HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY
My career began as a youngster having left university and needing a job. My innate desire to work as a cook landed me at William Angliss College to hone my knife skills and give it a shot.
From there I embarked on a journey to many kitchens and encounters with wonderful hospitality mentors. There were days at the David Jones Food Hall, mornings as a breakfast chef in Brunswick St, mastering Toad in the Hole to the applause of pub goers in England , and fond memories of working alongside Greg Brown of Browns Restaurant and Bakery fame, who inspired me with his relentless drive, passion and eye for detail.
Many lessons, scars and dishes later, Stir Crazy was born.
This business venture has culminated from stored up ideas and energy, and was sparked through working within the Victorian Farmer’s Market arena. I was taken with the wonderful range of Victorian produce, and drawn to the energetic vibe of its dedicated producers and patrons.
From this backdrop, and drawing on recipes from the people and places I’ve known, I have created a unique range of handmade produce.
I hope you enjoy sharing in the spoils of this experience, and taste the difference of food prepared by hand and with care.
For lovers of the fabulous Mexican film “Like water for Chocolate ”, revel in the pleasures of food and partake if you dare!
The range of products embraces many locally grown products, thus supporting smaller family businesses that encourage sustainable farming practices. These producers provide the Victorian public with unique products and I am proud to promote them and incorporate their produce into my own.
Tania and Steve Walter are organic farmers in the North West of Victoria. Their farm in Marnoo embraces cutting edge biodynamic farming, producing nutrient rich lentils, peas, barley, spelt and oats.
They enrich and nurture the soils with their organic farming principles, and encourage healthier environments and products in their approach.
My range of oatcakes feature oats from this property, and the spelt flour in the Rosemary Wheatens is also grown here.
It is so inspiring to know this couple and have witnessed first hand their dedication to the farm. I love telling customers in particular about the Spelt Grain Oatcakes which feature flour and oats grown from the same property.
GO JUST NUTS
Eric of Go Just Nuts has a 6 hectare farm in the Mallee town of Nangiloc. Here he grows crops of citrus, avocado and pistachios.
Eric supplies me with tangelos, blood oranges, mandarins and lemons for my cordial range.
He has an infectious personality and you often catch him joking about with his market customers in his orange wig!
It's definitely happy fruit that goes into my cordials!
MOUNT ZERO OLIVES
The Mount Zero Olive Grove is located adjacent to the Grampians National Park, in Western Victoria. It is owned and managed by Neil and Jane Seymour, who have been producing for the last 20 years.
In addition to harvesting olives, Neil and Jane have nurtured a relationship with the local aboriginals and share a salt harvesting process of the nearby pink lake.
PINK LAKE SALT
50km from the Mount Zero Olive grove at Dimboola is a large pink salt lake. The lake is fed by natural salt aquifers and each summer dries to reveal a bed of salmon pink salt. Mount Zero and the lake’s traditional owners, the Barengi Gadjin Land Council, have been working together to hand harvest a small amount of salt from the lake each year.
An analysis of the salt tells us that it is a concentrated store of natural mineral nutrients, rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, iron, manganese, zinc and copper as well as being rich in beta carotene. This complexity of minerals, provides a complex, well rounded flavour – dissimilar to many sharp refined salts.
Mount Zero Pink Lake Salt is a natural product which varies in pigment from wet to dry. The local provenance of the salt, along with the hand harvesting & natural sun drying and most importantly the salts beautiful flavour and colour are a key fit with Mount Zero’s core principles of regionalism, sustainability and quality. The Stir Crazy range of products are made with this fine grade of Pink Lake Salt.
Stoney Creek was founded in 1992 by Fred and Coral Davies, situated near Talbot in central Victoria. They foster sustainable farming and produce organic flaxseed and flaxseed meal.
Flaxseed, or Linseed is one of the world’s oldest known cultivated plants. It was first used by ancient societies as medicine to reduce swelling, soothe skin conditions and relieve constipation. But in modern times, the small seed has been praised as an important part of a healthy, balanced diet by researchers due to its high source of fibre, essential oils and lignans.
Flaxseeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, protein, and the Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fats, and for strong antioxidant benefits from their high lignan content.
The Stoney Creek Golden Flax seed features in the Gluten Free Flax and Almond Cracker.
Lisadurne Hill is a family run farm established in Rushworth in the 1870’s. Proudly operated by Russ and Tina Knight, they grow a sustainable range of high quality olives for oil production and table olives. The farm proudly boasts 27,000 olive trees and produces award winning olive oils.
My cracker range features the Hill Paddock Blend XVOO, which creates a supple and velvet dough to work with. The resulting flavour of the baked bark breads and crisps is delicious.