The inaugural EcoXpo was a three day celebration of all things eco-friendly and sustainable. Exhibitors included a range of products and services in various sectors such as home and building, transportation and travel, energy conservation and recycling as well as food and beverage.
‘eco’ in the leaves – from ecolicious
Gourmantic attended the exhibition at the Byron Kennedy Hall of the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park and had the opportunity to meet and chat with a few of the exhibitors and enjoy some of the tastings on offer.
Presentations and demonstrations at the Byron Kennedy Hall
Arriving just on time to see the cooking demonstration, Chef Simon Lawson from Agapé Organic Restaurant was putting the final touches on a trout quinoa avocado salad, a light and refreshing dish that looked easy to prepare.
Chef Simon Lawson of Agapé Restaurant on stage
Trout quinoa avocado salad
Agapé is the largest certified organic licensed restaurant and bar in Australia, supporting local farmers and using the best organic, biodynamic and sustainable produce. The cuisine has a focus on ancient grains such as quinoa, barley, amaranth and spelt. Chef Simon Lawson’s menu is a mix of organic tapas, spelt pizzas and organic mains where produce is sourced from local ingredients.
Chef Simon Lawson of Agape Restaurant in Botany
The next cooking demonstration was a tomato risotto made with ancient grains.
Simon used lentils, barley, brown rice, white and black quinoa and finished with Quark, a soft German cheese, which gave the grains in the risotto a smooth and creamy consistency.
Tomato risotto with basil, quinoa, barley, lentil and quark cheese
The result was a risotto unlike any I have tasted before, and one that I would recommend at the restaurant.
Chef Simon Lawson and Aymeric Maudous of EcoXpo at the end of the cooking demonstration
Rosnay Organic Wines
The next stand that captured our interest was the Rosnay Organic Wines, a family run business established in 1997. Starting with just Chardonnay and Shiraz, the organic winery which uses environmentally friendly techniques has expanded to include a range of whites, reds, rosés and sparkling.
Rosnay Organic Wine Stand
Rosnay are located in Canowindra, in the Cowra region of NSW where the family Statham moved to a small farm and converted it to produce organic wines, olives and other produce. The name ‘Rosnay’ originates from Florence Statham’s grandfather, Alberic Francois Dulong de Rosnay, who had a small vineyard in Beaujolais in France.
Rosnay Organic White Wines and Rosé
Oli Statham took us on tasting of the various wines. We started with the Rosnay Chardonnay 2008, a dry and crisp unwooded wine that left us a little undecided, perhaps a little too dry for our palate. The Rosnay Semillion Sauvignon Blanc 2009 was most pleasant, a well-balanced wine with full fruit and a nice acid balance.
The next tasting was the Rosnay Rosé 2009, a dry style rosé with mild acidity. We’re not usually fans of rosé wines but the Rosnay Sparkling Rosé 2009 won us over with its fresh fruity flavours and a lot of fizz.
Next we moved onto the Rosnay Vintage Chardonnay 2010 a sparkling white made with a low alcohol content of 11% and fermented with certified organic sugar.
The wines are bottled with low sulfur, less than 100ppm which is more suitable to those who suffer from allergies.
Rosnay Organic Red Wines
Moving on to the reds, we tasted the Rosnay Triple Blend 2008, made with 50% shiraz 25% merlot and 25% cabernet sauvignon, a dry, unwooded medium bodied wine again made with very low sulfur. The Rosnay Shiraz 2008 was a peppery, spicy, medium-bodied wine that we particularly liked. The last wine was the Rosnay Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, rich and ripe which no doubt would age very well.
Sam and Oli Statham from Rosnay Organic Wines
I asked Sam Statham about stockists in Sydney, and while the wines are available by mail order, they can also be found at independent bottle shops such as Balmain Village Cellars, Nirvana at Bondi and Cellarbrations in Newtown. Restaurants that stock the wines include the Rum Diaries, Mamasan and the Green Room.
Rosnay also have a range of organic products which include organic olives, olive paste, fig preserve and fig syrup which makes a good topping for pancakes.
Pasta Emilia, winner of the Sydney Morning Herald 2010 Best Pasta award, showcased their organic fresh pasta and sauces, with a good range of their products and sample tastings. Located along Macpherson Street in Bronte, their Laboratorio di Pasta makes use of local organic ingredients, as well as some produce such as porcini and parmigiano from the owner’s home in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.
Organic tomato sauces
Their range of products includes certified organic olives, sesame and canola oils, organic coffee, jams and cordials. They make their pesto sauce with Australian macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts as they like to use an Australian product.
Beetroot pasta and truffle cream sauce
We had a taste of the beetroot pasta with truffle cream sauce, an unusual combination of flavours with a hint of truffles.
Beef ragu with strozzapreti pasta
The beef ragu with strozzapreti pasta was a hearty dish you could enjoy with a glass of the Rosnay Shiraz. Strozzapreti is a twisted pasta, meaning ‘strangle the priest’. A specialty of the Emilia Romagna region, its origins date back to the time when the Italian Risorgimento was born. Strozzapreti were made by the women with the village priests in mind in the hope that they would choke while eating it.
Fresh pasta: duck with truffle, beetroot and chevre, spinach, crab and prawn
Certified organic egg pasta
Pasta Emilia also make desserts such as almond cakes and tiramisu and offer cooking classes.
Ecolicious was by far the most attention-grabbing stand at EcoXpo with leafy greens and dark reds spelling the word ‘eco’. Ecolicious is a business that provides tailored aquaponic systems for domestic and community gardens using designs that suit the landscaping. Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture, ie growing fish in water and hydroponics which is growing plants in water. Charles Bacon explained the basics of how it works.
The fish live in one fishpond or tank. The water from that pond is rich in fish waste that is pumped and used to feed plants that are grown in a separate bed. The plants do their part by cleaning the water along with natural bacteria which in turn is pumped back to the fish pond after being oxygenated.
Close up of plants – no soil, expanded clay or gravel
The aquaponic systems are suitable for apartments, courtyards even vineyards and are best suited for growing leafy green vegetables, herbs, as well as aloe vera plants and fruit trees.
Marine Conservation stand
Other exhibitors in the food and beverage category include Gulp Australia with innovative beverage products, My Whey, a meal replacement weight management programme and Pod Cuisine, creating plant proteins meals from legumes.
EcoXpo provided an opportunity to meet with some of the exhibitors and learn about their products and services in a relaxed and casual environment. The exhibition was held from Friday 6th of May through to Sunday 8th of May 2011. Entry tickets were $8 at the door, with a $2 discount if you brought your pre-loved clothes to donate to St Vincent de Paul Society. Children under 14 entered for free.
Gourmantic attended EcoXpo as media guests.
Agapé Organic Restaurant & Bar
1385 Botany Road
Botany NSW 2019
(corner of Botany Road and Bay Street)
Rosnay Organic Wines
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