MEET OUR PRODUCERS
Culinary Director, Josep Espuga is redefining what it means to offer a farm-to-table fine dining experience on the Mornington Peninsula. He does this by establishing strong relationships with the finest farmers and producers and creating a story through a menu that truly connects both diners and the Laura culinary team to the land in which ingredients are grown and oceans they are sourced from.
Here, Josep tells their story.
A Note from Josep Espuga
“What makes the Mornington Peninsula so unique is its geographic location to the ocean and fertile soils – meaning an abundance of sea and farm-fresh produce. The favourable climate conditions allow farmers such as Tuerong Farm to grow ingredients throughout the year. Tuerong Farm grows, mills and bakes ancient and modern grains to create the beautiful bread served at Laura.
At Laura we want to share the stories of our producers with our diners and the world, preserving the authenticity of the Mornington Peninsula and aligning with Relais & Chateaux’s vision to share delicious journey’s and all that is authentic and beautiful in the world. We are not only committed to using quality local, native and sustainable produce, but we also aim to utilise every part of these ingredients and their sub-products that usually go to waste. This feeds my creativity and minimises our environmental footprint”.
“I learnt from my grandmother at an early age that human connections, particularly with our producers such as Jason Cotter at Tuerong Farm, is crucial in creating beautiful and delicious dishes. My grandmother used to source her own ingredients, including butchering rabbits, or collecting fresh milk from neighbours to make her own cheese. I believe that having a mutual appreciation and passion for locally grown food is the foundation of a strong farmer-chef connection. Jason’s passion for growing the best wheat, is articulated in the exquisitely fresh sourdough bread we serve on the table.
Working so close to the producers and receiving a bespoke product for our restaurant gives us exclusivity and a point of difference. Jason at Tuerong Farm grows wheat for flavour and nutritional value. He puts so much energy and knowledge into producing the best wheat and the best bread. The bread we currently serve in Laura has been thought and designed only for Laura and to be served specifically with the tomato butter we make and with the Murray cod dish that we serve with Jamon. Our diners will have a unique experience that can’t be compared to any other. This is what the Laura Experience is all about”.