ALBURY chef James Burge goes to great lengths to put together his seasonal menus inspired by local produce.
But he didn't have to travel far to find people on the same page as him.
The head chef at Mantra Albury Hotel District Dining started talking regenerative and sustainable farming with Daniel Hibberson (Jinderlee Ag) and Jacob Wolki (Wolki Farm) earlier this year.
"Daniel works over the road from us at Jindalee and comes over for coffees and we got talking about his work with soils about the same time I was reaching out to Jacob at Wolki Farm for his produce," he said.
"We are always aiming to use the best local produce we can get and Wolki Farm's pastured chicken is amazing from the colour to the texture to the flavour."
The trio decided to host a charity dinner to illustrate the importance of healthy soils, regenerative farming practices and chef skills to build the flavour profile of food.
Flavour - From the Ground Up will run at Mantra Albury Hotel on Friday, June 18, supporting emergency food provider Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare.
Together with Burge, Mr Hibberson and Mr Wolki will speak about their different roles in the Border food sector.
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Burge said the charity dinner was two-fold.
"We want to get people involved in the health side of food production and I want to express the flavour side of it," Burge said.
Burge said the global pandemic had made Australians re-evaluate many things in their lives including their approach to food and the environment.
"Since COVID, people have become much more forward-thinking," he said.
"People used to be looking ahead two years, now people are thinking five years ahead.
"The saying is absolutely true: 'We don't inherit the land off our parents, we're borrowing it from our children."
Burge said it was the first time the fundraiser had been done for FoodShare.
"It is hard for some people to get their hands on quality produce and we wanted to support those people doing it tough," Burge said.
Tickets are strictly limited for the three-course dinner, Flavour - From the Ground Up, at Mantra Albury Hotel, 524 Smollett Street, from 6.30pm.
Bookings are essential on (02) 6048 8000.
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