Beneath the gum trees, alongside a tranquil river - the scene is set for an epic long lunch embedded in nature.
Celebrating its fifth year in 2023, Grazing Down the Lachlan returns to the banks of the Lachlan River in Forbes on Saturday 16 September – celebrating and showcasing the region’s food, entertainment, art, culture and history.
Chair of the Grazing Down the Lachlan committee, Emily Wilson said, “to keep this unique foodie adventure fresh and exciting, each year we change up certain elements of the event format - and 2023 is no different. This year we are thrilled to have Brendan Sheldrick on board as Creative Director to inject a new and local perspective on Grazing’s six course menu.”
Originally hailing from Sydney, Brendan cooked for Neil Perry’s Rockpool Group for 10 years before making a tree-change to Eugowra in 2017.
Brendan and his partner Leanne now produce small runs of lamb and beef for their premium butcher shop in Forbes, Sheldricks Fine Food. Brendan’s paddock-to-plate, full carcass philosophy aligns seamlessly with Grazing’s sustainable ethos.
“Sustainability is a very important part of how I cook and prepare meals for our customers here in Forbes,” Brendan said.
“At Sheldricks, we use locally grown and processed meat purchased as whole animals as well as local fruit and vegetables. Nothing goes to waste. I was keen to be involved in Grazing to show both locals and visitors some of the great food our region produces. I'm also excited to get behind the grill at one of the stations and share the experience with the Grazers!”
While the dishes are kept secret until the day, Brendan will draw inspiration from the food, culture and takeaway shops of early Greek migrants to the Forbes district for this year’s menu.
“Grazers can expect some beautiful, simple Greek flavours where the produce is the hero, as well as wood fire cooking, pastries and sweets - a bit of a nod to Australian / Greek cafe and takeaway culture,” Brendan said.
“I’m hoping Grazers can relax, enjoy some of the beautiful wine and produce the Forbes region has to offer and can take away an experience of beautifully cooked, Greek-inspired dishes in a pretty special place,” Brendan added.
The epic long lunch celebrates produce native to the Central West NSW region, prepared by local restaurateurs and caterers.
But what makes this dining experience truly unique is the underlying commitment to delivering a no-waste, environmentally responsible event. Every ‘Grazer’ (guest) is supplied with an event bag made from recycled fabric, which contains an enamel plate, recycled fork, donated drink bottle, event wine glass and lanyard, a menu map, and a napkin made from donated linens.
Grazers are transported out to site by bus to minimise impact on the natural environment and are then free to wander along the 2.5 kilometre bush track between six stations offering delicious food with a matched beverage. At the final station, Grazers are encouraged to donate these items back to Grazing to be used again the following year.