Foragers was a farm-based cooking school and dining room with self-contained accommodation located in the Southern Forests region, 6km south of Pemberton. It launched in April 2011 after years of considerable travel, thought and building with limited resources that amounted to not much more than our individual skills and hard graft, which began in January 2005. Our prime motivation being to offer travelers a taste of what the beautiful Southern Forests region gives up each season with a comfortable and stylish place to rest for a couple of nights.
Open to in-house guests and the public, Foragers Field Kitchen was a fifty-seat dining room and commercial kitchen offering a variety of long-table style set-menu weekly dinners and cooking classes on varying dates throughout the year.
Each week I sourced quality local produce from the Southern Forests region to prepare a simple four course set menu Seasonal Dinner and throughout the years offered Cooking Classes, Workshops and Special Events for private and community celebrations.
When we took over the property in 2005, we set about creating a productive kitchen garden. Each year we added to the existing small orchard with nut, heirloom pome and stone fruit and grew over 40 different varieties. We favoured rare and old breeds of plants and animals for the unique culinary opportunities they inherently provided.
Established in 1950 by Italian migrants with the Brockman State Forest on two sides of the boundary and the Gloucester National Park on a third, the nineteen-acre smallholding had a sheltered and beautiful undulating natural environment, which guests viewed from their private chalets. Seven, self-contained chalets that accommodated up to thirty people were positioned on a ridge with sweeping views over farmland and forest with nearby walks to the Cascades on the Lefroy Brook and through the Brockman State Forest.
At the end of 2019 Foragers sold to St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, offering their students outdoor education experiences as an extension of their wellbeing curriculum and co-curricular programs.
Foragers was a unique culinary travel and chalet accommodation experience in Pemberton that offered quality, diversity and provenance through modern self-contained luxury accommodation and contemporary regional dining, food education and Agritourism experiences. A 14-year project that was and remains an incredibly rewarding and career shaping chapter.