I have many food heroes. Most I admire from a distance but some I am lucky to see in action at close range.
Justin North of Becasse fame was banging on about 'local' well before it became hip. He is a magnificent champion of fresh, seasonal and locavore eating. Combine that with his exceptional technical skills and it's no wonder Becasse is always a special dining experience.
Every few months Justin hosts a lunch featuring local producers from around New South Wales.
This week it was the the wonderful free-range pork from Melanda Park on the Hawkesbury River, Bilpin Apple cider and the incredible Maya Sunny Honey from Mudgee.
Alto marinated Volos olives
Warm salad of autumn vegetable slow cooked in olive oil with marinated confit blue eye
Mosaic of Pork shoulder, neck, smoked hock and pickled tongue
Pork loin and belly, Jerusalem artichoke, pear, celeriac, and licorice
the crackling was like wafers of porky caramel
Ironbark honey cream and mousseline with compressed melon and melon sorbet
the textures were ethereal
And some of the little critters who helped make the honey were on display at the restaurant
There were about 20,000 bees in this glass urn.
Third generation Bee-keeper Andrew Wyszynski, using a secret techique he has developed, is able to entice the bees into individual jars where they make natural honeycomb and honey.
It doesn't come more natural than that!