Backing farmers one rib at a time

Backing farmers one rib at a time


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SUPPORTING OUR FARMERS: Gippsland chef Jaci Hicken will feature home-grown produce from the Macalister Irrigation District at this year's Maffra Show.

SUPPORTING OUR FARMERS: Gippsland chef Jaci Hicken will feature home-grown produce from the Macalister Irrigation District at this year's Maffra Show.

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Tasty produce from the Macalister Irrigation District will feature at this year's Maffra Show.

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FRESH, home-grown produce will be the flavour of this year's Maffra Agricultural Show with guest celebrity chef Jaci Hicken set to cook up a storm.

The show will feature a range of cooking demonstrations from slow cooked beef short ribs to liquid nitrogen ice cream made from produce sourced from the Macalister Irrigation District.

The idea to use Gippsland produce is part of a plan by the Maffra Agricultural Society for regional communities to use locally-sourced produce.

"Everything that I will cook on the day will feature local produce, so honey from Heyfield, eggs from Myrtlebank, local vegetables, citrus from Nambrok and beef from Maffra," she said.

"Originally the idea for me was to do old fashioned food but old fashioned food doesn't match up with what's locally produced and available so we've changed it a bit."

Ms Hicken said the decision to use Gippsland produce was not only a sustainable way to promote healthy eating, but also a way to support producers doing it tough.

The main course will feature slow cooked beef short ribs sourced from Dalrose Farm at Maffra with local citrus and cold fermented pickled vegetables.

"I will be marinating Dalrose Farm short ribs in Gippsland whiskey sauce, then slow cooking [them] for three hours, so that they fall from the bone and melt in your mouth," she said.

"And yes, there will be enough to share around with everyone."

For dessert, youngsters will have the chance to take part in a liquid nitrogen ice cream demonstration featuring locally-sourced dairy.

"We'll make the ice cream with the local eggs, cream and milk and I think I'll do a chocolate wine sauce on the top and then I'll use liquid nitrogen to actually make the ice cream," Ms Hicken said.

"The liquid nitrogen because it's -140 degrees Celsius or something it will actually freeze the milk while it's turning in the mix master.

"I have done it once and that time I didn't have enough cream and my ice cream exploded, it was like a volcano of milk coming out of it so it's always a bit of fun."

Maffra Agricultural Society food and wine coordinator and Newry dairy farmer Connie Dwyer said the show had always supported local producers.

"It's absolutely imperative that we support local farmers and suppliers," Ms Dwyer said.

"Maffra used to be predominately dairy but now it's shifting towards vegetables as well and that's reflective of what we're doing at the show.

Local wineries and the Maffra Cheese Company will also feature at the show next month.

The show will run from October 25-27.

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