Food – The Art of Health

Last Saturday David and I went on a ‘date’ without our baby William for the first time in almost a year. Actually, it was better than a date! It was a fantastic dinner and panel discussion hosted by the Mulloon Institute at Mulloon Creek Farm on ‘Food – the Art of Health.’ The inspiring and fascinating panel included:

  • Dr. Carole Hungerford, leading nutritional GP and author of award winning book, ‘Good Health in the 21st Century: a family doctor’s unconventional guide.’ Dr. Hungerford delivered the keynote speech and was the architect of the General Practitioner workshop held during that day, bringing together experts in medicine, nutrition, soils science and veterinary science to discuss the complex inter-relationships between food, nutrition, soil and health.
  • Dr. Ross Walker, MBBS (Hons), FRACP, FCSANZ, Eminent Practicing Cardiologist. Dr Walker is considered one of the world’s best keynote speakers and life coaches, he is the author of seven books (all of which have been best sellers). Dr Walker is also a regular presenter on the Nine Network’s Today Show, A Current Affair, and has most recently appeared as the medical expert on Excess Baggage. He also presents on radio stations 2UE, 6PR, 4BC and 3AW.
  • Professor John Cartmill, MBBS, BSc (med), MM, FRACS, Professor of Surgery at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University and Chairman of Macquarie GI. Professor Cartmill has been instrumental in the development of Macquarie University Hospital. A colorectal surgeon with training in the Cleveland Clinic, he has interests in the provision of innovative new technologies, improved health care delivery and enhancing medical communication and teaching.
  • Professor John Crawford, Judith and David Coffey Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Sydney. Professor Crawford’s interest in the origins of organisation in cells and communities has led him to uncover properties in complex living systems that sustain their diversity and function. Over the past 12 years he has been developing a systems biology approach to study the dynamics of plant cell networks implicated in metabolism, and the regulatory networks involved in diseases of the cell cycle in humans including cancer.
  • Associate Professor Neil Mann, B.App.Sci (Chemistry), B.Sci (Hons) (Biology), Dip.Ed, PhD. Neil Mann has been Associate Professor for Nutrition and Food Science at RMIT University since 2002 and was previously a senior lecturer and research fellow since 1994. He coordinates research projects in the area of long chain fatty acids in the diet and their subsequent conversion to vasoactive eicosanoid compounds and their effect on platelete function. His current research areas include investigations into obesity, diabetes and acne as well as other aspects of metabolic syndrome.
  • Dr. Peter Gibbs, Practicing large animal Vet has been involved with wider veterinary causes through his work with the NSW Veterinary Board and the Australian Veterinary Association. Why a vet? … A good vet learns to recognize what biochemical problems are facing a whole herd and then treats accordingly, often by supplementing what is lacking in their diet. We can learn a lot from this method of holistic observation
  • Dr James Chin, Retired Microbiologist and Immunologist whose expertise as a scientist addresses many immunological questions only now attracting attention in mainstream medicine.
  • Walter Jehne, BSc (Hons), MSc (Agriculture), Director of both Healthy Soils Australia and the Sustainability Science Team. Mr Jehne is a retired scientist, who worked for CSIRO and overseas specialising in the nutrient dynamics of soil plant symbioses in the development and regeneration of healthy bio-systems and their dependent communities.

Unfortunately, two of the panel members, Dr Ross Walker and Professor John Cartmill, had to leave before the start of the dinner and discussion, and the tour of the farm was cancelled due to rain. However, that didn’t dampen the fabulous ambience of the evening.

“The Barn” all dressed up!

Beginning with bubbly and canapés at sunset under a marquee, we mingled with guests and panel members before being ushered into ‘the Barn.’  I’ve always loved the Barn for its rustic charm, a perfect backdrop for all the interesting events we’ve attended at Mulloon Creek Farm throughout the year. Tonight, however, it looked like we’d walked straight into the cover of a foodie magazine, or the pages of ‘Country Style.’

Long tables filled the floor, dressed in white cloth, glittering with silver service and tastefully decorated with native leaves, flowers and hessian. The thrum of conversation, occasional bursts of laughter and early 1900s Jazz music added to the warm and inviting atmosphere. My photo does not do the scene justice at all!

David and I took our seats and our anticipation rose when we looked at the treats chef Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering had in store for us. We’d already enjoyed the canapés of beetroot cured salmon, duck mushroom pithivier and spinach ricotta zucchini blossom. The rest of the meal was themed on the elements water, earth, fire and air.

Janet introduced her menu concept and informed us where the local food had come from. Seafood from Bateman’s Bay, vegetables from Allsun Organic Farm at Gundaroo, lamb from Mulloon Creek and the pork from (oops, I’ve forgotten).

The room gasped in delight as the first of the Entrée’s made their entrance: ice caves filled with rock oysters, spanner crabs, scallops, mussels, vognole and prawns, and a marie rose sauce. The first of the mains followed with its earthy themed vegetable field of asparagus, green garlic, broccoli in blue lentil, chickpea and rice soil, mixed leaves and salt baked nicola potatoes. Fire was represented by succulent racks of lamb and slow cooked tung po pork. More gasps and even a few claps of delight ‘erupted’ with the arrival of dessert; ice cream volcanoes surrounded by bubbling clouds of liquid nitrogen.

The night ended with a fascinating question and answer session from the panel. Thank you very much to all the panel speakers for taking the time to discuss your research and thoughts with us after such a long day. Thank you to the whole Mulloon Creek team for hosting so gracefully yet another fabulous event. Thank you to Janet Jeffs for a delicious and inspired meal and thank you to Dr Carole Hungerford for drawing together this event. We are looking forward to next year’s ‘food and health’ event.


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2 Responses to “Food – The Art of Health”
  1. dixiebelle says:

    I think Hester Blumethal would be impressed! What a fantastic date night!

  2. Sounds fabulous! Sigh!

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