Port Cygnet Cannery

The Port Cygnet Cannery is an important addition to the Tasmanian food scene. It is a very large venue immediately south of Cygnet town with an amazing fit out.

As you drive out of Cygnet look for the sign to Port Cygnet and you will find the venue just a few hundred metres down this road. You will then see the sign shown below.

Port Cygnet Cannery look for this sign

You drive around the back of the building which is where you will find the entrance to the venue after parking in the huge car park.

Entrance to Port Cygnet Cannery
Entrance to Port Cygnet Cannery

Port Cygnet Cannery Background

We want to give you some background about the chefs who turn out such delicious food. At the end of this article we provide a link to a Web site that also talks about the people behind the scenes of both the Cannery building and the associated farm. As we haven’t visited the farm we thought we would leave it to others to fill in the gaps.

Now to the chefs’ backgrounds in brief. Like most Tasmanian stories it is one of coincidences and random events.

Franca Zingler is one of the owners and shares the chef work with her partner Asher Gilding. She worked in Sydney at two interesting venues. The first was at Adriano Zumbo Patisserie which was very on trend when she worked there from 2009 to 2011. After furthering her hospitality studies she got a job at Cornersmith which was gaining national recognition for pioneering work in reducing waste in restaurants.

Our friend Sabine Spindler was the head chef and known as the “waste warrior” at the time. She was a co-author of the book Cornersmith : Salads and Pickles. During the time that Franca was at Cornersmith she and Sabine became friends and when Franca moved to Cygnet in her “Cake Kombi” Sabine would often travel to Tasmania so we got to know about Franca’s skills in the kitchen.

Asher had moved to Tasmania and cooked at the Apple Shed in Huonville for some time before heading overseas.

One of the places he ended up cooking at was Restaurant Numero 7 in Fes, Morocco, the very place we have discussed in an article called Fes and Fava: A Great Moroccan Experience which is on our foodtourist.com site. We went there because our friend Analiese Gregory was setting the restaurant up for visiting chefs at the time. Asher was one of those visiting chefs there.

The coincidence comes because Asher returned to Tasmania and is now working at Cygnet and Analiese has moved to Tasmania and is now setting up a farm literally just over the Huon River from Cygnet.

Franca’s Bake Sale

When Franca and Asher opened a full service restaurant in this venue it was an immediate success. Hundreds of people would turn up each weekend to enjoy the sharp cooking and the sustainable wines.

But it was only in operation for a couple of months before the COVID shutdown was implemented. So, they went into their own enforced shutdown and it obviously gave them time to think about what they had been doing and what they really wanted to do.

So now you can drive to Cygnet on Saturday morning to Franca’s Bake Sale to buy from the stunning range of baked goods that are lovingly displayed just inside the entrance to the complex.

You will find savoury items such as anchovy, olive and parmesan scones and sweeter treats such as cardamom bus, poppy seed buns, almond and blueberry cake, linzer cookies, brown butter kringles, cinnamon buns and amazing eclairs including rhubarb and vanilla (with incredibly intense flavours) and also a pistachio version which was equally delicious.

Close up of the Eclair display
Linzer cookies
Franca’s Bake Sale

You can read more about this venture in their own words by clicking on the link below:

Port Cygnet Cannery