Matt Golinksi

Appreciate the Asparagus

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Matt Golinski shows appreciation for the metaphorical asparagus and all it has been through.

Imagine for a moment that your destiny was to be born as an asparagus spear.

Waiting patiently under the soil all year until the right conditions arrive, you’ll burst forth and stun the world with your vibrant, shining crown and your smooth, slender body. You’ll be carefully snipped from the earth and bundled up with your brothers and sisters and you’ll travel to a luxurious destination and be adorned with buttery sauces.

You’ll die knowing what it is to be loved.

But what if all the elements you need to reach your full potential don’t eventuate?

What if too much rain turns that beautiful physique you imagined you’d grow up to have into a spotty, floppy stalk.

Or not enough sunlight means you just end up skinny with a hairdo you can’t control.

Or heaven forbid, that the snippers and bundlers just don’t show up when you need them to, and you’re left standing there in the field getting woody and bitter.

Whether you’ve entered the world as asparagus, a blueberry, a tomato or a green bean in 2022, chances are you’ve struggled to live your best life. 

From a produce perspective, this year will be remembered as the one when lettuces were practically hard currency, strawberry season never hit its usual glut stage, and eggs became the new toilet paper.

And it’s simply come about through a couple of big floods early in the year followed by months of overcast days and intermittent rain which has held newly planted crops back. 

If anything good comes from this supply crisis, it’ll be that we won’t take for granted how lucky we are to have access to good quality ingredients at very reasonable prices most of the time.

As if it isn’t hard enough to make a buck in the hospitality industry, a substantial increase in the cost of not just fruit and vegetables, but meat and seafood, dry goods, electricity, gas and wages has made it an even tougher gig. 

That hasn’t stopped food businesses forging on, jumping in and getting involved in all the festivals and events that come to life at this time of year. 

The recent Sunshine Coast food festival, The Curated (side) Plate, saw dozens of sold-out functions stretching from the Glasshouse Mountains to Eumundi, and Mooloolaba to Maleny, with culinary experiences to appeal to all budgets and age groups.

The popularity of outdoor events like the Moreton Bay Food and Wine Festival and Baconfest in Kingaroy is evidence that the public are desperate to get out and bask in the sun while there is some around, enjoy good food, drinks and music, and catch up on a lot of the social interaction that we’ve all gone without for the past couple of years.

Despite the cost-of-living pressures a lot of people are going through, it seems as though a vast majority are seeing eating well as an important priority in their lives and continuing to support their favourite cafes, restaurants and producers. 

All the evidence is pointing towards another few wet months ahead, but resilience and adaptation are traits that most on the growing side and the serving side have come to call on whenever they’re needed.

Let’s hope we get to meet some happy, proud asparagus this Spring.

About the Author /

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Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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