Conscious cook and owner of Hearth & Soul, Rachel Jelley is on a culinary mission to bring love, joy and sacredness back into cooking and eating. Located in Newtown, Hearth & Soul focuses on locally sourced, organic and pasture-raised produce, with a seasonal menu that aims to reconnect diners with the magic, abundance and deliciousness of nature.
Recently Sydney Social 101 had the joyous opportunity of dining at Hearth & Soul for lunch. As we entered the restaurant we were very warmly welcomed by Rachel who greeted us as if she was welcoming us into her own home. After a guided tour of the custom open kitchen, communal feasting table laden with fresh flowers and the outdoor herb garden we took our seat in the cosy lounge room complete with a collection of vintage sofas and trinkets from Rachel’s travels around the world.
Rachel took a moment to talk us through the current menu and her transition from finance worker to conscious cook. Rachel excited us and our taste buds with her passion for food and filling our bellies with goodness and nourishment.
Rachel relies on seasonal produce from predominantly local suppliers including pasture-raised meat and poultry from Feather & Bone (Marrickville), pastured eggs from Holbrook Paddock (Holbrook, NSW), and fresh, largely organic fruit and vegetables from Pocket City Farms (Camperdown), Blue Wren Urban Farm (Bankstown), Zavaglia’s Gourmet Produce (Sydney) and Sift Produce (Sydney and surrounds).
From the seasonal winter menu we enjoyed the gnocchi with broad bean shoots, pea tendrils and a green garlic cream sauce; the melt in your mouth seared octopus with borlotti beans served with a divine lemon, olive oil and parsley sauce and the turnips with heavenly brown butter, sage and saltbush. A star for us on the was the oh so flavoursome wild-harvested diamond shell cams with green garlic butter. For dessert we devoured the choose spiced sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and cream.
Other dishes on the seasonal menu included the menu included the spiced heart with house-made labne and fresh herbs; slow-braised lamb with bay, thyme, rosemary and barley; and pastured pork, bacon and winter leaf terrine with mustard sauce.
To accompany our meal we sipped on seasonal cocktails including the crimson snow apple cocktails and enjoyed a number of wins from the specially curated wine list.
As a conscious cook, Rachel says she’s here to help us fall in love with food again. “Food exists to bring us joy, but sadly it’s become a victim of both the ‘wellness’ movement and the ridiculous body image standards that have pervaded our society for many decades now. I’m here to tell you that food is not your enemy. Food is healing, food is nourishing, food is nurturing and food is sacred. It’s here for you to cherish, it can fill your belly with love, and I’m here to show you how to use it to do just that.”
Hearth & Soul is a wholesome dining experience full of love and nourishment. The food is divine, the hospitality exceptional and the interiors cosy and comforting!
For more information on Heath & Soul and to check out their current menu and cooking classes head to: https://hearthandsoul.com.au/