Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
When you visit Johnny Ripe, at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, and taste their apple pies you will understand what all the fuss is about. The pies are bulging with rich layers of home grown apples and the pastry is golden and delectable.
I went there because of reviews I'd read online, mostly from locals as Melbourne people are yet to learn about this unique and tasty place.
It was soon evident that I was somewhere special.The entrance is paved with drifts of yellow daffodils. There is an outside deck with a stunning view over the properties verdant green fields and orchards. Behind are hills and then an endless vista of even more green fields.
Such a wonderful scene for you to sit outside and enjoy the view.
As I had arrived right on lunchtime I waited patiently in the queue. There were trays of gorgeous baked goods, to look at filled with luscious pear and custard danishes, croissants, and French meringues so bulbous they looked like woolly fleeced clouds.
But it is what I hear that I find most fascinating. (Writers by nature are such terrible eavesdroppers.)
A couple in front of me mention that they have just dropped into buy lunch but just kept piling on their order. They take home roast beef pies, pickles, lasagnas and other pre-prepared meals such as confit of duck, tender lamb curry with a tangine style rice, croissants, loaves of crusty bread, and so the list goes on.
Suddenly the woman says "I suppose we don't need any more." Her husband looked at her calmly but replies : "It is not what we need but what we want" and they kept piling more and more goods onto their massive consignment of parcels.
They are not alone. Other locals walk out staggering under their pile of boxes. Some husbands look like doormen at a hotel when the lady of the house has been on a shopping spree and they can hardly see over the load of boxes they have to carry for her.
But few can resist tarts with fillings such as salted caramel chocolate, creme brulee, quince brulee and passionfruit curd. The family apple pies would easily feed a vast extended family of cousins, aunties and uncles.
There sausage rolls are the largest I have ever seen. No meek sausage mince here but a goumet filling.
Johny Ripe started in 2013 when two passionate foodie couples
Scott (a chef) and Alice and Michelle (another chef) and Adam decided they wanted to fulfill their philosophy of creating wholesome food and making people happy.
Source: Johnny Ripe
Quite a combo of desires. They succeeded and business is booming.
And in terms of keeping people happy they have lots of healthy and gluten free options as well as their sheer indulgences. Try their divine banana bread. I think they call them slices but they look more like slabs.
They source local food but grow a lot of it themselves. In fact a lot of what they make depends on what is growing in their orchard and vegetable patch. It could be figs, tamarillos, tomatoes, rhubarb, garlic, spinach and an array of herbs.
They keep free-range chickens and ducks hence the rich yolks they use in baking. Anything they don't produce themselves is sourced locally. They use only natural fertilizers and sprays, and their 24 free-range hens love eating any bugs while their friends the ducks take care of the snails. As for the Peter rabbits in the district their blue heeler, Maddie keeps them well away.
As well as all the incredible bakery foods and take home meals they also run the Supper Club.
This operates on Friday and Saturday nights as well as on Sunday at lunchtime.
This is like having dinner in someone's home. There are three courses but it is a set menu for $60. Generous portions sizes and BYO own wine. You can ring in advance and let them know your food allergies but other than that it is eat up what you are given. Which is always divine food.
So much so that they are regularly booked out.
I'll bet the locals would love to keep this to themselves but the people of Melbourne must know where to find this amazing place.
Forget the term Johnny Rotten, Johnny Ripe offers the best pastry this side of the black stump. Oh, those pies!