Our Featured Artisan for Winter is the extraordinary Jodi Clarke from Great Ocean Ducks. Greg and Jodi, owners of Great Ocean Ducks, farm free-range Aylesbury and Pekin ducks on their 16-hectare property overlooking Port Campbell, near the Twelve Apostles and Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
How long have Great Ocean Ducks been operating?
How did Great Ocean Ducks get started? What was the inspiration?
We started our business as a way for me to be a stay-at-home mum. We threw a million ideas around and finally agreed on ducks – they were not a fashionable trend but have been a staple on menus around the world for years. We needed a farming business that was small enough for me to manage in the start, and with no farming skills a little more simple than having to use large machinery.
What did you do previous to starting Great Ocean Ducks?
I was a Real Estate agent & Greg was and still is a journalist.
We love eating duck and not knowing much about them at the time knew that a lot of people would pick duck on a menu as it is a bit of a special treat to eat and have cooked for you.
Is there a specific dish or way you would recommend with duck, or other products?
We love everything duck. Our go to at home is to break the duck down, pan fry the breast (medium rare) add salt and pepper so you can really taste the amazing flavours. With the legs we love to confit them (in a clay pot) on top of the fire in the winter with a few herbs & spices. We render the left-over duck fat down for amazing fat perfect for your spuds! Plus, all the rest use for stock.
Where would you take a visitor for an essential country food experience?
We love all the rural restaurants that focus on local produce – you cannot get better than seasonal.
What other local artisans or producers do you admire? Why?
We have a strong bond with Bruce from Milking Yard Farm, his business is very similar to ours however chicken, it is always so helpful to have someone else to chat with and complain to! Covid has altered things for him as they have for all of us, his business has changed but we still have that bond with him – he understands us, and we understand him.
If you had to choose your last meal and last drink, what would they be?
I wouldn’t care but it would have to be shared with family, friends and bottles of wine.