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Food and beverage stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Food and Beverage sector:

Agrarian Eatery tops nation

Edition 189_Agrarian

The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Store at New Norfolk is Australia’s Regional Restaurant of the Year.

5 November 2017, Edition 189

Agri-Food value hits $2.39b

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The gross value of Tasmania’s agriculture and seafood sectors increased by 5.9 per cent to $2.39 billion in 2015–2016, according to the latest State Government figures.

3 November 2017, Edition 189

Canberra enjoys Tassie taste

The best of Tasmania’s produce was on display in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra in September when the State’s Liberal Party Senate team staged its popular Flavours of Tasmania. Launched in 2002 by Eric Abetz, the event has made its mark on the parliamentary social calendar. “More than 400 people from around Australia and the world came to Parliament House to sample the very best Tasmanian produce and products, with guests placing thousands of dollars worth of orders,” Senator Abetz said. “This exciting showcase has on offer not only high-quality Tasmanian food, wine and spirits, but also Tasmanian tourism and timber products.” Attendees included the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, ministers and parliamentarians, as well as ambassadors, high commissioners, senior business people, media representatives and public servants.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Wine weekend is a winner

The east coast’s annual Great Eastern Wine Weekend made nonsense of the low-season concept in September. Hundreds of visitors joined locals taking advantage of numerous events and cellar-door specials. Craigie Knowe Vineyard hosted its first Lunch in the Winery to launch new cellar door facilities and celebrate the release of its 2017 wines. Freycinet Lodge filled its cabins for the weekend and sold out a Meet the Maker gourmet BBQ with about 80 guests. The lodge’s Great Eastern Wine and Dine dinner was also a sellout, with 105 attendees. Devil’s Corner hosted Bubbles and Bivalves with entertainment by musician Clinton Hutton. CEO of Wine Tasmania, Sheralee Davies, said: “It’s fantastic to see the growth of the Great Eastern Wine Weekend over the past three years. It is not only attracting more and more people to travel to the beautiful east coast, but also offering an expanded and diverse range of wine-related activities across the weekend which is encouraging people to stay longer. Visitation to cellar doors around Tasmania has steadily and significantly grown and the east coast is a key destination for wine lovers.” Next year’s event will be held on 7–9 September 2018.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Top awards for local honey

Launceston business Australian Honey Products has won the Champion Australian Product Trophy and Champion Australian Pantry Goods Trophy at the Australian Food Awards in Melbourne. The prizes, at the annual event run by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, were both awarded for the company’s Sheffield Honey Farm Leatherwood Honey. The company’s products are regular award winners and collected a world title at the Apimondia International Apicultural Congress in the Republic of Korea in 2015. Owner Lindsay Bourke will leave for Turkey this month to bid for a second Apimondia title.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Island wallaby goes gourmet

King Island Prime Meats, a multi-species abattoir in Currie, is working with Launceston smallgoods producer Casalinga Gourmet Meats to create luxury wallaby products for sale in Tasmania and interstate. Around half a million wallabies dine on King Island pastures, which are sown for beef and dairy production. Culling the wallabies provides a service to farmers and will produce a new range of treats, including wallaby ham, salami, jerky and kabana, as well as sausages, produced with King Island salt, honey, pepperberry and garlic. Casalinga will also market fresh wallaby cuts, such as leg roast and fillet, and is trialling a wallaby prosciutto that it hopes to have available by Christmas. King Island Prime Meats has acquired a special chiller van to deliver to Casalinga. Company spokesperson John Perry, who grew up eating wallaby on Flinders Island, said: “It’s a natural source of protein and iron coming straight off the King Island pastures. It is such a good product. The wallabies go for the best pastures. The salt grass pastures add to the flavour. I want to open wallaby up to Tasmania, but also to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.”

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Haddow’s Mould earns plaudits

The inaugural Mould cheese festival, put together by Brand Tasmania Council member Nick Haddow, packed out North Melbourne’s old Meat Market in September. It was described by a media commentator as the most significant showcase yet for Australia’s artisan cheese-making community. The one-day event provided cheese sampling and the opportunity to purchase individual cheeses and specially assembled hampers, as well as cheese masterclasses. Bottle Shop Concepts organised the drinks, with craft beers made by Evan Hunter at Mr Haddow’s Bruny Island Cheese Company a popular offering. Nick Ryan wrote in The Australian: “Hunter is producing some of the most intriguing and delicious beers in the country, notably the best saison style ale produced in Australia and a stonkingly (sic) good stout with a haunting hint of sweetness derived from the use of the whey left over from the production of Haddow’s raw milk cheese C2.” Tasmanian distiller Ryan Hartshorn showed off his sheep’s whey vodka and gin, while the wine offerings included a Tasmanian chardonnay from Josef Chromy winemaker Jeremy Dineen.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Vegan cheese is award winner

A move to Tasmania by Sydney molecular biologist Julie Martyn sparked a new career as a plant-based cheesemaker. Ms Martyn moved to Evandale in February 2016 and started to research the concept of a vegan food business. “I wanted something that would really showcase vegan-friendly food,” Ms Martyn said. “Tasmania has such a foodie reputation, but for salmon, beef, seafood – food I don’t eat. Cheese-making seemed to be a perfect fit for me.” Ms Martyn uses cashews that are soaked and processed with filtered water, coconut oil and Tasman Sea Salt before a non-dairy probiotic culture is added. The cheese base forms overnight and Ms Martyn then adds her own seasonal touches, such as seaweed from the south-east coast, truffles from Riverside, Huon Valley saffron, Tasmanian pepperberry, apple wood, pinot noir or stout. “I try to have seasonal changes, but I have a core selection of cheeses,” Ms Martyn said. “It’s been so much fun.” Her business, Artisa, won three medals from three cheese entries at the 2017 Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Effervescence set to uncork

The fourth staging of Effervescence Tasmania – the annual celebration of Methode Tasmanoise – will take place in the Tamar Valley from 16 to 19 November. The indulgent event begins this year with a dinner at Launceston’s Stillwater hosted by 2015 Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year and an authority on all things fizzy, Tyson Stelzer. He will present Tasmania’s finest sparkling alongside top Champagnes, providing a rare opportunity to taste the two side-by-side while enjoying a delicious matched menu. There will be Tasmanian sparkling masterclasses, a Bruny Island Cheese and sparkling masterclass and a special Tasmanian Sparkling Takes On The World session in the luxurious setting of Josef Chromy Wines. A vineyard tour will take guests to Jansz, Delamere and Clover Hill. For more information: www.effervescencetasmania.com

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Brighton pie is nation’s best

Brighton’s Best Bakehouse, in southern Tasmania, has won one of two major awards at the 28th Official Great Aussie Pie Competition. The bakery’s slow-cooked beef and caramelised onion pie was judged Best Gourmet Pie at the Sydney International Convention Centre in September. Co-owner of the bakery, Scott Donaghy, hopes his shop’s new title of Official Greatest Gourmet Pie Maker in Australia will see customers flocking in. “To get the highest accolade, it’s just fantastic. You dream about that,” he said. It is Tasmania’s first peak award since Launceston’s Sunrise Pies took out the Plain Meat Pie prize in 1993.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

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