Food and Drinks

tasting-notes-cupitts-estate

What is the culinary philosophy at Cupitt’s?

My food style would be described as “super-garden.” It’s based on what I see growing in the 100m-away market garden. I will change my menu accordingly. Watching a plant develop from seedling to fruit, to flower, and then to seed is very inspiring. We can use the plant at any stage: the flowers for garnishing and the seeds themselves.

What else is there to do in the area?

Ulladulla’s fishing port is a major seafood supplier. You can feel the ocean right outside your door. We have local potato and apiarists – we tap into these small producers to give diners an authentic taste of South Coast cuisine.

What’s the menu for autumn and winter this year?

We always change our menu based on what is growing. We’ll be eating a lot more carrots, cabbages, and kale in the winter months. Also, we will have lots of brassicas. Seafood is always a big part of the menu: local snapper, gai lan chargrilled and fermented chili, and kingfish cured with burnt lime and charred on a barbecue. Many dishes include garden garnishes such as fennel flowers, broccoli blossoms, and snow pea stems. Cucamelons are also ripening – they’ll be pickled in sugar, vinegar, and dill with chili as a garnish.

 

It sounds like you do quite a bit of curing and preservation.

We don’t throw anything away. We’ll pickle, preserve, dehydrate. We make a beetroot and carrot ketchup that goes well with fish or lamb. We can use a lot of chilies to make a paste, which we then spread on a sheet and dry out. This powder can be used to decorate a dip or the rims of cocktail glasses. We compost anything we can’t use and put it back in the garden.

What is your favorite thing about gardening?

Modern food can forget the trials and tribulations that go into growing a crop. But when you see the hard work of gardeners to produce a crop, the satisfaction is immense. I have a newfound respect for those who grow our food and an increased appreciation for the actual produce.

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