How one of the State’s best Chef’s uses Tasmanian Timber

Craig Will is Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Launceston institutions Stillwater and Black Cow, and the recently opened Stillwater SEVEN Apartments.

At the helm of the kitchen, Craig has led both Stillwater and Black Cow to hats at the Good Food Awards, the country’s greatest hospitality awards.

At the heart of the businesses success is the championing of local producers and designers, both in the kitchen and the fit out of the restaurants and accommodation.

Tasmanian timber features heavily throughout the Stillwater SEVEN apartments, which were designed by Cumulus Studio and built by Anstie Construction. The apartments are beautifully appointed with bespoke furniture meticulously crafted out of select Tasmanian timbers by award winning designer Simon Ancher.

However, it is the use of Tasmanian wood in the kitchen that may surprise you!

Craig uses Tasmanian Oak to smoke various elements of some of his most famous dishes!

“Tasmanian Oak is not only readily available, but is the quintessential smoking wood,” said Craig.

“The flavour it passes isn’t too strong, but adds a complexity that is hard to match.”

Craig said there are three kinds of smoking – all of which can be done with Tasmanian Oak; hot, cold and plank smoking.

Hot smoking uses a heat source and cooks the ingredients while also passing on the wood flavour, while cold smoking doesn’t use a heat source, so no cooking takes place.

Some Stillwater favourites that are smoked with Tasmanian Oak include; goats curd, Tasmanian salmon pearls and almond cream, all of which are cold smoked.

The third smoking technique – ‘planking’ – is Craig’s favourite technique. To plank smoke, you place produce on top of a plank of wood and place the plank on a heat source. The bottom of the plank chars and passes flavour onto the produce.

Plank smoked Ocean Trout is one of Craig’s most loved dishes and was served to over 700 of the nation’s leading tourism operators at the Australian Tourism Awards, held earlier this year at the iconic Cataract Gorge.

Craig encourages everyone to experiment with smoking this festive season and has created a glazed ham recipe especially for The Network. Add some Tasmanian timber to your Christmas Day spread!

Image credit for Stillwater SEVEN photo: Anjie Blair