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Destination Dining in Tasmania: The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Store

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Destination Dining in Tasmania: The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Store

November 15, 2017

Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet, partners in business and in life, planted the seed for their new restaurant 10 years ago. In 2007, they founded the Agrarian Kitchen Farm & Cooking School in the small Tasmanian town of Lachlan, where guests come from around the world to participate in farm life and learn to cook with local star chef Dunn. A decade on, the same farm supplies a new Eatery & Store located just five miles up the road. Opened this summer, the new destination restaurant is set inside a circa 1925 former mental asylum, though the original stamped tin ceilings and tall sash windows are all that remain from the era. An attached shop has the farm’s preserved fruits and vegetables, plus gardening tools, cookbooks, and ceramics on offer.

Photography by Adam Gibson, courtesy of the Agrarian Kitchen.

agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room 1
Above: The main dining room seats 60, many at a long communal table that runs parallel to the bar. The central chandelier is by Australian lighting designer Christopher Boots.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room 3
Above: The floors are polished concrete and the dining tables are custom with local wood tops and steel joints. The ceiling is made of stamped tin and is original to the 1925 hospital building.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room 2
Above: Sash-style windows are also original. The black ceramic pendants above each table are by Lee Farrell, a ceramicist who also happens to be the Agrarian Kitchen’s head gardener. She also made the ceramic plates used in the restaurant.
on the bar wall, pink and amber liquors offer a warm glow. 12
Above: On the bar wall, pink and amber liquors offer a warm glow.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room wine glasses pumpkins
Above: Glassware is stored on wood shelves with steel backing.
agrarian kitchen tasmania ceramics 1
Above: A shop off the main dining room stocks kitchen tools, wines, and garden gear, plus more ceramics by Farrell.
agrarian kitchen tasmania ceramics 2
Above: Also stocked in the shop are cookbooks by chef Rodney Dunn, including The Agrarian Kitchen.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining food storage
Above: An entire kitchen on the property is dedicated to preserving foods. The farm’s pickles, jams, and fermented foodstuffs are used in the restaurant and are offered for sale in the store.
agrarian kitchen tasmania fireplace
Above: Dunn and Demanet added a custom, steel-fronted wood-burning fireplace to the restaurant for coziness.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room 5
Above: A private dining room off the main space has original brick walls and wood floors.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room outside
Above: A warm glow during dinner service.
agrarian kitchen tasmania dining room brick building
Above: The Agrarian team had original bricks to spare during the remodel, so craftsman Dennis Benson converted them into a wood-burning oven inside.
agrarian kitchen tasmania farm building
Above: The store and eatery are located in a building that was once part of Willow Court, a mental hospital that opened in 1827 and closed in 2000.

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