Enjoy a year-round Garlic Feast with Janice Sutton »
Celebrating the superstar ingredient and a super small community
By Kerry Scambler
The word feast summons images of tables brimming with plates of magnificent food, beautifully presented and full of flavours. It's a more than apt title for Janice Sutton's glorious book, Garlic Feast: delicious garlic-inspired recipes for the quintessential garlic lover.
Garlic Feast is a true written and visual celebration of the humble bulb used medicinally and to flavour food since ancient times.
The 100+ delicious-looking recipes from talented garlic-loving chefs from Tasmania and around the world, accompanied by large, mouth-watering photographs, range from the very simple to the complex and everything in between. It’s an eloquent demonstration of how the flavour of so many dishes can be enhanced by just a hint (or a bit more) of garlic.
The inspired author – Janice Sutton
Helping to organise and becoming deeply involved with the Koonya Garlic Festival on the Tasman Peninsula in South East Tasmania prompted Janice Sutton to try and capture the essence of the festival in a book. She describes this book as a celebration of a community and place as well as of garlic cuisine, and it’s certainly achieved its mission.
The book’s creation itself was an organic one and the result is an eclectic blend of recipes alongside information on growing garlic, the many varying flavours of different cultivars, and stories and tales of Koonya and the spectacular Tasman Peninsula.
Garlic – did you know?
- It’s one of the oldest cultivated plants and is the cornerstone of many cuisines around the world
- Its popularity is still growing
- It has medicinal qualities that are still being discovered and explored further
- It doesn’t all taste the same – there are over 1,000 cultivars with different flavours and characteristics
- New specialty products are still being created.
With Garlic Feast, plus Penny Woodward and her book Garlic: an organic guide to knowing, growing and using garlic, you'll have your garlic facts and growing covered.
The chefs and their recipes
Local passionate foodies and garlic aficionados from the Koonya Festival are joined by a wide range of cooks and chefs from around Tasmania and beyond. Here are some contributing chefs, indicatative of the quality and range of dishes you can expect:
- Rodney Dunn – Agrarian Kitchen cooking school and author of The Trufffle Cookbook and Agrarian Kitchen
- Maggie Beer – much-loved Australian celebrity cook who needs little introduction!
- Sam Berechree from My Kitchen Rules.
- Luke Burgess – former owner and head chef of multi-award wining Garagistes resturant in Hobart
- Sally Wise – best selling cookbook author. Her latest book is A Kitchen in Valley
- Eloise Emmett – author of The Real Food for Kids Cookbook and collaborator of Bream Creek Farmers Market –The Cook Book
- Lisa Featherby – Senior Food Editor at Australian Gourmet Traveller
- Sam and Clark – owners of acclaimed Moco restaurant in London
- Hyosun Ro – author behind Korean home cooking blog, Korean Bapsang (table)
- Marie Viljoen – New York based writer-forager-gardener cook and author of 66 Square Feet - A Delicious Life
As you’d expect, the recipes range in complexity and tastes, with some needing just a few basic ingredients added to the garlic star to create a whole new flavour experience, whilst others require more time and planning. The latter are sure to impress when you plate up for guests. Here are just a few to whet the appetite:
- Apple Balsamic Pulled Beef with Roast Garlic Ricotta
- Mashed Potato with Garlic
- Roast Tomato and Roast Garlic Soup
- Maggie's Roast Chook with Garlic and Verjuice
- Gruyere and Green Garlic Beer Bread
- Carey's Pulled Pork with Chipotle Sauce
- Sam's Chocolate Beef Fillet
- Garlic Panna Cotta
- Pickled Baby Roots with Strawberry Champagne Sauce with Parmesan Crisp
- Garlic-marinated Venison with Cauliflower Pureé (I made this dish with eye fillet and it was magnificent even if I say so myself!)
Grow, preserve, find the flavour and meet the locals
A full and sharing celebration, Garlic Feast would not be without the surrounding wealth of information about growing, cooking and preserving garlic along with recently published information from the Australian Garlic Industry Association about garlic variety flavours.
Plus there are sections on green garlic, black garlic and smoked garlic – just in case you thought something had been missed – and “Musings from Koonya” is like listening to the locals, and discovering what a lovely place it is.
The Koonya Garlic Harvest Festival
Koonya is a tiny town on the stunning Tasman Peninsula in South East Tasmania. Each February the population swells, like a garlic bulb in spring, from around 100 people to well over 1,000 for the annual Koonya Garlic Festival.
Garlic is grown extensively on the peninsula with a number of commercial and hobby operations of varying sizes, growing some of the best in Australia. It’s hardly surprising then that the country’s second garlic harvest festival popped up here in 2014. Expecting around 200 people, the festival drew over 800 people and in 2015 it grew yet again to between 1,500 and 2,000 people.
Why? Well apart from the spectacular location, the success comes from the people themselves aiming to provide “an authentic, intimate, inclusive, informative, cultural and fun event.” As best-selling cookbook author Sally Wise says in her foreword, the Garlic Festival is “…quirky and quaint with a spirit of hospitality and inclusiveness that is intrinsic to this little corner of the earth.”
Three reasons to buy Garlic Feast
- You love garlic – every facet of it or are just seeking more mouth-watering recipes to try out.
- The quality of the book (1) – its feeling of authenticity. It’s not a book so finely edited that the real people and places have lost their personalities and characters.
- The quality of the book (2) – the book design by Ian Wallace and great photographs that showcase the people, the places and the star of the show, the bulb itself.
For me I simply think it’s yet another splendiferous Tasmanian cookbook that will feature in my kitchen bookcase and prompt more food adventures in my home state. How lucky am I?! But wherever you are in Australia, or wherever there is garlic, you will enjoy and get a lot from this beautiful book. Congratulations Janice, Ian and all who contributed.
AND: a Bronze Medal in the cookbook section of the Independent Publisher Awards held in New York!
Garlic Feast by Janice Sutton is self published (May 2016, HB 328 pp, RRP A$69.95). It can be purchased direct online from the author at www.garlicfeast.com or from the Koonya Garlic Festival website at www.koonygarlicfestival.com where a percentage of profits will go to the Festival (a not-for-profit organisation).
It is also available at bookstores in Tasmania and these mainland Australia outlets :
- Melbourne: Readings in St Kilda and Hawthorn
- Sydney: Berkelouw Books in Paddington (Balgowlah shortly)
- Queensland: Mary Ryan Bookshop in Noosa and Berelouw Books in Eumundi
Note: this list is being updated as new stockists are confirmed.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT GROWING GARLIC? We also recommend Penny Woodward’s excellent guide, Garlic: an organic guide to knowing, growing and using garlic, from Australian Whites and Tasmanian Purples to Korean Reds and Shandong »
- East Coast and Tasman Peninsula (TAS)
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