Fresh is Best

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They say a meal is only as good as the ingredients it’s made from; and in the Blue Mountains, the use of fresh, locally-sourced produce has become a signature for many of our leading restaurants, as well as a necessity for discerning home cooks.

By Julie Miller

One local restaurant taking advantage of nature’s bounty is the award-winning Leura Garage. “Wherever we can we use local produce,” says owner James Howarth. “For instance, we use Trunkey Creek chorizos from Orange, and we have used local herbs and different types of grains. We continue to use smoked trout from a small town called Nundle near Tamworth. It’s regional, local, we put it on pizza, pasta, on charcuterie boards – it’s amazing.”

Leura Garage also exclusively features wines from the Blue Mountains and Central Ranges on its beverage list. “Having local and Central Ranges wine has made our business. We’ve never had wines from any other part of Australia for 10 years,” Howarth says.

Leura Garage and its sister property, Pizza Sublime - a “grab and go” pizza shopfront on Leura Mall - have also struck up an arrangement with a local garlic supplier, sending it compost in return for product.

“We’re working with Hartley Vale Good Garlic Company, an organic garlic farm. We’ve been sending our compost to the garlic farm and we’re now looking forward to getting some garlic back for us to use – something a bit novel.”

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Below are some more local growers, suppliers and creatives who are making a mark with their fresh produce:

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Dryridge Estate

226 Aspinall Rd, Megalong Valley.

T: 0403 118 990

www.dryridge.com.au

Could there be a more delightful way to spend a balmy Summer afternoon than watching the sun illuminate the Blue Mountains escarpment over a glass of crisp rosé and a generous charcuterie board? Simon, Emma and the Dryridge team are thrilled to welcome visitors back to their touch of paradise, arguably the prettiest cellar door in NSW overlooking ordered vines, rolling farmland and the Six Foot Track.

Settle in for the afternoon over a cheese or meat platter featuring local cheese, olives, quince paste and breads while you sip and taste a selection of eight wines, from established favourites such as the Isabelle Riesling to surprising new vintages like the Mila Vermentino and the Harry Sangiovese.

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Hominy Bakery

185 Katoomba St, Katoomba

T:  0477 111 470

For 33 years, Brent Hersee of Hominy Bakery has been dedicated to the production of traditional, authentic organic sourdough breads, made without commercial yeast over an extended fermentation. After training with Lionel Poilane in Paris in 1988, Hersee has brought this style of sourdough to the Mountains, along with pastries and bakers’ cakes.  

Together with business partner Jennifer Ingall, Hersee decided to focus on produce made as simply and naturally as possible, with their range including an organic spelt sourdough, olive and rosemary, and a walnut bread.  Similarly, the cakes reflect their simple and natural ethos, with pear and ginger, a chocolate hazelnut and a fragrant citrus and cardamom, along with butter croissants, pastries and pies.

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Blue Mountains Tea Co

T: 0417 250 630 W: www.bluemountainstea.com.au

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Established in 2008 by Mel Jones – a Blue Mountains local who also paints – the Blue Mountains Tea Co works to create an exciting range of tea blends that incorporate and reflect great Australian flavours. All ingredients are sourced from organic Australian suppliers where possible; for instance, Mel uses a delicious organic lemon myrtle from Queensland in her Lemon Sublime and Campfire blend. She has also created her own range of warming and comforting chais using Australian grown black tea with the fragrant coupling of organic spices and herbs.

You will find Blue Mountains Tea at The Nook Leura - a long-established co-operative that showcases Blue Mountains creatives – as well as Foothills Eco in Glenbrook. Online sales are also available. If you are planning an event, wedding, or party, you can order for your special occasion at a discounted rate, so please contact Mel to find out more.

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Carrington Cellars & Deli

Entry from Parke St, Katoomba

T: (02) 4782 0999 W: www.thecarrington.com.au 

Inspired by the gourmet delights of the Blue Mountains and Central Ranges region? Then pop into Carrington Cellars & Deli and pick up locally-sourced produce to stock your own pantry, from delectable soft cheeses, marinades and olive oils, to show-stopping wines. Located in the old Katoomba power station behind the historic Carrington Hotel, this funky, lovingly-restored industrial space is a one-stop shop for rare and unusual ingredients you just can’t find elsewhere, as well as stocking the Best of the West.

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Springwood Growers Market

Springwood Hub, 108 Macquarie St, Springwood

T: (02) 4572 6260 

Trading on the 4th Sunday of the month from 8am to 12pm at the theatre community hub in the main street, the Springwood Growers Market gives local and regional farmers a platform to sell directly from the farm to the public. Growers sell in-season fruits and vegetables, giving customers the option to buy some of the freshest veggies available. With a philosophy that there are more sustainable and healthier alternatives to big supermarkets and mass-produced products, Springwood Growers Market takes us back to the way we used to shop before big shopping centres. The market has a family-friendly atmosphere with wheelchair access, while the Springwood drum circles plays for guests under the trees outside Braemar Gallery.

 

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