Martin Boetz of Cooks Co-Op is one of Australia’s renowned chefs, most recognized for championing the concept of sustainability and local production. His empowering vision has achieved much for restaurants and chefs in Sydney. It all stemmed from 2013, when he decided to pursue his long anticipated dream, and said goodbye to Longrain before taking the greatest leap in his career yet. When asked about his decision in leaving Longrain, Martin replied with poise, “[it was] something I considered when I felt I had reached the goal of bringing both Melbourne and Sydney restaurants to their successful peak. I wanted to move forward with my more personal dream of creating a platform where by the availability of fresh produce was attainable for chefs and restaurants in Sydney.”
That introduces us to Cooks Co-Op, the hub of freshly grown local produce stretching over acres of land in the beautiful picturesque Hawksbury river, providing nothing but the utmost finest produce to chefs and high-end restaurants throughout Sydney. As repeated by many, if your dreams don’t terrify you, they surely aren’t big enough, and Martin was not immune to this phenomenon. He described his initial reaction to the cooks Co-op dream as “Scare sighted”.
Throughout the intense and intriguing interview with Martin, it became very noticeable what his number #1 help tool was - the eminence of surrounding yourself with purely supportive people. It is a concept we speak lightly of and underestimate the true impact of in reality. “Make sure that you have the right people around you, to give you a lot of support as it will not always be smooth sailing!”, Martin. At this point, the question we were yearning to know was why Cooks Co-op and not anything else? That is when we discovered Martin’s vision to educate and support local farming. “[it’s] the desire to educate chefs, restaurant owners and the general public of the availability of fresh produce. This is more achievable than you think to create healthy and tasty food… My passion for fresh produce and sharing that philosophy drives me to come up with new ideas. Getting my hands in the dirt and watching food grow makes me excited!”
Ideas, support of others, and experimentation were undoubtedly profound elements in assembling the pictures of the puzzle, but essentially there was more. “Blood, sweat and tears is how it started! It has been a slow and steady process in creating the farm to what it is now today”, expressed Martin.
A day in the shoes of Martin may be too overwhelming for many to even consider taking on, as Cooks Co-Op is not merely a home of fresh produce supplies, but an event venue for special occasions and open cooking events with known chefs. With a strong mind and a hefty vision to deliver, Martin had and still has no time or place in his life for regrets, or a time machine to turn back time. The shedding of blood, sweat and tears have become major components of his success today, for that reason Martin would not even think twice about withdrawing any spec of it from his extensive bittersweet journey. And if you’re wondering where to from here? “To make a shitload of money and find a gorgeous man!”, Martin Boetz.