Established in 2008, The Agrarian Kitchen became Tasmania’s first farm-based cooking school. Offering paddock-to-plate cooking experiences in a 19th century schoolhouse surrounded by five acres of scenic lush land, it was the brainchild of Rodney Dunn and wife Séverine Demanet who had always dreamt to reconnect with the earth – to grow and cook authentic food with real ingredients.
Nine years later in 2017, Rodney and Séverine expanded on the same concept to open The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in a beautiful Bronte building in nearby New Norfolk’s Willow Court – the town’s old mental asylum. With its expansive spaces, large windows and high ceilings, The Eatery offers a memorable dining experience in a majestic heritage setting.
Everything at The Eatery is made on site, from the bread, butter and cheese to cured meats, preserves and pickles. With locally sourced lamb and Highland cattle beef plus pork that comes from Rodney and Séverine’s own farm. The goats, chickens and bees provide the milk, eggs and honey and their abundant supply of fruit and vegetables come from the community garden, which is literally opposite the restaurant.
When Rodney decided to open The Eatery, he wasn’t set on the menu but was certain that he wanted to give diners the chance to experience simple but beautifully cooked food using fresh locally grown produce.
Electrolux Professional seemed like an obvious choice for the commercial kitchen equipment. Rodney was not only familiar with the brand from his previous culinary roles but also confident in the quality and durability an Electrolux Professional kitchen would offer.
The kitchen designed around the existing space with Electrolux Professional’s modular cooking equipment arranged in such a way to provide Rodney and his kitchen brigade maximum space and flexibility. The deep fryers are on constantly to produce one of The Eatery’s favorite dishes – Sour Dough Potato Cakes, these light and fluffy pillows of deliciousness are not like any potato cakes you have ever tasted.
The pasta cookers get a real workout producing beautifully cooked house made pasta as well as perfectly blanched seasonal vegetables. The combi oven is reliable and versatile, used daily to pump out menu items and handy for the bulk preservation of out of season produce when used in conjunction with the Electrolux Professional bratt pan.
In fact, every week during the summer months, you will find one of the Chefs either pickling, fermenting, curing or making jam in the dedicated preservation kitchen – as Dunn says, “the pans make light work of turning a ton and a half tomatoes into chutney and preserves – as you can do it in one hit”.
If you would like to know why The Eatery won two Hats within four months of opening and voted the best regional restaurant in Australia by the Good Food Guide, why not book a table at their restaurant or sample something from their takeout menu? After an enforced shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eatery is now open for business again with a set-menu offering for dine-in guests. Their new Takeaway Kiosk is also open on weekends and you’ll also get a chance to sample some of their wine, sweet treats and preserves.
The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery is in New Norfolk, just a 35 minutes’ drive out of Hobart in the beautiful Derwent Valley.