Perfectly Delicious Baked Salmon

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Perfectly Delicious Baked Salmon

This is a recipe you will cook over and over again once you have tried it.  It is so easy, so quick and so absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious, it will quickly become one of your favourites.  We are big fans of Salmon in Tasmania, given we have some of the best salmon in the world grown right on our doorstep. All you need is a good quality side of Tasmanian Salmon with a few simple flavours and you have a meal to write home about. 

Go to Recipe...

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Tasman Sea Salt Lavosh

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Tasman Sea Salt Lavosh

We are very excited to bring you a NEW Product in the Tasman Sea Salt range as a result of a collaboration with renowned Tasmanian foodie Silvana Taurian of Truckle & Co. Tasman Sea Salt Lavosh combines the great flavour of Natural Sea Salt flakes produced on the East Coast of Tasmania with a delicious crisp lavosh cracker created by Silvana.... Read More

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Make your Mum Feel Special

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Make your Mum Feel Special

Mothers Day is the one day of the year we get to stop everything and take the time to say  'Thanks' to our mums for all they do for us.  It is a day we get to turn the tables, so to speak, and do for mum what she does for us, day in and day out. 

Many of us start with breakfast in bed..... Read more

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Salted Hazelnut Chocolate Fudge

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Salted Hazelnut Chocolate Fudge

It is the time of year for all things chocolate and what better way to celebrate with loved ones than to create your own decadent, chocolatey treats.

This recipe for Salted Hazelnut Chocolate Fudge is inspired by some of our favourite Tasmanian produce which we have listed for you at the bottom of the recipe.  We do, however, recommend you use the best quality local produce available to you. 

Are you ready?  It is time to get your Salty, Sweet, Nutty, Fudgy goodness on.... Go to Recipe

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Tasman Sea Salt is Flying High with Virgin

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Tasman Sea Salt is Flying High with Virgin

We are very excited to announce that Tasman Sea Salt is flying high with Virgin.  You can now sample the pristine wilderness of the East Coast of Tasmania, with Tasman Sea Salt Natural Sea Salt Flakes, when dining in Virgin Lounges across Australia.

You will find our sea salt flakes beautifully presented in our custom-designed, hand-crafted Salt Pig. Renowned Tasmanian potter Rynne Tanton has created a stunning vessel made in ‘Southern Ice’ porcelain and glazed inside with a rare blue Chinese celadon to reflect the pristine Tasmanian waters of the east coast. 

We are delighted to be making a journey with Virgin more memorable. Read more...

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Fried Chicken with Citrus & Fennel Salt

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Fried Chicken with Citrus & Fennel Salt

Chef Justin North from the Hotel Centennial in Sydney has kindly shared one of his delicious Tasman Sea Salt inspired recipes with us.  

It is the perfect dish to serve up on these warm end of summer evenings.  The recipe is very simple but features delicious flavours of fennel and lemon, enhanced by our Natural Sea Salt Flakes. 

Go on, give it a try. Go to Recipe.... 

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Craig Will from Stillwater

Talk to anyone about the top Tassie restaurants and without fail Stillwater is always on the list.  One of the first Tasmanian restaurants to tap into the produce driven style that is now considered critical in all serious eateries, Stillwater is a great showcase for the amazing fare being grown and produced in Tasmania.  Head Chef Craig Will has now been at the helm for almost 6 years during which time he and has continued to build the reputation of Stillwater, and been a major driving force behind the emergence of the Tasmanian culinary scene.

 

1.        How would you describe your style?

I describe my cooking style as minimalistic but technical at the same time. I rely on the ingredient that I am using to be at its upmost peak in quality, second rate is not good enough.  I like to embrace new waves of cooking styles and food trends so you will see a lot of pickling, fermenting, slow cooking, seeds, nuts, raw etc on my menu

2.       Where do you get your inspiration from?

I take inspiration in day to day life for my cooking, whether it is something that I have cooked at home which has sparked an idea that I can work on, or if it is a conversation with a friend or colleague that starts the creative juices flowing.  I also like to garden and grow many different vegetables, herbs and flowers in my home and work garden that gives me inspiration.

3.       What was the first dish you included on the Stillwater menu when you became head chef?

The first dish that I put on the Stillwater menu when I took the reins almost 6 years ago was a squid ink noodle, spanner crab, coconut and nut oil dish.  It had the perfect balance of salt and sweet from the ink and crab and was heightened with the richness of the coconut.

4.        What dish have you been most proud of?

The dish that I am most proud of is a dish of ‘Southern rock lobster with mandarin peel puree, celery jelly and creme fraiche’.  I was able to use a by-product (mandarin peel) - my favourite fruit - and turn it into something truly unique, and as it turned out, it went very well with seafood.  The celery component gave the dish a touch of earthiness, touching on the ocean and earth philosophy.  I would use the celery leaves to make celery salt to season the dish with.

5.       Stillwater is now a destination restaurant, what do you feel attracts people from outside Tasmania to come all the way here to experience it?

Stillwater has been an icon in the north of the state for almost 16 years and has a good reputation for fine food and excellent service.  When speaking to mainlanders and colleagues of mine in mainland restaurants, when Tasmanian restaurants are mentioned it always includes Stillwater as a go to destination, and that is something that cannot be bought. 

6.        What Tasmanian produce are you enjoying at the moment?

Periwinkles which are hand dived by a local guy Alex Isles, I remember eating them as a kid and haven’t seen them until recently.  They have two different textures making them unique in my eyes.  They are certainly an acquired taste though.

7.        Do you feel Tasmania can produce home grown chefs or do you feel tehy need to have experienced cuisines and work outside of Tasmania? 

Tasmania can certainly produce great chefs without having to travel for long amounts of time - I am an example of that as well as former mentors and colleagues.  Of course travel does not hurt and I always encourage my apprentices to do so, and I am now in a position where I can travel and experience new cuisines and cultures to build on my skills.

8.        What are the must have items in your pantry/kitchen?

The musts in my pantry are of course salt, vinegars, oils and spices, you can make just about anything then

9.        How would you describe the Tasmanian food scene right now? What can we do to make it better? 

The Tasmanian food scene is in a good place at the moment, we have more people immigrating to our state, from mainland Australia and overseas, bringing with them new food ideas, cuisines and skills to teach us.  It has changed dramatically in the 16 years that I have been in the industry.  We can only keep building on this idea that is Tasmania

10.   If you could only eat one style of food for the rest of your life what would it be? 

Japanese or Italian food I could happily eat for the rest of my life

11.    What dish would you cook to impress your wife? 

Cooking gnocchi for my wife always puts me in the good books, but anything I cook for her makes her happy

12.    Fish and chips or Sashimi?

Sashimi over fish and chips if I had to choose

13.    What are three dishes or techniques you think every aspiring chef should master? 

Aspiring cooks need to learn discipline, patience and knowledge to be a great chef, the rest is easy

SOUTHERN ROCK LOBSTER, MANDARIN PEEL PUREE, CELERY JELLY, CRÈME FRAÎCHE AND CELERY SALT

Serves 6 entree size portions

Ingredients

1x700g                   Live or green southern rock lobster

1 bunch                 Celery

100 ml                   Crème fraîche

1                             Lemon

1                             Orange

1                             Lime

150 g                     Sea salt flakes

50 g                       Sugar

4 leaves                Titanium strength gelatine leaves

1 pinch                 White pepper

micro greens for garnish

 

Peel puree

Part 1

600 g                      Whole Imperial mandarins

1.3 lt                       Water

50 g                        Sugar

Part 2

150 g                      Mandarin peel from Part 1

2 tbsp                    Water

2tbsp                     Sugar

1 tbsp                    Lemon juice

 

Part 3

100 g                      Mandarin peel from Part 2, drained

3 tbsp                    Cream

1 tbsp                    Mandarin juice

1 tbsp                    Sugar

1 tbsp                    Water

1 tbsp                    Unsalted butter

 

Method

1.             Pick all of the leaves off the celery stalks and place into a dehydrator and dehydrate over night until crispy or you can dry the leaves in the sun for a couple of days.  Once dry, place leaves into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and blend until a fine powder is achieved, mix through the sea salt flakes, store in a brown or green jar to prevent the salt from loosing its colour.

 

2.             Using a juicer, juice the celery, measure quantity, you need one leaf of gelatine to every 100 ml of liquid i.e.. 400ml = 4 gelatine leaves.  Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes, heat celery juice slightly warmer than blood temperature with 15 g of sugar, squeeze liquid from the gelatine and add to the celery juice, stir to dissolve, pass through a fine strainer and set in greased trays about 4 mm thick.  Place into fridge, once set use a round cutter to cut out circles to be draped over the lobster medallions.

 

3.             In a mixing bowl, place the Crème fraîche, zest the lime, lemon and orange using a fine grater and add to the Crème fraîche, add remaining sugar, the juice of the lime and a pinch of the celery salt and white pepper.  This is best made a day in advance to allow the mixture to stiffen up.

 

4.             Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, if using a live lobster place in the freezer for 2 hours to dispatch humanly.  Place lobster into the boiling water, and reduce heat slightly, for a 700 g lobster, cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and refresh the lobster in ice water, cool for 30 minutes.  Remove all of the meat from the shell and slice the tail into 1 cm thick medallions, chop remaining meat and arrange on top of each medallion, set aside in fridge until required.

 

For Mandarin Peel Puree

Part 1

1.             Peel mandarins then bring the skins to the boil 3 times in a cold water start to remove all bitterness (remaining mandarins can be juice and frozen for other uses).  Place blanched peel into a clean saucepan with the water and sugar and cook for 30 minutes.  Stain and discard liquid.

 

Part 2

1.             Bring all ingredients to a slow simmer and cook for 10 minutes, remove from heat and refrigerate mixture over night

 

Part 3

1.             Warm all ingredients together in a saucepan, but dont boil.  In a blender, blend warm mixture until a fine puree is achieved, if small lumps remain, pass through a fine sieve.  Cool mix and it is now ready for use.

 

You can plate this dish any way you desire, but it is best if you use small amounts of the mandarin peel puree as it can sometimes be too over powering.

 

Imperial mandarins are best for this recipe as they have a distinct flavour, they are in season through the colder months, so this can be made and frozen for later use.  Other varieties of mandarins are in season for the best part of the year and this recipe can be made with them.

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ABC Radio 702 Interview

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ABC Radio 702 Interview

For those not in Sydney or those who just missed it check out our interview with Simon Marnie on ABC Radio 702. It was great to meet Alex Olsson from Olsson's Salt and talk through some different uses for salt with Monty Koludrovic from Bondi Icebergs. (Please note it does take a while to load but it will load)


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Don Monk from Spring Vale Pop-Up

Don Monk

Last summer Don Monk and his partner Charlotte temporarily closed their restaurant (the Old Cable Station) in Stanley and started a pop up restaurant at Spring Vale Vineyard on the east coast of Tassie.  The locally sourced produce, all cooked in their wood fired oven, combined with the delicious Spring Vale wines and the spectacular setting – nestled right in amongst the vines – provided us with a number of those “life doesn’t get any better than this” moments.  As soon as you’re greeted by Don  – normally as you enter the restaurant and pass by his glowing wood fire oven – you get the feeling that you’re in for a friendly and fun dining experience.  By the end you’ll swear that you’ve known him all your life and that you’re ready to throw in whatever job you’ve worked hard to establish to come and wash dishes for him. 

As plans are being finalised for the pop up to reopen this spring (given the success of last year it would be rude if it didn’t), in this next instalment of our catch up with the chefs and cooks who are shaping the Tasmanian food scene we pick Don’s brain about all things food.

 

What is it about wood fired ovens that makes the food taste so good?

If you have ever experienced fresh produce cooked in a wood fired oven, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a significant taste difference. In part, the enhanced flavour that wood-fired cooking offers is due to even heat distribution. In addition, cooking in a wood fired oven imparts a unique, smoky flavour that is impossible to replicate with a traditional commercial or domestic oven.

 

You straddle the line between chef and front of house, do you have a preference?

The front of house and chef/cook rolls in our restaurant business at Spring Vale Vineyard are very much linked to the experience we have created for our guests and I enjoy both facets.  I believe that our experience brings the chef/cook into the dinning space to interact with the guests and creates a point of difference in what we do. I also love to have a chat and I enjoy cooking and plating great food - I get a fix of both in our pop up experience.

 

What are the benefits of a pop up restaurant as opposed to a permanent restaurant?

The unique experience and intimate feel lent by a pop up restaurant is the reason for their popularity across the country at the moment. Having the restaurant literally perched on the edge of the vines in Spring Vale’s “A” block is pretty special. The “wow’ factor works really well - when guests stumble across our experience in the vineyard they are more often than not blown away at having found a hidden gem.

 

What Tasmanian produce are you enjoying at the moment?

The “pop up” experience at Spring Vale will be re-opening in early November and my partner Charlotte and I have been playing with some new menu ideas during the winter months. Green lip mussels, pacific oysters and fresh Tasmanian scallops are in perfect condition on the coast at the moment and will be during the early part of the season. Simple fresh produce cooked in the wood oven served without pretence !

 

What is it about food and wine that make for such a perfect partnership?

Food and wine are natural bedfellows that have a long history of partnership at the table. Historically in many countries wine was often enjoyed as a safer drink compared to local water which carried various diseases, and wine was matched with whatever food was available. As agricultural and culinary traditions developed, so too did winemaking traditions and today alliances have been developed between local food and wine offerings and these alliances have come to define their epicurean culture we enjoy today!

 

What is your favourite drop at the moment?

Spring Vale Vineyard 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is my current favourite drop. A well crafted and beautifully balanced wine with intense passionfruit, golden delicious apple aromas and subtle savoury palate, perfect with Chill Mussells.

 

What is your food guilty pleasure?

Hot Chocolate Fondant Pudding served with salted caramel ice cream, just amazing!

 

What are the must have items in your kitchen?

Fresh produce is the key to my cooking and this combined with the creativity that my partner Charlotte brings to that produce giving it flare and life on the plate in a simple no fuss way.  For me it’s all about the produce and not fussing with it.  If you start with quality it’s pretty hard to mess it up.

 

How would you describe the Tasmanian food scene right now. What can we do to make it better?

The Tassie food scene right now in vibrant, creative and bold.  We have some great eateries in every corner of the state with passionate restaurateurs creating environments for chefs to shine.  For me once again, the access to fresh seasonal produce is making our job of putting good food in a good environment with good service very easy to attain and maintain.

 

We have dropped the ball in a major way at the training level of hospitality and catering service and we are also at risk of losing the agricultural, fishing and processing expertise again due to a lack of training.  As a priority, this needs to be addressed urgently.

 

If you could only eat one style of food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Thai food is a big favourite of mine and I also love provincial Italian cuisine.  It’s hard this one. Let’s sit with Thai.

 

What dish would you cook to impress your wife?

My partner Charlotte love my curries, she is very fond of the “Butter Chicken” I make. I also do a stunning “Sunday Roast” my grandmas potatoes are pretty special - Charlotte loves a good roast.


Wood fired pizza or wood fired crayfish?

Wood oven roasted Crayfish by a country mile.


What’s your advice for anyone wanting to get into the food scene?

The food scene is not for the faint hearted. Keep your focus on having a significant point of difference in the food you create, the service you provide and the ambience that surrounds these ingredients.


RECEIPE:


Pan Seared Tasmania Scallops (serves 2 people) a light lunch or a lovely entrée.

Ingredients:

·         200 gms of Fresh Tasmania Scallops ( well drained)

·         ¼ cup of finely chopped curly leaf parsley

·         A single shot of “ Pernod “ (can be substituted with a dry white wine, Chardonnay works very well)

·         1 cup of fresh cream

·         A pinch of Tasman Sea Salt and a pinch freshly ground black pepper

·         A splash of Freycinet Olive Oil and a small nob of butter.

Method:

·         In a skillet fry pan, add the Olive Oil, the nob of butter and heat over a high flame.

·         When the oil , butter and salt and pepper start to crackle add the scallops and toss gently over the high heat until they start to turn opaque ( we don’t want them over cooked and turning into rubber marbles )

·         Add the shot of Pernod to the hot pan it should ignite with the heat as it is pretty potent on the alcohol side!

·         Once the flames burn off add the cream and poach the scallops for a further 20 seconds.

·         Remove the scallops from the pan, place into a serving bowl leaving the heat high under the sauce you have just created until it comers to the boil and thickens to a pouring consistency.

·         Pour the sauce over the scallops, sprinkle with fresh parsley and a pinch of pepper, serve with a rustic piece of baguette.

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Iain Todd from Ethos

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Iain Todd from Ethos

In what we’re hoping will become a regular Tasman Sea Salt blog feature we’re profiling some of the great chefs, cooks and producers that are leading the Tasmanian foodie charge.  In this first instalment we’re catching up with Hobart chef Iain Todd from Ethos Eat Drink (among other things).  At only 32 years old Iain has already achieved more than most people dream of achieving in their entire working career - and the most exciting thing is you get the feeling that there’s still a lot more to come.

Since our first trip down to Hobart after moving back to Tassie, Ethos has been a favourite of ours.  Iain’s ingenious yet subtle, ingredient focused style drives the six or eight course tasting menu, showcasing the very best produce Tasmania has to offer.  And a trip to the “big smoke” now rarely goes by without a sandwich from the newly revamped Providore by Ethos – and it’s no wonder the sandwiches are so good when you see some of his answers below.  As well as the restaurant and providore Iain has expanded his establishment to include frozen yogurt bar Vita, cocktail bar Ash and Besters, and heritage accommodation Hayloft, all located at his 100 Elizabeth Street venue.

How would you describe your cooking style and where did you get your influence from? My cooking style is very ingredient driven. I believe in not messing with things too much and letting the ingredients sing their own songs. The ingredients control all the dishes at Ethos.

What is your favourite dish at the moment? We write a completely new menu every day, but at the moment I’m loving the leafy greens that are at the peak of their season at the moment.

What is your earliest memory of cooking? It’s not a direct memory, but my mum has a photo of me at the age of three, pretending to read a recipe for ANZAC biscuits and measuring out a cup of rolled oats.

Which chefs/cooks do you look to for guidance or inspiration? For inspiration I keep a close eye on my Instagram feed. Gone are the days when it took 10 years for food trends to reach Tasmania. A chef can post a photo and within seconds it’s across the whole world. It’s an exciting time to be in the kitchen.

How would you describe the Tasmanian food scene right now? What can we do to make it better? The Tasmanian food scene is very exciting at the moment. We are getting a lot of attention at the moment and chefs are really lifting their games. We need to keep pushing, innovating and improving our dishes and menus and focus on local produce that gives Tasmania a point of difference.

What are the must have items in your kitchen? Salt and lemon, I can’t cook without them.

Apart from Tasman Sea Salt what is your favourite Tasmanian ingredient/produce? The truffles around at the moment are amazing!

What is your favourite/most useful utensil in your kitchen? I have a knife hand made by Murray Carter. I’ve had it for years but it still gives me a thrill every time I use it. The perfect tool.

What is the one ingredient you hate to work with? I don’t hate working with anything. If it’s difficult then it's a challenge and I like that!

If you could only eat one style of food for the rest of your life what would it be? Bread… there wouldn't be many days of the year that I don’t eat bread of some kind. I love bread, life wouldn't be the same without it.

What is your food guilty pleasure? I don’t know if it’s my guilty pleasure but I guess it’s chocolate. I eat a lot of chocolate…

What would you request for your last meal? I think my last meal would be sandwiches. Good bread, good butter, delicious things, mayonnaise… and sparkling water.

Meat pie or steak tartare? It would depend on the day and the place. I like a good pie but a tartare, if the beef is good is possibly the most delicious thing on the planet.

What would you cook to impress your wife? I think I would cook something over charcoal. It’s tough to get right but the results are delicious.

What are 3 dishes or techniques you think every home cook should master?

·         Learn how to sharpen and take care of a good knife.

·         Learn to master that knife to cut with precision and skill, accurate and consistent cutting            is vital in the kitchen.

·         Learn to control the heat you cook with on the stove. Don’t be afraid to cook on a very                high heat or a very low heat. Constant observation and attention are vital.

Check out Iain’s slow roasted lamb recipe below.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

Slow roasted lamb, fried salt bush, braised leeks + walnut gremolata (feeds four)

 

1 large lamb shoulder

12 very small leeks

2 tbs honey

1 head garlic

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

20 walnuts

1 lemon

1 sprig sage

extra virgin olive oil

Tasman Sea Salt

1 bunch fresh salt bush

cotton seed oil for deep frying

The day before…

Pre-heat your oven to 110 degrees.

Place the lamb shoulder on the bone into a deep oven dish, add 500 ml water and two cloves of the garlic.

Season the lamb with a little salt and wrap very well with three layers of foil, shiny side down.

Place into the oven for 14 hours, over night is best. After that time, remove the pan form the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature without removing the foil to trap in the moisture.

When the lamb is cool use your hands to pick the meat from the bone removing any fat and blood vessels you find, try to keep the meat in reasonably large pieces. Keep all the liquid from the pan too and set both the meat and the liquid aside in the fridge.

For the leeks

Trim the green top and roots from the leeks and wash them well.

Place your largest pan on the stove on high heat and place the leeks in the pan. Do not add anything else at this stage. Roll the leeks over until they are darkly coloured on all sides and remove the pan from the heat.

Allow the pan to cool a little before you add the honey, 3 smashed cloves of garlic and a little splash of water. Place a lid on the pan and return to a medium heat and allow the leeks to cook with the lid on until they are tender. Taste them for salt. If your pan is too hot when you add the honey it will burn so be careful.

Leave the leeks in the pan with the lid on and set aside

For the walnut gremolata

Crack the walnuts and remove any husks. Keep the shells aside they’re good for smoking things with another time

Finely chop the parsley, sage, two cloves of garlic and the nuts and place into a bowl. Add the zest and juice of the lemon, add a good slug of olive oil and salt to taste, set aside.

For the saltbush.

Pick the leaves from the stems and give them a good wash and dry. Place a large pot on the stove and add a litre or so of cottonseed oil. Place it on a high heat and bring up to 150 degrees. I would recommend using a thermometer for this as it can be dangerous.

In small batches carefully add the leaves. Gently move them around in the oil using a slotted spoon. When they stop sizzling scoop them out onto paper towel and season with a little bit of salt.

You should be able to find salt bush anywhere along the southern coast of Australia but if you live in the north or center, substitute the salt bush with sage leaves and follow the same method.

To assemble…

Heat a large pan on the stove to hot. Add a little oil and add the cold lamb chunks. You want to get it crispy and golden so you may need to do this in batches or on the flat plate of your barbecue on high. Season with salt and turn the pieces over until they are golden on all sides. Place onto a clean kitchen towel to drain.

Place the leeks pan onto the stove on a low heat until the leeks are hot.

Bring a small amount of the lamb roasting juices up to boil in a small pan.

Distribute the leeks over four plates (don't serve the garlic) and add a small amount of their honey liquid.

Add the lamb pieces and a ladle of the braising juices.

Spoon some gremolata over the meat and sprinkle with the salt bush.

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Hungry in Hobart

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Hungry in Hobart

When I was in my early twenties I used to visit my friends who were at uni in Hobart and the resounding feeling that I had coming away from each of those catch ups was, why would you ever want to live in such a place.  While there were always aesthetic qualities to the Tasmanian capital, it was primarily the lack of culture and events that really gave me that slightly depressed feeling, or as I probably would have put it back then ‘there’s just nothin’ to do’.

With Tasman Sea Salt now established at Mayfield –halfway up the east coast of Tassie (about an hour and half from Hobart), we find ourselves having to head to the big smoke (well, by Tassie standards at least) about once a fortnight.  And far from those gloomy feelings that I once experienced, I now really look forward to our trips there and enjoy the many things that Hobart has to offer - and entwined through all of these things and events that are occurring is a really good (and still growing) food scene. 

We came across the best example of this last weekend at the Dark Mofo festival – even the name is great.  In what is traditionally a cold, dark and rather depressing time of the year in Hobart, it may still have been cold and dark but the Dark Mofo event has brought a real life and vibrancy to the city and has drawn out Hobartians (not sure if that’s the right word but lets run with it anyway) as well as the tourists from their warm fires and heated hotels to get out there and have some fun and celebrate a brilliant culmination of art and food. 

Walking through the Winter Feast (a gathering of a lot of Tasmania’s best food and wine/cider/beer producers) it was actually a bloody frustrating job working out what to have as the range of absolutely incredible produce on display was overwhelming.  It may surprise many, but even with the staggering amount of delicious produce coming out of Tasmania (and I challenge anyone to find a place that has such a vast array of top quality stuff coming from such a small area), for a long time there we didn’t actually do a very good job (read terrible job) of serving, presenting or even just telling people about the great food and booze from our little state.  Well last weekend was all the evidence that you need that that has now completely changed.  I stayed as long as my cold hands could stand and I ate as much as my ever growing stomach could take, and the only depressing thing that I felt when I left was that I hadn’t been able to try a lot of stuff I really wanted to.

And it’s not just the annual events such as Dark Mofo or the Taste of Tasmania that are showcasing Tassie’s great produce.  There is a great food scene that has developed in Hobart with really cool restaurants, cafes and providores popping up all over the city.  And when I mean cool it doesn’t always have to be hipster cool (although there are a few of those places - check out Franklins or the Pigeon Hole Cafe), it can be traditionally cool (take the drive to the Signal Station Brasserie on Mt Nelson) or even gourmet cool (both the Providore and the restaurant at Ethos are simply about great local produce cooked really well). 

I realise this sounds like I’m going slightly over the top with it all but I promise you that if you’re like we are and you plan your holiday or even just your working day around what you’re having for lunch and dinner (and if you are on holiday lets face it, breakfast should get some planning as well), if you happen to find yourself in Hobart, rather than scratching your head and wondering where to eat (as I used to do), the question is now – where to start. 








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Tasman Sea Salt hits the small screen

Peter the cameraman gives us the instruction ‘just act naturally…oh and if you could walk along the beach and look a bit more lovingly at each other that would be great’.  And so it was that we completed what seemed like quite a few rather awkward takes for a minute and a half TV news report.  The result though was a good piece and some great PR for Tasman Sea Salt – so a big thank you to the ABC. We understand that the report screened in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland on Sunday night and then again on the national lunchtime news on Monday but if you didn’t manage to catch it then see the link below.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-24/sea-salt-industry-revival/5692976

And the accompanying online article.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-25/clear-coastal-waters-yield-first-sea-salt-venture-in-180-years/5692814

So now that we’ve got production up and running (relatively) smoothly, the next stage is to get out there and tell the world about how good our salt is. Word of mouth is a really important marketing tool for us (and works really well with our limited/non-existent advertising budget!) so if you’ve tried our salt and liked it then please tell your friends and family about it. If you haven’t tried it then please find your closest stockist, or buy a box online, and give it a go – we promise it will make your food taste great. 

If you’d like to stock our salt or use it in your restaurant or cafe (or even manufacturing) business then please get in touch as we’d love to hear from you. 

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A very bready celebration

We have done it! It has taken us nine months of hard work, writing business plans, submitting development applications, installing and commissioning equipment, but we can now happily say that we have made sea salt. And (even if I do say so myself) what great salt it is. From the results of our many small test batches and slightly larger pilot plant runs, we knew that it could be great. But recreating those fantastic white sea salt flakes on a large scale, with a lot of equipment that was totally new to salt making… when we first arrived here in Tassie nine months ago that seemed like merely a pipe dream. However, I am delighted to say that all expectations have been exceeded and, having sent some very fine sea salt off to market, we are now feeling rather pleased with ourselves.


So how to celebrate? My first thought was, of course, champagne (or rather, of the excellent local Tasmanian sparkling wines that I have come to enjoy just as much, if not more…). Taz, however, has other ideas about what constitutes celebratory fare and instead insisted that all we needed was some homemade bread. Bread, as this possibly suggests, is Taz’s passion. Eating bread, baking bread, even just looking at bread – he loves the stuff. He once had a sourdough starter (a naturally forming yeast that makes a sourdough what it is) which he nurtured so tenderly, day in day out, that my grandmother nicknamed it his ‘baby’. Sadly, he did eventually kill the baby (a treat of two weeks away with no thought of the baby ultimately did for it) but luckily his obsession with bread has been in no way diminished by this tragic end to his sourdough pretentions. 


Today’s celebration of salt making calls for something a bit different, a bread that will put our crunchy sea salt flakes front and centre… the Focaccia. A simple Italian olive oil dough, stretched out flat and scattered with whatever delicious bits and pieces you feel like at the time. For this occasion we simply want olive oil, rosemary and a liberal sprinkling of Tasman Sea Salt flakes.



Focaccia with Sea Salt & Rosemary Recipe

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Ingredients


600g strong flour

13g fresh yeast

400ml water

40ml extra virgin olive oil

20ml milk

15g Tasman Sea Salt plus extra for finishing

2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked


Method


Put the flour and yeast in a large bowl and pour in the water. Use a spoon to mix together until well combined then sit aside for 10 minutes. Add 20ml of the oil and the milk and salt, mixing well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and start kneading. Knead for 10 minutes, then allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.


Place the dough in a container that has been sprayed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to bulk prove for 1 ½ hours. Knock back the dough every 30 minutes during the prove – you will need to knock back twice in total.


Once the dough has finished proving turn it out onto a floured surface. Press the dough evenly into a 20cm square block. Cut into even halves and trim both halves into oblongs – they should weigh 500g each. Place the loaves on baking trays lined with baking paper and use your fingers to press down into the dough to create shallow indents over the surface. Set aside in a warm, humid place to prove for about 15 minutes.


At this stage you can add the toppings of your choice – olives, caramelised onions, roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes or parmesan all work well. For these loaves simply brush each flatbread with 10ml of the olive oil, and sprinkle half the rosemary and some sea salt flakes over each. Set aside to prove for a further 15 – 20 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Place the loaves in the oven and spray the oven with water. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, turning around after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before you can safely devour!

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