The story of the project
Forage Cookbook is a love letter to the state of Victoria; it is a collection of recipes, stories and gorgeous photographs from chefs, producers, restaurants and food folk from around Victoria, with the added benefit of sharing the spoils with local charity Upside Nepal to create and support agriculture enterprise in Nepal.
Forage is a way to change the world, to help those less fortunate, all wrapped up in the guise of a simple cookbook, albeit a beautifully designed cookbook with stunning photography and recipes from iconic chefs from around Victoria. Forage captures a snapshot of the food industry as it is right now; a celebration of excellence, environment and inspiration.
The recipes and pictures for the book were sourced and photographed during an epic 3,000+km road trip, criss-crossing the state, visiting the people and places that make the extensive Victorian culinary scene one of the world’s most diverse and exciting.
Forage tracks the journey from Producer to Cook to Dinner. It features some of Victoria’s highest quality producers from farmers of organic vegetables to ethically raised pigs, from impeccably cultured butter in the mountains to wild herbs foraged by the streams of Melbourne. This incredible produce finds its way into the 120+ recipes in the book, running the full gamut from fine to casual food. Forage celebrates the connection between where our food comes from and how it arrives on our plate through the contribution of a group of committed and passionate food folk.
But enough grandiloquent grandstanding, let’s get down to the best bit. Forage is a social enterprise: we are sharing the spoils with local charity Upside Nepal to create and support agriculture businesses in Nepal. Forage aims to raise $100k for Upside.
Upside believes in the power of enterprise to promote village development. Upside is an Australian registered charity working with partners in Nepal to provide the training and seed capital required to build social businesses in remote villages. They are currently working with the village of Ghiling to establish a 2,000-tree apple orchard which aims to generate a sustainable source of income to fund the operations of the local village school. Upside has been generously supported by donations from the Australian community for the past 6 years, and it is now time that they take some of their own advice and develop a social business that will sustainably fund the work they are so passionate about.
Forage is an initiative born from our time in Nepal. The seed was planted mid-mouthful of curry during our visit to a remote village we had befriended in the Himalayas. While in Nepal, we were inspired by the direct connection between the people, the land, and their food system. In Victoria however, we have an unparalleled food scene but we don’t have the opportunity to engage with farmers and the land that provides our food, and we saw an opportunity to share the best of both worlds. We want to share the land to plate connection with the Australian people, and in turn, through partnership with Australian charity Upside Nepal, support village development through agriculture enterprise in Nepal. Forage aims to raise $100K for Upside Nepal.
To do this we’re asking for a little help from you. It’s not something for nothing though, we’re just asking for you to get your butts in gear a little early and pre-order your copy of Forage now, for delivery in November. Not only will your future self get a lovely surprise when this beautiful book arrives at your door, your present self can be pleased as punch knowing that you purchased this nifty gifty for almost a 15% discount (and that you helped us out immensely!). We have a range of other rewards as well, from a Forage tote for your next trip to the markets, to a once in a lifetime opportunity to have Young Australian Chef of the Year Jake Kellie cook a dinner for you and your friends at your own home! And for all you businesses out there, we have the perfect solution to your client gifts this year – a discounted bulk Christmas package that makes you feel good and makes your business look even better!
How the funds will be used
Thanks to the generous support of Upside Nepal, we’ve paid our deposit and hit print and Forage Victoria is on its way, but we just need a little help to get us across the line once those books hit the warehouse. The money raised from this campaign will be used to contribute to balance of the print costs, shipping and warehousing of the book – basically to cover the balance, allow us to sell as many books as possible through our website, as well as through various retail and wholesale channels, and in turn, be able to write a cheque to Upside for $100,000. The more money we raise now through Pozible, the more books we can print and sell, the more we can spread our message, and ultimately the more money goes to Nepal.
Some of my other work
Cal Foulner is the Founder, and general brains of Upside Nepal and Forage. http://www.upsidenepal.org
Operations Manager and Editor Julia Jenkins is a food professional and ex-restaurateur and also popped up to place fifth on Masterchef Australia season 1, if you can remember back that far. She can be found at http://www.juliajenkins.net.au/
Photographer Jessica Shaver is a successful food photographer based in Perth, WA. She was responsible for the photography on Forage Western Australia. http://www.jessicashaver.com