Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Sense of Place

We are going on a short break.
Normal transmission will resume at the beginning of June....

Something for while we are off the air. I wrote it in 2006 not knowing that we would be re-opening the restaurant two years later. It encapsulates much of what I believe tourism should be about... clearly a sense of place.

Why do Fish and chips taste better by the beach?

Some dream of a long drive with the kids in the bush.
To stop at the an unexplored country pub, stumble on a counter lunch menu offering a piece of rump grilled over real coals a bottle of local red [perhaps with a bit of age as the publican owns a piece of the vineyard] and some smelly cheese.
Fresh garden veggies for the children with those chips?

Others may long for a country breakfast in that lodge overlooking the lake with oven fresh bread and real eggs. Perhaps some tree-changed renegade foodie has even supplied a Seville marmalade.

For the traveller who loves to taste, the whole day begins to hold a new promise.

This project is about the annual conference retreat.

You know the one where as catering organiser last year you rang the local Chinese take-away to smuggle in sustenance as the pesto prawns were well past it.
The email arrives, tells you that the catering company has changed and would like to know your food preferences.
You reply, they reply. They have the pinot, yes the lamb is local, and yes the key-note speaker can have Kosher.
You wake up.

This is about a coffee lounge. The Gaggia gleams, the barista delivers in spades as she tells you about the new roaster she’s just invested in.
You blink; turn off the highway its still 24 hrs from Tulla.

This project is also for the cook. He is writing his menu overlooking the ocean watching the ships in the distance; it is 6.30pm the fish has still not arrived. The first booking is for 7.15pm

He is beginning to channel the great Vatel.

For the complete document click here


Ran said...

cant wait till you come back George, Nathan and I will be paying you guys another visit, definitly in asparagus season but maybe during winter too

have a good break

steve said...

Hi George, have a good break
I read you article in full & found that we face similar issues here in rural Tas.
Whilst I think its good to try & create a sort of applelation for specific regions & produce here in OZ, we simply dont have a demonstrated culture of it & its hard to impose it & make it stick.
We can relate to chooks from Bresse, apples from Normandy etc but there would be very few examples of this happening here. I spose oranges from the riverland & apples from the Huon stand out but not like the whole of Europe where each region has become famous for its particular produce.
Not saying I dont see the value in aspiring to this model, but they have had 100's of years to get to this point.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Hi Steve

just back from the fish market, which is also the vegetable market extraordinary Vodka tonics with Uzu for the coctail hour. I am awed!! then a choice of 10 jamon all on the hoof covered with zen like moulds from an extraordinary food hall... all legal of course

I wrote that document 3 years ago, feel quite proud of it. Many of the initiatives have started if not in our area then in others.
I dont belive in imposing anything on anyone but merely expressing a long term vision where it goes beyond single small enterprises into many using the local conditions to create a sense of place. It already happens with the primary products but they need to be able to be identified..... this discussion is a long and important journey.
Also had a very sobering early morning walk "put it into pespective moment" stumbling over the many hundreds of aging men sleeping rough as a result of the last Japanese meltdown... they never got back into society Quite Orwellian. Off to Kanawaza
Cant wait to write about it....

steve said...

Impose was the wrong term from me.
Dont get me wrong, your document definately struck a chord with me, just that I am impatient & want to see things change here, is all.
Did you feel weird walking amongst all those 'seemingly expendable 'worker bees' knowing you can come back here to a different life? I'm not being insensitive here, just feel insulated to a degree to the whole GFS.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Sorry if I sound a bit zenotropic but we are all connected.
Impatience is futile

The trains run on time here.....