Melian Fertl

My main passion is fresh, local, organic food and the unique quality and freshness of garden to table cooking. Growing up on a permaculture farm inspired my interest in gardening and fresh food. My passion for cooking was inspired by my mother and grandmother who passed on their love for gardening, creating dishes from different cuisines with fresh garden ingredients, making conserves and condiments and experimenting with local bushfoods. In my late teens I started catering for courses and events at my mother’s permaculture college before moving to Melbourne in my early 20’s to embark on my chef career. I trained and worked around Melbourne in a range of establishments from traditional Italian woodfired cuisine and gourmet pubs to fine dining restaurants such as The Point on Albert Park and Neil Perry’s Spice Temple.

After nine years, I moved back home to manage the organic gardens on our farm and establish my own food enterprise. The local food movement in the NSW Northern Rivers offers an exceptional range of quality produce, from coffee, rice, dairy and grass-fed meats to a diversity of fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Most of what doesn’t come out of my garden is produced within 90 km.

Seasonality drives my menu, combining the great flavours, textures and colours of fresh-picked produce from my own garden and local farmers markets. Artisanal, everything is made from scratch including condiments, fermented vegetables and beverages. Mainly contemporary Australian cuisine, with some multicultural influences – often with a local bushfood twist, such as using macadamia cream rather than imported coconut.

My aim to give people the ultimate local food experience in an environment where they can see much of the food actually growing and enjoy the gardens in this little piece of paradise.

Chef's Recipes

Top Award Winners