Two Peas cafe strikes a chord
Author | Valerie Donat
“As chefs, we believe good food begins with good ingredients. We have respect for farmers, animals and the environment, and are constantly working to find the most ethical produce possible.”
With their philosophy written on the chalkboard above the bar, chefs Nick Johnson and Tom Stoneham are committed. They met in the UK when working for one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, and made their move to Australia when they were involved in the opening team for ‘Jamie’s Italian’ in Sydney. Both had very similar approaches to food and food ethics. Both had always talked about owning their own place. And so, their dreams collided, and Two Peas was born.
Two Peas in situated in the quiet St Johns Street in Forest Lodge, down the road from the University of Sydney and Parramatta Road. Two Peas is all about sustainability- it’s the focus, passion, and unique selling point of the restaurant. It’s the chefs’ pride and joy, and they pride themselves on sourcing food that is local, organic, and sustainable.
Johnson and Stoneham have partnered up with a range of different businesses to provide them with fresh, local, and sustainable produce. For the past 6 months, Two Peas has been involved with FoodConnect, an organisation that provides businesses and individuals with local, seasonal and ecological food direct from the farmer. Not only does FoodConnect provide Two Peas with local and organic produce, customers can also pick up their veggie boxes (which have been ordered online) from Two Peas. In essence, Two Peas is not only helping themselves, but also helping customers be more sustainable.
All their lamb is sourced from Kerrick Farm in Gundaroo, NSW. Kerrick Farm is the farm of co-owner and chef Nick Johnson’s parents, and also where he grew up. There are about 50-100 sheep that the chefs’ know are well fed, and well cared for. They know how much time, effort and love is put into raising the sheep, because they have seen it. The lamb is bought at a better price than at the markets, and it’s a great price for the restaurant too. Not only does it price well, Johnson and Stoneham know the journey of the lamb, from the source to the destination. Decent prices and sustainable practices mean it’s better for Kerrick Farm, Two Peas, and the sheep.
One of the most unique aspects of Two Peas is that the menu changes every Tuesday. Changing the menu allows the chefs to utilise any new produce that comes into season, while also using what’s available. It also allows them to reduce their waste. In an interview with co-owner and chef Tom Stoneham, he provided an example of the benefits of changing the menu… “If at the end of the week I have lots of apples left over, I can save them and use them in another dish for next week.” Changing the menu also allows the chefs to be creative with whatever is available, and, quoting Stoneham, “…never get bored!”
Two Peas is a relatively new establishment, having only been opened for 20 months. Their presence in the local and wider community is growing, however they still rely on word of mouth (so spread the word!). Two Peas is a destination restaurant, meaning people who want sustainably sourced meals seek it out! It’s an exciting new restaurant; it supports local farmers, and also creates a happy, ethical work environment for all the staff, definitely boosting morale and interest in sustainability. Everything about Two Peas is sustainable, from the food on the plates to the 100% post-consumer recycled paper table ‘cloths’, and because of its uniqueness, Two Peas is the perfect example of successful and innovative sustainability.