Jam- packed with goodness
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.