Love food? Why not book a one-day class during your Tasmanian break and learn how to cook with the Apple Isle’s justly famous produce – in stunning surrounds
Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet started the Agrarian Kitchen in 2007, transforming a 19th-century schoolhouse in the Derwent Valley, 45 minutes from Hobart, into a sustainable farm-based cooking school. The Agrarian Kitchen grows and uses it own fruit, vegetables and rare-breed animals (chickens, geese, pigs) in its cooking classes and also sources ingredients from local farmers, fishermen, gardeners and artisans. Dunn, a former editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller, runs the seasonal classes including ‘The Whole Hog’, ‘Winter Braising’, ‘Cooking with Truffles’, ‘Vegetarian Experience’ and ‘Handmade Pasta’. Most popular is the one-day ‘Agrarian Experience’ class ($385), which includes a tour of the farm, a hands-on cooking experience, lunch matched with wine, plus an apron and a clutch of recipes. 650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan 7140. 03 6261 1099.
Also in the Derwent Valley is the Sally Wise Cooking School. Wise is the author of several books including Slow Cooker and A Year in the Bottle, and her classes utilise the high-quality fresh produce of the Derwent Valley as well as fruit and veg from her own garden and orchard. Held approximately twice a week, most classes run 9am-1pm and cost $150, including morning tea. Topics include ‘Convict and Colonial Cookery’, ‘Gluten Free Cookery’, ‘Making and Baking Yeast Goods’, ‘Jams, Cordials and Chutneys’ and ‘Slow Cooking’. Attendees get to taste all the recipes as they progress and they get plenty of samples to take home. 179 Wyre Forest Rd, Molesworth 7140. 03 6261 1336.
Hadspen is a quiet heritage town just outside of Launceston and home to the Red Feather Inn, which offers boutique accommodation. The inn runs a cooking school under the instruction of owner Lydia Nettlefold, house chefs and visiting guest chefs, all showcasing splendid Tasmanian produce. The ‘Tasmanian Game Day’ class deals with the preparation of fallow venison, wallaby, rabbit, hare and pheasant. Other topics include ‘Butchery, Smoking and Curing’; ‘Baking: Short and Sweet’; ‘The Art of Sausage Making’; and ‘French Provincial Cooking’. Classes typically run from 10am to 3pm and cost $195-$350. An extra special course takes visitors on a truffle hunt to the Western Tiers Mountain Range. 42 Main St, Hadspen 7290. 03 6393 6506.
Two hours from both Hobart and Launceston in the Central Highlands, the Wildside Kitchen is a cooking school based at luxury clifftop retreat Tarraleah Lodge. Throughout the year, Tarraleah chefs and local experts run one- or two-day courses during which participants get to meet local producers. Classes range from catching and cooking trout to investigating the local bee population to making your own cheese, sausages, chocolate or beer. Rather than specific dates, the classes can be organised around the guests’ preferred dates through an online booking request system. As a bonus, Tarraleah Village is surrounded by Tasmanian wilderness: waterfalls, lakes and highland views are only ever a short walk away. Tarraleah Lodge, Wild River Rd, Tarraleah 7140. 03 6289 0111.
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