It Followed Me Home: Can I Cook It?
There's more to living in a country town than you might expect. Lesley Russell came to Orange eleven years ago and fell in love with the region. Lesley teaches commercial cookery at the Local TAFE and operates the Orange Regional Cooking School. The diversity and abundance of local produce makes Orange a chef's paradise and the award winning restaurants and vineyards are a growing attraction.
Lesley takes us on a farm gate tour as she hunts and gathers for her cooking class. We meet Fred D'Souza of Trunkey Bacon and Pork, Max Davidson of Hillside Orchard, and Terry Dolle of Orange Mountain Wines. Lesley promotes produce driven cooking as opposed to recipe driven cooking, encouraging her students to be inspired by the ingredients that are locally and seasonally available.
Lesley adores living in a small country town and says she loves "the strong sense of community" and the fact that "you can park." (!) This is because Orange is able to offer the best of a city lifestyle without the hassle of traffic. "People often assume that because you live in a country town it must be really quiet and really boring and there'd be nothing much to do but the opposite is true," says Lesley. "There is so much to do here. There is a huge cultural scene here. There's lots of theatre...arts...music, there's great restaurants and great sporting facilities."