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Food and beverage stories

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

Cascade to be beverage hub

Carlton & United Breweries is to make all its small-batch beers and ciders at Hobart's Cascade Brewery. The company will invest $10.3 million at the historic site so that production can be lifted by 65 per cent. The project, which includes improvements to the brewery's visitor centre, will generate 20 jobs in the construction phase and a small number of additional brewing jobs. CUB plans to use the brewery, which employs 86 people at present, as a test hub for new beers and ciders for markets in the Asia Pacific. Tasmania's Office of Co-Ordinator General supported the project with a $1 million grant. The caretaker Premier, Will Hodgman, said: “This is very much about securing jobs that could have been lost to our State. There were proposals for other States to have similar things there, but we fought hard to make sure, through the Office of the Co-Ordinator General, that Tasmanian jobs were being protected, but also [accepting] an opportunity to value add at this wonderful brewery. This is a significant investment in something that is classically Tasmanian.”

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Ashgrove to build dairy Mecca

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Ashgrove Cheese plans to create a major food-tourism drawcard at Elizabeth Town after securing a Regional Jobs and Investment Packages grant from Canberra.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

State battles fruit fly threat

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Tasmania’s biosecurity status, described as globally unique, faced its gravest challenge in decades after an incursion by Queensland fruit fly.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Tetsuya’s tops nation again

Tetsuya’s, the Sydney restaurant owned by Tasmania's Brand Ambassador, Tetsuya Wakuda, AO, has been named 2017 Restaurant of the Year at the National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence in Melbourne. It was the fourth time the Japanese-born Australian master chef has taken the award's top gong. He said: “I’m very grateful, of course - it’s a real privilege, from the bottom of my heart. But it’s not me. It’s my staff. I congratulate my staff. The team won this, not me.” Restaurant critic Simon Thomsen said: “Tetsuya is the epitome of the Japanese concept of takumi - craftsmanship. He’s always stayed true to his standards; his Japanese sense of excellence.” Tetsuya has remained at the pinnacle of his profession for 25 years, earning comparisons with tennis great Roger Federer. His Singapore restaurant, Waku Ghin, was awarded two stars in the 2017 Michelin Guide, Singapore, making him the first Australian chef to have two Michelin stars. "There's no such thing as perfection," the great chef said. “But we try to be close.”

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Lawrenny infuses spirits with place

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The Mace family at Ouse has given new scale to the concept of using colonial built heritage to market Tasmanian single-malt whisky.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Local gin wins in Hong Kong

Tasmania's Dasher + Fisher Mountain Gin has collected a trophy and gold medal at Hong Kong's 2017 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition. The Devonport-made tipple was judged the international event's Best London Dry Gin. Southern Wild Distillery owner George Burgess posted on Facebook: “We are beyond thrilled with the announcement that the industry’s most highly respected competition has announced us as the winner of the best gin category, and we are bursting at the seams with pride. Even more overwhelming is that there were 247 per cent more gin entries this year compared to last year." The Tasmanian gin label is only one year old, but it also collected a silver medal in the contemporary style gin category for its Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin and a bronze in the same category for its Dasher + Fisher Meadow Gin. Mr Burgess, a converted food scientist, recently launched new gins flavoured with damson plums and sloe berries.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Village olive oil raises a grin

Village Olive Grove of Grindelwald won a trophy and a gold medal at the 2017 Australian International Olive Awards for producing the best extra virgin olive oil in Tasmania. Allen and Barbara Baird have tended 830 Frantoio trees on a 2.5ha Tamar Valley property for 12 years. Mr Baird said: “The Australian International Olive Awards are the national benchmark. We got a bronze medal in 2014 and 2015, silver in 2016 and now gold. Tasmanian olive oil has consistently won awards over the years because of our cool-climate conditions.” Village Olive Grove’s oil has also won silver and bronze medals at the Royal Hobart Fine Food Awards. Tasmanian producers were awarded 20 medals at the Australian International Olive Awards, including three gold, eight silver and nine bronze. The other gold medal winners were Cradle Coast Olives at Abbotsham and Lentara Grove at Exeter.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Insect farmer’s flavour focus

Louise Morris, a Tasmanian insect farmer, believes insects can play an important role in feeding a growing global population but cautions about how insect protein is produced. "What they eat impacts so much on how much greenhouse gas impact, how much water went into that," Ms Morris told the ABC. "If you're essentially feeding them chicken food … you're not really making a huge impact [on the environment]." Ms Morris, who co-founded the Insect Protein Association of Australia, farms crickets, mealworms and Queensland wood cockroaches in northern Tasmania. She uses vegetable waste from local farms to feed her insects and said feeding insects different vegetables can affect their taste. "We're really focused with a few restaurants who are wanting to work with our insects … on bespoke insect flavours," she said. "It's creating a whole new income stream, employment opportunities and a product which really is 'brand Tasmania', because we are closed-looping it." According to some research about 80 per cent of the world's people consume insects as part of their regular diet. Ms Morris aims to have her insects on Tasmanian dinner plates in 2018.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Chromy named tourism champion

Tasmanian tourism titan, Josef Chromy, OAM, was inducted as a Tasmanian Tourism Champion at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards in November. He was recognised for his contribution to the State’s tourism industry and on-going investment in accommodation projects. The CEO of the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania, Luke Martin, said “Joe’s impact on the wine industry in Tasmania is nothing short of remarkable. Throughout the '90s he purchased, cultivated and on-sold vineyards throughout the Tamar Valley that are now home to some of Tasmania’s most celebrated labels. His signature wine label and wine centre ... is among the finest wineries in Australia and has established a truly iconic wine experience on the doorstep to Launceston. Joe’s impact on the tourism industry in Launceston is unrivalled.” Josef Chromy Wines also won a gold medal in the awards' Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category. Port Arthur Historic Site was judged top Major Tourist Attraction.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

‘Tazzy’ pies a hit in Bonn

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When Australian visitors to Bonn, Germany, feel a craving for a hot meat pie, help is at hand: Tasmanian Gareth Patterson's Tazzy Food Truck is doing a roaring trade in meat pies and other treats from Down Under. "We offer the best out of Australia," Mr Patterson, formerly of Hobart, said. "Try our handmade gourmet pies and be delighted. Fresh baked, delicious and hot ... smash one down! Fair Dinkum good!" Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, took up the invitation in November. “It was uplifting and energising to enjoy great Tazzy Food on the left bank of the Rhine in Bonn,” Mr Fischer said. The van is one of several offering locals and visitors lunch, dinner, drinks and coffee options on the former West German capital's busy Kennedyallee. There was a queue at the Tazzy Food Truck at the time of Mr Fischer's visit. “As a former Trade Minister, I was delighted to indulge and to spread the word about Tasmania and Australia — something I have been doing since 1996 when I had to eat a Tasmanian oyster in Tokyo at 6am at a key fish market.” Mr Fischer was in Bonn in his new role as Chairman of Crop Trust, an international organisation dedicated to safeguarding the world's crop biodiversity.

Image courtesy of Weekly Times Now

5 December 2017, Edition 190

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