Graze the region

Celebrity chef Massimo Mele will be Circular Head’s special guest for the inaugural ‘Graze the Region’ event in June, showcasing the finest produce on offer.

Event. Circular Head will welcome home Tasmanian television personality and celebrity chef, Massimo Mele, as special guest chef for the inaugural ‘Graze the Region’.

To be held at Tall Timbers Hotel in Smithton on Saturday June 4, the Graze the Region dinner is set to showcase some of the finest produce the local area has to offer, cooked by one Australia’s best chefs.

“Graze the Region dinner for me is all about re-discovering Tasmania’s north-west coast,” Massimo said.

“Meeting the local farmers and working with their produce is something I am really looking forward to. The opportunity to do this in my home state makes it that much more special.”

The dinner will showcase seasonal produce of north-west Tasmania in a five-course degustation-style experience complemented with matching wine, beer and cider.

It will attract Tasmanians and visitors who share a love for fresh local produce.

They will experience first-hand the quality and accessibility of produce from the region.

Organisers are keeping the final menu a closely guarded secret, however the list of sponsors might provide some hints as to what will possibly be featured on the night, including beef from the event’s principal sponsor Pure Black – Grass Fed Angus Beef; a brand Massimo is well acquainted with.

Other possibilities likely include seafood, poultry or game with a range of seasonal vegetables and condiments.

The dinner will feature in delicious. magazine in a ‘locavore’ style story later in the year, featuring some of the north-west’s best producers along with chef Massimo.

Massimo was born in Tasmania before moving to Naples, Italy where his love of food developed watching his grandmother, mother and aunts in the kitchen every day. After moving back to Tasmania, he worked in his family’s Hobart restaurant before starting his professional career at the prominent Donovan’s Restaurant in St Kilda, Victoria.

It was at Donovan’s that he won his first major award for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in 1999. In 2004 he returned to Tasmania, opening Mud Bar & Restaurant at Launceston’s Seaport and earning a prestigious Chef’s Hat in 2005.

He was named the ‘People’s Choice Award’ winner at the ‘Lexus Young Chef of the Year’ in the same year.

After spending time in Italy to refine his skills, Massimo returned to Australia, becoming a regular on television shows such as Network Ten’s Ready, Steady, Cook and the Nine Network’s Mornings.
Massimo still has strong family connections to Tasmania, visits regularly and is passionate about working with local producers and fresh ingredients.

Until recently, Massimo was executive chef at the renowned Hugos Group in Sydney, and is currently running his own catering business ‘Catering by Massimo’ as well as juggling guest appearances and cooking classes at food and wine shows around the country.

Supported by the Circular Head Council, general manager Tony Smart said, “We were extremely fortunate to secure Massimo as our guest chef with his strong affinity to Tasmania and love of regional produce.”

Massimo’s visit to the region might also be a good opportunity for local suppliers to showcase their products as he enters the final preparations for opening his own restaurant in Sydney in August this year.

Tickets are on sale now, from Tall Timbers Tasmania, by phoning 6452 9000 or emailing Accommodation and dinner packages are also available.

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