Locally-sourced produce has been cast in the starring role of the Long Lunch by the Lake being held at Bond University’s Robina campus on Sunday, October 14.
Celebrity chef, “food conservationist” and Bond University student, Simon Grigalius has been searching farms and farmers’ markets in the Gold Coast hinterland and Northern Rivers to hand-pick the very best ingredients for the annual foodie fiesta.
“The Gold Coast is blessed to be surrounded by fertile farmlands, nurtured by growers who believe in sustainability and understand the importance of looking after the land,” said Simon, who is studying an Environmental Science degree at Bond.
“The Long Lunch by the Lake is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on what is available right here in our own backyard.”
Simon’s four course menu will feature platters Tweed Valley vegetables, prepared by roasting, pickling and marinating, goats’ cheeses from Mudgeeraba and Nimbin, “the best sausages I’ve ever tasted” from an Ashmore providore he met at the Eagle Farm markets, the day’s from catch from a Tweed trawler, honey from Mullumbimby, kiwi fruit from Mt Tamborine and strawberry jelly from Mudgeeraba, accompanied by beverages from Witches Falls, Sirromet Winery and the Burleigh Brewing Company.
“The entire menu is based on what’s coming into in season right now,” said Simon. “I’m really passionate about eating food produced using sustainable farming practices with low food miles, limited waste and minimal environmental impact.
“We’ve got it all here on our doorstep and it’s easy to buy now at the farmers’ markets so I’m hoping to show diners at the Long Lunch how they can incorporate this philosophy into their own food shopping and preparations.”
With 100 people sitting together at an extended community table stretched along the banks of Bond’s Lake Orr, Simon says that the Long Lunch is also about sharing and meeting new people.
“Various elements of each course will be presented as shared platters which is a great way of getting conversations started,” he said.
“For me, food is all about bringing people together, sharing with friends and talking to people you may not have met before, and I’ve designed the food presentation with that philosophy in mind.”
Simon has appeared on TV shows in Australia and the USA, as well as working in London and New York. He is now based in south-east Queensland, consulting to restaurants and catering private functions for high profile and celebrity clients through MYLK – ‘my little kitchen’.
The Long Lunch will be the highlight of the annual Bond by the Lake community fun day, themed around the 1920s Great Gatsby era, which will also include live music, village markets, art and photography exhibitions, creative workshops, children’s entertainment, antique cars, 1920s dancing and much more.
Entry to Bond by the Lake is free. Tickets to the Long Lunch are priced at just $39.50 per person, with places strictly limited to 100 people. Visit bond.edu.au/events to book or contact Sharon Solyma at [email protected] for more information.