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TAS Country : March 22nd 2012
14 Friday, Marc News HITTING THE TARGET: Red Feather Inn manager Ian White and his wife, head chef Tanya in the cooking school which covers a wide range of specialties Famous and fresh paddock to plate From paddock to plate is taking on a tasty meaning at a former coaching inn and the winners are the local producers, says ROGER HANSON MORE Tasmanian enterprises are cre- ating niche markets to tap into the rich abundance of quality produce that is on their doorstep. Raising the bar to a higher level in the philosophy of ''paddock to plate'' is the Red Feather Inn, located in Hadspen, northern Tasmania. In the autumn of 2008, proprietor Lydia Nettlefold transformed this one-time coaching inn into the Red Feather Inn. And under the canvas of French provincial meets Tasmanian local pro- duce this group of old buildings has re- defined the notion of adaptive new use. Head chef Tanya White prides herself on using the best local produce from her local garden as well as the nearby farm. She uses local crops and the beef from the 40 Hereford cattle on Ms Nettlefold's nearby 138ha farm, Haggerstone. The beef is processed at the nearby Longford abattoir. ''I want to keep local as much as I can, reduce the distance food has to travel'' Mrs White said. Mrs White joined the kitchen at the Inn about seven months ago when her husband, Ian, signed on to manage Red Feather Inn for Ms Nettlefold. The couple, originally from Queens- land, relishes the close proximity of local fresh produce. Under the guidance of the Inn's owner, Ms Nettlefold who herself is a classic French-trained chef, opened the Inn to other local chefs to prepare their local speciality. Ms Nettlefold trained at the ''Cordon Blue'' cooking school in London, as well as the world famous ''La Varenne'' in Paris. Mrs White said the Inn has introduced cheese-making classes, run by local cheesemaker Gina Butler from Yondover Farmhouse Cheese. ''We make cheese souffles with our hand-made cheese,'' Mrs White said. ''The cheese making courses are de- signed to get people in and be very hands on. We are trying to break down the traditional fear of cheesemaking.' Yondover Farm House Cheese at Li- lydale, adopts a simple process to their goat cheese product. They grow the grass, milk goats and make cheese very simple. The Inn also draws in John Bailey from the Banc Restaurant in Swansea, who runs courses on sausage making. He is renowned for being able to blend his culinary expertise from seafood to game. Other local suppliers used by Mrs White are 41 Degree South salmon and ginseng, Tasmanian Honey from nearby Perth, and Hagley organic garlic grower Rosie McKinnon, who produces gourmet gar- lic. She markets about a tonne of garlic. The use of Tasmanian local produce is attracting attention throughout Aust- ralia and the world. ''We get a lot of people from Queens- land because of the freshness of the local produce, but also we draw a lot of Europeans. They seem connected to the old Georgian buildings in some way,'' Mrs White said. Ms Nettlefold's emotionally-charged endeavour to raise suicide awareness last year earned her the state's top acclaim for suicide prevention. Ms Nettlefold received the AAMI Healthy Partnerships Award at the sixth Tasmanian LIFE Awards. Ms Nettlefold has dedicated herself to raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention since losing her son Edward to in 2010. She created Ed's Threads, with the sale of the clothes driving the Nettlefold Foundation's efforts to provide opportun- ities for life-changing experiences for youth at risk. For more information on Ed's Threds and the Nettlefold Foundation visit www.edsthreds.com. If you need help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. More details on the ''paddock to plate'' approach at Red Feather Inn visit: www.redfeatherinn.com.au
March 15th 2012
March 29th 2012