From food vices to home truths, here's what you might not know about the farmer that has our brains and buds buzzing. #GourmetFarmer
By
Farah Celjo

18 Jul 2017 - 1:29 PM  UPDATED 26 Jul 2019 - 11:17 AM

Matthew Evans left the hustle and bustle of Sydney restaurant critic life and moved to Tasmania, with his wife Sadie, to a small patch of earth. In the brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer he now delves deep into the restaurant world once again - this time, he's opening one! Matthew believes any problem can be solved with the right attitude and the right help and with 70-acres up his sleeve, Matthew is aiming to launch his farm-to-table restaurant right on Fat Pig Farm... no mean feat!

While you might be familiar with Matthew's farm-to-table aspirations, here's what you might not know about our favourite Gourmet Farmer.

1. Even Matthew's got a food vice...

"I just love white chocolate, which is a food vice from when I was a kid. I didn’t like any kind of brown chocolate (some might say, rightly, ‘real’ chocolate), but I do just adore a little piece of white chocolate every now and then, especially when I’m at my physical end."

2. Coffee or tea and how many cups are we talking?!

"It was always tea, until I became a cafe reviewer for The Age in the late 1990s. Now it’s pretty much coffee four times a day, and cups of hot water in between," says Matthew.

3. A whole society dedicated to bacon - yep, it's a thing! 

#ICYMI Fat Pig Farm runs its very own Society of Bacon Believers membership program and before you jump online all current membership spots have been filled. Is there a waitlist?! Matthew says, "We only release a tiny handful at a time, because we want to make sure we can hand craft everything that we send out."

4. Matthew doesn't eat...

"Kidneys and squid ink. I just can’t learn to love kidneys, despite having them in some of the world’s better restaurants. And I once had an allergy to squid ink where my throat would swell up and I thought I’d suffocate to death. The allergy has gone, but the feeling of dicing with death remains..."

5. Matthew's biggest kitchen fail...

"Misjudgement. We constantly underestimate the time it takes to make food from scratch, and constantly think we can do more on the farm than we can actually achieve. A failure in the kitchen is just a ruined dish. A failure on the farm can have consequences on the environment, the animals, and our harvest, so we always try to make as few mistakes as possible. In the kitchen I misjudged the amount of fresh apple juice needed to give our cider some kick, and so it did a bit of exploding last time we bottled it."

5. If there's one thing people might not know about your Gourmet Farmer lifestyle, what might that be?

"That we’re not a film set. We didn’t do this to be on telly. We live this life, our neighbours are our community and source of inspiration, and that we have had to learn everything from scratch. Everything, that is, except cooking. I trained as a chef when I left school."

Matthew Evans is back in his brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer, 8pm Thursday nights from August 1 on SBS and SBS On Demand. Visit the Gourmet Farmer website for recipes, the episode guide and more.

More Gourmet Farmer magic
Episode guide | Gourmet Farmer S4
Change is afoot on Fat Pig Farm. The architects have been called in, a business plan formed and Matthew Evans is about to go full circle – from reviewing restaurants to building his own. The stakes have never been higher! When the doors are flung open of the farm-to-table restaurant Fat Pig Kitchen, Matthew will be serve up only what he grows and rears on his own farm. Food critic turned farmer turned restaurateur…how hard can it be? #GourmetFarmer
Gourmet Farmer guide: DIY dairy
Ice-cream, lemon curd and making your own cheese - our Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans shares his top tips on how to dairy like a pro at home. Get churning!
ALL Gourmet Farmer recipes
With over 100 recipes to choose from, put a touch of Gourmet into your kitchen.
Make jam, be happy
After immersing himself in the world of preserves for his book Not Just Jam, Matthew Evans ponders why making jams and pickles is a sign of a life well lived – and, of course, deliciously rewarding.