Morning tea with local chef

Morning tea with a local chef and one of our very own Orange F.O.O.D Committee members… 

Chef Richard Learmonth was a few minutes late to our coffee catch up as he was talking to his culinary mushroom supplier outside the coffee shop window. 

About the chef…

Richard has a strong connection to local growers and producers in the Orange region – as per the comment above. With over 20 years of experience as a fine dining chef, leading teams in multi-hatted restaurants in Australia and New Zealand, Richard has recently stepped out of the traditional chef role to offer bespoke dining experiences

Richard collaborates with customers to create bespoke dining experiences or events, showcasing the wonderful produce of our region. Whether you require catering for a group, a small intimate meal or a large event, Richard provides customers with beautiful cooking that reflects the best of Orange and the Central West. 

What he’s serving up…

His strong passion for fresh, local produce shines through in everything he serves! Most recently Richard and Groundstone hosted a one-off Winter Experience dinner. The two teams collaborated to create a sumptuous winter feast using local produce from Orange and surrounding areas. 

Coming up on the menu for Richard is (already sold out event) La Vendemia di la Porchetta (Festival of the Pig). This event is driven by seasonality and local produce – Renzaglia Wines are hosting the event, and their neighbours Happy Pig are supplying pastured raised Berkshire pigs which talented, local chefs Richard and Hugh Piper will then turn into fabulous dishes with accompanying side dishes. 

Richard admits using local produce requires more planning and management but this is what he sees as the fun, creative part. When you’re driven by the season, you’re going to the farmer, meeting the grower and experiencing a point of contact that would otherwise not be there if he was still living and cooking in Sydney. After years of reading shopping lists to a supplier’s answering machine every evening, the chef explains it’s a very refreshing experience. 

Despite the fact it’s not possible to use 100% local produce, it’s a real treat to have such an array of quality products and artisan ingredients so where possible we should join Richard in celebrating this fabulous offering. 

Find out more here

Words: Helen Johnson – Digital Content Developer