Sarah Glover, Primrose Sands, Hobart
Images by Nick Jaffe
Internationally renowned chef Sarah Glover has merged the two loves of her life: cooking and adventure, into a wildly successful career, a much loved cookbook and most recently, a series of practical field guides. We caught up with Sarah at home in Tasmania to talk more about her journey, how living in Tasmania has shaped her relationship with food and to learn how to make her signature cheesy sea urchin pasta.
“I live in Tassie. I grew up here but moved away for almost 10 years, living in Bondi and then did a brief stint in New York. Two years ago I came home to buy a house and set up a bit more of a base. From Tassie I’m able to travel around Australia working on my cookbooks, catering events with Wild Kitchen or even did a trip last year to the US to work with Martha [Stewart] and a few other exciting projects. I really enjoy being on the Island, but I’ve always had itchy feet… I don’t think I’ll ever stop travelling (Covid permitting).”
“The view to the sea is probably the most special thing about living here. It’s so calming and peaceful, it helps me be creative and it’s constantly reminding me of what’s out there which can provide a bit of context when I get overwhelmed. I also love to surf and can travel 15 mins in either direction in my 1968 VW Beetle named April.”
“I have a few things in my place that I really love; a great wardrobe my uncle painted, he is a print maker and teaches art at the university in Tasmania, It's super quirky and it makes me smile when I look at it. Also my vintage pot racks, LOVE them.”
“Growing up I was homeschooled, so we had a really well rounded education that included some practical skills… like cooking. A typical day could include standing around in mums kitchen making fun snacks like chocolate slices. That was probably one of my favourites, delicious, quick and sweet… I still find the smell of a chocolate slice a bit nostalgic these days, whenever I smell it, it really takes me back to when my brothers and I would eat the whole tin warm from the oven in between classes.”
"I started cooking professionally when I was 16, so a LONG time ago 20 years in fact. I’ve always been super creative and loved travel so it took me a while to find the balance between constantly moving and staying still long enough to cook a meal. Now I’ve managed to combine my love for both into a career as an adventuring chef… I feel pretty lucky to have found something I love and turned it into a career.”
Sarah wears an IN BED 100% linen apron in navy while selecting herbs from her garden.
"[Living in Tasmania] has really taken me back to my roots. My dad’s side of the family are all farmers, carrot farmers actually, so it was really nice to be able to appreciate growing food and recipes from the soil. I’m constantly dwarfed by what nature can do and what it can provide for us in its simplest form.”
My dad’s side of the family are all farmers, carrot farmers actually, so it was really nice to be able to appreciate growing food and recipes from the soil.
Sarah’s Cheesy Chilli and Sea Urchin Pasta
The abalone and uni in this recipe is hand dove from right out the front of my house! It has a lot of rich mineral, complex yet simple flavours. Sea urchin actually taste like parmesan when cooked. I love the combination of abalone and sea urchin they grow side by side and both eat seaweed so you can imagine how delicious they are?!
500 g spaghetti
200 g sea urchin butter (See below for recipe)
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 pieces sea urchin roe
grated parmesan, to serve
Start by boiling the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente.
In a small pot, melt 50 g of the sea urchin butter over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until they’re nicely browned and smell nutty. Set aside.
Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Toss in the remaining sea urchin butter and let it melt and coat the strands. Add the chilli and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Divide among plates and top each serve with two pieces of sea urchin roe. Scatter over the buttery crumbs and some parmesan, and serve with lemon wedges.
Sea urchin butter
Makes about 2 cups
This butter is easy to make, super rewarding, and works really well as a seasoning. Its creamy texture and lovely mild flavour is great with raw carrots and radishes with your afternoon drinks around the fire. In case you haven’t come across the term before, uni is the edible part of a sea urchin – often called the roe.
300 g salted butter, at room temperature
100 g uni (sea urchin roe)
grated zest of 1 lemon
Using an electric mixer or hand-held electric beaters, whip your butter until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add the roe and beat until emulsified. Right at the end, add the lemon zest to taste.