The lovely table of supportive friends at the WOHO IWD lunch
Each day the news is distressing, so while acknowledging that and supporting aid, I think it best to try to find joy in each day and each week and spread that to others. I am very lucky to have some wonderful friends who take care to include me. Thank you.
Last Sunday Women in Hospitality held our International Women’s Day lunch along withWomen of Australian Distilling, thanks to the fabulous efforts of board members Kathleen fromNip of Courage(the best place to buy your Australian spirits) and Claire from Bloodwood Restaurant. It was a cocktail degustation and Claire had handed over her kitchen to three young women chefs to work collaboratively, yet also each present a course. Experiencing this and hearing from the female distillers was so uplifting. I was especially pleased that one of the mentees from my Tasting Success female mentoring programme which we have been running through TAFE since 2007 was one of those young women. With a Greek heritage she made Slow braised juniper lamb filo & iceberg salad. All the food was great and I loved the way the three chefs drew on their own cultural heritage. I have never seen congee served more like a sauce with seared scallops (see pic below). It was amazing.
I’ve been thrilled to be getting back out supporting restaurants so please stay in the loop onFacebookandInstagramor email me with any requests or comments.
L: Seared scallop, congee, Thai basil pesto, toasted rice and R: Sweet Chick IWD cookies
Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.
Using different spices can make curries very individual and different. This Khmer Chicken Curryis a traditional Cambodian curry so does not contain chilli. Heat is added via the floral and fruity Kampot pepper. I’ve substituted white peppercorns as Kampot pepper can be difficult to buy. Another time, I’m going to substitute Australian native pepper, which I believe marries the fruitiness of Kampot pepper.
I have been reflecting on the interesting time I had shooting my Taste of Ireland TV series in this week which celebrates St Patrick’s Day. (see more below.) It is a country where I immediately felt at home. The Irish character has influenced much of the Australian – irreverent, larrikin, unsure of authority and love of the craic or good times.Paul Flynn is a well-loved TV chef in Ireland from The Tannery, Dungarven, Co Waterford. When I caught up with him he was cooking for an exclusive private dinner and this was the dessert:Plum and Apple Sundae
Plum and Apple Sundae
Some Irish Fun
With Martin Shanahan from Fishy, Fishy Restaurant in Kinsale, Ireland in 2011
Straight To The Source have launched a new podcast series
Listen I’m pretty late getting into podcasts given my preoccupations and travels of the last several years. However, my walking buddy is away so I have just listened to a couple of new podcasts from my friends at Straight to the Source. They work helping producers connect with chefs and food service professionals so listening to interviews with farmers and producers is just up my alley. There are three podcasts available at the moment but more will be regularly released. More information here. It’s amazing how many innovative female producers there are. I can’t wait for more!
MICHELIN Star Restaurants in the Great Britain and Ireland Guide 2022 The latest edition has recently been released with listings also on the Michelin website. Eight restaurants were awarded Three MICHELIN Stars, of which Bastible in Dublin is new; 22 restaurants were awarded Two MICHELIN Stars, of which 5 are new; and 164 restaurants were awarded One MICHELIN Star, of which 19 are new. Read a round up of these in Dish Cult’s special guide.
Talk and Taste at the Sydney Royal Easter Show 9 – 19 April
Regular readers know that I am a self-confessed Easter Show tragic. I just love it and am so honoured to be on the governing Council of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW which runs it. While I remain disappointed that there is no more Theatre Kitchen (as I love demonstrating), this year we are re-introducing our Talk and Taste sessions with Australian producers who enter our competitions. ‘Fast’ Ed Halmagyi and I are sharing hosting the half hour sessions with different producers everyday in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. These take place from 9 – 19 April every hour on the hour from 10am – 4pm. They are free of charge and will be available on a first come, first served basis, though you can put your name down for a session later in the day – just be sure you are back at least 5 minutes early. However, on the morning of Tuesday 12 April we will be judging oysters and prawns in front of the public for the Aquaculture Competition. I will be on the microphone explaining what is happening, interviewing judges where I can and answering questions. So come along
President’s Medal Award Dinner Wednesday 13 April 5.45pm – 10.30pm
Each year the President of The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW recognises and rewards Australia’s best producers. Considered the pinnacle of the Sydney Royal Wine, Beer, Cider, Dairy and Fine Food competition calendar the award advances the concept of quality beyond taste. It celebrates truly inspirational and innovative agricultural producers focussing on environmental, social and economic management. It’s an incredible competition and an awesome dinner as our talented Executive Chef and his team craft a stunning menu featuring all the winning products.
This year, Ed Halmagyi will host the fun and informative evening of outstanding food and wine, celebrating the success of the six finalists and announcing the winner of the 15th Annual President’s Medal.
Dress Code: Cocktail
Venue: Playfair Room, Council Stand, GIANTS Stadium
Cost is $160 (incl GST) or $135 (incl GST) for members Tickets and more information here.
In Edinburgh, UK ‘Eat Out Edinburgh” campaign has been launched to entice people back to city centre restaurant, bars and hotels after a devastating two years. Celebrating the best of food, drink and hospitality, and with over 30 participating venues confirmed, the ‘Eat Out Edinburgh’ campaign runs until 27th March. More information here
In London It has been widely reported that Thai Food Maestro David Thompson is returning to London with Long Chim, a Thai restaurant with sites in Australia. It will be located in London’s Chinatown in 2022. LongChim means to “come and taste’ and will be serving the food of modern Bangkok. Read more in The Eater London.
In Australia Bellingen Show 21 – 22 May I am delighted that I will be the Guest Chef for the Bellingen show from 21 – 22 May. Not only giving cooking demonstrations using regional produce, but also cooking a lunch which people can win tickets to on the Sunday.Read more about it here.
Newcastle Food Month
Great to see that Newcastle Food month returns for a second year, during April. This isn’t only to highlight the talent of Newcastle’s burgeoning food and drink scene, it is also to kick along the hospitality businesses who have suffered in the last two years. There’s a whole range of events at different prices. Learn more at Newcastle Food Month.
South Australian Tour postponed TBA
With my friend Maggie Beer in our Flame Studio Sydney. You will meet her on the tour
This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You’ll discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads, sometimes in exclusivity. Only 10 – 12 guests.
Details of the adventure include:
Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person at dinner or sometimes lunch
Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
3 cooking classes
You can enjoy this experience from AUD $9600 per person twin share (flights from Australia not included). Cost for single travellers is AUD$10,700.
By Prior Arrangement is highly experienced and well-known in Morocco as Principal, Carol Prior lived there for 13 years and has been arranging tours there for over 30. I have confidence in working with them to bring this very special tour into being. Talk to them about the trip, or feel free to email me with any queries. I am excited!
Read Where to Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Rabat.
Puglia in the boot of the heel of Italy is still relatively unspoiled. A secret Italians tend to keep to themselves, it is a wonderful place to visit and so much less crowded than Tuscany. Join me and share an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there.
Group size: an intimate 8-16 places only
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy