Meet the Chef: Zach Riemersma at Collingrove Homestead, Barossa Valley

Christina Soong-Kroeger meets Zach Riemersma from Collingrove Homestead in Barossa Valley, Australia.
By Christina Soong-Kroeger

Zach, what inspired your interest in food and cooking? 

I discovered my initial interest in food from a young age in the kitchen with my mother and sister. Growing our own vegies in the back yard, the chicken pen, and baking with Grandma are all fond childhood memories. I found cooking easy; it came naturally to me.

Who or what are your key influences in the kitchen?

My influences are all the Chefs I have worked with (at Jolley’s Boathouse, To Relish, SOHO and The Manse) and the food I have eaten. One can always take something from every experience whether it be in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a street vendor feed.

What is your cooking philosophy?

 My cooking philosophy is to not over complicate things. I like to use the best and freshest local produce I can get my hands on, treat them with the respect they deserve and let that show on the plate.

How did you end up at Collingrove Homestead?

Another extended overseas trip with my fiance, Emma, in 2010 included running a restaurant — Les Canetons — in Cavaliere, Côte d’Azuron (the South of France) for five months. While in France I got a call from my sister telling me they were returning to Collingrove and asking if I wanted to be involved. Emma and I had just been discussing what we would like to do when we returned to Australia and top of the list was a B&B with restaurant! So the planets aligned and six months later we were in partnership with this exciting venture!

What do you love about being Executive Chef at Collingrove Homestead?

I love the freedom to cook and serve up whatever I choose, and the direct feedback from our customers.

Who are some of your favourite local suppliers and why?

  • The Barossa Farmers Market in Angaston is great to pick up country fresh local produce. My salad greens & herb grower from Greenock picks everything late friday night for the market on Saturday.
  • The suppliers in the Adelaide Central Market. Working there for years (at The Smelly Cheese Shop) I made great connections and if I can’t find what I am looking for they will happily chase it down for me.

What are some of your favourite dishes on the current menu?

Lately, I have been loving zucchini flowers. I stuff them with blue swimmer crab meat and fry them, tempura style. Accompanied by some garlic aioli & mizuna it’s absolutely delish!My seared scallops on parsnip puree with crisp speck and peas is also a real crowd pleaser!

 

Angaston Road, Angaston, Barossa Valley  
Angaston South Australia 5353
Tel: +618 (8) 8564 2061

 

Christina Soong-Kroeger

Christina publishes The Hungry Australian – a collection of recipes, reviews and stories about food – and is a regular contributor to Sumptuous. Her writing has appeared in the China Daily and That’s Shanghai while her photography regularly appears on Foodgawker, Tasteologie and Photograzing. After eating her way around Shanghai, London, Hong Kong, Leeds and Melbourne, she now calls Adelaide, South Australia, home again.

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