Have you ever been to Hobart?
If you answer no to that question then you're missing out on something very special, and a place that I just love to visit again and again, and a place that I've just returned from having spent an extra extra long weekend with a bunch of gal friends - I'm still in food coma heaven.
The main reason for this impromptu little trip was to attend
Or as I like to refer to it
"Heaven on Earth!"
A sustainable hands-on, farm-based cooking school located in a little place called Lachlan, 45 minutes from Hobart in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley.
We (myself, Ms B, Ms N and Ms K) pulled up to the farm and were greeted with smiles and the smell of coffee (always a good start), and led into a beautiful dining space filled the smell of a roaring open fire and the most amazing dining table where we met and chit chatted with our fellow food lovers for the day.
Rodney (our teacher and creator of The Agrarian Kitchen) informed us of our menu while we sipped our coffees (check out the board above), and I must say I was very excited to see that we'd be working with truffles - this was going to be a fantastic new experience.
Donning our aprons, we stepped into every cooks dream kitchen to whip up our bread, which we got to take home with us and which the gals and I had for brekkie most mornings.
With our dough rising by the open fire, we slipped on our gum boots, picked up our baskets, gloves and cutters, and hit the garden for some of the freshest winter produce.
Once collected (and once my feet were nice and frozen), we headed back into the warm kitchen to begin to cook.
With the prospect of getting my hands dirty (and learn a few new skills), I put my hand up to make the chicken and truffle pies which involved making a delicious, flaky and oh so easy puff pastry (my new favourite thing to make), and properly joint a recently plucked chicken.
After many, many hours of chopping, cooking and tasting, we all sat down at the beautiful dining table to relax and eat our creations with some perfectly matched local wine. I'm still not sure how I fitted all that food in, but I do know that none of it could be left behind, I didn't care if I didn't eat for the rest of trip because of it.
I've been to many cooking schools in my lifetime but none of affected me the way this experience has. It's reinforced my feelings towards food, towards food grown with the seasons. Whole foods - not that refined rubbish we can pick up so easily in our day to day life.
It's given me a real drive and loads of inspiration to continue searching and sourcing some of the amazing produce we have here in Victoria at our door steps. I'm certainly looking forward to the ride it takes me on.
For the rest of my adventure in Hobart - stay tuned!