Last Sunday Tim and I joined thirty or so others for the first 'Bird Cow Tree' lunch at Martin Boetz's Cooks Co-op. It was an incredible day, and I think all of us felt very lucky to be there, that we were part of something quite special.
From the Chez Panisse-style hand-written and numbered menus (thank you Alex Herbert) to the beautifully cooked and presented food (thank you Alex and Martin) and setting; all of it was magical and memorable.
The event was a joint effort between Martin and chef Alex Herbert. Alex and Martin have been friends for many years and cook together beautifully. Until a few years ago she ran her own restaurant, Bird Cow Fish, in Surry Hills and now (among other things), works as a consultant and has an incredibly popular weekly stall selling breakfasts, cakes and other goods at Eveleigh market.
It's venue was the Cooks Co-op, Martin Boetz's new project.
Just by the Sackville Ferry on the Hawkesbury River, (one hour from Sydney), the Cooks Co-op is a beautiful spot and already a productive farm. Martin supplies many Sydney restaurants and from Sunday onwards it will also be the venue for regular lunches using produce from Martin's land and surrounding farms.
It's always cool to see people bravely dive into their dreams and this is exactly what Martin did this year when he left Longrain, the restaurant he established and made famous, to establish his own farm and venue here on the Hawkesbury. Please take some time to look around Martin's great new Cooks Co-op website and blog, and when you can, visit the farm for one of his lunches.
Ps - we stayed in the Cooks Co-op cottage that Martin recently re-vamped up on the farm. It is cozy, funky and has a killer view (see above). You can find out more and book the cottage here.
Pps - Another highlight of my day was meeting NZ food writer Annabel Langbein (above left). I have been a fan of Annabel's books and television programs for many years so was more than a little star-struck to meet her in person.