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Friday 17 August 2018

Tasmanian pro pan-handling debut for MasterChef finalist

I am not a MasterChef watcher, so I did not realise that the charming red-headed lady who attended one of my recent wine classes was a 2018 top 10 finalist Sarah Clare.
I did, however, notice that she appeared to know an awful lot about food, and wine.

Sarah will host her first pop-up, WILD, at the Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, Tasmania, on September 14-15.

The 34-year-old, who has recently moved back to her home state, says her first pop-up will give insight into the joyful memories she has of growing up as a child in the great outdoors on the Island, such as picking wild mushrooms and local seaweed and taking them home to cook in the kitchen with her dad.

Inspired by the unique varieties of high-quality produce available in Tasmania’s Huon Valley region, such as the nuts, seeds and herbs and the unpredictable nature of the Island’s changing climates, the pop up will take guest on a culinary journey into the WILD.

“I chose the name Wild for my pop up because I'm at the mercy of the elements and seasons using wild, local and seasonal produce," she said. "And while I have a set menu planned, what I will serve on the evenings will be dependent on what is available, which will make for a fun and creative challenge.”

Guests will enjoy a five-course degustation with matching wines, including native fish with burnt leek pure, local seaweed and black rice paper, wallaby soupy dumplings, and a three-milk dulce de leche for dessert.

Sarah will also offer a vegan menu (the RVL is usually a vegetarian venue), which includes skordalia with wood fired cauliflower and local wakame, seared and fresh local mushrooms with miso polenta, fried enoki and shaved black truffle, and, for dessert, a coconut, saffron and cocoa butter panna cotta with hazelnut tuille and burnt fig sorbet.

Celebrating and supporting local businesses, Sarah is working with local producers, including Campo de Flori, a sustainable multi-crop boutique farm in the Huon Valley who will be supplying saffron and olive oil, Julie Merlet from Natif, who is supplying all of the native herb ingredients used in the dishes, Cygnet Garden Larder providing many varieties of mushrooms, and her father, Ian Clare, a master potter who is providing custom, hand-made tableware crafted specially for the evening.

Guests will be seated at one long communal table (one of my pet hates) but billed as offering "energy and life".
WILD will be held on Friday and Saturday September 14-15 at 6:30pm at The Red Velvet Lounge, 24 Mary Street, Cygnet, TAS 7112. Tickets: $150 per person. To book visit

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