International chef brings new menu to Bundy restaurant
HE HAS travelled across the world for his career as a chef and now, local man Ben Achurch has come back to his roots to bring his knowledge and passion for food right to our plates.
Mr Achurch is the new head chef at Eleven Acres, on Branyan Dr, and said he was excited to unveil the restaurant's tasty new menu to Bundaberg foodies.
"I'm really keen to set my style here and provide really tasty food," he said.
"Bundaberg has so much to offer including great produce so I want to harness all of that and create meals that are really local-ingredient driven."
Mr Achurch started his career as a pastry chef after moving from Bundaberg to the Gold Coast when he finished school, but soon found his calling was more for fine dining and avant-garde cuisine.
"I had a very strong vision from the beginning about what I wanted to do," he said.
"I became a chef on the Gold Coast for 10 years and then I went over to London for over three years.
"I ended up as head chef, running a restaurant that received a Michelin Bib Gourmand in the 2017 Michelin Guide."
Much like the star-rating system for restaurants, the prestigious Bib Gourmands are designated by Michelin's food inspectors annually.
Michelin's Bib Gourmand distinction is an honour that highlights restaurants that serve high-quality food at a reasonable price.
Mr Achurch said after his stint overseas he decided to come back to Australia and then to Bundaberg when opportunity came knocking.
He said the owner of Eleven Acres, Jeff Lennox, approached him to move back to his home town, which came with the added bonus of spending more time with his family.
Mr Achurch and his wife are now taking charge of the restaurant as head chef and front of house manager.
"I decided to take the opportunity - Eleven Acres is a beautiful location," he said.
"I want to try to build a bit of a loyal following and definitely focus on the great local ingredients here and make this region known for cuisine."
Mr Achurch said he already had some grand ideas about what he wanted people to get out of his dining experience.
"I think it will be something a little different to what everyone is used to and I will be changing the menu every couple of weeks just to keep people interested," he said.
"We are also looking at opening for dinner as well.
"That will be a lot more geared towards fine dining - trying to change people's mind about what fine dining is by making it more accessible and teaching people about food."
Eleven Acres is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week at the venue on 363 Branyan Dr.
Book a table by phoning 4155 3030 or find out more on the website at www.elevenacres.com.au.
ON THE MENU
Some of the dishes on chef Ben Achurch's new menu
11 Acres Granola House preserved fruits, burnt honey yoghurt and milk
Acres breakfast bruschetta Avocado, tomato, house made Baffle Dairy ricotta on vegemite turkish with leaves, garden herbs
Garlic and herb roasted Meadowvale mushrooms With spinach, house made Baffle Dairy ricotta and poached eggs on turkish
Sweetcorn, chorizo and roasted Bundy sweet potato croquette With poached eggs, lime, black pepper yoghurt
11 Acres Buttermilk Waffles Two house made buttermilk waffles with your choice of: bacon with maple whipped cream and toasted pecans or roasted peach with Lennox family roasted Bunya nut praline cream and basil syrup
Blanched charred broccolini salad Spinach, almond, radish and house made Baffle Dairy ricotta
Roasted local sweet potato Smoked chilli creme, tomato, onion and coriander salsa
Zucchini and haloumi fritters Lemon and black pepper labneh, lemon pickled zucchini, garden mint
House made falafel Roasted garlic and date aioli, rocket, pickled cucumber, red onion
Roasted chicken terrine Salad cream, peas, charred onions and leaves
Pan roasted prawns Cucumber, chick pea and preserved lemon yogurt
Pan seared calamari Chorizo, potato, romesco and lime
Buttermilk fried chicken burger Dill aioli, tomato, Acres pickles and iceberg with hand cut chips
Tempura fried fish taco Shredded iceberg, pickled onion, radish and Mexican "tartare" sauce