I would like to introduce you to one of our regular stallholders, Simone Lukas from Crisp Produce and Preserves who will be at Piccadilly this Sunday 25th November.
Keep reading to find out how you can win these treats in a hamper to be collected at the Market.
Congrats to Moppsygirl who was drawn randomly by Master J. Enjoy your goodies.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I have lived in the country for more than 20 years and have long had a passion for growing fruit and vegetables and preserving them. I love it. Knowing where my food comes from and feeding my family well is vital to me. It’s in my blood too, as my grandparents and father are Hungarian and I grew up eating my Omi’s traditional preserves of all kinds. The garden and orchard have got bigger and bigger over the years and I decided that turning my hobby into a small business was a good idea.
How did you come up with your business name?
Divine inspiration to be honest. It just popped into my head fully formed one day. I think ‘Crisp’ sums up my commitment and passion for always using the absolutely freshest ingredients, and the ‘Produce & Preserves’, well, it’s the practical bit, as I also sell fresh fruit and vegetables in season, especially heritage apples, pears and potatoes. I like the way the words sound together (I am also an advertising writer and creative director, so the right name and branding are important to me).
Tell us how your product/range came about?
My product range changes all the time and is more or less dependent on what’s bountiful in any given season. I buy very little produce (raspberries and citrus mostly), as nearly everything is grown by me, and occasionally picked wild (I’ve got an eye for spotting wild fruit trees!). Therefore if there’s loads of one type of fruit or vegie, I make a lot of preserves with it. I like doing it this way. It means I know the provenance of my ingredients and am making the most of mother nature’s bounty. I never use someone else’s recipes, I make things up as I go. I like making traditional things and have methods I follow, but mostly I love experimenting. Also, everything is made in small batches by hand. This is part of the reason everything tastes so good.
How long have you been in business for?
I’m going into my third year.
What inspires you?
Life itself! Sounds a bit corny, but there is so many wonderful things to experience, fantastic people to meet, amazing books to read and conversations to be had, that I am constantly inspired by what is going on around me. That said, mother nature profoundly inspires me too. What she doesn’t know, isn’t worth knowing really.
Have you always been a ‘foodie’ or has it bloomed later in life?
I’ve always been a foodie. Growing up with Hungarian influences, the food on our family table was always yummy. I took it for granted. I have always loved to cook. I love to experiment. I like to share meals and conversation with those I love. Not much makes me happier than creating a meal from food I’ve nurtured and grown myself.
When you are not busy creating yummy products what do you love doing?
Designing and making patchwork quilts. Taking photos, especially extra close-ups. Travelling to new places (round the corner or to the other side of the world!) to name a few.
What is something cool that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I gave birth to both my babies at home. I am a passionate home birth advocate. I think midwives are amazing, their knowledge and experience is wisdom we all need to honour more widely. I’m not suggesting every baby should be born at home, as I strongly believe in a woman’s right to choose the birth option she most wants and thinks suitable. For me, home birth was the best option.
If money was no object what would be your dream destination?
Portugal – oh, I am in love! I’ve just returned from a six week trip to Europe with my teenage daughter, and we spent quite a bit of time in Portugal. It was wonderful beyond words. The place, the people, the food, the culture, I just immersed myself. So if money were no object, I’d buy an apartment in Lisbon and a beach house in Tavira – and spend three months of my year there!
What are you reading right now?
A fantastic history of Paris. The 50th issue of Frankie magazine. And the latest Diggers Club catalogue.
What is your favorite website(s) ?
The Diggers Club – they promote sustainable growing practices and genetic diversity with their commitment to open pollinated traditional variety fruit and vegetables. This is vital for food security into the future.
What wonderful Christmas offerings will you have at Piccadilly?
I’ll have a wide range of yummy things to choose from, as usual. To name a few - Raspberry jam to die for (perfect to add to a Christmas trifle). Unusual Capsicum Relish (nice with a seafood platter). Pear and Apple Chutney (delicious with ham). And Quince Jelly (a lighter alternative to quince paste on a cheese platter, and perfect with brie or any kind of goat cheese).
To be in the running to win this fabulous hamper worth $63.50. Just tell us what your all time favorite jam or preserve is by 8pm Friday night. Be sure to include an email address so you can be contacted or make sure you check back here.