a manual car before, let alone a truck.
 
The learning curve was steep, a waking nightmare of missing staff, melting ice-cream and faulty power circuits. Driving back from working his first music festival, the safe fell out of the truck and onto the freeway, along with all the weekend’s takings. He also didn’t have a kitchen, or anywhere else to prep. He just did it.
 
 
 

“I just parked the truck next to my house, and we would just prepare on the street.” He was running a lead over the next-door neighbour’s house to plug in the power because he didn’t have a driveway of his own to park on. “Then you call the meat guy and the fish guy and the vegetable guy and say ‘okay I’m ready for deliveries because my fridge is on. It was insane.”
Taco truck tools of the trade - flank steak and tortillas on the grill.

Taco truck tools of the trade – flank steak and tortillas on the grill.

But he stuck with it, got a small warehouse, added some more trucks, and then outgrew the warehouse and now he’s the guy people go to, asking how they can get their dream on the road. And he’s there for them.
 
Rashid’s knowledge was won the hard way, but there’s no secret to his success that he won’t share. What’s the spicing in his short-rib sausage sandwich? (Sweet paprika and mustard powder.) What kind of chillies go into the oil that fires up his sweetbread tacos? (Habaneros.) How does he get that texture in his glazed oxtails? (Shred two thirds of the meat once it’s tender, keep the remaining third on the bone, simmer them together for another 15 minutes, then give them a blast in the oven.) Just ask.

Raph’s knowledge was won the hard way but there’s no secret to his success that he won’t share.

Raph’s knowledge was won the hard way but there’s no secret to his success that he won’t share.

His understanding of the microscopic details of hamburgers is quite remarkable, even in this burger-saturated day and age.
 
Proportion, patty shrinkage and the exact tang of the sauce? He has spent literally hundreds of hours thinking about the blend of meats that go into the burgers at Beatbox, having bought a bench top mincer to work it out himself, but he’ll tell you everything he knows at the drop of a hat. “I’m not a closed book. There’s no secrets.”
 
He even has a history of the burger in Australia mapped out in his head. You want to hear it?
 
In the beginning there was the fish-and-chip shop burger. Fairly lean mince, maybe topside, usually formed into a ball which the cook would smash down as they went (“so they were ahead of the smashed-patty game,” Rashid laughs), trying to cook it quickly. There’d be some onions that’ve been grilled – sitting up the back, or off the grill to the side. Then there’d be some lettuce mixed with cabbage, “a classic chip-shop hack” to maintain crunch. There’d be tomato, which some places would grill, (“which I never liked”), and then there’d be a grilled bun that would potentially be a day old. “Around here it’d be Morgan’s hamburger buns. They’re the hamburger-bun bakery of Melbourne. They’re pretty wide.”
 
Most people were usually using margarine on the buns and toasting was generally done under a salamander. “Not direct heat, which is okay, but it does dry out the bun.” And then you’d have tomato sauce, and probably a Kraft single for the cheese. “Some places would pre-season the meat, which would make the meat go like sausage, because the salt breaks down the protein structure and it all joins up, which makes it a bit rubbery.”

Hot burger tip: don’t pre-season the meat - the salt breaks down the protein structure and makes the texture rubbery.

Hot burger tip: don’t pre-season the meat – the salt breaks down the protein structure and makes the texture rubbery.

Then came McDonald’s and the other American burger chains. The points of reference for young adults now, Rashid says, are big-chain fast food, while their parents would have grown up with the fish-and-chip shop burger first. In making his own burgers, he wanted to straddle both worlds, and also bring in what he’d seen travelling in the US.
 
 
 

“I thought there was a distinct west coast/east coast style of burger. The west coast being like In-N-Out, and the east coast being more like a pub-style burger. The east coast had a fatter patty, juicier, bigger and nothing was very sweet, no brioche or anything like that.”

 
 
 
He’s also a big believer in the way a place feels. More than the actual burger, he says, it was “the feelings of conviction and honesty” that won him over at a lot of the mom-and-pop burger stands he visited in the US.

The Raph Burger - the outstanding result of much burger research.

The Raph Burger – the outstanding result of much burger research.

The result of all this obsessive R&D was the Raph burger: lettuce, tomato, red onion (raw but thin), gouda cheese and a little bit of sauce that’s pretty neutral but has some tang. “You never want the sauce to be a crutch – we’re not saying, ‘oh cool, we’ll mayo it up and that’ll keep everybody sweet’.”
 
In 2009 it was 180 grams; now it’s 155. “I thought, we’ve gotta serve this medium, and it’s gotta be heaving and medium and if you cut into it, it’ll be juicy.” Then, he quickly worked out – “No, actually, I didn’t work it out quickly at all, I stuck to it for a long time.” Rashid slowly worked out that it was freaking people out and slowly readjusted to people’s expectations. He went with less meat and a wider patty and everything else had to change around it.
 
He also changed his cooking technique, adding a couple of little taps into the meat with the side of the spatula when he was grilling, which, though seemingly a small change, did a lot to release the fat inside the patty. “Just to get it breathing: a loose patty is ideal.” If you could have the meat going straight from your mincer, then hand-formed and onto the grill, says Rashid, that’s perfect.
 
You’re making a burger, not a steak, so you’re not salting it ahead of time and then bringing it to temperature. “It’s a different thing. You need texture. You want all the nooks and crannies, you want the fat to flow through.”

Raph has a remarkable understanding of the microscopic details of hamburgers.

Raph has a remarkable understanding of the microscopic details of hamburgers.

“I’ve also learned that it’s not just about fat content.” He started with about 80:20, which is about what chuck has naturally. “That’s definitely the beginning, but there’s a lot of nuance in that. What fat are you going to use?” Today there’s a lot of suet in the Beatbox mix, the fat from around the kidneys.
 
 
 

“It’s got a good melt-point, and that’s important. I’ve seen patties that look great, but you put them on the grill and all of a sudden it’s shrunk to nothing and you’re basically cooking in grease.”

 
 
 
Where the conversation has ended up with his suppliers is a mince that gives minimal shrinkage and has plenty of delicious fat.
 
“When we opened it was basically 80:20 chuck, but that’s gone up too, so we needed to flex.” Now any week it could be a mix of chuck, brisket, flank, maybe some knuckle, the mixture determined by what they’re processing and what they’re selling. “And that helps us deliver a juicy, flavoursome hamburger at about $14. It’s not proprietary – anyone can walk up and get this mince today.”

 
This, says Rashid, is where your relationship with your butcher should come in. “You want to get together on a spec that they can follow and help your business. I started with Nino and Joe’s Meats in Brunswick, and now I work with a company called Provenir, and they operate a mobile abattoir.”

Raph works direct with his supplier for a burger mince that gives minimal shrinkage - using an 80:20 ratio based on available cuts like chuck, brisket, flank or knuckle.

Raph works direct with his supplier for a burger mince that gives minimal shrinkage – using an 80:20 ratio based on available cuts like chuck, brisket, flank or knuckle.

The level of care, animal welfare and transparency Provenir offered him was key to choosing to work with them.
 
“There was so much stuff going on behind the curtains with butchery when I first started this,” Rashid says. “We’d even have some people working for us saying things like ‘if no one’s going to know the difference, what difference does it make?’. But that’s not what my business is about and that’s not what I stand for.””
 
Let’s turn the questions we started with back on the man himself: who is his customer? And what is he looking to get out of doing all this? It’s safe to say that with his businesses humming, even in the face of the challenges posed (especially to food trucks) by the pandemic, Raph Rashid has a good idea of who his customer is, and what they want. But now that he’s been doing this his own way for a while, what are his metrics for success?
 
“Being profitable and not confusing this with greed keeps us on a sustainable path,” he says. Did the customer have a good time? Would they come back? These are things Rashid thinks about a lot. But at the end of the day, he says, all he really wants is a relatively busy business that can turn a profit and keep people employed and learning.
 
“I’m really happy in the day-to-day hustle of it all.”

Spotlight On

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UNPACKING PADDOCK TO PLATE

 
 

As the customer continues to evolve and become more interested in where their meal is coming from, terms like ‘paddock to plate’ and ‘farm to fork’ have emerged as the serviceable catch phrase to encompass this ideology. The internal logic holds true, every item on the plate has originated from a farm somewhere.

 
 
However, when we begin to unpack the concept and how it is often promoted, the sincerity of the claim is put to test with few able to truly claim a paddock to plate offering when considering the distance between the plate, the paddock and the multiple organisations involved between the two.
 
For this piece, I wanted to explore different venues that do indeed reflect the true nature of paddock to plate – where the product used in-venue was actually produced onsite. The supply chains in these instances are not just processing and transport; they are very much a quality chain of expertise, of vision and passion and demonstrate different levels of scale.

Lisa Margan in the Margan Estate kitchen garden.

Lisa Margan in the Margan Estate kitchen garden.

Lisa and Andrew Margan established Margan Estate in the Broke Fordwich sub-region of the Hunter Valley in 1996. They are ostensibly a wine brand but also a well-established part of wine tourism in the area with a highly regarded on-farm restaurant and event space doing around 290 covers a weekend.
 
As well as their wine, they manage a one-acre kitchen garden, orchard free-range chickens, beehives, olive groves and estate reared Suffolk and Dorper lambs.
 
Lisa was inspired to produce her own lamb after a lunch using a neighbour’s lamb alongside produce from their own kitchen garden.
 
 
 

“I pulled together this lunch of beautiful spring lamb, new potatoes, all sorts of salad out of the garden and wine that we had made and I just thought, what a wonderful thing this would be and imagine being able to replicate it larger scale for our Margan guests.”

 
 
 
Their lamb project started about 15 years ago and they now manage a flock of up to 50 head at any one time. The sheep rotate through pastures and vines on the estate, operating like ‘little lawnmowers’ and play a role in the company’s environmental management program.
 
Margan Estate is on track to become organically certified and carbon neutral and the sheep are an important part of that closed loop, keeping the grass down between the vines and adding nutrient value at the same time. It’s about reducing our impact on the environment and leaving the property in good shape for our children,” Lisa said.

Joey Ingram is head chef at Margan and seized the chance to move from the city with his family just over a year ago. He comes to the Hunter via two of Sydney’s great restaurants, Tetsuya’s and Balzac. Joey says that Fergus Henderson’s Nose to Tail Eating was what led him to Matt Kemp at Balzac and fostered his love of whole beast cooking.
 
“Matt was buying whole carcases in the city way before anyone else; it was part of his English kitchen tradition.” Ingram says there was no ‘ethos’ and laughs as he imagines what Kemp actually said about such ephemeral things. “It was more about showing the skill of the chef on one plate. Using the whole thing was just good kitchen management.”
 
The traditional butchery skills learned under Kemp allowed him to develop his agri-dining style. In practice, this concept means around 90 percent of what Ingram serves over his kitchen pass comes from the estate. His main-focus is the one-hectare organic garden that dictates his five course set menu.
 
 
 

“I think that the guests can see the connection, they get to do a tour of the garden, they get to meet the lamb, see the chickens and to see the vegetables that they’re about to eat. All of that ties into what we try to do here, which is estate grown, estate made.”

 
 
 

Margan head chef Joey Ingram breaks down an estate-reared lamb.

Margan head chef Joey Ingram breaks down an estate-reared lamb.

The drought and 2020 fire-storm showed that there are challenges to establishing such an ethos and it is about fitting into the seasons and the natural production cycle. Ingram’s vineyard manager tells him when the lambs are ready and he fits in around that.
 
“It’s not really up to me, he’ll tell me that there’s some lambs going to the abattoirs next week and so I’ll need to be ready to break them down and get them onto a plate.”
 
The lambs are taken from Margan to the abattoir in Kurri Kurri where they are processed and chilled down overnight. Ingram’s butcher then picks them up in a food grade truck and brings them back.
 
“We’ll generally hang them for anywhere from seven to 10 days in our custom built dry ageing room and from there we can begin to break it down as we need it and hang some things longer. We use a combination of primary and secondary cuts and try to get a good amount of each part of the animal through the dish.”
 
When asked about the viability of their paddock to plate model – Lisa says it is more about the fact that it suits their operation and they have the space to do it.
 
“Paddock to plate isn’t going to be for everyone and it is hard to say that we do it for a cost advantage. I think it’s more a break even proposition but it suits us and it is more about the customer being able to connect with that story and to enjoy estate-reared lamb alongside estate-grown produce and wines,” Margan concludes.

Rolled saddle of lamb with garden herbs, preserved sauerkraut and mustard sauce made from they whey of Margan’s cheese making process.

Rolled saddle of lamb with garden herbs, preserved sauerkraut and mustard sauce made from they whey of Margan’s cheese making process.

Packaging tsar, Charles Hanna OAM, purchased historic Colly Creek in 2005. Established by squatter’s rights in 1830, the property was an important foundation acreage for the Liverpool Ranges. Originally clear felled by axe, it took the vision of the Hanna Pastoral Group to muster the property back to the original 5,500 acres that time and hardship had scattered.
 
Colly Creek has been developed into a property specialising in purebred Angus cattle with a focus on producing the best eating quality product for the restaurant trade. 10 years ago, Charles purchased the nearby Willow Tree Inn as a destination for his award-winning beef – and put considerable energy and investment into establishing a destination for locals and travellers.
 
Originally a fairly run-down cattle-town watering hole, the Hanna’s have added luxury rooms and a steak house called Graze. The contemporary charcoal painted inn, situated on the New England Highway, attracts a large audience who come to dine on the house-aged Colly Creek steaks and experience the bustling village of Willow Tree.

Charles Hanna OAM at Graze in Willow Tree.

Charles Hanna OAM at Graze in Willow Tree.

Managing Director of Hanna Pastoral Sam Hanna, is passionate about the process and takes great pride in what the family are achieving.
 
 
 

“We do everything onsite, from genetics and breeding to backgrounding and finishing at our own boutique feedlot operation. We’re constantly looking to improve genetics, employing the best animal and pasture management practices and utilising the benefit of an onsite finishing program where we can control what we feed the animals for the end product,” Sam said.

 
 
 
Laconic Nick Brien and his wife Leonie are quintessential cattle people, big hats and bigger hearts – happier on the back of a horse than off one. They manage Colly Creek, alongside long-term stockmen Roger Barnett and Les Palmer. While typically modest, you sense their pride, deep understanding of the land and their love of the cattle industry.
 
“Here, the animals come first. We are very much about low stress stock handling which means calmer animals, more productivity and more comfortable surrounds for the cattle so they do better, which means better eating quality beef at the end of the day,” Nick said.
 

Nick Brien and Sam Hanna at the Colly Creek onsite boutique feedlot.

Nick Brien and Sam Hanna at the Colly Creek onsite boutique feedlot.

With the improved season, Colly Creek expects around 700 calves this season. The calves enjoy the benefit of full pastures until weaning at around 8-10 months; then once they reach target weight, they head to the boutique onsite feedlot for finishing. Here they will go through a ‘backgrounding’ process that slowly introduces grain to their diet and establishes them in low-stress social groups prior to entering the feedlot.
 
Once in the feedlot they transition to a high protein, barley based diet with the cattle’s appetite dictating the ration. In around 120 days they will reach the target 600-650kg at which point they will be sent to the abattoir for processing.
 
“The 120 day grain finish that we put on the cattle is really important to the consistency of the product and to make sure that we get that intramuscular fat and fat cover for the 45 day dry ageing that ultimately benefits the eating quality of the product.”

The dry ageing room on display for diners at Graze.

The dry ageing room on display for diners at Graze.

“We probably have one of the smallest operational footprints in terms of paddock to plate – Colly Creek is two kilometres from the hotel. It’s not just about the provenance; it also allows us to serve country portions of a high quality product at country prices,” Sam said.
 
Each month, the best 25 animals are selected for the restaurant where two dry ageing rooms and a thorough menu ensure the whole carcase is utilised. Head chef Ben Davies says the paddock to plate operation is a dream come true for any chef and guests love the fact that all the beef served at the restaurant comes from within two kilometers of the hotel.
 
 
 

“These cattle are purely bred for Graze and when you’ve got such a beautiful product, you don’t really need to mess around with it. We’ve got a dry ageing room onsite and we bring 10 bodies up a week from there to hang in our restaurant dry-ageing room so people can see them.”

 
 
 
“The prime cuts are 10 percent of a body so you have to be a little bit more creative to use the whole carcase. The lovely thing here is that it’s a pub so in addition to our dry-aged steaks, we mince and dice a lot to make pies, burgers, steak sandwiches so everyone can enjoy the Colly Creek experience.”
 
“We braise our briskets down, we do our own beef ribs, we smoke all the meats for our charcuterie, we make all our own sausages, kabana, chorizo, salamis – and that’s the way we use the whole body, by educating people about all the different cuts,” Davies said.

The Graze menu creatively utilises the whole carcase so everyone can enjoy the Colly Creek experience.

The Graze menu creatively utilises the whole carcase so everyone can enjoy the Colly Creek experience.

Burnt Ends at Beerfarm is a collaboration situated in Metricup in the south west of Western Australia. The craft brewery and smokehouse sits on 160 acres where they graze around 70 head of prime Angus cattle.
 
The team at Burnt Ends, executive chef Eileen Booth, pitmaster Nathan Booth and venue manager Emma Locke believe utilising their own livestock is key for creating a premium end-product.
 
 
 

“We are passionate and humble people. Honesty and integrity is at the heart of everything we do and our ethos is encapsulated by our brand tagline ‘established for the future’. We are always striving to be sustainable and accountable for all procedures we have at the farm. Our eye is not on the past but the future,” Booth says.

 
 
 
As working partners with a brewery, this ethos is put into practice. Spent grain and yeasts from the brew process is fed to the cattle and provides extra proteins and nutrients while adding to the flavour of the meat; and acting as a supplement in the dryer months when less grass is available. Diatomaceous Earth, used in the filtering process for beer, is mixed in with the grain and the aids in controlling gut parasites. In addition, the yeast that has been filtered out contains lots of vitamins and minerals that have a positive impact on the cattle’s gut health.”
 
 
 

Beerfarm cattle are fed spent grain and yeasts from the brew process providing them with extra proteins and nutrients.

Beerfarm cattle are fed spent grain and yeasts from the brew process providing them with extra proteins and nutrients.

“In most breweries, these products are considered waste products but we consider them a major part of our cattle’s lifecycle which keeps them as healthy as they can be. This relationship between the brewery and the cattle helps manage our carbon footprint associated with traditional grazing practices and beer production. The happier and healthier we can keep the cattle and their gut, the happier we can keep ours.”
 
 
 

“Growing our own beef gives us greater clarity in the processes, enabling us to have more control of the end product. We know what they are fed, where they roam and have a very clear insight into a supply chain that has minimal impact on the animal. At this time, we cannot process our cattle on site so therefore we cannot deliver the true paddock to plate ethos, although this is in the plans for the future,” Locke said.

 
 
 
Beerfarm purchase their cattle as weaners, generally running around 70 head at a time at different age and weight groups for a consistent rotation of supply for the farm and their butcher.
 
“We aim for each animal to be between 300-350 kg on average when they go to be processed. This weight allows enough time to get the necessary fat and consistency in the size of cuts we use. It also minimises wastage as once the animal gets too big, there is a significant amount of extra trim that can’t be used.”

Beerfarm Black Angus Beef Shin - smoked for 10 hours over apple and jarrah wood and served with charred tomato and bone marrow salsa and chimichurri.

Beerfarm Black Angus Beef Shin – smoked for 10 hours over apple and jarrah wood and served with charred tomato and bone marrow salsa and chimichurri.

Once at weight, the cattle are sent to the abattoir and then to Bullsbrook Gourmet Butchers where they are hung and aged for a minimum of two weeks. Currently they send four animals per fortnight to cater for the growing demand. Burnt Ends receives the prime cuts – including a 13 week aged prime rib – and secondary cuts as well as four different types of sausages alongside mince and bones for stock and jus.
 
Pitmaster Nathan Booth says one of the biggest challenges for the team is utilising the whole animal. To offset this and in line with their commitment to reducing waste, they have established a relationship with their butcher who is able to utilise much of the trim and secondary cuts for small goods.
 
 
 

“We strive to use many of the secondary cuts within our three menus however due to the varied demographic that visits our venue this can often be extremely challenging. Day to day in our current menu we utilise bolar blade and chuck in one of our favourite dishes – smoked chopped beef tostadas. The mince is also used for our Angus burgers, alongside the trim from our briskets and beef ribs before they are smoked.”

 
 
 

Beerfarm Black Angus Ribeye is reverse seared in the offset smoker, finished over charcoal and served with cafe de paris butter.

Beerfarm Black Angus Ribeye is reverse seared in the offset smoker, finished over charcoal and served with cafe de paris butter.

“Raise The Steaks on Friday nights is where we really flex our muscles and showcase our beef to a more controlled audience in a more intimate dining setting. Here we have an opportunity to use all the major prime cuts and also secondary cuts and this menu changes on a weekly basis.”
 
“Our Smoking Saturday’s menus have been gaining fast acknowledgement for the traditional BBQ and smoking methods we use, no shortcuts. We run a variety of dishes that come directly from the pits including brisket, beef ribs, our own links that change in flavour, tacos with our beef and full barbecue platters consisting of a little bit of everything.”
 
 
 

“We also sell a range of Beerfarm Bangers available to the public that have been packaged up for us by our butcher. Like anything, these processes take time and we are always striving to do and be better. We are working on our own bresaola, pastramis and jerky currently to optimise the use of the secondary cuts. This is something we are very passionate about,” said Booth.
Slow roasted Amelia Park lamb shoulder - the most popular dish at Amelia Park where they sell 80-120 shoulders a week.

Slow roasted Amelia Park lamb shoulder – the most popular dish at Amelia Park where they sell 80-120 shoulders a week.

Amelia Park is the boutique brand of V&V Walsh based in Bunbury, Western Australia. Established by Vern and Jean Walsh in 1957, V&V Walsh grew under the guidance of two generations of the Walsh family from humble beginnings in a butcher’s shop.
 
A much larger scale production, the Amelia Park model draws on farmers across the South West of Western Australia who pasture feed to a strict quality criteria. The stock are lot fed according to conditions of the season and feedlot finished to ensure a consistent quality product all year round.
 
The state-of-the-art processing facility can process 5000 sheep per day and approximately half of this is boned and packed on-site. In addition, it can process a further 400 cattle per day, with the ability to bone and process 300 beef carcases. The abattoir employs more than 1000 people and produces more than 40 million kilograms of meat products annually, making it one of Australia’s largest meat processing plants.

Blair Allen prepares Amelia Park beef at the restaurant.

Blair Allen prepares Amelia Park beef at the restaurant.

Located amongst the vineyards of Amelia Park Wines in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, Blair and Renee Allen have run the award-winning Amelia Park Restaurant since 2017. Allen’s jarrah-fired kitchen relies on local produce including some from the restaurant’s own garden with the core offering being Amelia Park branded lamb and beef.
 
Being part of an integrated boutique brand allows chef Allen the perception and marketing benefits of a paddock to plate ethos without the challenges of utilising the entire carcase.
 
 
 

“At Amelia Park Restaurant we generally showcase a primary and a secondary cut of lamb, generally the rack and the square cut shoulder. With the beef, we use the strip loin that we get in whole bone-in and dry age for four weeks in our dry ageing fridge. The slow roasted lamb shoulder is by far our most popular dish and what we are known for and we sell between 80 and 120 shoulders a week.”

 
 
 
“We have a very diverse customer base at the restaurant and our menu reflects this and is very flexible. Amelia Park lamb and beef has never let me down, it is always fresh and full of flavour and has been the cornerstone of all my menus over a long period of time,” Renee said.

Amelia Park lamb rack cooked over the jarrah-fire at Amelia Park Restaurant.

Amelia Park lamb rack cooked over the jarrah-fire at Amelia Park Restaurant.

What’s Good in the Hood

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Each issue we explore a new neighbourhood with Myffy Rigby for the best eats and treats in the local community.

NSW SOUTH COAST

 
 

Record rainfall events and flooding across NSW couldn’t dampen our spirits as we set off to explore the best eats on the NSW South Coast.

 
Our adventure started in Merimbula, about six hours drive south of Sydney, and meandered back up the coast to our final destination in Wollongong with warm hospitality, welcoming people and exceptionally good food greeting us the whole way.
 
Myffy discovered ‘arguably one of the best hamburgers in Australia’ coming out of a cute little caravan kitchen in Merimbula, the ‘beautiful Valentina with its excellent steak and brilliant oysters’, ‘an incredible pasta pop-up’, ‘the holy grail of snails’ and much more.
 
Here’s what’s good on the NSW South Coast.
 
 
 

Myffy acting natural on a stretch of NSW’s beautiful South Coast.

Myffy acting natural on a stretch of NSW’s beautiful South Coast.

DULCIE’S COTTAGE

 
A weatherboard watering hole with an open fire-place, cocktails, craft beers and Dan Pepperell designed burgers flying off the grill from a 1950s caravan turned tiny kitchen. The kind of place you won’t want to leave in a hurry.

VALENTINA

 
Lose yourself in the romance of draped linen, neutral tones, natural wines and exquisite dishes at the whimsical waterside wonder that is Valentina. Be seduced by the scene as you fall a little bit in love with everything – this is coastal hospitality at its absolute finest.

HONORBREAD

 
Tim and Honor Northam’s passion project, now a purpose built space baking delicious sourdough goods for locals and tourists alike from their charming storefront – and spreading the artisan love with wholesale across the region.

HAYDEN’S PIES

 
A discarded, half-eaten pie on the fence outside the Marlin Hotel in Ulladulla was the inspiration for Hayden and his Dad to open a local pie shop. With lines down the street and around the corner, they now sell up to 3,000 pies a day – and not a half-eaten pie in sight.

PONTE BAR & DINING

 
Under the bridge on the Southern bank of the Shoalhaven river at Nowra, you’ll find a light, bright, waterside setting offering delicious modern Australian dining. Settle in for a long lunch or sunset drinks and dinner – you won’t be disappointed.

BANGALAY DINING

 
Relax in coastal tranquility with technique driven plates of food focused on local and native ingredients and inspired by the coast. With the sound of the ocean washing over you, Bangalay is a feast for all your senses.

THE BLUE SWIMMER

 
On a gentle sloping hillside in Gerroa you’ll find a bustling beachside venue packed with diners from daylight though dinnertime. Chef Lauren Brown turns out beautiful plates of fresh local and seasonal produce for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

THE HILL BAR & KITCHEN

 
The vibes are pumping and the view is achingly stunning at this ‘something for everyone’ beauty in Gerringong. Offering lunch, dinner and bar menus featuring honest, local and sustainable food and booze, it’s everything you love about a local and a whole lot more.

AIN’T NONNA’S

 
Young husband and wife team Matthew and Cassandra Bugeja are inspired by your Nonna but they ain’t trying to compete with her. This is their take on homestyle Italian cooking and it ain’t bad, in fact it’s very good! Tasty plates of antipasto and pasta washed down with natural wines and craft beers – popping up at The Throsby while they look for a place to call their own.

Cut Two Ways

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THE CUT

GOAT


 
 

Goatmeat is the most widely consumed meat in the world – in Australia, this humble protein is gaining popularity among chefs looking to diversify their menu options.

There are two types of goat – rangeland goat, goat that is wild harvested and tends to be gamier and leaner; and farmed goat, goat that is raised in a similar way to lamb.
 
For this episode we decided to choose two different cuts to demonstrate the diversity of the goat carcase – the neck fillet and the belly ribs.

Chefs Alex Prichard and Nick Stanton shape up for a goat showdown.

Chefs Alex Prichard and Nick Stanton shape up for a goat showdown.

THE BUTCHER

Will Heath

– Emilio’s Speciality Butcher

 


Emilio’s was opened by butchers Will Heath and Milko Marinozzi in September 2020. The dynamic duo bring a set of complementary skills to the specialty store – a marriage of Milko’s traditional Italian approach to butchery and Will’s dedication to provenance, sustainability and ethical farming.
 

Milko (left) and Will (right) with some of the Emilio's team outside their Rozelle butcher shop.

Milko (left) and Will (right) with some of the Emilio’s team outside their Rozelle butcher shop.

Everything is free range and grass fed at the minimum with much of the range biodynamic and organic certified. The team is currently primarily retail focused but also working with some foodservice customers. As a small shop that primarily buys in whole animals, there are some challenges in servicing chefs only seeking multiple numbers of single cuts. Those smaller venues willing to be a little more flexible and open to using what is available on the carcase are being rewarded not only with menu diversity but the satisfaction of knowing they are utilising the whole carcase.

Emilio’s specialises in free range and grass fed as the minimum.

Emilio’s specialises in free range and grass fed as the minimum.

Milko and Will have long been fans of the Gourmet Goat Lady brand. He says farmers Jo and Craig are friendly, helpful and accommodating with dedicated principles of quality and integrity – and that the goat itself is some of the best in Australia.
 
The Gourmet Goat Lady goat is farmed and cared for from birth – grazed on natural pastures at their farm Buena Vista near Gilgandra in NSW Central West. The result is a juicy and delicate flavoured meat with a mild flavoured fat – a different experience for customers who have a strong idea of what they think goat is going to taste like. Will says it can be a hard sell but once someone is willing to try it, he guarantees they will be coming back for more.

Will preparing cuts from a Gourmet Goat Lady goat carcase.

Will preparing cuts from a Gourmet Goat Lady goat carcase.

Will selected the goat neck fillet and goat belly ribs – tasty cuts that he believes are often underutilised and misunderstood. Traditionally slow cooked, Will says that the quality of the Gourmet Goat Lady goat, with its intramuscular fat and tender meat, means both these cuts can be grilled – especially the ribs which are a barbeque mainstay for him at home. The neck fillet is his cut of choice from the forequarter – which is broken down at Emilio’s to reveal its individual muscles and offer a range of cuts offering different taste and cooking profiles.
 
* Thank you to both Emilio’s and Feather and Bone for providing us with the goat for this story.

CHEF ONE

Nick Stanton

– Ciao Mate

 

Spiced Goat Rib Noodles

 
 
Chef Nick Stanton has been behind the menus at some of Melbourne’s most loved hang outs – slinging everything from pizzas, burgers and dogs at his previous venues Leonard’s House of Love and Leonardo’s Pizza Palace to the elegant, technique driven taste bombs at his hatted venue Ramblr.
 
Kicking off his cooking career at age 14 at a pizza shop in Coolangatta, Nick’s talent and creativity took him across the globe to London where he worked for the Gordon Ramsay Group before returning to Australia to work at Ramsay’s Maze then eventually opening three venues of his own.
 
Nick has now returned home to the NSW Northern Rivers and is set to open Ciao Mate in Bangalow in May – the casual neighbourhood spot will serve pizzas and tasty antipasto.
 

Nick’s spiced goat rib noodles.

Nick’s spiced goat rib noodles.

For Nick’s dish, he was inspired by one of his favourite dishes from Ramblr – the famed Chinese Bolognese. Conscious of waste – Nick’s two part goat dish uses the whole belly rack by soy-braising the ribs and mincing the trim to build out a spicy sichuan sauce.

CHEF TWO

Alex Prichard

– Icebergs Dining Room & Bar

 

Goat Head & Neck Conchiglie, XO and Fennel Pollen

 
 
Heading up the kitchen at one of Australia’s most iconic dining destinations is no small feat for a boy from the Blue Mountains. Alex kicked off his cooking career at the tender age of just 13 at the acclaimed Lochiel House – he says cooking always came much more naturally to him than school. He moved to Sydney at 15 where he worked at some of the city’s best venues including Momofuku Seiobo and Brasserie Ananas.
 
Head chef at Icebergs for three years, Alex is focused on working closely with farmers and growers to get the best out of local and native produce whenever he can. His close connection to produce means Alex has a very natural style that tells the stories of his suppliers and allows the produce to shine.

Alex's goat head and neck conchigle with XO and fennel pollen.

Alex’s goat head and neck conchigle with XO and fennel pollen.

For his dish, Alex was inspired to use one of the most under-utilised cuts of goat and challenged by the fact that he had never seen goat neck or head on a menu. He wanted to make a dish with minimum fuss that allowed the flavour and texture of the goat to shine through and says that its soft and delicate texture when braised eats deliciously with pasta
 
Alex says that the dish can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be – you can make the XO and pasta from scratch or use quality purchased pasta and XO sauce to keep it simpler.
 

Young Guns

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KAUL OF THE WILD

 
 
 

Rosheen Kaul is turning heads for all the right reasons in her first head chef role at Etta as she navigates the challenges of running her own kitchen and basks humbly in the acclaim rolling in.

 

Rosheen at Etta.

Rosheen at Etta.

The young chef followed a convoluted path to get where she is today. She finished high school then attended university where she was never really inspired because she still hadn’t figured out what she wanted to do. Eventually, she gave up the study and took a kitchen hand job where she immediately realised that the kitchen was exactly where she was supposed to be.
 
 
 

“I only ever truly cared about food. I have been a really greedy person my whole life so it just made sense. It also really suited my lifestyle in that I stay up late at night and I can’t wake up in the morning – being a night person, it all just worked out for me.”

 
 
 
She started her apprenticeship at Lee Ho Fook in its original Smith Street set up and then in the city location for 18 months. After that, she moved on to Ezard where she got a taste for fine dining before landing a spot in the kitchen at Dinner by Heston where she stayed for three and a half years until they closed.

Rosheen says she only ever truly cared about food.

Rosheen says she only ever truly cared about food.

Covid-19 changed the world and it transformed everything for Rosheen. She was lucky to secure a gig in the pastry section at Smith and Deli with Shannon Martinez – one of Rosheen’s greatest inspirations. During that time, she also collaborated with an illustrator friend to produce three zine-style isolation cookbooks. The Isol(Asian) books showed how to use simple pantry ingredients to create tasty dishes following the fundamentals of Asian cooking – and sold out in no time.
 
Next thing she knew, Rosheen found herself doing a trial cook for Etta owner Hannah Green and she was quickly thrown head first into a whole new world.
 
 
 

“Etta is my first head chef job and it has been incredibly daunting. I haven’t run a kitchen before and I haven’t been accountable for a team before so there are a lot of things that have popped up that have been beyond my current skill set. Every day is a learning curve and I have had such incredible support from the team, Hannah and the industry which has been truly amazing.”

 
 
 
“I’ve got a great team which makes all the difference – we’re all very single minded in what we are trying to achieve and everyone is really passionate about this restaurant and what we are cooking. The whole team is absolutely bang-on, knowledgeable and fantastic at their jobs, any difficulty that I have had has always been buffered by how good our team is.”

Four months into her first head chef role, Rosheen says her style of food is still developing.

Four months into her first head chef role, Rosheen says her style of food is still developing.

Rosheen is incredibly humble in the success she has already managed to achieve amongst a myriad of challenges – from restaurant closures due to Covid-19 to navigating the journey of discovering her own style of food.
 
 
 

“My style of food is still developing because I’m only four months in and before that I was always cooking someone else’s food. I’ve always cooked at home a lot but once I was put into a position where I had to write my own menu, I ended up always using flavours that were really comforting and familiar to me.”

 
 
 
“I haven’t felt yet that I am at a point to start changing the game or pushing boundaries. I am just going to use what I know is delicious to me, to be clever about it and back it up with some skill and a bit of finesse. I’m just cooking food that I have found to be delicious through my long culinary journey of just being me.”

Rosheen cooks using flavours that are comforting and familiar to her.

Rosheen cooks using flavours that are comforting and familiar to her.

“I also look to food historians and anthropologists; I’m really interested more in the culture of food than just plain skill. I am very much into studying my own culture in food – and looking into Kashmiri food which is not really documented. That is how I am progressing as a chef, where I am looking backwards as opposed to looking at just pure culinary skill.”
 
“I am using it as a way to find my identity because I am of so many different cultures so it has always been difficult to align them all. I am sort of figuring it out as I am cooking and also developing this whole new skill set which is pretty awesome.”

Kabargah - Kashmiri style goat ribs inspired by Rosheen’s family and Kashmiri heritage.

Kabargah – Kashmiri style goat ribs inspired by Rosheen’s family and Kashmiri heritage.

When we visit, Rosheen takes us along on this journey of culinary discovery with two dishes – a Kashmiri style dish of goat rib called kabargah and her interpretation of an Adana kebab.
 
 
 

“I’ve never really seen kabargah made by anyone outside my family or within my culture so it’s a really important dish to me and pretty cool to cook it. Traditionally, the dish uses lamb but it lends itself beautifully to goat. Any gamier flavours are sweetened by cooking it in milk and yoghurt with some lovely hard spices. A lot of goat preparations, like curries, are really heavily spiced and one of the things I like best about this application is that you can still taste the meat – it’s just really beautifully elevated and rounded.”

 
 
 
“The lamb dish was a great excuse to make something really tasty on the woodfire and I just love kebabs. It’s an amalgamation of Turkish and North African flavours – I used harissa instead of the traditional Turkish chilli paste usually used in this Adana kebab shape and style. It is simply marinated lamb mince that crisps up nicely on the grill, pickled chillies, some raw onion, parsley, sumac and Aleppo pepper. Really bright, really clean and my favourite way to eat lamb – on a stick!”

Rose harissa-spiced lamb kebab, raw onion and pickled chillies.

Rose harissa-spiced lamb kebab, raw onion and pickled chillies.

Rosheen’s maturity belies her young age and she talks openly about her mental health being one of the biggest challenges she has faced as a chef. Having worked in kitchens that demanded 80-90 hour weeks with no breaks, she saw a lot of people buckle under the immense pressure.
 
“I actually had an underlying mental health condition and because of the type of pressure I was under it exacerbated it and I ended up being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. On the flipside, because of the environment I was in, I managed to get a diagnosis and now I am treatable, happy and stable. I can step back a bit and remember the situation that I was in that was so detrimental and make sure in my kitchen that will never be the case.”
 
 
 

“The head chef I am trying to be is built very much on the things I know are really bad for you and the positions I’ve been in where my mental health was so deteriorated. There are so many small things that could have stopped that. Being able to put your hand up and say ‘I’m not alright’ and me being able to say ‘what can we do’? I don’t want anyone in my team to be struggling or in anything aside from tip top shape.”

 
 
 
“We keep our hours as low as we can – the goal is always 45 hours – so we have as much downtime as possible to have hobbies, to see friends, to never feel that this drains you. When you are at work at Etta, you want to be here – I feel like that and I think the other chefs feel like that as well. It’s such a lovely, positive vibe in this restaurant that is being fed by everyone’s happy, positive mental health.”

As a head chef, Rosheen is focused on ensuring her team’s happy, positive mental health.

As a head chef, Rosheen is focused on ensuring her team’s happy, positive mental health.

Rosheen says it is a little too early for her to pinpoint what the dream is – but admits that initially she was dreaming a little bit too small.
 
 
 

“My two year plan last year has now completely changed, in a good way, had Covid not happened, I wouldn’t have had Etta. I’m not going to look too much forward right now because there is enough for me to do presently.”

 
 
 
When it comes to advice for others keen to follow in her footsteps – Rosheen says it’s personal but the best advice she can give at the point that she is at.
 
“Keep learning and spend more time perfecting the small things than trying to change the game. At the end of the day you can have the biggest dreams in the world and do all this amazing stuff with food but if you don’t have the basic skill then there is only so much you can do.”

Next Issue

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Next Issue

 
 

Issue 15 is in the works and will be ready for your viewing pleasure July 2021!

 
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