“So determined to ensure she is showcasing the best of the region, Rachel knows all of the local growers and producers, purchasing directly from them.”
Located in the foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, within the Shire of Hepburn, stands the beautiful town of Daylesford. Known as one of Australia’s premier spa towns, it is a notable tourist destination and more recently a haven for diners. This story’s focus will appeal particularly to those with a palate for elegant degustation of classic French-inspired meals made from the delightful produce of the local region.
Now I have the great pleasure of introducing the heroine of this story, talented cook and boutique caterer Rachel Daisy of Daisy Dining.
I spent a day with this charming lady, getting to know her story and learning about her passion for the ingredients she selects to use in the kitchen. So determined to ensure she is showcasing the best of the region, Rachel knows all of the local growers and producers, purchasing directly from them.
On the day, Rachel shared her superb recipe for chicken with baby vegetables and herbs de Provence. It was a happy sight to see the fresh, fragrant baby vegetables from Wombat Forest Organics and Angelica Organic Farm. They were sitting on the bench when I entered the kitchen, just waiting to be handled, expertly cooked and then savoured. But first the chicken had to be browned. The chicken pieces used by Rachel were from no ordinary chicken. It sounds strange to say this but these raw poultry pieces looked almost alive with vibrant, bright colours. Rachel pointed out that “Milking Yard Farm is such a beautiful space and the chicken I get from there is always excellent to cook with.”
When the dish was ready, Rachel and I drove a short distance to visit Milking Yard Farm to investigate why the chicken from this farm is so tasty, and to share the meal she had prepared with farm owner, Bruce Burton.
From the moment I stepped onto the driveway of the property, I considered that if I was going to be reincarnated as a chicken, I would want to experience living at Milking Yard Farm! Here I would be the descendent of some of the healthiest, happiest brood of breeder chickens in Australia. I would be treated with respect and allowed to roam freely amongst my family and friends, across pastures and with the protection of two beautiful Mareeba dogs. I would live a wholesome life for a full 80 days.
Visiting Milking Yard Farm and sharing the delicious meal of Daisy Chicken with baby vegetables and herbs de Provence with Rachel and Bruce that day really reaffirmed the importance of maintaining our connection with the food that we eat. Of course, it’s only logical as that’s when we engage with nature most profoundly; when we sit down to eat the meal. This is what represents our most powerful engagement with the natural world and fuels both our body and soul!