Don't ask the chef Jared Ingersoll what he will serve to diners when they sit down to enjoy a meal sourced from within a 16-kilometre radius of his Surry Hills restaurant.
''I wouldn't have a clue what will be on the menu,'' said Ingersoll, from Cotton Duck restaurant.
''But that's fine, because when you want to use local produce you have to be flexible and operate in direct response to what is available on the day.''
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Ingersoll is a passionate advocate of buying local, sustainable produce and using in-season, fresh ingredients.
As part of the Crave Sydney Food Festival, he will be holding a dinner on October 19 called the ''10 Mile Waddle'', in which every ingredient will be sourced from within 16 kilometres to celebrate Sydney's cultural and biodiversity. The chef could find a farm close to Sydney airport - which falls within the radius - producing Asian greens such as bok choy and choy sum, for example. Or for fresh produce, one of Sydney's oldest markets is in Waterloo.
Last year Ingersoll held a similar feast and tracked down locally produced olive oil by attending a Greek Orthodox church and talking to its members, who put him in touch with a supplier.
''All of this stuff goes on, yet many people don't realise it,'' he said. ''We are a multicultural society with the best diversity of food at our doorstep.''
But there was more to it than just saying to people, ''go local,'' Ingersoll said. Consumers needed to start to think about where they spend their money, the amount of food they waste and quality versus quantity.
''At Christmas people will gladly spent $19.99 on a kilogram of imported prawns so they can stuff themselves full and overeat because that's what we do at Christmas,'' he said. ''But why not spend that same amount of money on a couple of hundred grams of Australian prawns which taste so much better and are fantastic quality, even if they are more expensive.
''People need to re-prioritise and think about where the food they eat comes from.''
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