This week, Renee’s getting a taste of tropical North Queensland, starting at one of Cairns’ finest restaurants, M Yogo. It’s run by Masa Yogo, a Japanese chef whose fascination with French food led to a fusion style that’s all his own. Throw in some fine Queensland seafood and you’ve got a recipe for one of Masa’s signature dishes: wild barramundi paupiettes with prawn and scallop mousse wrapped in kataifi pastry. North of Cairns in the stunning Daintree rainforest, Renee joins the much-loved indigenous chef Mark Olive to forage for food that’s unique to Australia but a mystery to most of us. Using native ginger, rosella flowers and quandongs, Mark prepares a delicious chicken roulade and encourages all of us to embrace our native foods. In the Atherton tablelands, Renee meets a dairy farmer with a difference. When the price of milk dropped and neighbouring farmers were selling up, Mitch Humphries replaced his Illawarra Shorthorns with buffaloes. His surprisingly affectionate herd produce a protein-rich milk that’s favoured by cheesemakers, especially for mozzarella. Mitch shows how easy it is to make your own paneer cheese with fresh milk and home-grown lemons.
Adam heads to Tasmania to catch up with gourmet farmer Matthew Evans and his family. It seems life on the land has helped Matthew appreciate the intense flavour of truly fresh food, and the frittata he makes proves his point. After lunch, Matthew introduces Adam to his extremely rare Western Saddleback pigs, and reveals his ambitious plans for Puggle Farm.
Lily finds a like-minded fan of sustainable fishing in Ryan Squires, one of the hottest young chefs in the country. Ryan shows how even the most unlikely parts of a very unfashionable fish can be transformed into haute cuisine with some skill and imagination. His sorrel granita with smoked mullet roe and cured milt is a dazzling mix of textures, temperatures and tastes.
Meet our local food heroes and explore the fabulous produce and food cultures on Australia’s doorstep.
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