My first tour to the South Coast of NSW was a brilliant success as all of us ate our way through the local ingredients and laughed a lot with the local characters. Starting at the Berry Sourdough Bakery for delicious pastries and the best south coast coffee we grooved on the buzz of everyone in Berry being in one place – yes the Bakery. Then onto where the real food happens the bread baking ovens and a demo from local baker Ben who inspired us all. So young but so knowledgeable already so there is big things ahead for him for sure. With the mother of the bakery Honey yes “Honey”, they even have lovely names down there. She and Ben showcased their breads, housemade granola and we all learned how sourdough starter is the most important thing. It’s alive and it needs to be fed. I remember Anthony Bourdain in one of his stories talking about his baker saying she use to say “feed the bitch” referring to their sourdough starter. But feeding it is a must and then it turns out the most amazing breads. Onwards for chocolate demonstration in making truffles and getting educated about types of chocolate and how you work with it. Everyone was ready to dive in the vat for this one and our presenter Leon had to hold us all off. This was fun!
Hungry for South Coast is a Winner
Continuing the tour we stopped at a local farm where we learned about organic methods, ate local cheese and delicious figs. We headed back into the bus with arms loaded with rhubarb, freshly laid eggs, local cheese, local jam, local olive oil, local zucchini blossoms just picked and cauliflower pickle with the cute Mumsy cloth on top of the jar. Then it’s oysters with Wild Jim who has to be our favourite. His enthusiasm is priceless and he had everyone opening oysters as he told his war stories of owning a oyster farm for decades. He gave me some fresh black fish to cook and we made some sauces to go with it, drank some local wines from Silos. Sitting in the back of his shack on his little dock on the water with Jim telling stories, eating dozens of oysters for $1 each who is complaining. Finally to our cabins in Jervis Bay National park for a snooze and walk on the beach, delicous!
Dinner was at Paperbark Lodge with chef Evans at the stove wowing us. This African style ecco camp sits in the trees of the south coast. Drinking local champagne on arrival and then eating kingfish ceviche along with confit of duck for a main – yes heaven! Dessert by the fireplace of myrtle seed custard topped off a huge food day and everyone was still excited and loving it.
Sunday proved a little less traveling as we made our way to Cupitts’ Winery past Milton where Rosie Cupitt wined and dined us for a huge “100 Mile Slow Food Lunch”. With the hills of the winery in the background, the sun shining bright and the long table of 70 enjoying this was picture perfect. We were the lucky ones that is for sure. A quieter ride back to Sydney with a stop for some local chocolate port and then we opened our eyes and the dream had ended. The South Coast of NSW is absolutely breathtaking and worth the visit. I will now work with NSW Tourism to create more tours there for the future so keep posted for more. See my website for upcoming tours