delicious. produce awards 2021 winners
The ultimate winners of the 2021 delicious. produce awards have been announced. Now in its 16th year, the country’s most prestigious food industry awards program celebrates new, innovative, native and consistently outstanding Aussie ingredients grown, caught, sourced or produced with dedication, passion and respect for the environment.
“The delicious. produce awards recognise the best Australian produce from all over the country and, importantly, the people behind it,” says delicious. Editorial Director Kerrie McCallum.“During a time of unprecedented change, including flood and the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging the resilience and the dedication that Australian farmers, fishermen and artisans show their craft has never been more important.”
Seventeen trophies were awarded by some of Australia’s most renowned chefs, including Josh Niland, Lennox Hastie, Matt Stone, Jo Barrett and Danielle Alvarez, who joined Matt Moran, Andrew McConnell, Peter Gilmore and Alla Wolf-Tasker to decide winners across four categories: From the Dairy, From the Earth, From the Paddock and From the Sea.
The awards’ governing board, including awards patron Maggie Beer, Christine Manfield, Guillaume Brahimi, Shannon Bennett, Colin Fassnidge, Martin Benn, Vicki Wild, Ross Lusted, Sunny Lusted, Neil Perry, Kylie Kwong and Mike Bennie, were across all award decisions.
Ultimately, 18 awards were presented, including Producer of the Year. This went to Gary, Jo and Sam Rodely from Tathra Oysters in NSW for their 5-year-old bistro grade oysters.
“I have been using Gary Rodely’s amazing Tathra oysters for years,” chef Neil Perry says. “They are consistently incredible, both in texture and flavour. They are without doubt one of the greatest oysters in the world. And grown in one of the most beautiful places as well.”
delicious. has collaborated with Vic’s Premium Quality Meat on the curation of 2021’s Produce to You box. This is a selection of Australia’s best produce – including, cheese, meat and wine – that can be purchased online and delivered nationally. For more information on how to order the Produce to You box, head to delicious.com.au/producetoyou
delicious. produce awards 2021 trophy winners
From the Dairy
Barossa Valley Cheese Company, SA – aged La Dame
Victoria McClurg and her mother Frances have been making and selling artisan cheese in the Barossa Valley since 2003. They specialise in hand-making a range of cheese with locally sourced cow’s and goat’s milk. The winning cheese, La Dame, is a four-year-aged goat’s cheese. It offers a perfect balance of a nutty, creamy flavour with a bitey finish.
From the Earth
Unearthed Co. Mushrooms, Vic – abalone mushroom
Chef and judge Josh Niland called Unearthed Co.’s abalone mushrooms “unlike anything I’ve ever experienced”. Company founder and chief grower John Ford has spent years developing his knowledge of fungi. He and his team now work to find new and exotic mushrooms to bring to Australian plates. Unearthed Co. was the first Australian grower to produce abalone mushrooms, as well as the snowflake mushroom.
From the Paddock
Chooks At The Rooke, Vic – pasture-raised cockerel
PROOF certified Chooks At The Rooke produces the highest quality pastured eggs and pasture-raised cockerel in the most ethical way possible. This ensures the health of their birds and the environment they live in. The business even re-homes its older layers to public backyards so they can continue living their lives happily for years to come.
From the Sea
Freycinet Marine Farm, Tas – Freycinet Marine Farm mussels
Julia and Giles Fisher of Freycinet Marine Farm work to showcase the best seafood that Tasmania has to offer; Tasmanian blue mussels; Pacific oysters and sea urchin roe from their own farm in Coles Bay; Atlantic salmon from the west coast; octopus from the north-west, abalone and rock lobster from the south, west and east; and scallops from Bass Strait.
Best New Product
Kindred Organics, Tas – certified organic hemp
The Damen family has been growing certified organic alternative grains and seeds for more than a decade. Kindred Organics was the first organic quinoa grower in Australia. The Damens also grow spelt, buckwheat and oats and raise grass-fed beef. The family’s award-winning hemp is one of their smaller crops. But after this big win, they’ll no doubt expand.
Producer of the Year
Tathra Oysters, NSW – Tathra Oysters 5-year-old bistro grade
Tathra Oysters’ Sydney rock oysters are grown on Nelson Lake, in the Mimosa Rocks National Park on NSW’s south coast. The pristine waters the oysters are grown in are the secret to these sweet oysters. As a result, the Rodely family has won multiple awards, including eight previous gold medals in the delicious. produce awards.
Outstanding Farmers’ Market
Willunga Farmers’ Market, SA
The Outstanding Farmers Market award acknowledges a vibrant and engaging community-focused farmers’ market that displays “true authenticity”. Now in its 20th year of operation, Willunga Farmers’ Market (WFM) operates in the heart of the historic Willunga township in South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Every Saturday, it provides a place for local farmers and specialty food producers from the region to sell their quality produce.
Pip Forrester, Chair of WFM, has thanked delicious. for its contribution to the food industry and for celebrating the farmers and producers of Australia. “Fifteen years ago, this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened,” she says. “It’s so important to have this recognition.”
Winner of the Outstanding Farmers’ Market award in 2017, Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market in Tasmania also received an honourable mention.
Unearthed Next-Gen Chef
Adam Wolfers, Gerard’s Bistro, Qld
This award recognises the best talent among the young chefs who are making their mark on the Australian dining scene and whose menus focus on showcasing local and regional produce. As Executive Chef at Gerard’s Bistro in Brisbane’s popular James Street precinct, Wolfers has created a distinctive menu inspired by his rich Jewish heritage, his travels and his years of experience in noteworthy kitchens. At Gerard’s, Wolfers has found the perfect place to follow his passion for vegetables and traditionally baked breads, along with his desire to explore lesser-known regions of the Middle East and showcase how amazingly diverse Middle Eastern cuisine can be while using the best of Australian produce.
Unearthed Next-Gen Producer
Cheryl McGaffin, Daniel’s Run Farm, Vic
The next-gen producer award recognises young Australian primary producers who are challenging the status quo. It showcases growers who are finding new ways to produce high-quality, wholesome, tasty food in an environmentally sustainable way. McGaffin and her partner grow more than 60 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes at their property in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. They also follow organic and sustainable farming principles. The vine-ripened tomatoes are all grown from seed, and offer an amazing kaleidoscope of colours and flavours. And they’re trialling new varieties every season.
Sea Forest, Tas
The team at Sea Forest is cultivating a natural solution to climate change. Asparagopsis is a common seaweed native to the waters of Tasmania. When this seaweed is included in very low quantities as a feed supplement, it reduces the production of methane from livestock by up to 98 percent. Sea Forest is the first producer in the world to cultivate Asparagopsis at a commercial scale, using both land and marine-based farming operations. Seaweed also captures carbon from the atmosphere, helping to clean and de-acidify the ocean.
Outstanding Native Producer
The Native Co., SA
This award recognises and celebrates Australia’s producers who are cultivating high-quality native primary produce. The Native Co. produces a collection of select native foods, including native thyme, river mint, sea parsley, native basil, warrigal greens, barilla, salt bush, karkalla, samphire, seablite, lemon myrtle, mountain pepper and native fruits.
Tim Malfroy, Malfroy’s Gold, NSW
Tim Malfroy’s wild honey, wild honeycomb and beeswax are all ethically and sustainably produced in bee-friendly Warré hives at his property in the Blue Mountains. Malfroy, one of only a handful of professional natural beekeepers in the world, is also active in engaging with the community. He promotes natural beekeeping practices, the importance of native bees, permaculture and sustainability. His wild honey has won countless awards, and features on the menus of some of Australia’s best restaurants.
Maggie Beer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Food
As patron of the awards, Maggie Beer personally recognises someone each year who has had a significant impact on the direction, quality and recognition of Australian food and food culture. This year’s winner, Peter Gilmore, is the Executive Chef at two of Australia’s most famous and dynamic restaurants: Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House and Quay restaurant across the harbour in The Rocks.
“When I think of the standards of excellence we have in the food community within Australia, there are always some whose brilliance shines out even more brightly,” Beer said as she presented the award virtually. “One such is Peter Gilmore. When I think how often we’ve heard the term, ‘food inspired by nature’, well, Peter personifies this – his thirst for knowledge of the world of vegetables, the diversity, the biodiversity, the importance of heritage varieties, the seed saving, and so much more. He presents an imagined force of flavour, always beautiful to the eye, and continually astoundingly me.”
Alla Wolf-Tasker Good Food Matters scholarship
Schulz Organic Dairy, Vic
The family behind Shulz Organic Dairy has been farming organically since 1972. Shulz milk, yoghurt, cream and quark is produced in small batches and processed at the farmhouse factory in Timboon. The dairy also began selling milk in returnable, reusable glass bottles in 2017. These are now available at selected Victorian retailers and farmers’ markets.
Other award winners include:
In the Bottle
Seven Seasons Distillery, SA
Vanya Cullen, Cullen Wines, WA
Tweed & the Gold Coast Hinterland, NSW & Qld
Mathieu Dechamps & Jo Barrett – handmade artisan dough knife
For more on this year’s delicious. produce awards winners, head to delicious.com.au