Thursday, 30 July 2009


As an interested bystander, I have been amused by the various chess-like movements around the kitchens of Hobart’s top eating venues over the past few weeks.

As pointed out, by commenters on this blog, by GP, and Steve on his blog, we’ve seen Paul Foreman move from Marque IV to Peppermint Bay. We’ve seen Simon West resign from Meadowbank to return to the mainland. And now we see Justin Harris resign from Moorilla and go to Marque IV to replace Paul.

Where will it end? Well, the simple fact is that it will never end, and I’m overjoyed about that.

My opinion is that these guys need to move round. They need to gain more varied experiences in their cooking, from whatever means they can. It’s great when they go away to compete in interstate competitions, or to cook with other chefs around the world.

It can only ultimately be good for us, the consumers, and them. We get to benefit long term, and they do too, as they expand their repertoires, and flex their culinary muscles (shit, I’m turning into Steve with my phraseology!!).

So my best wishes, and heartiest congratulations go to all these chefs. I wish them well in their separate new jobs, and will take huge pleasure going to the new PB and MIV and sampling the new menus, and seeing how the changes have translated.

I gather MIV will close down for a few weeks while they prepare for the innovations wrought by incoming chef Harris.

Rita will await with much anticipation for the day to dawn when she eats at new PB and MIV.

Meanwhile, Rita returned to the Stockmans Restaurant at Old Woolstore last night to eat with some interstate work colleagues. This time she selected the lamb party pie entrĂ©e (as described in detail last Saturday), which was beautiful, and a repeat of the eye fillet main, which yet again came with pepper sauce which was still not as heavily peppered as Rita would have liked, but given their explanation of the fact that the previous week they had had two complaints about the pepperiness of the sauce, it’s understandable the chefs are pulling back.

This time I remembered to take a photo of the fake florals, as requested by one of my commenters last week, hence the tacky pic accompanying this post!

A blogsite I hadn’t checked for ages but happened on again yesterday was Ms Creosote’s, where I noted she had added a review (the only one for this year so far) of Infusion in South Hobart, where I felt validated to read she had had a similar experience to mine. Thank god it’s not just me that found fault with Infusion!

Lastly, some interesting opinions have emerged on Steve’s blog about the latest Prosser comments in the Mercury this week. Check them out if you’re interested.
Posted on by Rita


Ben said...

Hi Rita (and all other)

Thanks for taking me up on the suggestion to give Stockmans Restaurant at The Old Woolstore a run, not once but twice! I am glad that you sound like you have enjoyed your experiences.

You will all be interested to know, I'm sure, that following the recent criticism of our flower arrangement, we are consulting with our fake flower expert in an effort to come up with another plan. We will hopefully arrive at a solution soon enough to avoid coming up on a google search when someone types in "tacky flowers"!

Thanks everyone for their interest, and keep on blogging!



Anonymous said...

paul;s not going to peppermint

Hazel said...

Sorry Anon 1:12pm are you Paul? Just wondering, if you are not, how you can be so sure!

Anonymous said...

He's going, its a done deal.

sir grumpy hobbyhorse said...

Hey Ben,
what about them lonely steaks swimming in vast white space. Never mind the flowers. Put them on the plate. better than nuthin'.

Kim said...

So how do I get to Steve's blog? I can't seem to find a link.

Rita said...

Hi Ben - great to see a decent sense of humour! The tacky flower police will be in to check on the new arrangements in 2 weeks!
Anon 1.12 - Paul is definitely going to PB. He's working on the new menu as we speak.
Ben - pay no heed to Sir Grumpy - we're all used to him by now! He's the one like the mad uncle we all need to have!
Hi and welcome Kim - it's the blog entitled "The View from my porch", and the link is on the right of the screen on my home page here, under the heading My Blog List.

sir grumpy said...

Rita, I think this is a very decent question.
It goes to the whole heart of what restaurants think is good, versus the thoughts and likes of the CUSTOMERS.
Don't you listen to Rita, Ben. Speak for yourself mate.
Rita is just the auntie we have to have.
Rita, I'll never cry uncle, how very dare you.

lemon curd said...

I for one love it when my dish arrives with its accompaniments on the side - much prefer to add to my plate then have to push food around.

And I'm just a CUSTOMER!

sir grumpy said...

Ah yes, industry conspiracy brewing against a lone voice of common!
Next you'll be telling me Maggie Beer is still relevant cooking things such as tripe and also veggie dishes of turnip with bloody raisins.
Come on be fair.

Kim said...


lemon curd said...

Yes I wasn't sure about the tripe either - mind you at least she plates everything up on the one plate?!

Anonymous said...

I hope paul does come up with a new menu for peppermint bay and doesnt just take all the dishes from marque iv like he did when he went there.

Anonymous said...

They are his dishes to take wherever he likes, restaurants dont own them, chefs own them, its their intellectual property.
Do you honestly think Justin will be happy cooking Pauls food at Marque iv? Of course Paul will do a new menu at PB

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read of Ms Creosote's experience at Infusion! I don't feel so alone or unjustified in my criticism... On another note - I think the tacky flower police have a BIG job to do in Hobart. Rita - there is a whole other blog site you could dediate to that topic!

Anonymous said...

Had terrible meal at 373 (sorry)
Had interstate guests it was totally embrassing (sorry). The menu read really well but the cooking of the meal not good... the abablone tortellini was not cooked and the risotto raw. When is risotto cooked? I know this is going to be subjective!

Guest (chef & yarra valley wine maker noted)
Salamanca menu read's
Raw salmon ravioli - how can this be? It does not make sense.. The dish is most likely excellent but it is a contradiction in language.
Where do you take interstate foodies?

Victor - Foodtrail said...

Rita - I am one that prefers consistency in a good, fine dining restaurant. Unfortunately, one thing which I find in Hobart quite frequently is that chef moves around, either cos' of better pay, change of environment, conflicting ideas and food philosophy between chef and the owner...on and on. I mean we have been to restaurant and if we like it, we will go back, but the experience if left a few months, may be very different, cos' it is either a new kitchen team or owner. Many time, we have been disappointed by such places and never go back.

For eg, after Steve left PP, it is "hit and miss" dining experience and they have 3 different chefs, not only that, the main team, Justin (who left last May) and Andrew (who left a couple of years to Moorilla), who made the restaurant such a favourite place for us has changed so frequently that we have never been back for a few months.

Christina said...

Well have to say I agree with Victor and it is quite hit and miss with a lot of places in Hobart.
I know it's not a "restaurant", but have just returned from yet another wonderful meal at The Republic, octopus, venison and chicken. As was last Sunday, venison and chicken. Nine years and still not a bad meal to be had! Must be some kind of record.

Also wanted to let you know Rita that I finally got to the Bruny stall at Salamanca today and returned home with pure pork and fennnel sausages, bacon, and pork rillette. Also nabbed some swiss brown mushrooms and organic sour dough at another stall.
Looks like a stunnining breakfast to me.

We never go to Salamanca as I can't stand the crowds,{I know}, and even though the weather left a little to be desired I did enjoy myself and got all I needed.'
I've been dying to get to the Bruny stand so was quite happy to over indulge today as it will probably be ages before I get back.
When I mentioned this to the gentleman who served me at the Bruny stand, he grinned and said "see you next week"!
I love his confidence and hope it pays off.
Also bought myself some beautiful flowers. What a great start to the day!
I'll report back tomorrow.

Christina said...

Breakfast was a stunner!
THE BEST bacon we've ever had. Makes regular bacon taste like pretend bacon. The sausages were wonderful, coarse and full of flavour, and to my surprise not fatty at all.
Saving the rillette for the afternoon footy game.

Rita said...

Glad it met expectations Christina! Looks like you're going to have to brave those crowds again, and he WAS right!