The need for a social enterprise such as Sydney’s Two Good Co, which provides meals and work to domestic violence survivors, has never seemed as vital as it does at this moment in time. With households forced into close quarters, there’s been a marked increase in people seeking help from domestic abuse services.
That’s where Jane Strode comes in. Strode – who started her career at Rockpool before going on to run now-closed Sydney institutions MG Garage and Bistrode with late husband Jeremy Strode (he passed in 2017) – joined Two Good Co as head chef right before the pandemic hit. She now oversees the meals that are sent to customers, as well as those donated to domestic violence shelters (Two Good operates on a buy-one, donate-one model), and is helping to grow the organisation’s catering arm. Strode is also overseeing Two Good’s work program, training women in the kitchen to help them find employment in the hospitality industry.
“I’m at a stage of my life where it’s important to give back,” Strode tells Broadsheet. “I’ve experienced my own trauma and taught children [as part of Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation]. I feel extremely grateful to be part of the Two Good family and a chef who is working at the moment.
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“Two Good’s food is comforting food: slow-cooked lamb, chicken. We want to boost people’s immunities with turmeric, onion and ginger. Our chicken soup is cooked with whole chicken, so there’s lots of fibre and it’s great for your gut biome.”
Likewise, this snapper-curry recipe is jammed with nourishing ingredients such as turmeric, ginger, coriander and a rainbow of vegetables. It’s a simpler version of a fish-curry recipe Strode learned when she was just starting her hospitality career.
“I’ve been cooking it for years and years,” she says. “It’s been domesticated from a Rockpool recipe from the mid-’90s, when I started my apprenticeship. It was cooked to order with coral trout; they’d serve it with fresh semolina noodles and lightly blanched vegetables. The lid would come off the pot, and the customer would get a hit of fragrance.”
Snapper curry with brown rice and pumpkin
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1 large knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small finger of fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
100ml hemp oil
2 brown onions, finely chopped
1 tsp hot chilli flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
2 medium carrots, grated
5 Roma tomatoes, washed, cored and finely chopped
2 tins coconut cream
1 heaped tbsp coconut sugar
600g snapper, skin and bones removed, cut into 2.5cm square pieces
1 small lime, zest and juice
1 cup Thai basil or coriander leaves
2½ cups brown jasmine rice, cooked as per packet instructions
4 pieces jap pumpkin, skin on, roasted until soft and a deep golden brown
Place ginger, garlic, turmeric and hemp oil in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Place in a medium, heavy-based saucepan with the onions, chilli flakes, spices and cinnamon stick. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until very soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
Add carrot and cook for a further 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to the boil. Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Add coconut cream, sugar and salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add snapper and gently simmer in curry sauce until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice, zest and Thai basil or coriander.
Serve with rice and pumpkin.