Fast, fresh and fab
TASTE OF THE HUON SMOLT POP UP AT SPIEGELTENT
IT SEEMS we’ve been non- stop feasting and festival- ing ever since over- indulging at the Taste of Tasmania over the New Year. With record crowds – most recently at the Taste of the Huon, 10 Days’ Spiegeltent, Smolt’s Pop Up and Brand Tasmania/ Tetsuya/ Andre Kropp’s charity dinner which raised $ 90,000 – it’s a matter of put it on, and Tasmanians will fl ock to it.
Take a breath – we still have Dark MoFo and Savour Tasmania to go.
Apart from the record crowd, the 22nd Taste of the Huon was, I feel, the best yet.
With plenty of entertainment for kids, more variety and several new ones among the 92 stalls, Paul Foreman, John X and guests keeping up the informative cooking fun in the Food Theatre – including a very colourful and sticky grape footstomping competition – plus good music and good weather, it was a top day out.
Best of all was to see newcomers Samara and James Ford of the old Geeveston Roadhouse judged the top food stall with their range of 15 different pies.
They only started making pies about a year ago in response to a downturn in the local logging industry and the win came on top of a gold medal for their curried scallop pie, a silver for their garlic chicken pie and a bronze for their minted lamb pie awarded at the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania Fine Food Awards last year.
Good also to see the crowds queuing to taste the 13 different varieties of new season pears and apples at Mark and Christine Duggan’s marquee, winners of the “other stall” award.
However, the most innovative new product
on show was what Duncan Garvey, of Perigord Truffles of Tasmania, has called his “truffledog”, his take- off on a hotdog.
Comprised of a sausage specially made by Graham Victor of Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe in Cygnet, wrapped in a fresh roll with mayonnaise flavoured with fresh French black truffles, it was a product that still needed a bit of work but one that, got right, could prove a big winter hit when our own truffles are in season.
We also enjoyed the excellent Chilean empanadas from Fernanda Sotomayor’s new Cantina Latina stall which, along with the success of the Porteno stall at last year’s Dark MoFo and the popularity of the Taco Taco van and similar taco pop- ups around town, demonstrates just why Mexican and South American flavours are becoming all the rage – as they already are interstate.
Little wonder then that Smolt’s South of the Border Pop Up Restaurant and Cocktail Bar has been such a hit in the forecourt at Spiegeltent.
Along with some fine flavours from Hejo’s and Tasman Quartermasters, plus a few wines and Greek souvlakis, South of the Border was pumping on Monday evening of the long weekend.
With a menu offering such dishes as Peruvian fish, scallop and prawn ceviche, chappa- grilled fish with Mexican tomatillo salsa, charcoal- seared steak with chimmichurri and churros with chocolate or caramel sauce, all to be washed down with sour bomb margaritas, aged negronis or sugar plum pisco sours, it has proved the perfect moodsetter for 10 Days’ wonderful entertainment that followed.