On the wall of La Bimba in Apollo Bay hangs a painting of a cow’s carcass after slaughter. The head, intact, looks at you with a human eye. We are all part of the same system, we are all sentient beings and all life relies ultimately on death. This is the message of La Bimba’s owner and head chef Steve Earl, who requires honour and deep respect for the life of the animal.
A life is not to be taken lightly.
A final feast will celebrate the close of Apollo Bay’s new after dark festival WinterWild 2017. In the wee hours of the morning, before dawn on Saturday 12 August, Steve Earl of Apollo Bay’s much-loved La Bimba will head down to the foreshore and create a fire pit, allowing a deep bed of hot coals to build before a whole animal is given to the flames.
The cow – sourced from a local farm, grass fed and supplemented with beer grain from an on site brewery – will be splayed out between sheets of reo mesh over the fire pit. The Offering will be delivered asado – the Brazilian act of both cooking over flame and inviting community to witness its preparation and share its consumption. Earl and crew will be handling the fire all day to ensure the meats are cooked to perfection, and whole winter vegetables will be thrown into the pit for the feasting.
“One of things that I love about it is the sheer simplicity of it – it’s just the animal, the fire and sea salt,” says Steve.
Festivalgoers are welcome to drop by and witness the 14 hour roasting from dawn right through to plating, however pre-booking is essential for sharing in the feast.
“Food for millennia has brought communities together, it’s something that should be celebrated,” says Steve. “It’s about the importance of ethical meat, making sure the animal has had a good life but also respecting the animal – being connected with our food and where it’s coming from.
“Meat should be a special occasion, it shouldn’t be something we take for granted,” he continues.
Inspired by the elements of earth, water, air and fire – and informed by the history of Apollo Bay – WinterWild takes place over four wintery weekends to highlight various art forms: music, street theatre, film and storytelling.
WinterWild revels in the untamed side of Apollo Bay once all the sun-seeking crowds have gone. Don’t look away.
The Offering will be made on the last night of WinterWild, Saturday 12 August, a celebration of fire.
The Offering – WinterWild 2017
Saturday 12th August
Apollo Bay foreshore, Victoria
Dinner $35 + booking fee + drinks
Tickets at winterwild.com.au