Matthew Evans: “the dirty chef”

The Cygnet launch of Matthew's new book "the dirty chef"

Launch by Elaine Reeves, local food writer at 6pm on Friday 6th December 2013 at the Lovett Gallery.

Matthew Evans is a former chef and food critic turned Tasmanian smallholder. He fattens pigs, milks cows, tends a garden and writes about food from his office overlooking the silver birches atop his cottage on Puggle Farm, in the gorgeous Huon Valley in Tasmania.

Matthew is the author of eight books on food, including the authoritative Real Food Companion. He writes regularly for Feast magazine, presents a television show, Gourmet Farmer, on SBS, and runs a small artisan food store in Hobart with a cheesemaker mate, Nick Haddow. The shop specialises in old and rare breed pork products from Matthew’s Fat Pig Farm, amongst other goodies.


From Big City Food Critic to Foodie Farmer

“I blame milk. That unassuming, ubiquitous white substance that we take for granted in Australia. It was cow’s milk that turned my life around, and set me on a path that has changed not only my way of living but also my world view. Yes, that innocent stuff that comes from the bovine udder was the inspiration to help me make the move from gritty, urban inner Sydney to impossibly lush green Tasmania. From a clean and cushy life to one that involves—quite literally—mud, blood and tears. And to the non-food types among you (apparently there are some out there), the story seems more unlikely with every telling…” – Matthew Evans, THE DIRTY CHEF

From an often controversial job as one of Australia’s most powerful food critics, Matthew Evans stepped, unknowing and untested, off the treadmill. Leaving the urban grit of a terrace house in Sydney’s inner west, Matthew would end up on 20 acres in Australia’s most southernmost shire; a smallholder farmer in Tasmania.

What is it really like to take the plunge and leave a whole world of familiar people, places and work behind?

How does it feel to suddenly plant a garden, milk a cow, build sheds and shelters when you’ve never used a cordless drill?

And what if a TV show is filming the transformation?

In this honest, humorous and heartfelt memoir, Matthew shares his incredible story. The story of a life now more in tune with the seasons and more connected to the soil. A life that is rewarding as it is exhausting. It’s the story of a family trying to forge a living from the ancient, noble art of growing things.

Matthew Evans: “the dirty chef” launch by Elaine Reeves (local food writer) is on Friday December 6th at 6pm @ Lovett Gallery Cygnet. The launch event will feature light refreshments.

Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend another creative event hosted by HAEG.

The Lovett Gallery is open 10am-4pm
Summer Friday-Sunday
Winter Saturday-Sunday

A huge crowd turned up for this event!

Matthew brought along piles of home-made cheese puffs (“Come in and have a puff” was his quote for the night), spicy biscuits and elderflower cordial.

Needless to say there were only a few crumbs left at the end.

Elaine did a masterful job of launching ‘the dirty chef’, and Matthew regaled us with many entertaining tales of his (mis)adventures, with stories about the making of his TV series “The Gourmet Farmer” plus the effect on family life with partner Sadie and their son Hedley (who were also in attendance).

After taking a break from TV cameras, Matthew could next be making a series on the fishing industry, circumnavigatng Tasmania with a couple of his mates from the previous series. But it seems we may have to wait a while for this to come to our TV screens…

A good time was had by all.

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Thanks again to Elaine and Matthew, and all those who put in time and work to get this HAEG event up and running.