Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine
INDULGE Young chef Daniel Garwood and Gourmania’s Mary McNeill
Young chef Daniel Garwood has returned from an inspiring once-in-a-lifetime working holiday to Europe determined to make the most of his experience
Atotal of 12 courses with matching wines, 58 covers, first-time serving staff, Certificate II and III cookery students in the kitchen and a 20-year-old chef’s first solo gig – it could easily have been an ambitious disaster. Instead, it was a triumph for Tas-TAFE Drysdale students and for chef Daniel Garwood, who recently returned from Europe as the recipient of Slow Food Hobart’s inaugural Salone del Gusto scholarship.
“The scholarship was open to people who had completed Certificate III Commercial Cookery,” Slow Food Hobart convenor Jenny Dudgeon says.
“The scholarship will be awarded every two years to coincide with the Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, both global events dedicated to real, artisanal food held in Turin, Italy. There were 10 applicants this time and we hope that Daniel’s experience will encourage more young chefs to apply in 2016.”
Garwood credits his win to having worked under Andre Kropp at the Henry Jones Art Hotel and later with Luke Burgess at Garagistes.
“From Andre I learnt the importance of kitchen discipline while Garagistes was inspirational,” he says.
Both influences were on show at the Drysdale dinner – in the timely flow of the 12 degustation courses, their style, plating and presentation and in Garwood’s use of such unusual ingredients as lamb’s heart, sweet cicily, burnt bechamel and a fabulous broth made from chicken stock, mushrooms and kombu.
The opportunities and experiences provided by the scholarship were “amazing”, he says.
Living with an Italian family, Garwood helped on the Australian stand at Salone, showcasing Tasmanian honey and ciders, worked with mentor chefs, spent a week at the Slow Food University in Bra, visited Piedmont’s famous Barolo wine region, spent time in Varela in the heart of Italy’s rice-growing Po Valley and learnt about the challenges of the world’s biodiversity prob- lems. Before Salone, and off his own bat, he worked for two-and-a-half months at Fäviken, the internationally famed restaurant isolated in the forests of central Sweden, 600km north of Stockholm.
“It was a defining moment in my career,” he says of his time there.
“Apart from the seafood from Norway and the Faroe Islands, everything was sourced and foraged locally and fresh every day.
“The precision and strict timing of the dishes was amazing. Trout were to be fished from the lake no sooner than 5pm. For the 8pm service, kale was to be picked at 7.55pm – it was literally dying on your plate. For the pine oil ice-cream, the pine bark had to be collected that morning. The same with moss cut from the bog, picking juniper and so on.”
Passing through Stockholm, he cold-called Frantzen, No.23 in Pellegrini’s list of the world’s 50 best restaurants, and spent a week in its kitchens in the beautiful old part of the city.
During Salone, he was invited to attend a cooking school in Ragusa in south-east Sicily. On arrival, he found instead of attending classes, he was to deliver them and spent a week having lots of fun doing so.
Before returning to Tasmania in early March, and through a connection made with chef Kobe Desramaults, a celebrity guest chef at Savour Tasmania in 2013, Garwood spent a month in the kitchens at Desramaults’ Michelin-starred restaurant In De Wulf in Belgium, located in a village only 100m from the northern French border.
“Fäviken was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” Garwood says. “In De Wulf, on the other hand, was all about learning where, if you asked a question, they took the time to show and teach you.” And the future? “Perhaps back to In De Wulf. But we’ll see”. Certainly, with his obvious talent and drive, it’s to be hoped that a good part of his very promising future will include Tasmania. And it’s to be hoped too that Slow Food Hobart’s great initiative opens the door to similar opportunities and experiences for many other young Tasmanian chefs.
The Drysdale restaurant is open noon-2pm, Wednesday to Friday, during term times. The Friday night bar opens 3pm-7pm. Both closed Friday, April 17. Bookings 6165 5929