Chef Alastair Waddell: Making the Cut

Nose-to-tail workshop and long lunches showcasing regeneratively farmed beef in the Byron Bay Hinterland

Over the last weekend in March, Frida’s Field restaurant and farm will pay homage to their holistically reared Angus-Wagyu cattle by hosting a special nose-to-tail beef celebration. Located just 10 minutes from Bangalow in the Byron Bay Hinterland, the weekend will kick off on Friday 25th March with an interactive 3-hour experience featuring a “forage and harvest” farm tour plus hands-on introduction to seam butchery and nose-to-tail cooking demonstration in the restaurant kitchen. Run by Head Chef Alastair Waddell, three-time winner of the SMH Good Food Guide’s One Hat Award, together with Frida’s Field founders Edward Rawlings and Jeanie Wylie.

The exclusive workshop invites guests to learn how to break down a whole beast and use “seam butchering” techniques to discover lesser-known yet highly-prized cuts of beef which are not typically seen when an animal is butchered commercially, including cuts such as the “flat iron”, “Denver steak”, “chuck ribeye”, “petite tender” and “bavette”. The unique flavour profile and texture of these different cuts will be experienced by guests as they come off the grill, and enjoyed with a delicious selection of locally-sourced wines from the New England and Granite Belt regions, plus Byron region beers. Chef Alastair will explain how to create delicious dishes that utilise the whole animal from tongue, tripe and kidney, to shank, brisket and flank, and showcase different techniques such as charcuterie, wood firing, braising, and rendering.

Guests will then enjoy a walk around the paddocks to see the herd in action and learn how holistically[1]reared beef and pasture diversification improves the organic matter in soils and actively sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. Followed by a short stroll up to the farm’s market garden to harvest a selection of herbs and aromatics, which they will then learn how to transform into a range of condiments that pair perfectly with beef – including freshly-made horseradish cream, salsa verde, and mustard.

This nose-to-tail beef workshop will be the first of a series of seasonal educational events that will roll[1]out over the year. Guests are recommended to return the following day to experience nose-to-tail dining at its finest with a celebratory 5-course nose-to-tail long lunch using Frida’s own holistically-reared Angus-Wagyu beef. Held on both Saturday 26th March and Sunday 27th March, these special nose[1]to-tail long lunches will be open to all.

The menu is carefully curated by Chef Alastair Waddell to showcase all parts of the animal to honour of its life and demonstrate that minimising food waste can be a true gastronomic treat. Example dishes include Charred raw beef, egg yolk, sweet potato chips; Cured and smoked brisket and flank, horseradish, sauerkraut; Woodfired prime cut of Frida’s beef, preserved mushrooms, béarnaise; Slow cooked shin, root vegetables; and Chocolate delice, bone marrow caramel.

“We are extremely proud of the time and energy that we put into managing our beef holistically; and we know that this translates into better quality beef. We’re hosting this event so people can come together and taste the difference; to encourage people to be more conscious of where their meat comes from and how it is grown; and get people excited about minimising food waste and using the whole beast by experiencing how delicious less “premium” cuts really are. We understand that there is a lot of controversy around the environmental impact of beef production, but we also know that not all beef is equal – grass fed and finished beef that is raised with low-density stocking rates using rotational cell[1]grazing is completely different from mass produced grain-fed feed-lot beef (just as large scale monocrops of vegetables that have been heavily treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are completely different from small-scale organically reared vegetables). What better way to get people interested in these issues, than by coming together to enjoy delicious food in a beautiful setting?” – says founder Jeanie Wylie.

How to Book

Friday 25 March: $250pp for the workshop including class, farm tour, snacks and paired beverages.

Saturday 26 March and Sunday 27 March (just one lunch sitting): $120pp for 5-courses, plus $75pp for paired beverages.

Places will be strictly limited to just 20 guests for the workshop and 80 guests per 5-course long lunch, so book early via the website

Bookings: / 76 Booyong Road, Nashua, NSW 2479 / @fridasfield

Environmental Story Behind the Beef:
Frida’s Field is part of the growing regenerative agriculture movement, and uses farming practices that actively reverse environmental degradation while producing food that is more natural, flavourful and nutritious. In addition to their organic market garden and agroforestry food forest, they run a small herd of Angus-Wagyu cattle which they breed and manage with holistic principles. Their 120 acres is divided into 16 smaller paddocks that they rotate the cattle through every few days. This process of resting and grazing the pasture improves the organic matter in the soil which actively removes carbon from the atmosphere. The cattle’s natural behaviour (plant biting, saliva, urination, defecation, trampling) interacts with the pasture and its supporting soil, adding plant litter and manure which earthworms and microorganisms decompose. The process of decomposition releases nutrients which strengthens the pasture and builds humus which stores plant nutrients, holds moisture and improves soil structure, thereby acting as a carbon sink.

About Alastair Waddell
Born in Glasgow, “Ally” received top notch classical training at two of Scotland’s most famous culinary institutions – The Bistro at One Devonshire Gardens as well as The Georgian Room at Cameron House – both of which have earned AA’s prestigious 3 Rosette rating. After working in the United States, Ally relocated to Australia where we worked at Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne before rising to Executive Head Chef at Qualia on Hamilton Island, where he was awarded numerous accolades, including the SHM Good Food Guide’s 1 hat (twice), Hotel Chef of the Year, Hotel Restaurant of the Year and Conde Nast Traveller’s World’s Best Resort. As the former Head Chef of Harvest Newrybar, he again was awarded a 1 hat in the SMH Good Food Guide. Ally has lived in the Byron Bay region since 2017, where he has forged strong connections with many local growers and producers. His menus showcase his classical training and deft skills in creating delicious, produce-driven cuisine using seasonal crops grown on-site and other local producers.

About Frida’s Field
Frida’s Field is a paddock-to-plate eatery set on a 120 acre farm just 10 minutes from Bangalow in the Byron Bay Hinterland. It’s owned and operated by Edward Rawlings and Jeanie Wylie, who live on-site with their three young children. Their three long lunches per week are carefully curated by award[1]winning chef Alastair Waddell to celebrate the seasons, their ecological farming practices, and the amazing produce of the Northern Rivers region. Rawlings and Wylie are striving to transform their property from a blank canvas into a productive farm using regenerative farming techniques. They manage a small herd of around 50 Angus-Wagyu cattle, a food forest orchard and a quarter acre organic market garden. By bringing customers onto their farm to enjoy bountiful long lunches, they are able to keep reinvesting in expanding their ecological farming system and its integration with the farm restaurant.

There’s also a self-contained onsite cottage, a renovated coach-house from the 1890s, that’s available to book for a stay. It has its own chef’s kitchen, stunning farm views, and big windows that let in plenty of sun.

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