A WAVE of warm accolades has hit Auburn couple, Dan and Annika Moss, after the local restaurant owners shut the doors to their acclaimed eatery, Terroir Auburn, and announced plans to provide free meals to the community.
Due to the revised catering conditions on restaurants following the COVID-19 outbreak, the couple quickly opted to shut up shop and save any money they had in the hope of reopening in the future.
But with a large garden full of fresh produce, Dan said he hated the idea of it all going to waste.
So, he will be harvesting the produce and basing a meal around the ingredients available, continuing Terroir Auburn’s ethos of showcasing the best of locally produced ingredients.
“We’ve always been hard on that, being representative of the Clare Valley and its seasonality,” Dan said.
Each week starting from today, Dan and Annika will be setting up a table in front of Becker’s IGA in Auburn between 5-6pm handing out freshly made meals for free.
The meal available on Wednesday evening will be a potato and caramelised onion soup and herbed zucchini slice.
Dan said he would prepare 75 portions as a starting point.
“We don’t know what to expect but we’ve received so much support from people already,” he said.
“The response has been phenomenal, especially the local community reaction, which was important to us.
“Not everything is doom and gloom, that’s not the kind of people we are.
“If we’ve got a lot left over, I’ll just go around delivering it to friends and family, or maybe some homes of elderly residents.”
The couple’s generosity has been met with more giving from other local businesses and residents alike, with donations of chicken, lamb and eggs coming in.
“I’m hoping on a Monday I can do a bit of a roundup of what has been donated and design a meal around whatever I can get my hands on,” he said.
Servings are cold and to be reheated to meet food hygiene standards.
“Next week will be chicken based, but each week will be a healthy, hearty offering,” Dan said.
The initiative will keep the couple busy with the hope of reopening their restaurant one day.
“We took some time to speak to some people and unfortunately out of that, we didn’t see delivery or takeaway being a viable option for us over the next three to six months,” Dan explained.
“We’re trying to save the money we have by removing those operational costs and waiting it out with the funds we have on hand.”
Either way, whether the restaurant is operating or not, the couple’s passion for the community shines through.
Dan emphasised anyone is welcome to collect a free meal.
“We don’t want any stigma attached to it, we’re doing this for anyone and everyone, old and young, the rich and the poor,” he said
“I understand that it would feel funny, some people may have too much pride to collect something for free.
“I hope this shows we do care about the region and we want to help anyone and everyone in it.”