Fast, fresh and fab

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

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.

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