Well, an Australian TV show in a very similar vein debuted on SBS last year, named Gourmet Farmer and starring Matthew Evans. Like Hugh, Matthew once made his living as a chef. He then worked as a food critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, before packing it all in to move to a 22-acre small farm near Cygnet, in Tasmania’s Huon Valley.
I really enjoyed the first series. It showed the trials and tribulations of trying to grow your own food and raise animals when you don’t have much of a clue what you’re doing (hehe!), and at the same time showcased some of the many small food producers from around Tasmania.
One of the highlights of the first series for me was when Matthew’s mum came to visit, and she asked him if he was planning to breed his new sows. “Nah,” he replied, “I was thinking of getting a boar in to do that.”
Gourmet Farmer comes across as a bit of a lifestyle show with magnificent scenery and delicious recipes, but it has more depth than most and touches on some important food issues – preserving heritage breeds, free-ranging animals, use of sow farrowing crates, the economics of family farming, the excessive restrictions of our “food safety” regulations, etc.
The new series started last week – you can still catch Episode 1 on the SBS web site if you missed it. The second episode will air on SBS tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 pm.
Here’s the promo video of Gourmet Farmer Series 2, to give you a taste of what’s coming up:
So what do you think? Is Gourmet Farmer Australia’s answer to River Cottage?