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4685 0006 LVRC AlastairMcLeodIt’s a soulful experience knowing from whence your produce comes. If you know the provenance then there’s every likelihood you will know the provider. For me, that intimacy comes with a duty to produce food free from fuss, frippery or fad. To synthesise a moment in time on the plate is the essence  of good cooking. I believe this is where the culinary conversation is heading.

Good cooking is not about good recipes. There are more recipes in this world than will ever be cooked. The zeitgeist is about seeking an understanding of what is grown in our backyard and who produces it. This connection to agrarian life is burgeoning. During winter I am more than happy to put something from the brassica family on the table every night. It could be as simple as a roasted whole head of cauliflower anointed with a punchy dressing of mustard, capers and soft herbs. I never tire of drizzling Flintstone sized wedges of pumpkin with honey and olive oil before slowly baking. Served with grilled meats, tossed through a grain salad or made into a beautiful soup it’s hard to beat.

I recently celebrated these Lockyer Valley winter superstars at a hands-on cooking class at Faith Lutheran College. All the attendees acquitted themselves admirably in the kitchen then got to sit down to enjoy the fruits of their labour with a well-earned glass of wine. It was a thrill
(and a wee bit nerve-wracking) to also be cooking for the Mayor and School Principal.

Knowing that all the produce we used was from the Lockyer Valley and how delicious it was with such little effort was an epiphany for many of
the cooks. This (re)connection with where our food is sourced is defining how we want to shop and will be instrumental to our future food security.

I felt an immense sense of pride and privilege working alongside the hospitality students. Their inspirational teacher has fostered an amazing group of young men and women. Their energy was unflagging and their zeal infectious. If that’s a bellwether, the future is in safe hands and
that is a beautiful thing.

BY Alastair McLeod – Lockyer Valley Food Ambassador

 

Recipe by Alastair McLeod

Summer Peach Recipe - Butterscotch Roasted Peach, Peacans, Fromage Blanc (Serves 4)

Summerpeach TJCheesecake 

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 large peaches
  • 50g softened butter
  • 2 tbs each caster sugar and icing sugar, combined
  • 100g brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 55g butter
  • 1½ tbs milk
  • 1½ tbs honey
  • 4 tbs coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 80ml raspberry coulis, optional
 
METHOD
Preheat oven to 180C. Brush peaches with butter and roll in sugars. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile to prepare the butterscotch, bring brown sugar,
butter, milk, and honey to the boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool
for 30 minutes then stir in pecans. Allow to cool to room temperature.
To serve, baste peaches with caramel and present alongside a scoop of cheesecake and raspberry coulis, if using
 
Fromage blanc cheesecake

INGREDIENTS
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 250g fromage blanc
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125ml Greek yoghurt
  • 250ml pure cream
METHOD
Beat vanilla, fromage blanc and sugar until smooth. Add yoghurt and beat till smooth, then add cream. Hang in muslin overnight.

Visitor Centre

Lake Apex Visitor Information 
Centre (Gatton)

Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre
34 Lake Apex Drive
Gatton 4343

Phone: +61 7 5466 3426

Opening Hours:
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Saturday and Sunday
8.30am - 4.30pm

We are closed Christmas Day,
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