Lily meets some food heroes that have all moved to northern NSW to pursue their passion for food. Number 2 Oak St in Bellingen has been drawing travellers and locals for years with its French-inspired menu, and the story behind it is just as inspiring. With Toni and Ray Urqhuart winding down their careers, their children Shani and Michael stepped into their jobs as maître d’ and chef. They risked losing their prized chefs hat award, but young Michael actually earned them a second. In Byron Bay, Lily drops in on an Italian family who make some of the best smallgoods in the country, sourcing Bangalow pork from just down the road. When Massimo Scalas couldn’t find top-quality smallgoods here, he decided to make them himself, and the result is authentic Sardinian salami and mouth-watering speck. Then Lily finds a man whose enthusiasm for food knows no bounds. John Picone “retired” to Byron, felt the energy of the land, and started to grow everything from tropical fruits to vegies on his 20-acre spread. He also keeps bees, makes cheese, and salts his own anchovies, and John makes us a family feast from a fresh local snapper.
In Fremantle, Renee encounters the Tripe Club – a dedicated group of older gents whose wives refuse to cook them the dish they love and grew up with. But they don’t just eat tripe with white sauce: some of the recipes are amazingly inventive, and Renee bravely taste-tests whatever’s on offer. Up in Perth, she finds the flip-side of offal – a fine-dining restaurant with a brilliant young chef who makes a breathtaking pigs’ head terrine.
Adam takes the ferry across to Kangaroo Island off South Australia, not just to take in the scenery, but to discover why the food from here is so special. He meets a man whose family has farmed there for six generations, and prepares a “lamb ham” made with home-cured lamb leg, and flavoured with curry and spices.