Reviving The Sophistication of Picnic Racing: The Paddock

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Disclosure: I recently activated the food component of The Paddock for Oakbank Racing Club as part of a creative, concept design and activation team led by Cul De Sac.  This was a paid engagement.

Sometimes a concept is so engaging that it is hard to hard to say no to.  

And so it was with inaugural food precinct, The Paddock.

The Paddock concept was simple but thoughtfully conceived – reviving the sophistication of picnic racing through a new picnic food, wine and games precinct, as part of the largest Easter picnic race meet of its kind in the world.

Much more than a collection of food stalls, The Paddock was intended as an experience, a fresh and by accounts a much longed-after addition to the iconic Oakbank brand.

I was in.  Scroll down for the spread I put together drawing on some of the Adelaide Hills finest.

I’ve also included a little vid of the event.  Such fun.

Read on, but probably not when hungry!

A Sumptuous Spread

Food vendors included award winning established brands and newer artisan ones, bespoke caterers and longstanding restaurants.  The menu showcased seasonal local and South Australian produce, and paired with the premium selection of beverages served onsite.

Think of Woodside Cheese Wrights Baked Brie, or Little Acre Foods’ handcrafted pate’s and rillettes; slow roasted meats and autumnal salads from Quince Catering or grilled wagyu – burger style – courtesy of The Locavore.

Delicious woodfired pizza from artisan bakery Woodbake.  Plus seasonal apple pies, miniature tartlets and more.  And in a nod to the date, a chocolate experience like no other is available from Red Cacao Chocolatier, paired with single origin organic coffees and an enticing range of hot chocolates.

Don’t miss the Signature The Paddock Chocolate created by Chocolatier Marcus Remmers for this inaugural event.

tpo_jane_evans_965x390-sliderPre-event Blog Post

The food offering in The Paddock has been curated as an enticing mix of share plate picnic food and some more robust bites available for grazing on with friends throughout the day: Gather initial selections across The Paddock vendors on first look, then go back a little later for something more.

Woodside Cheese Wrights

Much has already been written about the award-winning Woodside Cheese Wrights and Head Cheese-Maker Kris Lloyd and there are plenty of medals that back up why.  The Woodside range of traditionally made, multi award winning goat and cow milk cheeses are produced at their facility in the Adelaide Hills.  Quality, innovation and panache are evident in everything that they they do, grounded in the underlying emphasis on expressing the flavour and seasonality of the milk sourced from the local area and South Australia more broadly.  News of a new range under Kris Lloyd’s own moniker is an exciting prospect; watch this space.

Woodside will have a selection of their cheeses available in The Paddock, as well as offering a delicious Baked Brie, filled with local organic garlic and herbs. Definitely one to share around.


Little Acre Foods: Local Artisan Wine Food

Little Acre Foods is a relative newcomer to the South Australian food scene but I would expect to hear more of them.  Born out of a “passion for good, honest local food, and produce that can be enjoyed without the silver platter” I think they are onto a good thing.  I first came across them last year and you can read my interview with Chef and Owner Jim Casey over here.

Little Acre Foods will be offering a selection of their hand crafted free range organic pate’s and rillettes, using chicken, duck or a vegetarian mushroom option.  Perfectly suited to the cool climate wines of South Australia and the Adelaide Hills, but probably any good wine will fit the bill.


Woodbake is an artisanal bakery based in Stirling known for their sourdough breads and Parisian style pastries and quiches.  Think of lovingly crafted dough made onsite using only locally sourced ingredients, then topped, filled and baked with the best the region has to offer.  

In The Paddock Woodbake will be serving a selection of their their delicious wood fired pizzas which are fully hand crafted using low miles produce.  Serving 1 or 2 or 4 as a share plate they are perfect for lunchtime sharing in the cooler months.  


The Locavore

The Locavore lives and breathes by the principles of the 100 mile diet: in other words, the produce first of all must be local; if not then it is family farmed, if not family farmed then organic, if not organic, then fair trade.   The Locavore is the longest running restaurant of its kind of Australia, having served only locally sourced produce for 6 years out of their Stirling digs.  They also provide local area catering, and watch this space for a new line of ready to eat meals, coming soon.

The Locavore will be offering grilled wagyu burger-style with their own beetroot relish, and look out for their small seasonal apple pies with Tweedvale double cream.


Quince Catering

Quince Catering is a small Adelaide business that creates delicious food for all occasions, inspired by eating their way around the globe. Having started business in The Adelaide Hills, Quince retain strong connections there, sourcing and showcasing produce from local providores and servicing key clients in the area, such as Henshke.

The Quince offer will be slow roasted country style meats and seasonal salads, as well as hand crafted mezze, available in single serve or larger share servings.


Red Cacao Chocolatier

Red Cacao offers has been attracting a steady following of supporters since they opened their store in Stirling, and on visiting it’s no surprises why. Think not just of sumptuous chocolates and aromatic single origin coffees, but paired experiences of the two.  And the chocolates themselves are some of the best around.  All are hand crafted in house by Chocolatier Marcus Remmers using the finest Belgian couvature chocolate, and he uses local local flavours and ingredients where these are available and suitable.

Red Cacao will be offering in The Paddock a range of their artisan chocolates, truffles and bars, as well as their Signature The Paddock chocolate created for this inaugural event.  They also will be serving coffee, tea and a delectable range of hot chocolates, and look out for their miniature tartletts as well.


Loca Pops

Established in 2012, Loca Pops handcrafts Mexican style fresh, local fruit ice popsicles from it’s Stirling base.  Think old school treats on a stick for adults and kids; perfect as a refreshing break between games, to finish a meal or to start one.   All Loca Pops popsicles are preservative and gluten free and made using organic evaporated raw sugar (although some are sugar free), local, organic or pesticide free sourced fruit and herbs and some with local, organic milk and cream.   We tried the Lemon and Buttermilk, Rockmelon and Lime, Strawberry, and Rhubarb with Orange.  Just awesome.  Don’t stop at one.
VIP Experience

A VIP experience in The Paddock will be available through charity partner  The Jodi Lee Foundation so watch out for updates on their facebook page about that.


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