Food Tales

A Surfer's Wild Cooking Adventure in Tasmania

by Sarah Glover
Wild: All photos by Luisa Brimble.

If you think camp food equals canned beans and roasted s'mores, you might be surprised to learn just how fun (and satisfying) it is to create an incredible meal with a few pots and one fire. When the great outdoors is your kitchen, you can really let your tastes run wild. In her new tome, Wild: Adventure Cookbook, Tasmanian surfer girl and cookbook author Sarah Glover shows us how it's done — in all its beautiful, unruly, charred glory.

At the mouth of Tasmania's Huon River, near my family home but an age from almost everywhere else, is Eggs & Bacon Bay. With a name like that, I should've known I'd become a cookbook author! The great outdoors is my kitchen: on the beach, in the bush, on top of mountains, by rivers, even in my tiny urban backyard in Sydney.

It can be a little daunting to think about cooking away from a kitchen. No running water, no fridge brimming with options, no handy utensil drawer. But trust me when I say cooking on the road is liberating and incredibly satisfying. Sure, mistakes will be made and some food will be burned, but you will be out in nature, and you will feel well and truly alive.

Tasmania is home, where my older brothers taught me how to hunt and fish and surf. But Bondi is where I live these days. I still can't quite believe it: the big city and all these wonderful people so close to the wild water. This is where I started baking cookies for a living, stacking the batches of biscuits on upturned surfboards when I ran out of bench space.

Inland on the ragged mountains of Tasmania, the peaks look like upside down ice cream cones. The smell of the bush takes me straight back to when I was a teenager. Nothing satisfies on a crisp mountain morning like these Good Morning Bagels with Smokey Pancetta. The bagels are boiled in a dutch oven over hot coals and threaded on a stick to dry and keep warm.

Being able to cook up by the sea or in it, is well and truly worth every grit of sand that may get into my frying pan. But you can skip the frying pan with this rainbow kimchi poke. You'll want to bring the Spiralizer along for this one, and a cornucopia of vegetables.

I have met producers so passionate about what they do, which not only is a joy in itself, but also a sure path to delicious ingredients. This dish, Fresher Than Fresh Scallops, came from tagging along with a few friendly divers. These heavenly bites are composed of live scallops, lemon verbena oil, sesame seed dressing, and scallop roe butter with native bush pepper.

Dreamy Bay on Satellite Island is truly as dreamy as it sounds. An island off an island, you can dive for sea urchins, hunt for deer, and discover secret coves. Here, we sat around a driftwood campfire on the pebbly shore and watched a leg of wild venison cook slowly over the fire. I dressed the venison in mint, parsley, spring onion, and oil and vinegar, and served it alongside Sebago potatoes and wild greens.

Keep Exploring Wild Foods in the Great Outdoors

See a recipe for Sarah Glover's Hot Boy Tacos.

Buy the Book and Start Cooking (in a Swimsuit)

Wild: Adventure Cookbook, by Sarah Glover

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