Gastronomy is typically defined as the study of the relationship between food and culture.
This is as opposed to cuisine, which is a characteristic style of preparing food, often associated with a place of origin.
"We believe that food is a creative pursuit, incorporating art and science. Our project takes a food systems approach to gastronomy, incorporating every part of our food supply chain from soil to stomach."
- Launceston Gastronomy website
Having been associated with fine artisan goods and foods for decades, Tasmania has always been a destination for those with discerning taste. Northern Tasmania has always had a long and rich history with delicious food every bit as involved as the South- from the 140 year old Boags Brewery in the heart of Launceston to the many farms utilising the lush soils of the Meander Valley and beyond; prized meats, herbs, wines, spirits, vegetables and seafood are all found here. The local eateries that use them are vocal about these fresh and high quality ingredients, and there is certainly a strong sense of connection and community amongst those who participate in these circles.
"On its journey from soil to stomach, food touches everyone and plays a vital role in our region’s culture, creativity, and social exchanges."
- Excerpt from the Launceston Gastronomy website
Image: Produce from the Harvest Market
Launceston's growing population has allowed food innovation to thrive. Communities of multicultural cooks using local produce have sprung up and intermingled, creating something new and fantastic; something distinctly North Tasmanian. Restaurants like Pachinko pioneer this style of Tasmania-meets-world food, utilising uniquely Tasmanian ingredients in conjunction with a modern style of Japanese cooking to create an unforgettable fusion. Stelo at Pierre's offers beautiful Italian dishes made with the highest quality local ingredients, with seasonal menus that reflect Tasmania's changing environment. Other eateries pride themselves on using locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible and connecting the farm to plate journey, such as Earthy Eats. Promising young brands like Avocado Moon Kombucha are using North Tasmanian produce to elevate their products, shining a light on just how good food from our own backyards can be; just as other producers like Casalinga Gourmet Meats have been doing for decades.
“Over many years, Northern Tasmania has consistently demonstrated expertise in the development of agriculture, food processing, wine and beverage production, tourism and agritourism. Now that we have been recognised and listed as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, it will contribute positively to our regional economy and create new jobs in food-related industries and activities over the coming years. In addition, it formalises Launceston’s identity as one of the world’s great regional food cities.”
- Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten
Image: Dumplings from Pachinko
With all this history and love of good food, isn't it time for Northern Tasmania to be recognised as the food destination that it is?
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) seems to think so. Thanks to Launceston Gastronomy, Launceston has recently been recognised as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy - one of only two Australian locations to receive this recognition. Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen cooperation among cities and help guide economic, social, cultural, and environmentally sustainable development. The City of Gastronomy project in particular celebrates areas of the world known for their culinary and agricultural excellence, taking into consideration the full scale of the region's heritage and growth.
“City of Gastronomy status will become what Launceston and Northern Tasmania is recognised for nationally and globally. For some time, we have been lacking a cohesive, accessible and intuitive identity for our city. Now we have one. The activities and projects that underpin the bid will de-silo our food system from paddock to plate, adding value, providing jobs and careers, improving social outcomes, and helping to implement the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It’s all about local action with global collaboration.”
- Chair of the Creative Cities Steering Group, Andrew Pitt
With this endorsement, the future of gastronomy in Launceston is an exciting one.
Image: Pasta from VegOut
Launceston is now primed to be a true Gastronomy destination for travellers; and with all of these brilliant eateries as well as our inner-city events such as World Street Eats, the Night Market, Festivale and now NORTH, we know we can impress.
"The designation wraps around what we already knew about our food culture and we want the next generation to grow up with that same culture,"
- Visit Northern Tasmania chief executive, Chris Griffin
Thank you to Launceston Gastronomy for working so hard to secure this accolade- it has been a mission in progress since 2018. To learn more about the work Launceston Gastronomy does, visit their website.
"We know that this designation will bring exciting things for Launceston and Northern Tasmania, including a global audience for our unique regional food system. However, the real opportunity lies in the positive change we can create for our region and our community."
- Official Launceston Gastronomy Facebook page
Image: Cake from Cake O'Clock