Mavis's Kitchen

posted on: Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Mavis's Kitchen overlooking Mt Warning

Homestyle honey, jams and preserved fruit like your granny would make

The prettiest pavlova with rosewater, cream and strawberries on top!

The huge kitchen garden in the grounds

'We get our radicchio from Jean and our eggs come from Denise, as well as our girls (the chooks!); the celeriac in your mash was grown just over there, though we've replanted it with corn now...' I'm sitting with Peter from Mavis's Kitchen after a languid Sunday lunch at their stunning property at the base of Mt Warning near Byron Bay. 

Peter can literally name where every ingredient on their menu comes from and the list of local organic personalities roll of his tongue effortlessly. Their beef is from just over the other side of Mt Warning, the lamb we ate at lunch is from a great farm near Warwick, salami is sourced from a fabulous Italian family in Lismore, milk is from the Nimbin Dairy. And I know some of our greens are from the garden outside because I saw someone walk out of the kitchen and down there to get them.

It's not the first time I've been to Mavis's Kitchen. I first visited three years ago while working at Tourism Australia. Memorably, our group had just come from an extravagent morning tea and we could not begin to think how we could fit another bite in. After a walk around the extensive grounds we were able to (just) fit in the lovely lunch. And then Charlie, Peter's partner, brought out finger lime mousse. Let's just say, a whole lot of extra stomach room was miraculously found. (Question: why is this no longer on the menu?!)

Even though Mavis's is in a pretty remote area, it's pulled me back a number of times since. The combination of the lovely food and service, the amazing view of the mountains and the slower pace, it's hard to find a more relaxing venue to enjoy a long, easy lunch. This time I had the rich pork belly with celeriac mash and Gus had tender lamb that had been slow cooked for hours. And the desserts! Very little can pull me from my no-sugar eating, but I had to make an exception here. The Rosewater Pavlova with edible flowers and the citrus tart with cream and mulberries were just so pretty!

And just who is Mavis? She is none other than Charlie's mum and the food muse of this whole venture. And I have to say, the kitchen Mavis inspired is a real gem. Not least because, the thoughtfulness required to name the origin of every single item in your kitchen already puts you miles ahead in taste. 

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