We recently took the plunge and decided to buy ourselves tickets to Lean + Meadow's Wildfood Supper evening as we had heard so much about these unique and highly anticipated events. Our decision was, beyond a doubt, the right one. Our evening was nothing less than magical. Having reserved a couple of last minute tickets (thanks, Lean!) we received a call from Lean Timm's asking if we would consider being a collaborator of the event. With the evening’s focus being on fresh local and foraged produce, we knew that that our philosophy of conscious eating and living were aligned. As you could imagine we were absolutley honoured to say yes to actually become a part of this evening.
For those of you who do not know, Cherylea has an intolerance to sulphites, meaning that dining out is not only near impossible but also a risky and stressful experience, leading to her choosing not to dine out for close to two years. Hesitantly we asked if the evening’s international chef Aaron Teece of Studio Neon could manage to make something for Cherylea, to which Aaron reassured her it was no problem at all. With a feeling of both excitement and anticipation we head off on the Sunday of the event and drove to The Church in the Hawkesbury’s Lower Portland.
Arriving at Elise Balzac's 1880 home, The Church was dressed for the event. Festoon lights hung outside the home and inside we were greeted with Poor Toms cocktails, fresh oysters with finger lime as well as cooked oysters with seaweed butter. Cherylea almost lost her mind when she found out she could eat the locally caught Hawkesbury school prawns with fennel salt and wild caught tuna (as sadly, even seafood from the fishmarket have sulphites on them).
Following this tremendous introduction to the afternoon, Aaron took the group for a walk to forage for local edible greens such as dandelion leaf and other edible flowers. We were then led across the bridge to an orange orchard to pick all the oranges we could carry. When we arrived back the sun was just setting and the fire was already crackling.
Once seated at the table draped in eucalyptus leaves and flowers as whimsical as a May Gibbs illustration (styled by the talented Annabelle Hickson of the dailys) the food soon began to arrive – and it did not stop. We dined on stinging nettle and potato soup, wild weed tart and salad, a stew of wild rabbit, wild caught tuna, kangaroo and emu that had been sealed and braised by Aaron on the outdoor fire. Dessert was an Eton mess style lemon tart topped with our hand-picked oranges. Our teas were wrapped as a surprise for everyone to open and a couple of people down the end of the table literally squealed with joy when they saw our tea (whoever you are, we love you). Everything was delicious, locally or ethically produced and we loved every second of it.
The best part of the evening without a doubt was the company. Our gracious hosts were so humble and lovely, it was just so nice to meet them all. Nothing was too difficult and they made sure everyone felt right at home. We caught up with old friends and made new ones. We cannot wait for the next event!
To find out more about Lean and Meadow’s stunning events, click here.