Feed Me Picnic's Focaccia Charcuterie Boards are a combination of puffy focaccia bread topped with salami and prosciutto rosettes, vegetables, cheddar and brie cheeses decorated with fresh fruit. It's designed for 2-3 or 5-6 people and is all you need for a fun picnic.
Restile Robosa is no stranger to procrastibaking, "I’ve always been a midnight baker. I’m an Oral Health Therapist (OHT) by day and am passionate about my dental career but there is something comforting about knowing that there is predictability in following a recipe and what you pull out of the oven will (or should be) some delicious creation. I started procrastibaking in uni. I’ve always had a baking side hustle since I got my first Kitchenaid in 2014."
Then COVID struck. "As my daytime career as an OHT was placed on pause and so was my nighttime one of baking cakes, as less events meant less cakes, I found a lot of time on my hands to wait for bread to proof and to also watch a lot of bread related videos. Feed Me Picnics is a product of lockdown baking and too much tiktok. You could say it’s my lockdown baby. I am very fortunate that I was able to explore my interests and those lockdown hours to pursue a new love of mine - bread," says Res.
"Since the only other thing I could do, other than to wait for bread to proof, was outdoor exercise so I would also go for lengthy hikes. As I had so much bread at hand, I would bring some to my friend who I would hike with and she said I should start selling bread. I never thought of it as a possibility until they announced that picnics could go ahead in mid September and we were basically doing walking picnics since our walking pace would be almost glacial and we would just eat bread. I didn't make my first focaccia charcuterie board until a few days before I put out orders. The first ones I made I delivered to my foodie friends who would give me feedback and it went back and forth until I created a design and found a focaccia recipe that I was satisfied with. Safe to say my friends have probably had a lifetime of focaccia in the last 2 weeks," says Res. Her first orders were serendipitously on the 13th of Sept (Picnic Day) 2021.
Res's focaccia is an interesting one because it is actually served upside down and this is to create the indentations for the charcuterie roses and cheeses. "In order to create the indentations in the bread to hold the charcuterie fillings, the focaccia is baked with these indentation tins underneath the dough. Since focaccia is a high hydration dough it doesn't hold shape very well and those indentations won't work if you bake the focaccia dough with the tins on top - it lifts the tins up rather than baking around them. So the dimpled focaccia crust is still there, it's just flipped upside down." As the dimples no longer hold pools of olive oil because they are flipped upside down instead Res gives it a drizzle of olive oil at the end and flavours it with a dukkah zaatar blend from The Olive Company.
To order the picnics the best way is to visit their website and place an order there or DM her through Instagram. There are two sizes available depending on the number of people you want to feed. The Cosy Picnic is designed for 2-3 people ($35) and the Grazing Picnic which is designed for 4 -5 people ($60). They are also customisable to dietary requirements and can be made vegetarian, vegan or halal. She can also make them safe for pregnant women using antipasto from a jar and not a deli counter, hard cheese instead of soft and no cured meats. She delivers to the City of Sydney and within 10kms of North Ryde. And on the October long weekend she will have a pick up and picnic from Centennial Park on the October long weekend where people can pick it up from the park.
I bring one to a picnic and opening up the box elicits many gasps and coos. There's a half wheel of brie, a half wheel of caramelised onion aged cheddar, prosciutto, mild salami, sun dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, stuffed olives and fruit placed around it with some vegetables baked into the focaccia like a focaccia breadscape. The focaccia is crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. It's fun picking from the antipasti on top and this could easily be a picnic meal in itself especially if you bring some dips along too.
Res hopes that picnics will continue not just for her business, "Most of my family are in health care - I have a sister who is an infectious disease registrar, her husband is an ED doctor, my other sister and her husband are GPs, my aunt in a nurse in ICU - and have seen what Covid19 and its variants can do to a person’s physiology and mental health. Vaccination is so important and that's why I love being able to deliver to people who tell me they're having an outdoor picnic because to me it’s synonymous with being conscientious and considerate. Though I know there are people out there who cannot get vaccinated for reasons out of their control, I just hope that being physically apart has taught people, and to quote Aesop - that an act of kindness, no matter how small, is never wasted. I think the biggest thing that these lockdowns have taught me is that the smallest act of kindness can go a long way especially in today’s climate."
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you usually bring to a picnic? Do you like this idea?
NQN was sent a focaccia charcuterie board but was under no obligation to write anything. All opinions remain her own.
Feed Me Picnics