Guy Jeffreys at Millbrook Winery
I have shot a whole lot of food – a conservative estimate would place the figure at around 40,000 dishes – since becoming a full time professional food photographer 15 years ago. After seeing all of this food, it is refreshing to work with a chef like Guy Jeffreys.
Guy grows his vegetables from seeds that have been saved from the previous year’s crop, and he prepares his produce for the plate with more care and respect than most.
I recently spent some time with Guy, Jessica and Damo at Millbrook Winery in the hills just south of Perth. Guys has a great approach to cooking – all of the veg comes from the garden that he and the kitchen team maintain. Nothing is wasted and everything grown is valued.
In 2017, Guy was named as Chef of the Year by the West Australian Good Food Guide – read on as he walks you through the dishes we shot together.
Blood Plums and Kingfish.
Our 90yr old orchard is full of blood plums in late summer and early autumn. To make them savoury we macerated them in pink peppercorns and salt before serving with thick cut kingfish from Geraldton.
The Entire Carrot.
Grow in loose soil that is less fertilised than normal to avoid forked carrots (obviously I should take my own advice looking at the photo). Don’t waste any of the tops, burn on the bbq then mix in olive oil and lemon juice to make the salsa and serve with the roasted and raw root.
Braised Poverello Beans.
Grow on a trellis in late summer as the get around 8ft tall. Picked when plump and braise these rare beans gently. They are creamy like borlotti but the shell is stringless so can be eaten whole, no need to shell unless they are old.
Radishes with Butter and Salt.
This is a classic combo that reminds me of going to Nanna’s house. Radishes grow really fast, from planting the seed you only have to wait for one month until you’re picking baby radishes. Our butter is made in house by fermenting cream with kefir grains before whipping to split. To tie in with the winery we make red wine salt by reducing red wine to a syrup and then mixing through flaked sea salt.
Dill Pickles and Roasted Knuckle
We grow cucumbers in spring and summer and any excess gets fermented in a brine with flowering dill heads and garlic. We also use horseradish leaves for flavour, but mainly to keep the cucumbers crunchy as they are tannin rich leaves. The beef knuckle is brined before being roasted and sliced. We finish the dish with mayonnaise that has home grown safflower added as we can’t grow saffron in our Jarrahdale climate.
Jujubes and Mascarpone Parfait.
Originally from China Jujubes grow on a small tree that is quite bushy. They are usually dried and called a Chinese date, but we serve them raw and also poached in a spiced syrup. We brûlée our parfait because we like it like that.