The world is not your oyster - this is the motto chef Matt Adams will use to inspire the creative feast he will dish up for this year's Farmgate Festival
Owner of Timbre, Adams will lead a four-course dinner at his restaurant with another five-course also being held just down the road at Strathlynn in November.
Adams is promising guests will be served a plate full of creativity.
“At Timbre we write our menus really close to the time. We like to gather produce and then not really commit to what we will do with it until close to the time. If we commit we know we’ll probably change our minds and not like what we’ve decided to do,” he said.
He said the menu for the dinner will be written “quite loosely”.
“There will be things in the lead up where maybe there’s a fruit or vegetable that we’ve aged in beeswax for months beforehand. Just some creative intricacies. We did some beef like this earlier in the year, that was different.”
He said his menu is inspired by local produce, with the business doing a lot of backyard produce trading with the general public. Some people even deliver goodies from their gardens every week.
“That’s how our product comes together and it writes out menu. It’s rare that we would turn any product away even if it means we’re forced to pickle and ferment, put it on the menu, change it and change it again,” he said.
“The more parameters you have breeds more creativity. It’s like the world is not your oyster. It makes it easier in a sense when you’re forced into being creative.”
The Farmgate Festival showcases the Tamar Valley region and aims to celebrate Tasmanian food.
Adams said the festival as a whole was a great idea because it opens the public’s eyes to see where produce is coming from and what is going on in their community.
“People probably drive past the farms on their way to work and they don’t even realise. It’s putting faces to products and making every one feel like they are in this community,” he said.
“The ultimate aim is to get people thinking about what they’re eating and supporting these smaller holdings.”
Timbre is still trying to fly under the radar, a little like the underdog, Adams said, but says the restaurant is being well-received in reviews.
“There are always dreams like [having] another place in town. We might get there one day,” he said.
“We’ve been doing a few events. We did Junction [Art Festival] a few weeks ago where we were roasting whole lambs Argentinian style. We did Festivale earlier in the year and that went pretty well.”
The gourmet and local food movement in Tasmania is growing, Adams believes.
“Especially locally like with Farmgate, with produce to the customer the connection has become smaller. It’s less mysterious now and chefs have to be more honest.”
He said Hobart was “absolutely killing it”, which impacts the North positively, too.
“With higher tourist numbers and people being more food and wine focused in their travels, especially coming to Tasmania, that’s a big part of why they come.”
The state’s peak tourism season has stretched out a lot more than from what Adams remembers from ten years ago.
“What used to be a three or four month peak has now stretched out a bit. There’s only two or three hard months to get through now and the rest is either building up or winding down to peak season,” he said.
Farmgate Festival organisers say Adams is a rising star in the chef world. He began his chef apprenticeship on the Sunshine coast, and has since established himself by working at a range of local restaurants including Fee and Me, Mud Bar and Restaurant, Pierre’s and Josef Chromy.
“Matt enjoys a creative approach to meal creation and is relishes the challenge of bringing different elements of a dish together. He prefers a natural, non-fussy, plate up that is generous and fun,” organisers say.
The more parameters you have breeds more creativity ... It makes it easier in a sense when you’re forced into being creative.Matt Adams
The four-course Timbre dinner will be held on Saturday, November 24.
The five-course dinner at Strathlynn will be held the night before and will launch the festival.
Dinners will be able to indulge in a range of seasonal, local and organic produce in a celebration of Tasmanian flavours. Matching wine will also be served.
As part of the festival, some of the region’s farmers have opened their properties up the public for a behind the scenes look.
Tickets for the full range of the Farmgate Festival events are on sale now and can be bought from www.farmgatefestival.net.au.