For the Love of Food: 41 Tasmanian foodies share their stories »

Helen Hayward discovers some of the people behind the state's food success

By Sara Schwarz
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For the Love of Food by Helen Hayward

For the Love of Food by Helen Hayward

For the Love of Food - author Helen Hayward

 

From the bays of Bruny Island to the cattle of Cape Grim, Tasmania has some of the finest regional produce around. Through the media, events, tourism awards, restaurant reviews and of course, other books, Tasmania’s food and foodies have become familiar to many of us.

However hiding behind well-known names such as Matthew Evans and co of Gourmet Farmer and Rodney Dunn from Agrarian Kitchen, you’ll find at the coal-face of this food movement hundreds of entrepreneurial individuals working hard every day at their craft, often with little recognition or reward.  For the Love of Food helps redress this.

In For the Love of Food, author and editor Helen Hayward explores the stories behind 41 Tasmanian foodpreneurs, farmers, gardeners, fishermen, ag scientists, nutritionists and more. Through in-depth interviews she draws out the experiences and motivation that led each individual to become a part of Tasmania’s collective food revolution.

Some names will be familiar to you, others will not. Some come from long established farming families, others are escapees from 'the mainland' and beyond. Some are growers, others are makers, catchers, innovators, chefs, researchers and marketers. Together they offer up a picture of where this dynamic industry came from and where it sits today.

Helen Hayward herself is a migrant to Tasmania, having arrived in five or so years ago with her family, and taken up the post of editor of Tasmanian Style magazine. With a background in publishing and psychotherapy, she is well placed and well connected to collate these stories.

Helen’s style is warm and inviting: a friendly chat by the fireside, glass of Tassie pinot in hand. She draws out childhood memories long forgotten of food and family, of the small moments that inspired big risks, and adventures embarked upon, such as the cheesemaker Joe Gretschmann and his family who came to Tasmania from Bavaria and set up Elgaar Farm, or ikijime fisherman, Mark Eather who was inspired to change his fishing methods by the tears of an old Japanese man over our treatment of tuna in the 1980s.

Each interview is accompanied by a recipe that reflects the story and history of each individual. I like this strong connection as the background behind each gives each recipe place and depth. Understanding the story behind each recipe gives it so much more meaning than just a list of ingredients on a page astride a pretty picture.

If this book is a reflection of Tasmania’s current food culture, one thing that is noticeable is the strong Anglo-European influence. Of the 41 interviewees, all but one have Australian, British or European heritage. With immigrants from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Americas coming to our shores to live, work and study in ever increasing numbers, I would have liked some stories that better represent Tasmania’s burgeoning multiculturalism. I would have also liked to have read an interview with someone who has traditional roots to the land dating back more than 200 years.

With so many good stories yet to tell I look forward to reading For The Love of Food – Volume II in the coming years.
 

For the Love of Food: stories and recipes from extraordinary Tasmanians by Helen Hayward is published by Explore Australia, a division of Hardie Grant, (Sydney, NSW, 2015; HB, 208pp). It retails for A$49.95 and is available at good bookstores or found online through Booko.com

This extract from the book follows Tony Scherer's journey from the USA to a boutique biodynamic vineyard »

Read more in For the Love of Food's media release »

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August 15th, 2015
 
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