Jam- packed with good­ness

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

HAR­VEST Launceston, the city’s Satur­day farm­ers’ mar­ket, has just taken out the top award in the Out­stand­ing Farm­ers’ Mar­ket cat­e­gory in the ABC’s De­li­cious mag­a­zine pro­duce awards.

More than just at­tract­ing pro­duc­ers and prod­ucts from all parts of the north, it also re­cently ran a first for Tas­ma­nian food pro­duc­ers, an event they called “feed dat­ing”, a food pro­duc­ers’ take on “speed dat­ing”.

In it, Har­vest’s pres­i­dent, Jenny Edis, said “par­tic­i­pants had the op­por­tu­nity to pair up with a broad range of busi­ness ex­port fa­cil­i­ta­tors, dig­i­tal and mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ists, fi­nan­cial and graphic- de­sign ex­perts to get one- on- one, straight- from- the- hip, no- non­sense ad­vice on the pack­ag­ing and mar­ket­ing of their prod­uct.”

And the re­sults of this ap­proach have al­ready seen Hoang Nguyen and part­ner Kather­ine Mo­ran trans­late their suc­cess at the mar­ket into open­ing the city’s new­est and small­est cafe, Gar­den of Ve­gan on Charles St.

With only a few ta­bles and very ba­sic “raw” decor and fur­nish­ings, the cafe of­fers such Viet­namese- in­spired ve­gan food as pho, soft rice pa­per rolls, sweet ginger and or­ganic tofu and red rice, fresh shi­itake and basil ta­marind soup with noo­dles etc. All lo­cal, sea­sonal and or­ganic and ev­ery­thing of­fered with al­lergy-free op­tions. The flavours are great, you can feel it do­ing you good with ev­ery mouth­ful, and Hoang says they’ve been flat- out since open­ing less than a month ago.

Down the Ta­mar, for­mer Olympic cy­clist turned wine­maker, Michael Wil­son, opened his new cel­lar door restau­rant in his Velo vine­yard in Jan­uary.

With Dario Li­can­dro in the kitchen, the crisp, thin- based piz­zas are very good from a menu that in­cluded an ex­cel­lent saf­fron and yabby tail risotto and a gen­er­ously por­tioned duck tart.

Best of all, though, was Wil­son’s beau­ti­fully mel­low ’ 08 Re­serve Pinot Noir from a list that in­cluded other nicely aged drops by the bot­tle and the glass.

And, con­tin­u­ing east to Li­ly­dale, Mark and Sarah Hirst of nearby Lean­ing Church Vine­yard, have turned the vil­lage’s old pub into the Li­ly­dale Larder, a fab­u­lous re­gional wine and food ex­pe­ri­ence.

Opened in March un­der the man­age­ment of Ian White and his chef wife Tanya, the Larder of­fers a de­li­cious range of break­fast, snack, cof­fee and lunch op­tions, a boun­teous Tas­ma­nian provi­dore sec­tion and a great range of lo­cal wines, Tas­ma­nian whiskies and ciders.

With ren­o­va­tions still to be fin­ished, White says the spe­cial tast­ing room has been busy since open­ing ear­lier this month and the new, ex­panded bot­tleshop should be com­pleted shortly.

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