Pork to Fork, Grain to Glass
Australia has a reputation for producing some of the world’s best ingredients and it all comes down to the hard work and ingenuity of passionate producers across the country.
Australia has a reputation for producing some of the world’s best ingredients – ingredients that allow chefs to inspire and innovate on the plate. However, this world-class produce doesn’t just happen – it all comes down to the hard work and ingenuity of passionate producers across the country.
Any chef worth their salt knows that understanding these ingredients, where they come from, and who produced them, is imperative to realising their full potential. Nothing beats going straight to the source to learn all about provenance and place, which is exactly what we did with Mike Bennie (wine and drinks writer, co-owner P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants) and Nik Hill (co-owner and head chef at Porcine Bistro) in New South Wales’ Riverina and Southern Tablelands regions.
We hit the road with Mike and Nik to meet a crop of forward-thinking, sustainability-focused producers making a name for themselves in the region (and beyond). Our first pitstop was at Dewsburys Free Range Pork – a free range pig farm, just south of Goulburn, that specialises in high-welfare pork. With Eli Bailey and Ebony Garner at the helm, Dewsburys mission is to preserve and promote two critically rare breeds: the Hampshire and the Duroc. With a focus on regenerative, free range farming and allowing their livestock to thrive in a natural environment, it’s no surprise that Dewsburys has been tapped to supply high-end restaurants in Sutton and Sydney.
Next stop was Voyager Craft Malt in Barellan, where we shared a homegrown beer with co-founder and grower Stu Whytcross. By producing small batch, artisanal malts from locally sourced and seasonally grown grains, Voyager Craft Malt is able to offer complete paddock traceability – really lifting the game when it comes to the concept of ‘grain to glass’. To see this concept in action, we took a chopper across to Organically Greenwood – a family-owned, certified organic cropping farm that’s part of the Voyager network of growers. A refuel and recharge at Whitton Malt House really drove home just how integral these producers are to building a brighter future for the food industry.
Back in Sydney and armed with a deepened understanding of these ingredients, Mike and Nik got to work in the Porcine kitchen to create a drink-and-dish pairing that pays homage to the producers we had the pleasure of meeting along the way. To see what the boys cooked up, and all the action from our adventure, watch our short film, "Pork to Fork, Grain to Glass" on our YouTube Channel here.
"Pork to Fork, Grain to Glass" was produced by Straight To The Source in collaboration with PorkStar, and featuring Mike Bennie - wine and drinks writer, co-owner P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants; Nik Hill - co-owner and head chef, Porcine Bistro; Eli Bailey and Ebony Garner: co-owners, Dewsburys Free Range Pork; Stuart Whytcross: co-founder and grower, Voyager Craft Malt; Roger Cummins: pilot and co-owner, Whitton Malt House; Chris and Sam Greenwood: co-owners, Organically Greenwood.
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