Meet The Culinary Tastemakers Championing Tasmanian Produce


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A foodie’s paradise, with natural conditions perfectly calibrated for producing brilliant produce, Tasmania attracts some of Australia’s best and brightest. Known by locals, it’s calling celebrated chefs and writers to seek taste bliss in the rugged south.

We have five taste makers of the Tasmanian food industry to keep an eye on. Passionate advocates and entrepreneurs, their food ranges from north to south, from flavors of the wild to flavors of terroir and the best produce the earth and sea have to offer.

Whether they are native Tasmanian talent or avid mainland foodies uprooted for a more delicious life, they all share a love for this land and all that it produces. We’ve teamed up with Tourism Tasmania to find out what inspires their culinary creations and wins their hearts – and taste buds.

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MASSIMO MELE

“Keep it fresh, use the best ingredients and let the produce be the hero.” A recipe for success that has served Massimo Mele well.

Born in Tasmania, Massimo has cooked his way through restaurants in the US, London and Italy. But he found that his homeland was the best place on earth to make the most of that ethos.

As Food Director at Grain of Silos in Launceston, he has created an elevated dining experience that showcases rustic roots, from sophisticated riffs to wholesome classics to naming local producers. As Culinary Director at Peppina, Mele’s flagship restaurant on Hobart’s famed Salamanca Place, he is able to offer “Italian Tasmanian style” while staying true to the core principles of seasonal, local and Nonna-inspired. That means championing artisans, handpicked produce, small wines from individual vineyards, and the home comforts of a roast porchetta and tiramisu—all made to share with others.

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KIM SEAGRAM

Have you heard? Launceston is an official UNESCO City of Gastronomy. And culinary industry high achievers like Kim Seagram are a good reason for that.

Her passion has helped launch a variety of exciting ventures in the hospitality industry. One example is Black Cow Bistro, which serves “Tasmania on a Plate” at its Launceston home. Black Cow’s culinary approach focuses on the sacred power of the cow as a symbol of nourishment, abundance… and flavor. She is co-founder of Launceston’s Harvest Market and also Chair of Fermentasmania.

Stillwater, the luxury lodging and dining offering developed with the help of Kim’s talent and expertise, has an unparalleled location – right next to Cataract Gorge. With Cape Grim water, food from passionate local producers, sustainably harvested seafood and characterful rooms full of Tassie produce, it’s a true immersion. Finally, there’s Abel Gin – Seagram’s collaboration with distiller Natalie Fryar that captures the taste of the Tasmanian wilderness.

And that’s why we called her a culinary high-flyer.

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BEN-MILBOURNE

Influenced by his father’s seafood cuisine, his grandmother’s passion for great ingredients and his home in the unique landscape of Tasmania’s north west coast, Ben Milbourne’s life as a professional foodie was inevitable. He grew up with some of the finest produce in his own backyard. Following his success in Season 4 of MasterChef Australia, he continues his commitment to celebrating the people who grow, fish and make the incredible ingredients he was fortunate enough to have access to.

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His TV series Left of the map shows the best of the best in Tassie, a great tour that every locavore should take notes of. Where to eat, where to sleep – a real foodie’s guide to exploring Tasmania. Plus, he has recipes that do justice. The fact is, traveling in Tasmania gives you access to the ingredients chefs absolutely love. When you have the opportunity to cook with the best, why not give it a try?

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Adam Gibson

ANALYZE GREGORY

What drives an acclaimed young chef from Michelin-star restaurants in Paris and Sydney to leave it all behind with a dramatic tree change? The reputation of idyllic cabin living in one of the finest food and wine regions in the world.

Analiese Gregory wrote her book, How wild things areto share their knowledge of farming, fishing, hunting, foraging and sourcing food from the farms and wilderness of Tasmania and – of course – how to cook it beautifully. If you’ve seen her SBS series A Girl’s Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Game Cooking… You will already know some of their favorite low volume, local growers and Tasmanian manufacturers. And if you’re lucky, you might find out when you visit that she’s using these products to perform culinary magic at events and pop-ups.

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MATTHEW EVANS

Matthew Evans is an advocate for sustainability, regeneration and learning about farming through trial and error (and now great success). He is a writer, cook and farmer. Evans founded Fat Pig Farm in the beautiful Huon Valley with his life and business partner Sadie Chrestman. He thinks Tasmanian producers are worth making noise and has published numerous books on food, farming and even good soil.

You can follow his journey from food critic to food producer in the SBS series gourmet farmerwhere he shares the spotlight with many local colleagues and collaborators including Nick Haddow of Bruny Island Cheese and Glen Huon Dairy Farm.

Sign up for a sustainable farming workshop or try the food yourself at a Fat Pig Farm Feast, a long afternoon celebration that shares seasonal produce, sourced as much as possible from the farm, with matching drinks and a guided tour , so you can see exactly where this is all coming from. It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than this ultra-locavore experience.

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Ready to plan a trip for your taste buds around Tasmania? To discover more of what the island nation has to offer, visit the website.





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