From fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding to memorable indigenous cooking encounters, NSW is bursting with unique food and drink experiences. For season two of Field Trip with Curtis Stone, the celebrity chef and TV presenter takes a delicious tour of the state, from the vineyards of the Hunter Valley to the sugarcane fields of the Tweed and the oyster beds of the South Coast.
Field Trip with Curtis Stone:
Behind the Scenes
Take a sneak peek behind the scenes with Curtis as he films his NSW episode at some of the state’s most famous foodie locations.
NSW is famous for its wine regions (14 in total) and Curtis heads straight for the remarkable Hunter Valley. Here, he meets fifth-generation winemaker Jane Tyrrell, whose family first planted vines on its Pokolbin estate back in 1879. This region isn’t about stereotypical rolling green hills; the Hunter has to weather droughts and tough conditions, but the land is also capable of incredible feats. As one of the first families of wine, the Tyrrells own eight of the 11 oldest vineyards in the state, and they draw on ancient, century-old vines from their “sacred sites” to make extraordinary drops. “This is an amazing bit of dirt”, says Jane Tyrrell of her family’s Pokolbin estate. And if you really want to see the vineyards in style, follow Curtis' lead and jump in a vintage cadillac from Sydney Classic Wedding Car Hire.
Then Curtis is off to the Tweed region to visit Tropical Fruit World, “a commercial farm, oddball tourist stop and bizarro farmers market” rolled into one. It’s home to 500 varieties of edible plants – and many types of “strange and wonderful fruit” he finds appealing. There’s black sapote – also known as chocolate pudding fruit, because of its dessert-like flavour. And rollinia, a plant from the custard apple family that tastes just like lemon meringue pie. Tropical Fruit World’s manager Aymon Gow also introduces Curtis to gigantic jackfruit, yellow dragonfruit and other curiosities that grow in the warm subtropical climate and mineral-rich soil. Curtis also visits Husk Distillers, known for its unique paddock-to-bottle rum made from freshly crushed cane juice and the violet-hued Ink Gin, made from traditional and native botanicals.
“Aboriginal culture is one of the greatest things this country has going for it”, Curtis says, and it’s why he showcases Mirritya Mundya’s Dwayne Bannon-Harrison on the show. “Dwayne is a proud ambassador of indigenous culture. He runs a food truck that embraces Aboriginal cooking techniques and native ingredients.” Native river mint, murnong (an ancient bush potato) and saltbush are indigenous flavours highlighted in the episode. Curtis and Bannon-Harrison take a tour of the South Eveleigh Community Building Rooftop Garden, a unique space in the city that features indigenous edible and medicinal plants. You’ll see Bannon-Harrison pair wild raspberry with oysters – which are renowned in the Narooma region on the South Coast, where he’s based.
Mark LaBrooy co-founded the first Three Blue Ducks restaurant, in the beachside suburb of Bronte, a decade ago and his commitment to sustainability and hyper-local ingredients remains strong. Curtis seeks out the “bad ass” chef (who is also a hunter, surfer and motorbike rider) to go lobster diving off Bronte. LeBrooy is so at home in these coastal surrounds that he easily turns the shoreline into an outdoor kitchen and DIY curry-making station to cook up his catch. Seafood doesn’t get much fresher than this.