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The Agrarian Kitchen's expansion plans

Rodney Dunn

Rodney Dunn

The Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in Tasmania is set to expand its Derwent Valley operation with a brand new shop in the second half of 2016, and an eatery in early 2017.

The new digs - tentatively named The Agrarian Kitchen Store and Eatery - will be making over a renovated historic building in New Norfolk's Willow Court.

Gourmet Traveller contributing food editor Rodney Dunn and his wife, Séverine Demanet, are behind the original farm-based cooking school; in 2008 they transformed a 19th-century schoolhouse into one of Tasmania's best culinary destinations.

"Initially, what we wanted to do was just a store that sold things that we have here," says Dunn. "Then we saw that space and thought, if we're going to do that, we've got to do some food as well."

The new shop, which is about 35 minutes from Hobart, will stock specialist kitchen equipment (fermenting vessels, hand-made knives and the like) as well as The Agrarian Kitchen's own preserved and fermented foods, from sauerkraut and kimchi to radishes pickled in vinegar.

"We have big barrels of fermenting vinegars that we'll sell bottles of, too," says Dunn.

Expect a topnotch menu at the eatery, too, which will include a number of beautiful outdoor areas and an impressive dining room.

"I just want to do an extension of the type of food we do at The Agrarian Kitchen," he says. "We anticipate being able to do special functions where it might be a tomato lunch or a truffle dinner, or some chef teaching a class who will also do a dinner. Really produce-driven stuff."

As for the ultimate goal? "Just make it good," says Dunn. "A destination where people want to get in a car and drive out to spend the day."

Count us in.


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