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Friday 11 August 2023

Zin House puts a focus on where and how produce is grown

It says a lot when a restaurant highlights the talents of its gardener.

The provenance of produce served to guests has never been more important, which is why Lowe Family Wine Co.’s The Zin House is celebrating the arrival of head garderner Lydia Blocksidge to its Tinja property in Mudgee,

Blocksidge's arrival is aimed at boosting the expertise of the certified organic and biodynamic farm behind Lowe Family Wine Co and strengthening the farm-to-table philosophy at the restaurant.

Brisbane-native Blocksidge  joins the team headed by director and executive chef Kim Currie, whose seasonal dishes are legendary.

“I’m thrilled to have Lydia expand our expertise at The Zin House across the kitchen and market gardens," said Currie.

"She brings a unique perspective and passion to the role, which gives us tons of potential to grow inside and out of the restaurant.

“There is already a terrific connection growing between Lydia and the kitchen team, which is critical to how The Zin House operates. Welcoming Lydia is an exciting step forward in best showcasing the entire produce lifecycle taking place on the property while further securing the sustainability of our produce supply for the future.”

After graduating from university, Blocksidge worked a year-long stint in Costa Rica, undertaking an apprenticeship in sustainable living with a focus on permaculture, agroforestry, natural building and homesteading.

On return to Australia, she spent two years in Brisbane at the Northey Street City Farm as nursery co-ordinator, followed by four years at Hungry Earth AgroEcology in Byron Bay.

She will work alongside biodynamics Expert, Kesh Mudaly, and the wider garden team.

“I think engaging the community in understanding how food is grown and what goes into growing it is such an important story," she said.

"I love sharing my experiences with people and seeing their faces light up when they see our work in the garden, so I’m incredibly excited to take on this role at The Zin House.

“There’s so much happening in the kitchen and market gardens at Zin House, and it’s a completely new climate to where I’ve worked in the past. Seasonally, I’m learning more and more about what thrives in this climate and the gardens that Kim and the team have created.”

In addition to the expanded team, The Zin House’s wine menu has undergone a significant update with the help of sommelier Samantha Payne, who has collaborated with chief winemaker David Lowe to create a wine list that champions certified organic and biodynamic Australian wines.

Six-course, three-hour seating sessions at The Zin House are $155 per person, with an optional $95 per person wine pairing selection.

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