A good rib­bing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

HO­BART’S Savour Tas­ma­nia this year kicked off with 200 peo­ple nib­bling on crisp pig ears and tails at the Tas­ma­nian Mu­seum and Art Gallery.

And fi nished four food- and- wine- packed days later with 600 peo­ple in Princess Wharf 1 for the best Long Ta­ble event yet.

In be­tween, was a mix of the rus­tic, in­spired and the self- in­dul­gent; of ex­cit­ing small bites and big fl avours; of fun and fancy.

Four days when cider and beer proved they were food part­ners as le­git­i­mate as wine and also that, rather than too many chefs spoil­ing the broth, fi ve chefs and their teams could work to­gether at the Long Ta­ble to pro­vide a mem­o­rable food ex­pe­ri­ence.

On a balmy night in the spa­cious TMAG court­yard, Ross O’Meara and Matthew Evans sweated over a spit- roasted pig to sup­ple­ment those fried ears and tails by Syd­ney’s “Poet of Pork’’, chef Colin Fass­nidge.

Sixty were ex­pected to at­tend. In­stead 200 peo­ple bought tick­ets to en­joy O’Meara and Evans’ de­li­cious pork buns and won­der­fully salty, bar­be­cue- crisped crack­ling.

Mean­while, the Huon Val­ley’s Else­where, Home Hill, Two Bud Spur and Wom­bat Springs wines fl owed as Waji Spiby kept the crowd smil­ing with an end­less sup­ply of de­li­cious multi- cul­tural- in­spired cre­ations us­ing Huon salmon, sushi, Spring Bay mus­sels, quail eggs, mas­ter stock pork belly, Wursthaus small­go­ods, shi­take mush­rooms and more.

Terry Clark, the new owner/ chef of Monty’s on Mont­pel­lier, then sup­plied the night’s sweet end­ing with his Pink Lady souf­flés.

The pig again pro­vided one of the high­light dishes the fol­low­ing evening, at Garag­istes, in the form of a cube of su­perbly cooked pork served with lo­vage root cream, sea salt cel­ery and mashed crab ap­ple per­fectly part­nered by Wil­lie Smith’s Or­ganic Ap­ple Cider.

For me, join­ing it as the best of Luke Burgess and Kobe Des­ra­maults’ 12 small-bite menu were the plays on tex­tures and flavours in dishes like the crisped potato with eel, kat­suobushi and flat­head roe emulsion, shaved, beau­ti­fully flavoured cala­mari in squid ink and the fi nale, a dessert as un­likely sound­ing as it was luscious – a com­bi­na­tion of Jerusalem ar­ti­choke, wal­nut ice cream, black gar­lic, dried black­ber­ries and salt­bush.

While a so- called boudin noir and a num­ber of other dishes sug­gested two heads are not al­ways bet­ter than one, the Kreglinger 2006 Vin­tage Brut, d’Meure ’ 08 Chardon­nay and ’ 10 Pinot Noir, the ’ 12 Si­napius Ries­ling, Wil­lie Smith’s cider and the Bel­gium dark ale from the Agrar­ian Kitchen matched their re­spec­tive foods well, while this year re­spect­ing both the Tas­ma­nian spirit of what Savour is about and Garag­iste’s bev­er­age phi­los­o­phy.

Satur­day then saw the crowds pour in to PW1 for the fi rst day of the Red Wine Week­end’s tast­ings and master­classes with the tacos from Taco Taco on hand to soak up the al­co­hol be­fore the Long Ta­ble evening opened and closed with stu­dents from Drys­dale Polytech­nic and Guil­ford Young Col­lege, re­spec­tively, pro­vid­ing de­li­cious canapés and desserts.

In be­tween, the night’s 600 guests were treated to a feast of Tas­ma­nia’s top pro­duce.

From oys­ters and Daci and Daci breads to King Is­land cheeses and Anvers lol­lipops in a se­ries of dishes pre­pared by the line- up of Savour Tas­ma­nia’s celebrity chefs Shane Delia, Kobe Des­ra­maults, Ja­han Pat­ter­son-Were, Gio­vanni Pilu and Dar­ren Purch­ese.

Ac­com­pa­nied by an ex­ten­sive range of well- priced wines and spot- on ser­vice, it was a happy, very en­joy­able night, a great show­case for Tas­ma­nia and ex­cel­lent value for lo­cals and in­ter­state vis­i­tors alike.

And, not to be beaten, more crowds turned up for more wines and master­classes at the Red Wine Week­end on Sun­day.

Savour will close with din­ners by Fass­nidge at Bayviews Restau­rant, in Burnie, on June 14 and 15.

And, if you haven’t had enough fun feast­ing and frol­ick­ing in a fes­ti­val- packed sum­mer and au­tumn since the Taste of Tas­ma­nia way back in De­cem­ber, then Dark MOFO is just round the cor­ner, cel­e­brat­ing the win­ter sol­stice in an amaz­ing of­fer­ing of mu­sic, art, fi lm and food.

Then the Taste of the Ta­mar comes to Ho­bart on July 20 and 21 af­ter which you have a few months to re­cover be­fore Tas­ma­nia South’s White Wine Week­end in Oc­to­ber.

It’s a hard life.

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