The Daylesford Macedon Ranges region is a tight knit community.

This has become more evident than ever over the past 18 months with many collaborations amplifying the sense of resilience and community.

During lockdown we saw the introduction of the Co-Lab Kitchen, a volunteer led initiative in which seven of Daylesford and Hepburn’s iconic restaurants joined forces to create ready to eat at home meals. Designed to keep people in jobs, ensure food didn’t go to waste and to continue to support the region’s local producers, the initiative was a runaway success, strongly supported by the local community. Now businesses are back up and running it did get us thinking about what other amazing collaborations are happening throughout the region this summer.

When developing Daylesford Picnic Boxes, creator Sal Milford set about to construct a product that showcased the best of regional produce found in and around Daylesford. The result is a thoughtfully curated selection of delicious picnic food. In addition to being environmentally friendly, each box contains a little description of each item, who their maker is and where you can find them.

Specially designed for Daylesford Picnic Boxes, a little sourdough collaboration is fast becoming one of the boxes most sought after items. Designed by Sal and created in partnership with Paul Williams from Creswick’s Le Péché Gourmand, these pull apart breads are the perfect vessel to fill with cold meats, cheese and relish.

One of Daylesford’s leading restaurants, Sault, makes a conscious effort to collaborate with various small-scale businesses in the region. They have partnered with Logenberry Farm, a regenerative flower farm to supply Sault’s kitchen with free-range eggs, as well as supply seasonal flower posies for guests.

They also partner with Glenlyon based heirloom blueberry specialists, River Bend Blueberries, who create specially made jams for them. You can expect to find their blueberries featuring heavily on the Sault dessert menu over summer and can even take home a punnet of theses delicious blueberries directly from the restaurant.

Daylesford Picnic Boxes 1 uai

Over in Trentham, Sandy McKinley from Acre of Roses has teamed up with Sharon Flynn of The Fermentary for a series of fermenting workshops during the summer months. Participants will learn how to ferment medicinal and edible plants, grown at Acre of Roses, in these fun and immersive workshops.
It’s all about the collabs at Gisborne-based Mountain Distilling with various collaborations with other brewers and bands, including a 10-year anniversary gin with rock band The Rubens. They have also teamed up with Woodend Ice Cream to deliver a gin infused ice cream and are working on another exclusive collaboration for guests of Clifftop at Hepburn.

The 1864 historic pub, Farmers Arms, has a newly renovated private dining room called the ‘Farmers Kitchen’. It’s got an exclusive six course menu showcasing wild and farmed ingredients from around Daylesford and the region. Think potatoes grown in our rich mineralised soil, truffles harvested in our cool climate, and fresh organic produce from our local artisans. Dishes are matched with an optional beverage pairing, providing the opportunity to sip on the region’s award-winning wines, craft brews, spirits and of course, mineral water.

So, you can see by working together, our businesses have come up with some amazing taste-inspired collaborations. If you’re sensing the taste just from reading these words, believe me, the real taste is next level. We look forward to seeing you soon.

About the author

Paul Matthews
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Paul has more than 25 years of marketing, tourism, business and stakeholder engagement experience in both private and public sector organisations.

He worked at Visit Victoria from 2017 to 2021 as the Head of Regional Tourism and Strategy. In 2021, he started his own business, the Visitor Economy Tourism Consultancy and has been working closely with Daylesford Macedon Tourism in the area of Industry Development.

Paul’s specialist areas of interest include Visitor Engagement, Destination Planning, Industry Development, Dark Tourism and Wellness. You can find more about Paul through his website or via LinkedIn.