ON SUN­DAY

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - To book for a cook-up, visit sarah­glover.com.au and for her must-have equip­ment for wild cook­ing, head to de­li­cious.com.au.

arah Glover is sit­ting on the couch in one of the lux­u­ri­ous boat­shed bed­rooms at Tas­ma­nia’s Satel­lite Is­land. She’s just fin­ished cook­ing a cel­e­bra­tory lunch for 20 or so of her busi­ness sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing Bruny Is­land Cheese Com­pany and Blund­stone. Wear­ing a long denim skirt and sip­ping herbal tea, she doesn’t strike you as some­one who spends her days rig­ging up clever con­trap­tions to cook over fire – such as the veni­son shot on the is­land that morn­ing, salt­wa­ter-poached abalone, and the im­pos­si­bly rich ‘fire cake’ that made the lunch.

“Kate [owner of Satel­lite Is­land with hus­band, Will] ap­proached me a few years ago af­ter fol­low­ing me on In­sta­gram – she’s fire-ob­sessed, too,” says Glover. “I was start­ing to shoot my cook­book but had no idea where it was go­ing. No pub­lisher, just wing­ing it as I al­ways do.” Her in­au­gu­ral cook­book, Wild, shot by friend and col­league Luisa Brim­ble, is now on its sec­ond re­lease.

“Kate in­vited me and Luisa to come to the is­land and shoot for the book. Kate flew down and I in­vited my fam­ily and next thing we have a gi­ant feast hap­pen­ing on top of the is­land. It just nat­u­rally pro­gressed from there, and I now cook for guests who come and stay. I’ll do a lit­tle feast over fire on the rock shelf or up the top.” With stun­ning views from every side of the is­land, these feasts are quite the spec­ta­cle.

Tassie-born Glover’s back­ground sug­gests a meld­ing of pro­fes­sional and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences has led her to this point. Af­ter train­ing at TAFE, an ap­pren­tice­ship at Le­b­rina Restau­rant in Ho­bart and a few years in other com­mer­cial kitchens, Glover de­cided “the metal bench and flu­oro lights weren’t for me” and moved to Queens­land to train as a di­eti­cian.

“I loved food and health, and I loved work­ing with peo­ple. So I stud­ied nat­u­ral health at univer­sity,” she ex­plains. Glover had strug­gled with dys­lexia and ADD as a child, even­tu­ally be­ing home schooled, and felt she didn’t fit in at uni. “So I moved to Syd­ney be­cause I grew up

surf­ing with my brothers and that was a mas­sive part of my life.” Land­ing a role as a vis­ual mer­chan­diser at Roxy, the women’s line of surf brand Quik­sil­ver, Glover dis­cov­ered a nat­u­ral tal­ent for VM that saw her be­come state man­ager.

When she was made re­dun­dant, Glover de­cided to turn the cook­ies she’d al­ways baked for her surf mates into a busi­ness and launched Bondi Bikkies, a com­pany she later took to New York for a stint be­fore feel­ing the call of home and re­turn­ing to Tas­ma­nia.

“I started work­ing at Franklin with David [Moyle, now of Mel­bourne’s Long­song] and he had the wood-fired oven. I got su­per-in­trigued by it,” she says. “Fire was al­ways seen as a boy thing when I was grow­ing up. Girls never re­ally lit a fire, never re­ally cooked over fire, so I had never ex­plored that.

“We did a work­shop in New South Wales in the Jumeirah Val­ley in an old shear­ers’ quar­ters. All they had was a wood-fired oven and an out­door fire, and I thought, well, I guess I’ll just have to cook over fire. I en­joyed the chal­lenge and the woods and the smok­i­ness. And here was my op­por­tu­nity to be a woman work­ing with fire.”

Later, Glover and Brim­ble were pho­tograph­ing women surf­ing in Tas­ma­nia and when Glover did a cookup on the beach, Brim­ble sug­gested shoot­ing it for the book. “That just all or­gan­i­cally hap­pened, and I re­alised, yeah, this is who I am,” she says. “I love be­ing out­doors and ad­ven­tur­ing and cre­at­ing scenes,” she says.

From there, Wild Kitchen was born, the arm of Glover’s grow­ing brand where she’s on the pans, cook­ing and cre­at­ing in the great out­doors over fire. The scenes she refers to are the beau­ti­ful set-ups through­out the book and her so­cial chan­nels. “We dress up and style things beau­ti­fully within four walls, so why wouldn’t we get rid of those [walls] and still do it?” she says. “I love look­ing at old pho­tos from the 1800s; they all wore ridicu­lous clothes, and there would be ta­bles and chairs and pil­lows and ridicu­lous amounts of food, and a lot of it they did out­side, at a pic­nic or the polo. I just think that side of it is so cool.

“It’s given me an ex­cuse to be a kid. When you’re out­side, you’re not con­fined by some­body else’s space. You’re not like, oh, I can’t touch the wall with dirty hands. There are no rules. Na­ture is free and it’s not judg­ing you for who you are,” she says.

Wild is filled with recipes and ideas for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this ad­ven­ture-cook­ing your­self. But it’s not as daunt­ing as it may sound: “The thing about the book is it’s not only fire; there’s gas as well. You can use a gas bar­be­cue. You don’t have to do it on an open fire for it to be taken out­doors and be in­ter­est­ing and fun,” she says. “I wanted to in­spire peo­ple to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. And chal­lenge them­selves. I al­ways travel with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and salt; if you have those two things, you have a liq­uid to baste and sea­son­ing. So it could just be meat you need – chicken or fish, some veg­eta­bles – then off you go.”

Glover has just been tour­ing the US with Brim­ble for the launch of the sec­ond edi­tion of Wild, tak­ing her brand global via a se­ries of out­door events from east coast to west. And the ad­ven­tur­ous duo are al­ready plan­ning book two: “It’s on the back-burner for now. The rest of the year we’re do­ing cook-ups for the pub­lic.” A TV show next? Per­haps an In­sta­gram-age Ley­land brothers.

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