Steve Cumper chats to SBS Food about life in Tasmania and his blog, The View From My Porch.
By
Andy Miller

7 Oct 2009 - 9:45 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Steve Cumper chats to SBS Food about life in Tasmania and his blog, The View From My Porch.

Steve moved with his family (wife and three kids) from Melbourne to Cygnet, Tasmania, six years ago, seeking an alternative to city life. Despite a few years searching for a country move in rural Victoria, the Tasmanian opportunity was too good to pass up.

'We live in an historic old farmhouse that could be charitably described as 'shabby-chic’.

"Of course, we have the whole cliché chooks, vegie garden, fruit trees, cows, hors and geese. We try to grow some of our food with varying success; as a result, I have the utmost respect for real farmers– it's bloody hard yakka!"

Steve is the manager/chef at The Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, a country café that, according to Steve, "frocks up on weekend nights and pretends it’s a restaurant".
 
Why did you delete your previous blogs? Is this one different?

I love to write, and stumbled upon a food blog in '06 and that got me hooked. I chose the name Garrulous Gourmet after the book of the same title by William Wallace Irwin. Speculation as to the identity of the blog author finally took its toll and I killed it off as it began compromising me professionally. Who was I kidding, though? Soon, I was at it again under the moniker of the Gobbler, a play on "Blogger". I was quite risqué in my opinions again and so attracted quite a bit of troll attention (people who leave nasty anonymous comments), so it had to go as well. This time, my blog model is to pretty much leave the gossipy, snarky stuff to others and just write about topics mainly concerned with food.
 
What's your secret food shame?

Front and centre in my food shame line-up would be hot chips. Next would be pretty much anything else deep-fried, actually. However, the thing that most people find amusing is the fact that I carry a bottle of tomato sauce in my ute’s glove box. You see, I hate getting short changed when it comes to condiments. One tiny sachet of sauce for a whole pie? Are you kidding?
 
What's the best thing about living and cooking in Southern Tasmania?

Where to begin? Firstly, it is spectacularly beautiful. The landscape and my relationship with it has had a profound impact on the way I cook, and informs all of my menu decisions. Rolling green pastures and forests spilling into the sea everywhere you look, with the silver-capped Hartz Mountains standing sentinel. Then there’s the food. We have everything here from saffron, exotic mushrooms, goat, cow and sheep cheese, vegie and herb growers, stone fruits, rabbits, goats, rare-breed pigs, amazing seafood, olive groves, fruit orchards, vineyards and cider – you name it, it's here. If in Cygnet, you must eat at the Red Velvet Lounge (of course) or at the brilliant Lotus Eaters café (a favourite of mine).