Cooking in Tasmania
Excellent fresh produce isn’t just the realm of
Tasmanian restaurants. Tasmanians are cooking it at home too as evidenced by
the overnight success of Facebook page, ‘Home Cooking in Tasmania’.
‘Home Cooking in Tasmania’ (HCiT) is home to regular
folk who love cooking at home and it’s providing a forum for all things home
cooking related – recipes, tips, supplies, and of course, your best plating up
The man behind it all is Stuart Beard. A member of the
popular Facebook page, ‘Eating Out in Tassie’, Stuart decided to create HCiT to
restore some balance. Even with all the great restaurants here in Tassie, most
of us still eat home most of the time. Increasingly we’re enjoying
experimenting in the kitchen. You can thank the multitude of television cooking
shows for that.
(One of Stuart's own creations)
Within 24 hours he had 300 members, he said it was
like every minute he was accepting joiners. This quick growth sparked
interested from 936 ABC Hobart where he was interviewed for their Breakfast show. The membership is now almost up to
Stuart has even created a Mystery Box challenge for
the group where members are given a list of locally and seasonally available
ingredients and encouraged to be creative and post their outcomes to the page.
(Desma's Winning Dish - Mystery Box Challenge #1)
Stuart chose the ingredients for the first box;
beetroot, fennel, lemon, pork belly and walnuts. It wasn’t long before our Hobart foodies and home cooks
began to post up their creations. Shauna
made a salad of roasted lemon, beetroot, pumpkin, fennel, walnuts, baby carrots,
lentils and fresh orange slices. John cooked a pork belly glazed with honey and
walnuts, stuffed with fennel, apple, walnuts and sourdough crumbs with baked
beetroot, potato and carrot chips. Desma
was the winner of week one with her pork belly with apple cider reduction, pea
puree, beetroot risotto, salted caramel walntus and crispy parmesan crumbed
fennel. These are not your average home
(Shauna's Salad from Mystery Box Challenge #1)
This Girl caught up with Stuart for lunch at one of
his favourite places to eat out, Kopitaim, and found out a little more about
the man behind the Facebook page.
A Tassie resident for two years, Stuart moved to
Tassie for the sense of community and as a passionate foodie, the ability to access
quality local produce. He sources a lot of his food from the Cygnet Market and
he’s a member of ‘Tassie Farms - Fresh to You’ which is where Tassie
farmers/producers can advertise their products to sell fresh to members. This way the profits go directly to the
farmers and small producers.
Stuart buys beef from friends, has recently purchased
pork from a local farmer and has his own sheep, ducks and chickens. The ducks
and chickens are for eggs at this stage. After watching the Gourmet Farmer and
visiting friends in Geeveston, he and his wife were inspired to buy four acres
in the Huon Valley.
Singapore Hor Fun - Kopitaim Singapore Cafe
At Kopitaim, Stuart convinced This Girl to move out of her comfort
zone. I choose something I wouldn’t normally eat given part of the dish was a
savory egg gravy; Singapore Hor Fun at $13.90, as one of his favourites, Stuart
chose the same. I’m so glad I gave it a try – it was absolutely delicious,
albeit messy. I discovered Stuart is a kind soul as he resisted pointing out I
was dripping egg gravy down myself.
Originally from Canberra, he’s not fazed by our recent
Antarctic blast. A man of many talents, he was a sound engineer for 'Home and
Away' for 10 years and he lived in China for 10 years where he worked in tourism.
Now, along with his administration role for HCiT, he’s undertaking a Bachelor
of Nursing degree and pretty much living and loving the Tasmanian life!
Stuart is all for eating places that are true to
themselves. He’d like to see more restaurants like Kopitaim in Collins Street
and MYU on Main Road, New Town. Places with the confidence to cook what they
are good at and not be worried about toning the flavour down, anglicizing
traditional plates so we miss out on true cultural eating experiences. It’s a