Did you know there’s a mushroom farm in the heart of the Valley? Putting the ‘fun’ in fungi, Urban Valley was founded by two hospitality veterans to meet the calls from the Brisbane dining scene for 100% Australian-grown gourmet mushrooms. Now, their produce is featured in menus across the city – from Baja’s rich chestnut tostaditas to La De Lah’s spicy take on Malaysian berempah.
Having recently launched into Harris Farm, getting your hands on local, quality mushrooms has never been easier (or tastier!). Below, we chatted to the mushy team behind Urban Valley about their inspiration, fave dishes, and what makes a good mushroom…
What inspired Urban Valley?
Urban Valley was inspired in early 2021 by Joel (a hospitality veteran who had managed at some of Queensland’s best restaurants, including Wasabi, Arc, Yacht Club Hamilton Island, and Qualia) and Rachel (who was working in fruit and veg distribution at Brisbane Markets in Rocklea and had a master’s degree in molecular genetics).
As a supplier, Rachel heard the top chefs in Brisbane asking, “Where’s the good mushrooms?” That’s because the mushrooms that have historically been available at the market have been the ones you’re familiar with at the grocer – punnets wrapped in plastic, sweating, potentially old, and almost always of imported origin. As the Brisbane dining scene has been growing rapidly over recent years, the demands for quality, unique, and local produce has also increased. So with extensive hospitality knowledge, passion for quality food, a love of Brisbane’s dining boom, experience in lab technique, and perhaps a bit of that eccentric post-Covid ambition, the concept for Urban Valley was born.
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