Review

Gourmet gets dirty

Former big-city chef and food critic, Matthew Evans, swaps his laptop for a shovel in the TV series, Gourmet Farmer.

A Gourmet Farming Adventure

Product details

Product name: Gourmet Farmer

Reviewer: Jessica Crisp

Publisher: SBS TV

Price: $59.95 bundle of 3

Buy Online: SBS Shop

G Rating:

4

If you have ever dreamt of packing it all in and heading to the country to follow dreams of having your own little farm, this DVD set could well be the inspiration you need. Matthew Evans certainly doesn’t sugarcoat the issues he faces, but that’s what makes all three seasons of his show so refreshing. It’s an honest, warts-and-all account of real farm life.

In over 30 episodes across this six-disk bundle, we follow Evans as he leaves Sydney behind and sets up a new life on a small Tasmanian farm. Wanting to learn about the source of our food, Matthew goes in search of the best local produce and attempts to rear and grow it himself. It fast becomes clear in the first few episodes that he has a lot to learn, especially when he tries to bang a fence post in upside down.

Starting with just a few chooks and pigs, a dairy cow and her calf soon join the mix as well as a few turkeys, which quickly find their way to the dinner plate.

It’s a timely series that mirrors our increasing interest in where our food comes from and how it is produced. And the series doesn’t hold back, with Matthew helping slaughter pigs, sheep and chickens. At times might be more than audiences bargained for, but the reality of moving to a farm and becoming self-sufficient.

Interspersing the ups and downs of farm life are stunning scenic trips across the rugged Tasmanian countryside and beautiful, saliva inducing recipes cooked on the old wood burner oven. Evans also tries his hand at foraging and even digs up the little luxury that is a truffle.

Over the course of series two and three, we see Puggle Farm grow, with 17 piglets now joining the family. Viewers get to know Evans’ partner Sadie and son Hedley who are now no strangers to getting their hands dirty too. You’ll follow Evans as his market stall diversifies and as he and two friends begin a gourmet paddock-to-plate dining experience for food lovers across Tasmania.

As the pig numbers grow, Matthew decides to turn his hand to preserving to deal with all that extra pork. So he heads to Europe to discover traditional, artisanal ways to preserve meat.

Whether you want to learn more about where your food comes from or whether you just want to salivate over the sublime dishes and stunning scenery, the Gourmet Farmer series has something for everyone.

Just be careful, you may tempted to dig up a veggie patch, grab a couple of piglets and build a henhouse for a few chooks so you can start your own little country venture. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

For your chance to win one of three Gourmet Farmer DVD sets, click here.

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