Like all gardens, ours is a constant work in progress. We are always looking to grow something new and to plan our sowing with the seasons. We have two (soon three) gardens, also chickens and nearby bee hives. We are researching adding pigs. These things are the heart of our menu.

Italians always seem to be growing things to eat. My Family always had vegetable gardens when I was growing up. My father especially was a keen gardener.

When selecting ingredients for the menu at Bells I am inspired by my Italian heritage, but its ultimate quality and freshness of ingredients that counts.

Ethical food production for me means grass fed beef, not using battery raised chickens and eggs, sustainably sourced seafood and produces generally that is grown or raised with quality and environmental effects as primary concerns.

The restaurant menu and what’s cooked in a particular kitchen is about where you are. If we can get most of our produce from NSW I’m happy. However when sourcing ingredients, my ultimate criteria has to be quality, flavour and ethical production. Rice is a case in point. Local rice from the Riverina is not suitable and there are sustainability issues. So imported is essential.