Passion proves evident throughout Pukara
BY ALEX TIGANI
It is the product that sells itself.
These are the words which are always greeted with a smile from Allissa Atkinson who welcomes tourists from across NSW to Pokolbin’s Pukara Estate tasting room.
“At the moment it has not stopped for us,” she told The Hunter River Times last week.
“Since we were able to open our doors, and people were allowed back out, it has been quite busy.
“I only started last year but I love the work and I love the products and I love talking about them.”
Pukara Estate, which specialises in olive oils and vinegars, was founded by Bruce Eglington who planted the first trees in 1999.
The first commercial harvest took place in 2003 and the Pukara Estate brand was then launched.
Since then the Estate, now managed by Steve and Racquel Goodchild, has operations across the country which feature many cheerful employees.
“I’d rather be talking to customers and not just sitting behind a computer so I’m very grateful to be able to call this place my work,” Atkinson continued.
“If there is someone who comes by a lot and I like to ask what they are using the products for.
“The customers are very inspiring and there are many regular ones who return back through the door with new recipes.”
Atkinson impressed the room last Tuesday when revealing she had added utilisiled Pukara Estate’s mouth-watering caramelised balsamic vinegar on one of her recipes.
When she described the process, she had immediately won over the room.
“Today I made myself a nice roast cauliflower with the caramelised balsamic in the oven and mixed it with spinach, shallots and diced bacon,” she recalled.
“Going home tonight I’ll then use our dukkah (seeds) and oil on my roast vegetables.
“Once you use these products you can’t stop because they add that little bit of flavour which makes your dish that much better.”
It is at this stage of the tasting you must ask yourself which has been stronger?
The oils on hand around the table, so strong in flavour, or the enthusiasm from the supervisor herself as she describes the products with genuine passion.
This fortnight will mark one year since she joined the Pukara Estate team.
“It’s quite enjoyable to work here and I absolutely love it.”