In the Hunter Valley two hours north of Sydney, are a couple of luxury Spicers Retreats. Maeve O'Meara has come here in search of delicious food experiences and to meet the people behind them.

1 Sep 2020 - 4:12 PM  UPDATED 14 Oct 2021 - 12:13 PM

To discover more of the Hunter Valley with Spicers Retreats, watch Escape among the vines. 

Michael Elfwing is the Executive Chef at Spicers Guesthouse and heads up the team from eRemo Restaurant. Serving contemporary Italian food, you can find their deliciously named menu really tells their story - 'avido' meaning 'greedy' in Italian. 

Originally from Sweden, Elfwing's experience is truly international, working across Europe, Malaysia, Japan and Australia, with his most recent stint at Sydney's Shangri-La Hotel.

Here, the food he creates is Italian, but it also has a cross-cultural twist.  Like the air-dried bresaola, he shares with Maeve O'Meara with a squeeze of yuzu for acidity.

In line with the retreat’s emphasis on locally sourced produce and being naturally sustainable, the menu changes daily. Eflwing uses local suppliers whenever possible. He’s always on the lookout for the best produce, whether it's slippery jack mushrooms, free-range duck or that dry-aged bresaola.


He’s a great believer in the idea that food has a sense of place. As he tells Maeve, “When you sit overlooking miles of vineyards, the mountains in the background, or if you sit in an air-conditioned city restaurant, the food tastes different. It's important to reflect that in what goes on the table”. 

Here at Spicers, there are 40 acres of tranquil vines and fields to reflect in the food. Whatever greedy choice you make off the menu – it should be delicious. 

About Spicers Retreats 

Italian, Modern Australian, French, Thai and other Asian cuisines are just a few of the cooking styles that inspire the mouth-watering dishes created by Spicers’ multi-hatted chefs. And the food is just one of the reasons to visit these incredible retreats.

To discover more visit