Tomato Competition at Derailleur

Café Derailleur’s Tomato competition has started! Here’s a bit about it, you know, how to enter where to go for judging, that sort of stuff.

So what do we want to achieve from the tomato competition?  We’d love to see more people growing their own food and we’d be really excited if our kids got involved in food production and cooking at home.

Let us know if you have any barriers to growing a few tomatoes in your back yard.  Do you need someone to do some digging for you?  Are you renting and felt the landlord won’t let you dig up a small part of the back yard?  Always get Fruit Fly and need some strategies to deal with them?  Going away and need your plants watered?

We use a heap of tomatoes at Café Derailleur.  Which is great because we source all our tomatoes from Peter and Annie Ross in Yarrawonga.  Yes they are hydroponic and yes that’s a compromise but life’s full of those right now.  We use Peter and Annie’s tomatoes to make our own chutney and we have a cracker smoked tomato dish with smashed avocado (from Greta!).

If you would like to put in a school entry then please download this flyer to spread the word.

Thanks to Richard Cornish for putting the Tomato Competition idea in my head while we were cooking at the Wangaratta Farmers Market!

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Instagram your tomatoes

Follow Cafe Derailleur on Instagram and tag us with #wangarattatomatocomp

If you have a strange looking tomato you can enter it a in the Wierdest Tomato competition (Instagram entry only). Instagram a photo of your wierdest tomato using the hashtags
#cafederailleur #wangarattatomatocomp #mynortheaster #wierdesttomato)

Here @chef_and_Dad tomatoes growing in his backyard. (Thanks Tim for the Pic!)

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Preserving competition

Just to keep you all on your toes, why not see what you can do with all those excess tomatoes you are growing.  Early next year we’ll announce a date for a preserving competition.  Of course there’ll be a red tomato relish category along with a green tomato relish.  We will also sneak in a fruit chutney category too.  Now you best get planting and cooking!

Chutney or relish?

Apparently confusion reigns across the ether.  Here’s a link to add to the confusion about chutneys or relish

A bit of background on the tomato competition…

Well it’s been a big year with many issues being raised, particularly those that concern food and our environment.  Three Food Lab sessions investigated how we should tackle building a secure local food system in North East Victoria and how to improve our communities health, followed by an amazing public lecture by Prof Tim Reeves on The ‘Grand Challenges’ for Agriculture and Future Food and Nutritional Security.  Our Local Wangaratta farmers market is growing and recently celebrated their third year of operation. Stephanie Alexanders kitchen gardens are at most primary schools but we have a growing obesity problem in our society and food literacy is becoming a major issue.  Needless to say that finding local skilled chefs is proving near impossible and will make or break many food businesses.

So how do we contribute to the change that we want to see in our world?  Tackle all these issues of course. One bit at a time. And do so within our sphere of influence.  For me its food.  Or as my wife says… “Eric are you going to save the world through food again?”  Well yep as that’s the way I look at the world.  I know from running Café Derailleur for seven years that energy costs are going up, labour costs are increasing, our food costs are increasing and supply is a challenge as it continues to come in from around Australia (Yes we do work to purchase locally where possible).  Building my knowledge of how to use local seasonal food is a priority as is encouraging my chefs to do so to.  Our customers benefit with fresh, seasonal produce and we expect there to be a flow on to improve the skills and knowledge of our young people coming into my industry.