French Gnocchi, Beurre Blanc, Mushroom, Black Truffle
“I love French gnocchi because it’s quick and easy to make and it’s much lighter than the potato counter part. It’s delicious with the beurre blanc sauce with mushrooms and of course fresh Manjimup black truffle shaved on top.”Tony Howell, executive chef, Cape Lodge (Margaret River) For French gnocchi 250ml milk 60g butter Tbsp Dijon mustard Pinch sea salt 125g plain flour 3 eggs For beurre blanc 1 shallot olive oil 100ml white wine vinegar 2 cups cream 150g butter (firm) salt and pepper to taste 3 big field mushrooms butter (clarified) olive oil ½ bunch kale handful of parsley small bunch of sage (enough for 5 crisp leaves per serve) Parmesan cheese (grated) to serve Method Put 250ml milk, 60g butter, a tablespoon of dijon mustard and a pinch sea salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, melting the butter. Reduce to a low heat. Add 125g plain flour. Beat continuously with a wooden spoon until a smooth, non-sticky dough forms and pulls away from the sides of pan (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time, beating continuously until incorporated (Mix slowly to start and then faster as each eggs starts to incorporate). Let mixture cool. Transfer to a piping bag with 2cm plain nozzle. Squeeze dough into salted boiling water, cutting off in 2cm intervals. Cook in batches until gnocchi float to top (3-4minutes) - check the texture with your finger. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain well. Fry mushrooms in olive oil and clarified butter. Blanch some thinly sliced kale. Make a beurre blanc (For the beurre blanc sauté a shallot in olive oil (don’t let it brown), then cover with 100ml White wine vinegar, and reduce. Add 2 cups of cream, bring to simmer. Take off the heat and blend 150-200g firm butter until thick, and adjust the seasoning). Put the gnocchi in a bowl and add mushrooms, kale, chopped parsley and Parmesan. Add several spoons of beurre blanc sauce. Add microplaned truffle. Toss to combine. Serve on plate. Top with crispy sage and more microplaned truffle.
5 Luxury Homestays for When You Can't Travel Overseas
With international travel off the cards for a while, the domestic market is seeing unprecedented demand from Australians wanting to book luxury homes around the country. Luxico, an Australian-based luxury home service, reports a 138 per cent increase in travel inquiries on this time last year. According to Luxico CEO and co-founder Alexandra Ormerod, domestic travellers are seeking the isolation and distancing that can be achieved in a private home compared to a hotel stay - but still with hotel-style luxury. She says given the uncertainty of the times, people are also looking for more flexible cancellation policies.
We've picked five of the most luxurious homes on Luxico’s books, all of which are isolated but still come with such luxuries as a personal concierge. 1. The Residence at Bilongil - Byron Bay, NSW With private beach front access, The Residence at Bilongil, a five-bedroom private resort-style villa in Byron Bay, is what summer dreams are made of. For when you're not at the beach, the villa offers a tennis court, billiard room and multiple outdoor entertaining areas in a perfect blend of high-end living and relaxing coastal vibes. 2. Hossegor House - South Coast, NSW Hossegor House is a sublime multi-level, luxurious beach house on the New South Wales south coast. This five-bedroom modern family home is situated in the laid-back coastal town of Gerringong, only a short walk from the beach and the town centre.
This gorgeous coastal getaway brings you ocean views, contemporary design, outstanding indoor-outdoor living and an award-winning undercover lap pool. If you’re seeking to truly unwind, step out to the undercover pool where the beach and mountains are carefully framed. Dip your toes in the water, recline pool-side or relax in the private courtyard. Plus, there’s more room to stretch out in the upper garden, with a large expanse of grass the perfect play zone for the kids. Oh, and the beach is just minutes down the road. 3. Azure, Sunshine Coast, QLD In the most spectacular location, with breathtaking ocean and coastal views. With every imaginable luxury, you will love the impeccable attention to detail, as no expense has been spared in the creation of this extraordinary home.
The sleek architectural lines are offset with sophisticated finishes, cascading water features, lush, tropical gardens and stunning views. And it's all within a short distance of the Sunshine Coast's most celebrated beaches. 4. Hillview Homestead, Gold Coast, QLD If you’re looking for something a bit more remote, you can’t go past Hillview Homestead, circa 1905. This magnificent historical homestead is situated on an original dairy farm in the Gold Coast hinterland. The large swimming pool and spa has a spectacular back drop of mountains and heritage-listed national parks.
The extensive colonial verandas call for lazy afternoons in the hammock or reading by the pool. Take a 35-minute bike ride to the beach, have a surf or coffee and then cool down in solitude by the pool. A short 20 minute drive over Tomewin Mountain into the Tweed Valley brings you to a world of art galleries and organic gourmet dining options. Byron Bay and the delights of Bangalow are just a 45-minute scenic drive away. 5. The Samantha, Mornington Peninsula, VIC A tree-lined private road leads you to The Samantha, an incredibly private Portsea estate, where you can get back to nature. This calming four-bedroom home provides a sophisticated, spacious interior. Outside, there's a pool, spa, fireplace and an Olympic sized in-ground trampoline. Beyond the native coastal garden, you have direct access to Portsea Lagoon, and you can walk to beaches, cafes and shops nearby.
Two floor-to-ceiling openings from the kitchen and dining area lead out to the deck. We love the open fireplace and ample seating, perfect for a lazy, cool afternoon. All of these properties can be booked through Airbnb or directly with Luxico.#luxury #coronavirus #Australia #Luxico #five-star
Episode 47- Exotic Destinations with Journalist and Tour Guide Jane Hutcheon
LISTEN HERE Jane Hutcheon, one of Australia’s most-respected broadcast journalists, joined us to chat about her life and world travels - first as a foreign correspondent and more recently as a tour guide to some of the world’s most exotic locations. Jane has interviewed world leaders and celebrities and worked as a foreign correspondent in China, Europe and the Middle East but her own story is a fascinating one. She tells us about growing up in Hong Kong and starting her career as a reporter as the British colony was preparing to return to Chinese rule. Her work then took her around Australia and eventually the world. Jane is a born story teller and adventurer. In fact, she says being a foreign correspondent in the early 1990s in China was like being an explorer because there were places where foreigners hadn’t been before and certainly nobody had reported from them. These days Jane brings her globe-trotting experience to her new role leading tours with Renaissance Tours, an Australian company that specialises in cultural tours and cruises in the fields of opera, music, ballet, art, architecture and gardens. She especially enjoys sharing stories of the Middle East where she reported from for several years. She shares with her guests a very personal and in-depth view of the places they visit, such as the Palestinian Territories and Israel where she lived for two years. She says Ethiopia, a landlocked tropical nation on the horn of Africa where she leads tours, is the very definition of exotic with an incredible history, wonderful people and phenomenal landscapes where a great deal of Christian history took place. One of her favourite Ethiopian destinations is the Unesco World Heritage site of Lalibela where 11 monolithic churches were built in the late 12th to early 13th century (pictured above). The churches were hewn out of solid rock, below ground level. “This is a living church compound today - not just a relic that you see from behind a barricade," Jane says. The country has been opening up to visitors in the last decade and Jane hopes to be there again in 2021. The Sultanate of Oman, on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, is another of her tour destinations that is certainly off the beaten track. She says it's landscape forms an amazing backdrop to the tour, billed The Frankincense Route, that she leads there. Food is on the agenda too, of course, and Jane shared with us some of her food discoveries from her times in the Middle East including a recipe for her favourite cake as well as a tip for making the best, most authentic hummus ever. See our blog for the recipes. We were very inspired to seek out new destinations after talking to Jane and hope you will be too. If you’re interested in her tours, you’ll find details online at renaissancetours.com.au, and you can follow her adventures on Facebook and at her website janehutcheon.com. You may also be interested in Jane’s books. The first is From Rice to Riches, a memoir of Jane’s family heritage and her days reporting from China in the 1990s, and China Baby Love: An Australian Grandmother's life-changing mission to help China's orphans. You can buy both from all good book stores, or via a link on her website: janehutcheon.com.
Episode 46: Road Tripping Around Australia With Travel Writer Lee Atkinson
LISTEN HERE In this episode, travel writer Lee Atkinson regales us with entertaining tales of her many road trips around Australia. We hear about the landscapes and history, getting her car bogged in the desert, a too-close call with a crocodile and the many fascinating Aussie characters she’s met along the way. There’s also Lee’s favourite outback drives, her suggestions for a beginner road-tripper, and her insights for everything you need to make your trip go smoothly. As we explore this "sunburnt country”, as poet Dorothy McKellar described it in her poem, "My Country", we note that 85 per cent of Australians live within 50km of the coast and that we have more beaches than any other country in the world. But as Lee points out, there is so much more to our incredible land than just our coastline. Lee, who is the author of 14 travel books and two apps about travelling in and around Australia, says any excuse to hit the road is a good one, and explains how her love of the great Aussie road trip began at a young age. She’s done so many trips, she stopped counting after about 100,000km. Her longest trip to date has been the endurance-testing Big Lap of Australia which covered 40,000km in one go and took about 10 months. For Lee, road trips are for anyone - from the stereotypical “grey nomads” to young families and even solo travellers. All you need, she says, is a sense of adventure. Her latest book, Ultimate Road Trips Australia, outlines a wide range of road trips from the weekend getaway to the infamous Big Lap. The book divides the vast subject of Aussie road trips into manageable chapters such as coastal drives, the outback, capital city to capital city, gourmet getaways and short breaks. In our chat, Lee shares her ultimate three Australian drives and explains why they make the top of her long list. One of them is not too far from one of our biggest capital cities, another takes in all of the icons of Australia’s red centre but doesn’t require a 4WD, and the last takes in so much spectacular scenery and culture it should be on everyone’s bucket list. She also shares two great Australian drives for beginners where you don’t need a 4WD, including the “outback” drive that lies the closest to Sydney and Melbourne. Of course, preparation is key for road-tripping and Lee shares her top tips for long distance and outback driving, including a few golden rules that will keep you safe. We also hear from this incredibly experienced camper what essentials she includes to ensure comfortable days and nights in your camper or tent. One of Lee’s great road trip inspirations is the many regional events held around the country - from the Mount Isa Rodeo in Queensland’s gulf country to cultural celebrations such as the Laura Dance Festival in Queensland’s Cape York, or Kalkarindi’s Freedom Festival and the remote Garma Festival - both in the Northern Territory. Australia is a land of breathtaking beauty but we hadn’t even heard of one of Lee’s favourite beauty spots, where she says you can camp by pristine freshwater lakes while surrounded by blood-red desert and sand dunes, and revel in the phenomenal birdlife and intense colour palette of the landscape. “Nowhere does colour like outback Australia, particularly in the early morning or at sunset when everything is just saturated with colours. You can just really point your camera anywhere and get an amazing shot.” Of course, any trip around Australia will bring you into contact with the nation’s great characters, and Lee tells some gorgeous tales of the eccentric and gutsy folks she’s met along the way - both locals and other travellers. But despite all her extensive travels, Lee isn’t done yet. She still has places she’s yet to visit and many she’d happily return to. There’s so much travel inspiration in this episode for both Australian and international travellers alike. Click here to listen and we do hope you enjoy hearing from Lee as much as we did. If you’d like to follow Lee you can find her at http://www.leeatkinson.com.au. Her latest book is Ultimate Road Trips Australia. It was published by Hardie Grant in March 2020 and can be bought at all good bookshops and online at Booktopia, Dymocks, and Hardie Grant.
Episode 45: A Taste of Luxury - Australian Truffles
LISTEN HERE In this episode of ExtraVirgin Food and Travel, we talk with Gavin Booth, of Australian Truffle Traders, whose truffles grace plates at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck, Gordon Ramsey's restaurants, London's lauded 2 Michelin-starred Greenhouse and more. Gavin's truffle farm, or 'trufferie' is in Manjimup, a small Western Australian town, four hours' drive from the nearest airport. The region has become the epicentre of truffle production in Australia, exporting up to 90 per cent of its precious harvest of tuber melanosporum to Europe, the US, the UK, Japan and more. We discuss growing and finding truffles, the close working relationship between truffle hunter and dog, how to store them and most importantly how to cook them (hint - one suggestion involves gooey hot Camembert!). Raconteur Gavin also tells us some delightful truffle-related yarns and we talk about how this 'black gold' has brought a gourmet festival that features on every foodies wish list to the 'tall timber' country town of Manjimup. And the good news is that truffles are not just for the top restaurants. You can buy your own, with 24 hours from dig to door, here
Episode 44: A Scotsman's Life in Rural Japan - A Tale of the Only Gaijin in the Village
In this episode of ExtraVirgin, we talk to Scottish-born writer Iain Maloney about his life in a rural community in Japan. Iain's book, The Only Gaijin in the Village, delves beyond the stereotypes into Japanese culture and what it’s like to be the only foreigner in your neighbourhood. Iain and his Japanese wife Minori moved to rural Japan in 2016 and Iain found himself the only foreigner in the village. His book on his first year in the village, takes us through Iain’s attempts to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community. We loved that Iain’s book is not another expat tale from Japan’s infamous big cities but a journey through the seasons as Iain immerses himself in village life and attempts amateur farming under the watchful eye of his neighbours. While we can’t travel at the moment, books like this can keep us dreaming of and learning about cultures around the world until we can roam again. Iain’s book, The Only Gaijin in the Village, is published by Berlinn and you’ll find links to purchase it below. Good Reads Booktopia Amazon Dymocks Book Depository #ExpatLife #Japan #RuralLife
Episode 43: Where Will we Eat? Hospitality in the Post-Covid World
The hospitality industry, which tech innovator Stevan Premutico describes as "already on its knees" has taken another beating with the Covid-19 crisis. In this episode, we talk with Stevan, former owner of restaurant booking system DImmi (now known as ‘The Fork‘) which he sold to Tripadvisor in 2016. Today, Stevan is creator and owner of hospitality app Me&U (conceived, ironically on a tech-free pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago trail) about how operators can survive the months to come.
Episode 42: Life in CoronaVirus Lockdown Around the World
LISTEN HERE Are you wondering how people around the world are coping with the CoronaVirus lockdown? With travel on hold for most of us, we (cyber) travelled to Sweden, Italy, the United States, South Africa and England to chat with family and friends about local policies and life in the midst of the pandemic. First up was Sweden, above, which has been under the spotlight for its unique Covid-19 strategy that sees restaurants still open, and working from home a suggestion rather than mandatory. We spoke to Stockholm-based lawyer Therese Lindstrom who explains how the country responds to such crises in a particularly Swedish way. Then we were off to Italy where a strict lockdown has been in place since mid-March. Our Italian guests Gabriella Sestini and Stephano Ponza are a couple who live in Turin but are spending the lockdown with their children at their winter home in a remote mountain village. Over in the US, we talk to a Anna Karnowski, above, who usually works in the tourism industry in the heart of Manhattan but is now working from her home in Astoria, Queens. Anna shared her worries as well as her thoughts on how the crisis is bringing out the best in New Yorkers. We also chatted with Ed Charles, a former Melbournite now living in Johannesburg, South Africa, where a very strict lockdown is in place. Ed, pictured below, is doing what he can to support the poor of his city, where so many live in poverty. Joanna Meddows-Taylor Finally, we chat with UK-born Australian Joanna Meddows-Taylor who went to England on holiday and ended up staying to be with her daughter who lives in London. When daughter Annabelle came down with covid-19, Joanna, how is a former nurse, was well-placed to care for her. The traditional British stiff upper lip is in play here as Joanna, right, shares how the locals are coping. Amidst all the worry, Natascha and I also learnt that even in some of the world’s Covid-19 hotspots, there’s glorious inspiration for your travel dreams. Each of our guests shared with us their insider tips – that only a local would know – about their little part of the world. So, stay home and stay safe and please enjoy our virtual world tour. And a big thank you to our five iso-heroes. Click here to listen. #Covid19 #Stockholm #London #Johannesburg #Turin #NewYork #SouthAfrica #Sweden #Zambia #CoronaVirus #Italy #England
Episode 41: Healing in the Kitchen With Chef Nims Zavackas
Chef Nims Zavackas Many people are finding solace in the kitchen during these difficult times and, in this new podcast episode, we talk about comfort food that’s whole, healthy and made from scratch. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this episode showcases an array of healing experiences you can have in the kitchen. In our busy modern lives, convenience food and takeaway has meant too many of us have lost touch with how to prepare fresh foods from scratch. Our guest, Chef Naomi Zavackas, is passionate about sharing her love for traditional methods of preserving food for taste and good health. Kombucha We asked Nims, as she is known, how we can make the most of the Coronavirus lockdown and she shared her hot tips on homemade jam, ferments such as kimchi and sauerkraut, sourdough starters and kombucha. Cooking from scratch with real food is in Nims’ blood. She spent her childhood in New Guinea where her mother tended an abundent kitchen garden that fed the family. Returning to Australia as a teenager, Nims was shocked at how disconnected people were from their food and how limited their understanding of how real food grows and can be prepared. Now that we’re being forced to cocoon, Nims’ is encouraging us all to return to the foundational cooking methods of our forebears and connect with the old rhythms of doing things. She talks with such love and enthusiasm for the traditional method of making kimchi, it’s impossible not to be inspired. “If you do that now, when we come out of this …, it might be the thing you hold onto in a traditional sense to slow yourself down and reconnect with each other, reconnect with the land, reconnect with the farmers. Because there’s this whole beautiful meditative thing that happens, this whole different appreciation that happens … the romance of doing things properly is … breathtaking. “ Also in this episode, you’ll hear: Nims’ simple instructions for beginner jam-makers as well as tips for those with a bit more experience What sugar works best for jam if you’re trying to make do with what’s in your pantry How to make kombucha and where to get everything you need How to start a community sourdough starter resource Sourdough Loaves A whole new language of shrubs and bugs – hint: it’s about delicious homemade cordials Three tips to get a beautiful loaf of sourdough that’s light and airy with a crunchy crust How to ferment vegetables including a maths trick that ensures you have the right amount of salt to vegetables and Why it’s important you have love in your heart when you’re making ferments. Our chat with Nims is full of laughs and heartfelt kitchen inspiration, wherever you are in the world and whatever type of cook you are. Click here to listen and see her recipe for sauerkraut below. Her approach will surely make you smile. Nims’ Sauerkraut “Sauerkraut is such a beautiful ferment to make and its’ uses are endless, making the improvement of gut health a super simple achievement. I’ve decided to accept this COVID-19 downtime as an opportunity to heal my body, mind and spirit, so that when we get back to our connected rhythms of life I am whole and ready to step into all that comes across my path. One of the most important ways to encourage physical healing after many years of neglect, is to get our gut health back on track. If you’re in the same position as me, or simply want to learn how to make this delicious ferment, here is a basic step by step guide.” – Nims You’ll Need: Set of scales
Sharp knife, v-slicer or food processor depending on your knife skills
Large mixing bowl
Fermenting crock OR a lidded jar big enough to hold the quantity of cabbage
Anything from your cupboard that will fit into the jar to weigh down the contents Method: 1. Wash your hands, knife, board, bowl and crock or jar and weights thoroughly with an antibacterial detergent.
2. Remove all of the outer dark leaves of your cabbage, remove their spines with your knife, then wash and set aside.
3. Cut the cabbage into quarters and lay each quarter cut side down so that you can safely slice off the core.
4. Weigh the cabbage in grams and multiply the total weight by 0.02 to get your salt quantity. e.g if your total cabbage weighs 1 kg, your salt weight is 2% of that, or 20g. Please, whatever you do, DON’T use iodised salt. Sea salt has all of it’s minerals, good bacteria and goodness still intact and is so much better for you than the bleached dead stuff! As a bonus, you’ll get a much better result in your ferments.
5. Shred your cabbage and pop it into your bowl with your salt. The finer your end result, the faster your fermenting time.
6. This is the fun part: massage that cabbage as if it were dough, breaking down all those fibres until you can easily wring it like a dishcloth with lots of excess water at the bottom of the bowl. Your cabbage will have reduced by at least half its volume.
7. Take handfuls of the wanna-be sauerkraut and press into the bottom of your crock or jar, making sure it’s firm and even, with no air pockets.
8. Tip all of your excess brine onto the cabbage and push again so that you have at least 2 mm of brine attempting to cover the surface of your kraut. If in doubt, pop a little water in your vessel and repeat the process so that your brine is evenly distributed.
9. With your fingertips, push down the edges so that no stray bits of kraut are out of place.
10. Cover the surface of your kraut with your prepared cabbage leaves. If you bought a cabbage with no outside leaves, don’t panic. Tear off a piece of baking paper that will fit across the surface. Push your leaves down firmly and hold them in place with your weights.
11. If you’re using a crock, fill your moat with water and pop the lid on to create an anaerobic environment. If you’re using a jar, simply screw the lid on, making sure to release the gas daily by unscrewing the lid and screwing it back on. We call this “burping”.
12. Pop your vessel in a spot where the temperature doesn’t change too drastically over the course of a day and leave it for at least 4 days, checking your moat for a water top up or burping daily.
13. On day 4, pull your vessel out of hibernation, wash your hands, remove the weights and pull the leaves back far enough so that you can access a little of the cabbage for a taste test.
14. The more sour the kraut, the more active the beneficial bacteria. You want it to be a little bit funky and still crunchy.
15. If the weather is consistently warm, it’ll be ready after 4 to 5 days. During the cooler months, 7 to 9 days is perfect. “Sauerkraut is such a beautiful ferment to make in that it can be utilised and eaten in a myriad of ways and the practice of making it demands that you be present. The massaging of the cabbage is such a lovely way to place yourself in thought and completely stop. I also love to think about all the people that have come before and will come after, each of us with our hand in our own bowls, providing nourishment for those we love. We can’t physically connect right now, but when we’re making sauerkraut the sacred connection literally lights up a place in me that feels incredibly tangible. I hope the ceremony of this beautifully simple ferment makes you smile.”
Episode 40: Tips for Perfect Packing With Nikki Parkinson
Fashion blogger and designer Nikki Parkinson draws on her experience to help you be an expert packer. Listen here With Covid-19 playing havoc with everyone’s travel plans, now’s a good time to travel vicariously with ExtraVirgin Food and Travel Podcast. While we wait out the virus, our latest episode gives you everything you need to know so you can arrive at your future travel destinations with the perfect travel wardrobe. If, like us, you’ve ever arrived at your destination to find you have too many clothes, too few options or even simply the wrong clothes, this episode is for you. We meet fashion blogger and designer Nikki Parkinson who is proud to call herself a reformed over-packer. Gone are her days of packing multiple stuffed suitcases for a quick weekend away. Nikki shares her top tips for making sure you arrive at your destination – whether it’s domestic or international – with a coordinated wardrobe that won’t weigh you down but still keeps you stylish. Since 2008, Nikki has been writing her successful fashion blog Styling You, in which she aims to help busy women look and feel the best they can while at home, at work or travelling the world. To hear Nikki’s tips for what to wear inflight, how to pack for different seasons and which bag is her favourite for transporting beauty products, click here. You’ll also hear all the tips and tricks from her recent trip to Hawaii. If you’d like even more of Nikki’s packing tips, she’s compiled them into a 66-page e-book Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer – How to Plan Your Next Escape With Ease. In 2019, Nikki also launched Styling You The Label, a collection of trans-seasonal basics designed to help take the stress out of the daily what-to-wear challenge for everyday women. Her collection builds on the capsule idea that’s at the heart of her packing tips. Below you’ll find links to some of the products recommended in this episode: Becca May beauty bag Trinny London makeup stacks Nomad Lane’s carry-on, the Bento Bag Nikki’s favourite luggage, Samsonite hard case in red We hope you enjoy listening to this episode and dreaming of future trips. Click here to listen now.
LISTEN HERE Pic: Mark de Jong Flight shaming, vountourism, mega cruise ships, sustainabilty – all current hot topics in the travel world. In this episode of ExtrvaVirgin Food and Travel Podcast, we talk to Amanda Kendle, world traveller, blogger at Not a Ballerina and podcaster at The Thoughtful Travel Podcast about the positive and negative impacts of travel; environmental, cultural and economic. Pic: Amanda Kendle Which destinations are taking the effects of over-tourism seriously and implementing strategies to control its impact? Pic @imagineauniquename We discuss ‘slow’ travel’, ‘mindful travel,’ volunteer tourism and whether Airbnb has a positive or negative impact on communities. In the end, do we need to give up travelling or can we be more thoughtful travellers? Amanda certainly believes the latter and offers her own views and tips on how travellers can tread less gently on the earth.
LISTEN HERE Did you know that one-third of all food produced to feed people goes to waste? That equates to a horrifying 1.3 billion tonnes annually. Traditionally, restaurants are big contributors, with up to 45 per cent of food wastage happening at the food preparation stage and about 20 per cent lost through spoilage. And then of course, there’s what diners leave on their plates. In this episode of ExtraVirgin, Natascha and Sam head to the beautiful Spicers Hidden Vale in the lush countryside about an hour from Brisbane in Australia, to talk to executive chef Ash Martin about how a fire that left the restaurant a smoking pile of rubble, has powered him further along on his journey to running a zero waste kitchen. The fire, which started from an electrical fault in the ceiling, not only forced him to change the way he cooked, but gave him the opportunity to ensure his built-from-scratch, state-of-the-art kitchen, which recently re-opened after two years, is waste-free. Ash shares some of the often off-beat ways that he and his staff make sure everything is used and how we can adopt some of these principles in our own home kitchens. Fermented potato-skin salt anyone?