Crusta means Bark or Wood in Latin and represents our affinity to natural products and for sustainable living solutions.
While I lived in Sri Lanka a friend asked me to run his restaurant for a while which opened a new world of creating, presenting and exploring food to me. A manager position in a surf resort followed which finally lead me to a place called Samakanda, a Permaculture Eco Resort.
I was in charge of customer relation, the development of the place as well as the food preperation. With the approach to live of the land as much we could, cater for a lot of people and inhance a natural, traditional way of cooking with fire at the same time I build my first clay oven.
Using termite clay, which supposingly is the best material for a high heat resistance, I helped myself with local abandond termite hills which are often used by cobras as their home. For the inner chamber I used fire bricks but rendered the oven with local material, a mix of sand, clay and fibre (stroh).
I was fortunate to get trained on the oven by Rose Gray, the owner of the world famous River Cafe in London, wo spotted Jamie Oliver talents in her restaurant kitchen. The seed for a passion for traditional clay ovens and cooking with fire was planted and got stronger over the years.
After I finished my degree of tourism ecology, I moved to New Zealand, Akaroa and took over a restaurant “ the Pepper Tree” with my partner. With taking on this responsability I finally knew that food will always be a big part of my life.
We organized a weekly Farmers Market, Weddings and Concerts in our Restaurant Garden.
Since 2010 I call Byron Bay my home and became part of this land. I embrace our fortune to be exposed to many passionate farmers, cheese makers, butchers and food artisans in this area. I am trying to keep the ingredients regional, organic, fresh and seasonal. I love to be part of festive occasions, take pride in my cuisine. I feel very lucky and grateful to work with inspiring chefs and my longterm staff to ensure a trustful and flowing work atmosphere. Since many years we became a stable part of the local food scene here in Byron Bay with being part of the Writers Festival, Blues Festival and the local Markets. We specialised in Wedding Caterings over the last few years but are open to any occasion or festivity.
I am passionate about sustainable living, feeding yourself from your own land, good, healthy and creative food.