It’s not often that you get to create a five course meal starring the beef from Cloudbreak Lowlines and Eungella Beef and serve it to 50 guests who are seated in the most idyllic and picturesque location – right in the middle of the paddock where the cows graze at Eungella! That’s what we did recently for the Gourmet Safari, an event that formed part of the Mackay Festival of Arts for 2016.
I recently visited Mandy at her family’s beautiful property, Cloudbreak Lowlines Eungella, which is set on 215 acres at Eungella. Mandy, and her husband, Kel, brought the property 6 years ago and currently have 100 head with plans to expand to around 200. The property was previously rainforest and also an ex-dairy farm but is well seeded with kikuyu and of course, clover, which are both integral to the diet of the grassfed Lowlines. The Lowlines Cattle have a compact frame size which is 60% of larger breeds and a great temperament means they are easily managed, have excellent feed efficiency, early maturing, low impact on paddocks and fencing, environmentally friendly and you can run more animals per hectare. The Lowlines also have a much better outcomes when it comes to calving with little assistance (if any) required.
With roughly 20-25 calves being born every year, most of the new calves that are born at Cloudbreak Lowlines all receive names and you often see pics of the new calves on their Facebook page. The calves are raised in a very low stress environment and are used to being handled by and being around people, including Mandy and Kel’s two girls, Cassidy and Imogen. Their main bull, Clancy, was recently sold so that new bloodlines could be introduced into the herd. The calves are also freeze branded rather than heat branded, which is another way to reduce the stress on the animals. The Lowlines are great as a lawnmower and are quite often brought for this, but they do need a mate to keep them company. In fact, Mandy and Kel originally brought some Lowlines to help mow the lawn on their property, and their love for the animals has grown from there. Mandy and Kell are looking forward to introducing farm tours in the future and you can purchase a side of beef from Mandy and Kel simply by contacting them. Check out their Facebook page and website for more information http://www.lowlinecattleqld.com.au/
The brief for catering the Gourmet Safari was simple – showcase the beef! We used loads of local produce to create a five course menu and matching side dishes and it was honestly a privilege to work with such incredible produce. The first course was Beef Carpaccio with Baby Caper Flowers, Parmesan Crumble, Caramelised Lemon Segments and Marinated Mushrooms.
Second course was Pioneer Valley Beef Curry with Wild Rice and Honeyed Yoghurt.
Third course was Dukkah Crusted Rib Fillet with Beetroot, Walnut and Feta Salad with a Vanilla Balsamic Reduction.
Fourth course was Bourbon & BBQ Glazed Ribs with Cajun Crumbed Okra and Eungella Garlic Whipped Butter.
Fifth and final course was Vietnamese Beef Sliders with Kimchi, Sweet Potato Hay and Tomato Relish.
The feedback that we received for this menu was absolutely overwhelming and we were simply proud to have done justice to the incredible beef that Mandy and Kel trusted us with.
“Thanks so much The Family Table, your menu, method and presentation were brilliant, we could not be happier with the day! A pleasure to see you do your thing, I haven’t stopped raving about the meal to anyone that will listen!” Mandy Tennent (Cloudbreak Lowlines and Eungella Beef)Mandy Tennent - Cloudbreak Lowlines & Eungella Beef
“The scenery, the food, the wine and the company were all exceptional so congratulations on being a part of such a fantastic event. Your menu was extraordinary and we were blown away by your “beef five ways” and accompaniments.“Meagan Macdonald
“Sending a wrap for presenting a fantastic array of beautifully presented food for the lunch at the Cloudbreak farm last weekend. Truly enjoyed it.”Graham Townson
About The Author
Trudie Bishop is our Chief of Foodspiration and an experienced home cook with a passion for learning and getting kids of all ages in the kitchen. Trudie’s love of local produce is incorporated into all of the businesses cooking classes and catering events and also by showcasing local producers through her On The Food Trail series.