Gateways first long table lunch for 2018 was hosted by Mark & Carol Gillett who are the owners of Ghinni Ghi Station located at 1194 Iron Pot Creek Rd Ghinni Ghi. They have a small 225 acre farm, located west of Kyogle in the beautiful Northern Rivers region of NSW, and is renowned for producing superb quality beef and of course beef was on the menu!!
Mark & Carol have a firm commitment to improving their soils and over time have adopted sustainable management since 2011. In 2015 they made the decision to remove all chemical inputs. In January 2017 we made application for organic certification. Whilst we are now “In Conversion”, by February 2018 the vast majority of the farm will be certified organic and the remaining paddocks will qualify in August 2019. With the assistance of Geoff and Fiona Bassett, they have implemented a controlled program of soil development through soil testing, use of green manure crops, and the use of bio-dynamic preparations 500 to 507. They have noted significant improvement in pasture growth, colour of pasture, condition of the cattle, depth of pasture roots and worm populations in the soil. It is their intention to continue to develop their soils through these processes.
On the menu guests were treated to Gateways "Signaure Grazing Table" which is filled with locally grown products from within the region. Products like locally grown olives from Mongogarie Olives, Salami from Salumi Australia and Vecchiet, cheese from Nimbin Valley Dairy and Witches Chase, chutneys and dips made by Gateway, fresh and dried fruit, crackers and bread all of which are beautifully presented on one main table for the guests to help themselves.
Then came the mains!! Featured on the menu was Ghinni Ghi Organic Beef and it was presented in two ways. One as roast beef crostini with horseradish cream and pickled radish, this was such a simple yet flavorsome dish. The flavours worked really well together and I just wanted more.
Oh my, then came these gorgeous heirloom and ricotta tarts, they
were light, fresh, zingy and that pastry was amazing. I think my favourite was the grilled steak with ratatouille and saffron rice. This was another way of showcasing the beef and it just melted in your mouth. The ratatouille was spicy but the three dishes worked really well together. The menu catered for all dietary requirements and next to land on the table was the roast pumpkin, chickpea and coconut curry followed by couscous and salmon cakes with watercress and apple salad. Thank goodness the farm tour was next as we all needed to get up and walk off some of the food we just devoured. What a spectacular farm and Mark & Carol are so passionate about what they do. They explained to everyone what they farm, how they farm and why they farm. They have an open day coming up on 1st July which I would love to attend so that I can learn more about what they do. Farm tour over and we arrived back to a table full of luscious desserts. We could choose from carrot cake with ricotta frosting, persian love cake and stewed fruit with custard. I think all guests had a bit of everything. To finish the day Gateway served amazing coffee for everyone. What a fun, relaxing and insightful day. Cant wait for the next one.