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 experiences.
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 1000 members.
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 cooks!
(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 good point.