Page 21 - Foodservice magazine may 2019
P. 21

A. Greg Hampton and Gypsy Rose.
B. All the desserts on the menu use several native ingredients. C. There are many species of finger lime. D. The cool room shelves at Charcoal Lane are laden with native leaves.
The first dessert Rose put on the menu – or any menu
in fact – is one that occupied several weeks of her time. It combines two of her favourite ingredients: river mint, or mentha australis, and macadamias, in a macadamia and chocolate torte with chocolate ganache, river mint ice-cream (that’s infused, churned and then pressed into a mould with fresh leaves) and river mint meringue soil.
Though applying these ingredients to the classic French techniques she learnt in culinary school proved a challenge at first – she says “the amount of mint I had to use to get the flavour into the ice cream was a lot because it’s really subtle” – her experimentation paid off. The cool, sweet flavour of river mint, reminiscent of rosemary or spearmint, is layered and vibrant in the dessert, leaving a new taste on most diners’ palates.
Charcoal Lane sources this fragile herb from Brushtail Bushfoods, a 40-acre farm in Victoria’s Strzelecki Ranges.
“It’s one of those ingredients that I only have one grower for who can get it to me in good condition, everyone else just wrecks it. It doesn’t transport very well – it’s delicate,” says Hampton.
Farmers and husband and wife Terry (a former dairy farmer) and Leonie Parker (a librarian) commercially cultivate a dozen native plant species for the foodservice industry that are in such high demand, chefs have to join a waiting list.

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