All posts filed under: The Foodies

Kaine and Jade Hunt a.k.a Secret Chef Catering

Still high from the success of their first appearance at Eat The Street in Lismore, Kaine and Jade Hunt were brimming with enthusiasm and ideas to enhance to their fledgling catering business when I caught up with them recently. The couple run Secret Chef Catering from their 5-acre property in Clunes, where they grow coffee, fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and chickens. They’re about to begin work on a commercial kitchen next to the house. “It will be great in summer when it’s really hot, you can put your knives down and jump into the pool!” says Kaine. The impetus for moving out of Sydney to the Northern Rivers in 2014 was to have a quieter pace of life, work from home and enjoy their growing family. They have two cute-as-button children, Axle, 3 and Ryder, 1. “When we found out we were having our first child we set things in place,” Kaine says. “Secretly Jade knew all the time that this is where we were going to live, before we even met!”  Kaine worked as sous …

Graeme and Jen Stockdale | The Stockpot Kitchen

A tall man with a wiry beard and a flat cap greets me in the kitchen of the Bangalow Bowling Club. It’s only 10.00am but already he’s got a huge pot of pork belly on the stove. This is Graeme Stockdale, one half of the brains behind catering and restaurant team, The Stockpot Kitchen. Graeme and his wife, Jen, started their catering company after Graeme lost his job as head chef at Liliana’s Café when it closed last year. “I’d never had a job pulled out from under me before”, Graeme says earnestly. It’s only a moment, though, before he’s smiling again, resolute about their decision to go it alone. “Even if it falls on its arse and ruins me at least I’ve tried it!” When they first started The Stockpot Kitchen, Graeme says the goal was that after one year it would be his full-time job. In serendipitous timing, in July this year Graeme and Jen took up permanent residence in the Bangalow Bowling Club, serving their hearty, home-style fare for dinner Tuesday to …

Emily and Andrea Bonotto a.k.a. Il Carretto

Take 2 parts husband and wife, 1 part Naples sourdough starter and 1 part self-belief. Add 1 wood-fired oven on wheels, a warm Bexhill evening and 50 kids untethered. Combine gently with a flexible spoon and knead regularly for 3 years. Turn out onto a well-worn village hall and enjoy with friends. If you asked a 17-year-old Andrea Bonotto what he’d be doing today, he probably would have said ‘working in the restaurant at my parent’s ‘otel’. Growing up next door to their hotel in Vicenza, north-eastern Italy, working for the family business seemed certain until his father sold it and Andrea was left wondering what to do. Low paying warehouse jobs, a transcontinental pilgrimage and a teaching degree later, he is back doing what he knows. “It would have been a lot cheaper if I went straight there”, he concedes with a smile. After a breakup, a holiday to Brisbane in 2001 seemed a good escape. At a pub, Andrea met Emily Lockton, and in 2006 the couple moved back to Bexhill, Emily’s hometown, …

Howard and Elle

“You got me in my gardening hour”, smiles Howard, as we sit down in the bright kitchen of their Clunes bungalow. His vowels still reveal a touch of the classic New York twang even after 27 years in Australia. “I forced him to change!” says Elle, who is originally from Amsterdam where she and Howard met 42 years ago. Together the couple have three children and five grandchildren, and have helped pioneer the local organic herb industry from where we are now sitting. Howard Rubin and Elle Fikke came to Australia during the open-door immigration policies of the 1970s and 80s, hoping to start a herbal tea business. Having sold everything in the UK, they went on holiday to Bali, met some friendly Aussies there, and turned up in 1987 to a house in Tuntable Falls which had been arranged for them by some herb growers in Nimbin. “They made you feel welcome”, says Elle, “it was really nice, and so easy for us to come and stay here”. While still on tourist visas, the …