See the beefy bloke holding up the platter of savory tucker (after a couple of days in Tasmania you can’t help but start speaking like an Aussie)? That’s Gary Willis. Gary is a Tassie chocolatier (in fact, I’m munching on some of his salted caramel chocolate as I write this, thank you very much, Gary) who is one of the guest lecturers on the Orion.
Yesterday we shuttled off to the Josef Chromy winery in the Tamar Valley to sip some lovely Tasmanian wines (I asked for second helpings of their stunning sparkling wine). Afterwards the winery hosted us to lunch. That was nice, don’t you think? And they didn’t just hand us a turkey sandwich or something (although that would have been fine).
Instead they brought out these platters of meats and cheeses and pates and such. There was smoked quail and wedges of local blue cheese and dishes of olives and four or five different charcuterie. That’s the platter Gary is holding up. We were meant to share it.
But here’s the thing: Gary doesn’t eat meat (you’d never know it looking at those beefy arms, would you?). So he was giving the entire platter to me. Do you believe it?
Not that Gary went hungry. When he told the waitress he couldn’t eat most of what was on the platter (he did slice off some of the lovely cheese and speared an olive or two), she went back into the kitchen and a few minutes later came out with a gorgeous plate of grilled garfish and white beans as well as a big salad.
Gary was quite happy. But not as happy, I think, as I was.