A good ribbing
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.