This week we welcome Sophie and Nicole of Cookes Food to the Guest Blog! We got to know Soph and Nic last Friday after Lucy interviewed this talented duo, and we are SO excited to have them Guest Blogging for us during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. This week Sophie and Nicole will be sharing their favourite local suppliers and some of Cookes Food‘s delicious recipes using this fantastic local produce! – Jenny x

Photos – John Deer

I have been using Donati’s since Nic and I started our business. In the early days of Cookes Food I spent a long time finding suppliers and researching produce around Victoria. I stumbled onto Donati’s because I drove past them by accident, looking for something else. I went in, looked around and felt that a family run business was the way to go.

Photos – John Deer

They care about the meat they sell and they use traditional techniques to get the bests results. They have, hands down the best mortadella (terribly underrated) and their leg hams are incredible, we use them all year, it’s always a good time to have glazed ham.

Photos – John Deer

Recently we catered a large wedding in Lorne and they supplied us with amazing veal cutlets that we crumbed and served with herb aioli and shaved cabbage salad. I cook seasonally so I’m excited to use more wintery cuts like shoulder, shank and rump very soon.

Photos – John Deer

Leo, the owner is gruff on the phone and occasionally loses his temper… it adds to the charm of the experience.  He is extremely knowledgeable about his art and will happily chat with me about how I am using cuts, and if I want something special he will be accommodating.  There is Italian opera in the background of their answering machine message which also amuses me – it’s nice to have a smile on your face when you place your orders after a long day.

Donati’s Fine Meats
402 Lygon Street
Carlton   VIC   3053
(03) 9347 4948 

Photo – John Deer

Donati’s pork chop with coloured chilli peppers, green tomatoes and beetroot pickle

1 pork chop (1 between 2 is quite enough)
200g different coloured peppers
2 green tomatoes
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 beetroot (large)
½ cup sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Photo – John Deer

First off, grate the beetroot into what ever size or shape you like, I mince mint so that it’s easy to eat.  Place in a saucepan with the vinegar and sugar, cook on a low heat for 1 hour.

To cook the pork, pre heat the oven at 200 degrees.  Brown the chop on all sides, including the fat which you need to render a bit.  Then place in an oven tray with the peppers for 8-12 minutes.  Then allow to rest.

Photos – John Deer

Serve on platter or board all together, a dollop of the beetroot pickle, a mitt full of dressed rocket and the green tomatoes with olive oil, lemon zest and salt.  Finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

- Sophie and Nicole x

Photos - John Deer