Celebrating the regional produce and the hands that grow it

South Coast wins the 100 Mile Challenge at first attempt.

Before we start we want to be upfront and say unashamedly this post is in the main a compilation of highlights written by Amy Willesee for the South Coast 100 mile challenge blog found here http://100milechallenge.com.au/the-challengers/south-coast/

Amy is the author of the fabulous Locavore: A Foodies’ Journey through the Shoalhaven (sadly now out of print) so it goes without saying that when you work with the best don’t even think about reinventing the wheel

Art4Agriculuture Young Farming Champion Siannon Parice and photographer extraordinaire was there to capture all the highlights and spirit of the event through the lens of her camera.  

Rosie Cupitt ( Cupitts Winery) and Amy Willesee ( right) share a light hearted moment before the guests arrive

The South Coast’s win is testament to the words of Eve Sawyer when she said  “never underestimate the power of passion.”

South Coast 100mile Challenge team Winners are grinners

Our team organiser Cathy Law is possibly the most passionate amongst our region’s locavores, so it was no surprise that she was the first to jump into the ring when Crave threw down the regional challenge. Our hat goes off to Cathy. In the beginning there were many obstacles to climb and naysayers to block out but there is none more committed and passionate about promoting the region’s produce and the farmers who grow it than Cathy. Cathy was determined to use the Crave 100 mile challenge to shout it from the rooftops and indeed she did. In the words of South Coast A team member Perri Croshaw What a Food Destination we have!!! We all knew how great it was – now the whole state knows!”

How does the 100 mile challenge work you may ask?

Well each of the five regions selected the highest quality produce and best of the best chefs from their region and created a delicious and sumptuous three course feast and served it to 100 guests.

South Coast table decorated by Wendy O'Mally and guests ready, willing and able to tuck into our regional delights

The winning region was determined by a panel of esteemed judges including Joanna Savill, Crave Sydney International Food Festival Director.

Each region was also allocated a high profile celebrity “mentor” chef and the South Coast was lucky enough to have Lucio Galletto OAM from Lucios Italian Restaurant  http://www.lucios.com.au/ join us with wife Sally.

Great lifelong friends Elise Pascoe and Lucio Galletto catch up

We also had the simply fabulous Adam Spencer of 702 ABC Sydney Breakfast show and Sleek Geeks fame on our table. By the time Adam was finished organising our table cheer leading squad our table made the Balmy Army look like wimps.

Adam Spencer 702 ABC with South Coast A team

After picking vegies, catching fish and milking cows – the South Coast team headed north yesterday for the BIG LUNCH lunch.

The produce - dispaly by Wendy O'Malley

Twenty of us hit Sydney including team leader Cathy Law, the fabulous Lynne Strong – award-winning dairy farmer and agriculture champion (and Art4Agriculture Chair) – to our very own food and wine matriarch Elise Pascoe and the indefatigable Slow Food leader and boutique tea grower Kirsten McHugh and our effervescent team leader, sommelier to the stars Toby Evans. As for our chefs, we were blessed to have some of the top chefs of the region – nay, the country! – on our team including Alex Dawkins senior sous chef at Rick Stein’s restaurant Bannisters and John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough. Read all about the A team here http://100milechallenge.com.au/the-challengers/south-coast/

And what did our 100 lucky guests eat?

On table

Bread from the Sourdough Bakery, Berry
with Glen Lee Extra virgin olive oil (from Menangle Park)

Green Kalamata Olives from Kangaroo
Valley Olives and Black Kalamata Olives from Contadinos Farm at Falls Creek,
marinated in Contadino extra virgin olive oil, garlic and local herbs


Oysters au Naturale


Sydney Rock from Bed Rock Oysters,
Shoalhaven River and Ulladulla Oysters, Clyde River

Lime-cured Kingfish with Broad Beans, Fresh Herbs, Breakfast Radish and Lemon Dressing


Kingfish freshly caught off the Shoalhaven Coast

Herbs from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Broad beans from Berry Mountain Farm

Radish from Merry Maiden’s Veggies, Milton

Limes and lemons from Yarrawa Estate, Kangaroo Valley

Chives from Dapto Community Farm, Dapto


Warm Salad of Eastern Rock Lobster, with Potatoes, Jamon and a Lobster Vinaigrette

THE LOBSTER - dont you just wish you were there


Eastern Rock Lobster from off Greenwell Point, Jervis Bay

Potatoes from Berry Mountain Farm

Herbs from Favgro in Batemans Bay

Celery from the Alex Dawkin’s garden, Mollymook

Jamon which is cured and dried under the supervision of Oscar at his
Spanish Deli in Warrawong

Lemons from Kangaroo Valley

Olive oil from Menangle Park


Basil and Honey infused Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly, Baked Rhubarb and Fresh Strawberries

The dessert a masterpiece by John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough.


Cream and milk from South Coast Dairy, Berry

Basil from John Evans’ garden, Vincentia

Strawberries from Sam and Josephine,Sussex Inlet

Rhubarb from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Honey from Pointer Mountain Honey, Yatta Yattah

100 Mile Challenge – Judging Criteria

This was not your usual culinary competition.

Each team was judged on how authentically they created a sense of people/place and product during and in the lead up to the lunch.

Showcasing the produce and the people who make it and grow was a really important part of  the challenge. The aim was to give the 100 guests the feeling they had visited our regional home.

The Region 15%

• How is the region represented in the development of the menu?

• How well have producers been represented?

• How has the team worked to promote the region and the challenge?

The Lunch 85%

The Food 60% – 20% for each course

• Presentation

• Use of your 100 mile regional produce

• Quality of ingredients used

• Kitchen skills and technique

• Taste, flavour and variety

• Use of seasonal produce

The Wine (& other Beverages) 15% – 5% for each

Ben Wallace from Coolangatta Estate and Toby Evans from Bannisters pour the wine

• Appropriateness

• Match to food

• Wine knowledge by serving team

The Table 10%

The table decorated by Kiama based artist Wendy O'Malley

• Presentation (style, creativity, mood)

• How well does it represent the region

• Physical presentation of menu

• Service

• Atmosphere

The award categories are:

Best Apprentice/Student

Best Entrée

Best Main

Best Dessert

Extra Mile Award

100MC Winner

Prizes are courtesy of Trenton International

The South Coast won Best Main, Best Dessert and was
the 100MC Winner

Our aim was to showcase the best of the South Coast’s beautiful fresh produce and bring a taste of our rolling green hills and famous beaches to Sydney and we certainly did that.


For a list of our local produce and providores visit


 See great story in South Coast Register here http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/news/local/news/general/south-coast-foodies-rise-to-the-challenge/2343925.aspx

Not to mention this quirky vid found here




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