Annie Smithers is one of Australia’s most highly regarded chefs and one of the first chefs to truly epitomise the paddock to plate ethos. With a career spanning well over 30 years, Annie has spent the last quarter of a century in the wonderful Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Spa region of Victoria.
Her restaurant du Fermier in the small village of Trentham, is a tiny establishment. Annie does all the cooking, starting with baking her own baguettes each morning and offers a menu du jour that features vegetables picked that day from her kitchen garden and meats and poultry from the surrounding area. She carefully sources all products to ensure their environmental and animal husbandry credentials.
Annie lives on a small farm in Lyonville - Babbington Park - only ten minutes from Trentham, where her kitchen garden and orchard are planted and producing a bounty of produce for the restaurant. So much so, she now hosts a small, seasonal “Petit Marche” every Saturday morning at du Fermier from the end of November through to the end of May, selling a selection of pastries, smallgoods, smoked meats and produce from the farm. Her masterclasses are held in the old Lyonville Wesleyan Church building, relocated to Babbington Park many years ago, and her honest, inclusive and no-fuss style of teaching means her annual season of masterclasses are booked out within weeks of their release.
Annie has written two cookbooks and writes for The Saturday Paper fortnightly.