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Listening to the gastronomy voices around our region: 

During March and April Gastronomy Northern Tasmania members held a series of ‘discussion tables’ in each of the six regional council areas of Northern Midlands, George Town, Meander Valley, West Tamar, Dorset and Break O’Day. We received insights and contributions from just over 50 people from Northern Tasmania who expressed some common themes: 

As a member of the UN Creative Cities Network we receive invitations from other Cities of Gastronomy to meet and share insights into how to leverage our UNESCO designation and grow awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals in our local region. Macao, City of Gastronomy has invited GNT to attend a gastronomy and travel expo to participate in a cooking demonstration of Tasmanian cuisine and produce (the audience of which will be those attending the travel expo – public and travel industry), and join daily 2 hour discussion forums with other Cities of Gastronomy.

Macao is covering the travel and accommodation costs for three people, one of which was to be a chef from our area.  Our delegation is being led by Chris Griffin, Gastronomy Northern Tasmania board member and present CEO of Northern Tasmanian Development Corporation.  Our chef is Craig Wills, Executive Chef at Stillwater.  State Growth were also keen to support attendance at Macao and so the third delegate is Vivien Zhao, Tasmanian Trade Advocate from Shanghai.  


State Growth see the venture as a ‘test case’.  How much more successful will  be if we leverage an existing international network of gastronomy cities and regions in areas where we already have trade linkages?  


As we go to press Craig is part of the ‘cook and taste’ session and will create two dishes – one with lamb and the other with salmon as the ‘hero products’. From the gastronomy and travel expo in Macao they will go to Hong Kong for an event with distributors where Craig will again create dishes featuring the our produce to increase distribution into the Hong Kong market.  


This event is part of showcasing our region for the gastronomic excellence that has been officially recognised through a UNESCO designation.  When the delegation returns there will be learnings and insights into the economic potential of joining our agricultural produce with a willing international gastronomy network and local distributors.

Showcasing our local

produce in Macao

First, there is a need to promote the stories that highlight the strengths of each area’s producers and makers. Insights from the workshops will provide the framework for the next stage in developing our our website and social media presence. 

Secondly, work with each area on the aspects of gastronomy they want amplified.

Here’s three municipality gastronomy activities being planned right now: 

George Town: Measurements that Matter 

Kristen Desmond is George Town’s Director of Organisational Performance, Strategy and Engagement. Following the George Town ‘gastronomy table’ discussion she approached GNT to discuss how the George Town municipality might leverage the gastronomy designation brand through work being done in the local food system and feed security space by primary producers, businesses and community groups.

Kristen wants to demonstrate how current work in diversifying the local economy, improving liveability, and showing how the Gastronomy designation brand can be used together to increase visitation to the George Town area while promoting investment in both commercial and community activities including the great work of community gardens.  

She sees the following Sustainable Development Goals as ones George Town could leverage:-

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, 

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and 

Goal 17: Partnerships as playing a role in telling the stories and learnings of change and impact.  


Kristen is also exploring how Goal 3: Health and Well-being can be used to promote programs like ‘Healthy George Town’ and the impact on liveability, health and well-being outcomes on the community.

West Tamar: wine + food 

Many of the regions of gastronomy around the world have developed ‘gastronomic maps’ highlighting access to gastronomic experiences from farms through to fermenters – for visitors and locals. Claudia Vinson manages the Tamar Valley wine route. Following the gastronomy table for West Tamar and follow up conversations, a collaboration with GNT in developing a branded wine and food in a ‘route’ for locals and visitors to experience seemed a natural next step. GNT is currently working with Claudia and the Tamar Valley Wine Route, exploring how an online map could work across the region.Claudia has also volunteered to be part of our 'Seasonal Signature' dish panel . 

Helping to get the word out:
Dorset's definitive RECYLOPEDIA  

Gastronomy Northern Tasmania attended the Healthy Dorset Expo in Scottsdale in May together with over 60 service providers and 250 people through the door.


Promoting Sustainable Development Goal 11: - Sustainable Cities and Communities we wanted to assist Dorset in providing a focus on ‘waste’ and what we can all do to minimise it. Dorset Council armed us with copies of their brilliant new ‘Recyclopaedia – The A-Z Guide to Waste and Recycling in Dorset' which explains everything you need to know about what you can and can't recycle, kerbside waste, waste transfer stations, donating and composting.   


Along with 200 new season apples from Lees Orchard's we handed out and talked to over 100 people about waste, the Sustainable Development Goals and how gastronomy fits into all of the above! Attendees could go into a draw to win a 'Gastronomy t-towel' by correctly answering the 'gastronomy' question. We had three lucky winners from Bridport, Launceston and Scottsdale.

Picure above: Sarah xxx , xxxx officer at Dorset with their new Recyclopedia - essential reading for anyone who wants to do the right thing!

Below: snapshots from the Gastronomy Northern Tasmania stand ay the Dorset Health Expo

Working together to build food resilience

While each part of the region has unique gastronomic offerings, a consistent message we have heard across the region has been the 'Tasmanian Paradox' – we export around 70% of the food we grow yet 1 in 2 Tasmanians including in our region, regularly experience food insecurity. 


The issue affects our entire community. Poor nutrition contributes to poor long term health outcomes. While there are many organisations working in this space, cost of living pressures are aggravating the issue, an it will not be going away anytime soon. Goal 2: Zero Hunger is a key challenge and so around the region we have been working with neighbourhood houses, community gardeners and schools, and establishing  partnerships with organisations such as School Food Matters, 24 Carrot Gardens, Community Houses to explore different models. 

In case you haven't already seen it...

When visitors and returning locals arrive into Launceston Airport and go through the entering walkway at the top of the stairs instead of being greeted by a ‘blank wall’ there’s now a big sign that says welcome to Launceston and Northern Tasmania Gastronomy.    You can also see the sign from the upstairs departure area.  There’s been lots of positive feedback because we know that our point of difference in other regions of the state is – gastronomy - and now others will know as well. We will be building on this message in the near future and are grateful for the partnership with the Launceston Airport assisting us in amplifying the message.

The search is on!

With our UNESCO designation has come international exposure for our rich food-growing region and our food culture, but is there a defining dish that says who we are? In the next few weeks Gastronomy Northern Tasmania will start  looking for a signature dish that says something about us and our region, using locally grown or locally sourced ingredients. It could be one dish. It may be more than one. We’ll be looking for recipes to share from around our region. What is the local hero ingredient – and how is it grown, caught or produced? When is it in season? Is it a dish you’d want your area to be famous for? Is there a local café or restaurant that already has them on their menu?  

Soon we will be announcing a competition, with prizes. It will be open to everyone who loves fresh, local food and loves to cook it.So watch this space, and in the meantime, get out the recipe books and start thinking about the seasonal produce dish you’ll enter as a potential ‘signature dish’ for your area. 

The search is on:

What's our signature dish?

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