Eat & Drink

We Chatted To Andy And Ben About Tassie’s Glorious Food Scene

AWOL has teamed up with Andy And Ben Eat Australia to create digital episodes of the full-length SBS Food Network series discovering some of the best food and travel experiences Australia has to offer.

We’ll be covering off five episodes with the ex-Masterchef contestants, exploring the delicious side of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The boys will be taking you through the best restaurants and experiences you can only find in each state: regional cuisine, native produce, community vibes and the small-town charm hidden in big cities.

In this episode, they’ll begin their journey all the way down in Ben’s home state of Tassie. They visit Ben’s family home in Devonport, go abalone diving, eat at famed Hobart restaurant Small-fry, go glamping at Bruny Island, and of course, make the best meals out of the local produce. It’s Tassie. How could you not?

We caught up with the duo to learn more about foraging for their supper, the best beef in the country, and why travelers are best to take their time when they visit the unparalleled state.

Andy cooking on Bruny Island, Tasmania

Describe Tasmania in three words.

Andy Allen: Best. Beef. Ever.

Ben Milbourne: Unparalleled. Inspiring. Home.

What’s the favourite spot you visited?

AA: Bruny Island did things to me. We met some absolute legends, and I was blown away. The spot we stayed for the night was second to none – nothing but bush, open fire, and an entire meal created from local produce.

BM: I’ve been out on Dad’s boat hundreds of times, but having him take Andy and I out off the coast of Port Sorell, and getting that incredibly picture perfect blue sky day, was something really special. Take me out there any day of the week and I’d be a happy man.

Ben and Andy at Small-fry

What was the number one thing you ate in Tasmania?

AA: Watching Rhys Hannan cook in Small-fry was almost mesmerising and following that up with trying his 28-day dry-aged scotch and his pumpkin beurre noisette pasta was Tassie on a plate.

BM: I’m pretty spoilt as I get to eat Tassie’s finest every day; things like Cape Grim beef, hand-caught seafood, home-grown veggies. But when I go out I like to do it properly. Franklin in Hobart is my go-to. David is a magician and works miracles with the simplest of ingredients: asparagus, sea urchin and chervil dish and raw kingfish roasted wakame dressing and fresh horseradish.

What do you think Tasmania does better than anywhere else in Australia?

AA: Cold weather? But, because of that, it’s the perfect place to get cosy with a massive steak, and open fire and a big glass or two of red wine.

BM: Tasmanians take risks, so they’re trying some incredible things in kitchens large and small. Pair that with arguably the best produce in the world and that’s why I’m proud to call it home.

Foraging on Bruny Island

Any insider tips?

AA: Go local or go home. Buy direct from the farm, or farmers markets, head to the fish punts in Hobart for your fish, go to butchers for your meat. And plan some physical activity, cause with all that eating you’ll need it.

BM: Spend more time in Tassie than you think. It’s a small island, but to do it well you’ll want to take your time.

(All images: supplied)

Qantas and AWOL are partners of Andy And Ben Eat Australia. Check out more AWOL episodes with Andy and Ben below.