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?
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?
Tel: +618 (8) 8564 2061