Autumn musings with Exec. Chef Craig Will

What is your favourite thing about Autumn and the cooler months?

I love the slow transition of Autumn, watching the leaves change colour for example. I look forward to planting my garlic for another year and watching my broccoli, Brussel sprouts and other brassicas come to maturity ready to cook over charcoal on a cool winters evening. I really love the cooler months in Tassie.

What are your favourite things to cook at this time of the year?

I love using my charcoal grill and I cook just about everything, from winter veg to beef, poultry and pork. There is something about fire and smoke when the days shorten and become colder that are comforting.

What produce do you love in Autumn?

The last of the root crops such as beetroot and carrots taste especially good at this time of the year, but the abundance of quince, apples, pears and figs make it a plentiful time of year.

Any interesting new dishes/techniques coming out of the kitchen?

I have just discovered Nichols ethical free range chicken and am loving it at the moment, it’s on the menu as a half bird, cooked in Chinese master stock then fried to crisp the skin and serve with condiments, delicious…but my favourite technique of late is, you guessed it, Japanese charcoal and using a traditional Japanese Konro (BBQ).

What do you grow in your own garden at home?

Mainly fruit and veg that I know my family (we have 2 young girls) and I like to eat such as cucumbers, carrots, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, every herb you can think of. Some things I like to experiment with like an unusual plant that you don’t eat but can use in certain ways such as Luffa. It’s like a large gourd that when it matures, you then dry it out, peel the skin and hey presto you have a sponge.

Favourite wine at the moment?

Maclean Bay Pinot Noir or Chatto Pinot Noir.

Photo credit: Smudge Eats. http://smudgeeats.com