High Country Table does July Christmas

Organisers Kim Rhodes and Kathryn Sommerlad with Josh Telford and Danielle Hickey, of The Maze, nut out details for the Christmas in July.

Organisers Kim Rhodes and Kathryn Sommerlad with Josh Telford and Danielle Hickey, of The Maze, nut out details for the Christmas in July.

Following on from the phenomenal success of its inaugural High Country Table at the Sunnyside Hall back in March, a willing band of local producers and food lovers are again organising a showcase of local produce, this time with a Christmas theme in mind.

The earlier event attracted diners from Brisbane, Northern Rivers and the Gold Coast to the long table of Tenterfield fare, and many of those will be back again with only a few tickets still remaining for the July 22 dining experience.

Hopefully they’ll all be wearing their loose pants with a multi-course degustation menu planned by chef Josh Telford, who will be hosting the do at his restaurant The Maze along with partner Danielle Hickey.

“We wanted to offer something really special,” High Country Table’s Kathryn Sommerlad said.

The evening will start with canapes around fire pits on the verandah of the restaurant, along with mulled cider and local wines to wash them down.

Diner will then move inside where the Christmas theme really kicks in.

The two main courses will feature Sommerlad roast chicken and Arrajay Downs roast pork and crackling. 

Of course what would Christmas pork be without an apple sauce.

One of the local products to be incorporated is frosted granny smith apples from Tom Ford, where the apples aren’t collected until after the first frost to make sure they have that true granny smith flavour of old.

Also on the menu after having receiving the frost treatment is Zappa pumpkins.

Mrs Sommerlad is anticipating a show-stopping dessert,”like fireworks at the end of the meal”, she said.

After the plated dessert the party then again moves outside to roast marshmallows and other treats over the fire pits.

It’s important to promote these local producers who operate on a small scale, and mostly out of love. - Kathryn Sommerlad

Mr Telford said he’s looking forward to composing the plated meals, promising to use produce in a way people may not have seen before.

“We’re putting a twist on the classics,” he said.

Chef Josh Telford and Danielle Hickey of The Maze are promising twists on the Christmas classics.

Chef Josh Telford and Danielle Hickey of The Maze are promising twists on the Christmas classics.

While the roast chicken and pork and accompaniments will have all the familiar flavours, they may not be in the familiar form.

The roasted pumpkin, for instance, may find its way onto the plate in the form of a pumpkin silk. The roasted potato may find itself instead a fondant, Mr Telford said.

“There may be a shift in the textural ways of doing things.”

Whatever the twist, at the heart of the menu is great local produce.

“It’s important to promote these local producers who operate on a small scale, and mostly out of love,” Mrs Sommerlad said.

Chef Telford is a fan of local produce and seasonal menus. Here’s his take on what’s good locally...

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