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Knife Making and Preserving: Knowledge that Lasts

Molly McLaughlin

Eating seasonal, home grown produce was something our grandparents knew well.

It was a necessity, in fact, and the skills required were second nature a couple of generations ago. Today, with supermarkets never more than a five minute drive away, starting a veggie garden can seem like a time consuming inconvenience. This has led to a wasteful approach to food consumption and long-distance food transportation that is becoming increasingly environmentally unsustainable for society.

The Knife Making and Preserving workshop at Hotel Hotel on Saturday 12 March is a place where you can learn the lost art of preserving food for later consumption, in order to minimise waste in a delicious way.

This day-long workshop is part of Hotel Hotel’s Fix and Make series, and will include a light lunch. Alongside expert knife sharpener Cheng Fei and metal smith Rowan McLachlan, Daniel Flatt, the Head Chef at Monster Kitchen and Bar, will be explaining how to get the best of local produce.

“I’ll be presenting three different types of preserves at the workshop; kimchi, preserved lemon and cucumber pickle,” Dan explains. “I’ve always preserved food, I learned from my parents as I was growing up because my dad had a pretty good vegetable garden that always had surplus so we made relishes and pickles to make our food last.”

Monster chef Dan Flat

Head Chef of Monster Kitchen and Bar Dan Flatt

In the kitchen at Monster, Daniel uses kimchi and other preserves to bring out the best flavours of his dishes, including the preserved lemon on Monster’s breakfast favourite, poached eggs. He sees preserving as an invaluable skill in the kitchen.

“A lot more people are going back to growing their own vegetables, even the fine dining restaurants are going back to traditional style with a new twist,” he says. “After the workshop, people will get to take home the preserves they make on the day as well as the recipes so they can replicate them. I want to give people an idea of how open preserving is to interpretation, and encourage them to use different spices and herbs and their own creativity to get the desired result.”

Participants in the workshop will also get to learn knife sharpening and how blades are made through the process of lamination and filing, by working on a test piece that they can then take home.

As a natural follow on and compliment to this workshop, the following Fix and Make workshop will be Oyster Appreciation, taking place at Hotel Hotel on Saturday 2 April from 9.30am-2.3opm.

OYSTER-APPRECIATION

Participants will start the day by making their own handmade oyster shucker with Alison Jackson, a Canberra-based gold and silversmith. Dan Flatt will teach participants how to make a number of dressings designed to bring out an oyster’s delicate flavour. Then, Steve Feletti from Moonlight Flat Oysters (cultivators of the famous Clair de Lune) will show participants how to shuck like a pro.

the essentials

What: Knife Making and Preserving
Where: Hotel Hotel, 25 Edinburgh Avenue, NewActon
When: Saturday 12 March from 9am-3pm
Cost: $165 / $115 concession (including light lunch)
Don’t forget to bring your favourite kitchen knives!
Find out more via the Fix and Make website: hotel-hotel.com.au/fixandmake/events/knife-making-and-preserving

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Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin is new to Canberra and is attempting to prove to her friends that the capital city can be cool. This mostly involves frequently going out for brunch and then posting about it on social media, along with trekking up hills and around art galleries. She is half way through her uni degree but spends most of her time reading, writing and planning her next adventure. More about the Author