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We recently sat down with Mark, Chef at Gather Braddon to talk all things Summer.

Mark is a passionate foodie, who loves knowing all about the science behind the food. Not only is he a qualified chef but also recently finished his Nutrition degree, wanting to dig deep into people's eating behaviours.

What is your favourite thing about Summer?

Early morning or early evening bike rides, warm days and hopefully the cooler nights.

What are your favourite Summer fruit and veg picks? Why?

There really is something special about juicy summer fruit. Fruit wise, my picks are stone fruit and watermelon. I particularly love watermelon when it is chilled, it’s so refreshing on a hot day.

Over Summer I often turn to big fresh salads – my top tip is using fresh herbs like mint and dill coupled with lemon juice and olive oil, to really transform a salad! My favourite Summer vegetable is definitely fresh truss tomatoes, I really like the versatility and enjoy using different varieties in cooking.

Is there a Summer dish at Gather you’re loving at the moment?

There are a few on the menu at the moment! I love the combination of the turmeric babaganoush, mixed leaves and salmon in the Gather Summer Salmon Salad, it all just works really well together. The other one I really like at the moment is the “Not Chorizo” Enchiladas. It’s totally plant based and has this amazing combination of spices that really make the dish stand out!

What are some fun things to do in Canberra over Summer?

Going for ice creams, picnics by the lake or park, and of course heading out on the lake on the GoBoats.

Source: Gather facebook

Find Mark and his delicious creations at Gather, 4/24 Mort St, Braddon!

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Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Last week we sat down with Lincoln Farleigh, owner of Lava Coffee – our newest HCC venue! Lincoln has a true passion for coffee, hospitality and community, even while we sat together having a chat, a customer piped in and told us:

“I’ve been a regular here for years, they truly have the best coffee and the best service”. Well, it can’t get better than that!

How did you get here?

I’d been in hospitality for years and previously worked for Coffee Guru where I developed a passion for coffee. I then came on as Manager of Lava Weston and an opportunity came up for me to be part owner- so I jumped on it. At the time, I had zero business experience but, learnt quickly along the way. As a business owner, you wear many hats! Weston opened in 2009 and Phillip in 2012, we’ve really grown with our communities.

Talk to me about you concept?

We’re all about being a ‘place to share our love for amazing coffee’ and so we’ve really focussed on that over the years. When we first started, we’d have people travel as far as Belconnen to get their morning coffee fix, now with more venues popping up and serving good coffee, we’re really focussed on creating great spaces for our local community.

What motivated you to join HCC?

I was really looking for some sort of food accreditation for another venture and came across Healthier Choices Canberra. It’s great because people don’t necessarily know what the healthier options on a menu is, so having some accreditation people that kind of assurance. While originally, we were only coffee focussed, we’ve evolved and added food items to better serve our customers.

What does healthy mean to you?

It’s all about balance to me. Make healthier choices for the most part but also feel free to eat what you want.

We’d love to know more about CBR still open…

I built the website cbrstillopen.com.au out of my own necessity. I wanted to create a platform where businesses could advertise whether they were open or not, and in what way. The listings are displayed in random order so there’s no preference given to any business. After posing on social media within 48 hours we had over 150 listings, it turned out to be a little bigger than expected. It’s all about locals supporting locals and giving everyone an equal platform to share their story.


Green or Orange juice? Green

Describe your business in 3 words? Super delicious coffee

Favourite spice? Cardamom

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Always keep learning

What do you love most about Canberra? Community – especially the Canberra community rallying behind each other and sticking together and supporting each other.

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