Take a local chef (or two) who’s passionate about real local food, allow them to craft a meal featuring some of the region’s award winning produce, and serve it in a sublime location, right next to where the food was grown, and you have the unique and exquisite food experience that is Meals in the Fields.
Our most recent event saw two hatted Sydney chefs present this region’s best produce in our unique location.
We were very excited to have two head chefs from Sydney leading our team for Meals in the Fields this Spring.
Locked in for lunch on Sunday October 29th were Carla Jones, former head chef at 4 Fourteen, who was joined by her partner, Richie Dolan, former head chef from Chiswick, who created a sumptuous meal featuring the best produce from across our region.
Both chefs are well schooled in the paddock to plate and nose to tail cooking principles, and have recently relocated to Sawtell where Carla was raised to raise their own family. We were very pleased to have them at our event prior to launching their café The Hilltop Store Cafe in Sawtell early in the new year.
Carla and Richie are both looking forward to working with local producers and showcasing their produce, having spent time venturing out to meet local artisans to source suppliers for their new venture.
As one of the closing events for this year’s Tastings on Hastings Food and Wine Festival, Meals in the Fields certainly ensured the weekend finished on a high, saving the best for last.
Now in it’s sixth year, Meals in the Fields is a truly authentic paddock to plate dining experience, set in the fields that much of the food that is presented has been raised in. Previous occasions have seen the likes of Clayton Donovan (Wild Kitchen), Drew Woolnough (Drury Lane Eatery) and Simon Livingston (Bent on Food) man the pans in the kitchen.
Partnering Near River pasture raised heritage pork and field grown vegetables will be other award winning fare from Burrawong Gaian poultry along with a few newer producers from the Mid North Coast.
Matched wines from Tamburlaine Organic wines were offered along with local craft beer and cider.
Our next event is locked in for March 2018 – join our email list for ticket releases.
It all started with Breakfast in the Beds, our first on farm event in 2012 that allowed us to open Near River to our community and have them enjoy a meal on the farm right next to where the food had been grown – truly authentic paddock to plate dining. Following it’s success, Eric Robinson from The Other Chef took up the challenge, and Meals in the Fields was born, an annual celebration of local, ethically raised produce from our farm and other artisan producers from region. Each year has built on the previous, and with all events selling out, the call has been heeded and Meals in the Fields is now held more often.
For logistical reasons Meals in the Fields events have set menus. Similarly, for vegetarians and vegans, we would rather disappoint you now than on the day and note that we are unable to cater for you at these events. Please advise us of other dietary requirements before booking.
You’ll be seated in the front paddock, so flat shoes and a jacket would be suitable.
This is an all weather event. Should Mother Nature choose to be inclement we have a marquee on site which we will use to host the dinner.
Travel and Accommodation
Near River is 45 kms west from Port Macquarie with sealed roads to the farm gate. We suggest you allow 50 minutes for the journey.
We do offer a bus option (assuming sufficient demand) for Meals in the Fields, with stops at Lighthouse Beach, Gordon Street interchange, the doughnut service centre at the Pacific Highway, and Bain Park in Wauchope. Select this option when purchasing your tickets.
For those from out of the Hastings area, or locals who wish to make a weekend of the occasion, Port Macquarie offers a range of quality accommodation options, and there are a number of B and B’s located closer to our farm.
To receive advance notice about our upcoming events, join our newsletter, as we offer our mailing list the first opportunity to acquire tickets for these sell out events.
Subscribe to our seasonal newsletter