Larna Pittiglio: Grazing Tasmania
Having enjoyed grazing her way through Tasmania, Larna now serves up the island’s produce through her business Grazing Tasmania
As a mother of six, the dining table has always been at the heart of Larna Pittiglio’s home. After moving to Tasmania’s midlands region, the foodie has taken her skills from the family setting into Tasmania’s historic homesteads through her business Grazing Tasmania, serving up rare Tassie feasts.
When the Pittiglio family came to Tasmania for a holiday six years ago, they fell in love with the island and stayed. One of the things that has kept them here is how easy it is to connect with the source of our local food.
They initially spent 18 months working in various food related businesses in Tasmania’s north west, including managing a small vineyard and farm in Penguin and as managers of the Cradle Coast Farmers Market in Ulverstone, before moving to the midlands town of Ross.
Following this, they decided to explore a new region of Tasmania. Larna’s husband Davide, a mechanic by trade with thirty years construction industry experience, was hastily acquired as a farm mechanic in Ross.
Built by convicts in the 1800s, Ross is about an hour’s drive south of Launceston and 90 minutes from Hobart. Larna soon discovered the township was surrounded by fine producers.
“Almost immediately, the relationships we built were like family,” describes Larna. “I became involved in the Midland Agricultural Association and more recently Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, forming wonderful friendships.
I launched Grazing Tasmania in mid-2018 and I’ve been very busy ever since. We supply a range of catered grazing platters for all occasions and it has evolved as an extension of our love of Tasmanian produce. Our focus is on fresh, local and seasonal produce.
We work directly with farmers, growers and small local business owners and our aim is to have total transparency as to the source of our ingredients and to share the story of the people who work so hard to produce the ingredients that go into our food,” explains Larna.
Through her business, Larna works closely with Tasmanian farmers, growers and small business owners to showcase their produce. She applies simple methods in a style best described as ‘rustic meets refined.’
“It’s grazing style, whether that be a share-plated dinner where guests talk to each other as they pass it around or a standing street-food affair. It’s as much about feeding people as it is about creating an experience and a memory,” says Larna.
Whether she is catering for a small dinner party or up to 150 people, Larna is in demand for her ability to serve up Tasmanian tastes in a tailored way.
A grazing platter can cover many regions and takes guests on a culinary journey that may include heirloom tomato varieties, local pork, fresh mushrooms, organic cheeses, asparagus, salmon, homemade dips and plump cherries. An advocate of provenance Larna is fortunate to have such fresh, seasonal fare so close to the table.
“I’ve had all sorts of requests. I particularly enjoy the historic locations. Sometimes its farm tours and other times private parties or special events. I also do a menu for accommodation providers in more remote locations. I operate as a personal chef and also prepare meals for busy farmers who need a well-stocked freezer of homemade meals.”
Grazing Tasmania recently hosted the first Midlands Supper Club, a poetry and pinot event held in the Ross Quarry, a natural amphitheatre. The event was part of the Ross Arts Festival and proved so popular that a new poetry event has been conceived for 2020.
As demand grows, one of Grazing Tasmania’s projects is to build a mobile kitchen. This will allow Larna to prep and work from anywhere. It will also provide opportunity for upcoming events and festivals across Tasmania.
While all but one of her children has left home, the family often swoops in to help when a big Grazing Tasmania job comes up. When Larna isn’t serving others, she’s happily spending family time at homebase on 14 acres surrounded by the family’s pigs, goats, sheep and ducks.
“We love it here. Being from Cairns we particularly love the changing seasons,” explains Larna. “I’m learning so much about how food is produced on various scales and farm life suits us well. In fact, I was out milking the goat this morning to make goat’s cheese. Life is great!”
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