Julaymba at Daintree Ecoldoge welcomes head chef – Simone Watts
The Daintree Ecolodge in Far North Queensland has welcomed a new era of sustainable dining with the appointment of Simone Watts as Head Chef of its Julaymba restaurant. A self-proclaimed environmental activist chef, Simone has introduced a truly sustainable approach to Julaymba’s seasonally driven culinary offering.
Appointed in March this year, Simone brings with her a wealth of experience, having worked alongside some of Australia’s leading chefs including Adam D’Sylva (Coda and Tonka) and Greg Malouf (ex MoMo).
Simone is a passionate advocate of sourcing local, organic, ethically produced ingredients, which is reflected in Julaymba’s current autumn menu. Guests can expect to find dishes such kangaroo tataki with tea soaked egg, native pepper, miso cream and wasabi granola followed by Mungalli Creek biodynamic yoghurt bavarois with new season mandarin cake, cinnamon myrtle, saffron, thyme and burnt honey.
Where possible, Simone sources produce from Daintree Ecolodge’s own sustainable vegetable patch, as well as drawing on an endless variety of produce from local suppliers.
“Far North Queensland is a chef’s playground for produce. We have access to stunning native fruits and spices, lush green pastures and vast open waters. I’m so excited to have it all at my fingertips and will be working closely with our local producers to create a unique and completely sustainable food experience at Julaymba,” Simone said.
“We can no longer grow in population and consume at the rate we are without changing the way we look at food. As chefs, we no longer have the responsibility to simply provide our guests with tasty meals, but also to try and educate and inspire them to make more sustainable food choices in their day to day life,” she added.
Simone’s appointment adds another layer to the Daintree Ecolodge’s authentic ecotourism offering. The boutique, four-star property which is nestled in the heart of the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, offers understated luxury in its 15 eco-friendly bayans and a place for guests to reconnect with nature.
Sustainability pervades through every practice at Daintree Ecolodge. The carbon-neutral property produces its own renewable energy and is almost entirely chemical free. Extending beyond its own land, the property has partnered with Rainforest Rescue to support areas of the Daintree Rainforest that have been impacted by human development, whilst also investing in research and development programs to support the Great Barrier Reef.
The Ecolodge also has a strong commitment to zero waste and has introduced various measures to meet this goal, including sourcing their own bore water and installing an extensive solar system. In the kitchen composting systems are in use and single use plastic and foils are avoided. Simone has also adopted a nose to tail approach of only ordering in whole animals.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Daintree Ecolodge. Welcoming Simone to our team as Head Chef of Julaymba is just one more way we will ensure that our visitor experience is authentic, and our footprint is light,” said General Manager, Jody Westbrook.
Julaymba Restaurant at Daintree Ecolodge is open for breakfast and dinner daily. For bookings and inquiries phone +617 4777 7377 or visit www.daintree-ecolodge.com.au.