With longtime friends TV chef, Rick Stein and seafood consultant John Susman.
I have been trying to maintain that casual, holiday feeling but despite my best intentions, I seem to be spending more time at my desk. Though that doesn’t mean I haven’t prioritised seeing friends and an incredible exhibition. Technology and information explosion just seems to mean we have more to understand and master and more to do. Do you feel like that?
It was, however, glorious to catch up with old mates Rick Stein and John Susman at Bar Vincent, on the site which was once Tre Scalini in the 1980s (and oh how we loved it then). I first met Rick in 1995 when he was visiting Australia (previously he was here in the 1960s) and we had the same book publisher. The publicist was based in Melbourne and asked me if I could look after this guy because she thought we would get on. So I did, having no idea who he was and indeed he had only just published his first book, as had I. So I took him with me to do a restaurant review, we hit it off and I rang Sydney Fishmarkets to organise a visit for him. The rest, as they say, is history. I also knew his wife, Sass, separately from him, before he did (but that’s another story). John Susman is the most helpful, knowledgeable seafood consultant whom I have known since the late 1980s. He was also very helpful to me in establishing the Sydney Royal Aquaculture Competitionand is the Chair of Judges. so, naturally, we discussed all things seafood, ate some sensational produce sensitively prepared, washed down with lovely wines. Bar Vincent is well worth a visit.
L: Capelli with vongole & pippies & R: clockwise from top King George Whiting Becca Filo, Spinach, Salad, John Dory with Jervis Bay Mussels, Chips.
Saturday another blast from the past with great hosp friends I knew in the 1990s at Bar Copains (I posted some pics on socials) – also worth a visit.
I have finally made it to the Carla Zampatti Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. It is the first retrospective exhibition of the wonderful Australian designer, business leader, philanthropist and mentor, Carla Zampatti who sadly died in 2021. It features 100 outfits, including personal items from Zampatti’s estate, the Carla Zampatti Fashion Archive, the wardrobes of well-known women and the results of hundreds of responses to a public callout. I found ordinary people’s comments, who had loaned their garments incredibly moving. Whomever they were they all said that wearing Carla made them feel confident and they treasured their pieces. I knew Carla and she was in the shop when I went in to find something to wear form my partner John’s farewell. I was trying on one outfit and she pointed me to another. She was right, of course. What a legacy. Vale Carla. We also farewelled the indomitable Diana ‘Bubbles’ Fisher, TV personality, social writer and royalist this week in a moving funeral service. She too was wonderful. So important to honour such people.
The wonderful Carla Zampatti Exhibition at the Powerhouse including a car she styled in 1885 and me standing in the dramatic “Carla red” entrance
Recipes of the week
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN WITH RAINBOW SLAW & BLACKENED CORN Baked, not fried & just as delicious. GET MY RECIPE HERE
HONEYED FIGS WITH BRIOCHE Enjoy seasonal figs now while they’re so well-priced. GET MY RECIPE HERE
Fun with Wine
How far should you fill your wine glass?
Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. If you would like to see more of my videos, subscribe to my YouTube channelHEREor follow me onInstagram.
Food made with zero waste at the Refettorio OzHarvest
Guest Chefs at the Ref Dinner Series, Wednesdays in March, Sydney
Refettorio OzHarvest Sydney is an Australian-first, social impact collaboration between OzHarvest and world-renowned chef, Massimo Bottura and his charity Food for Soul. During the day those experiencing food insecurity are served a free nourishing, gourmet three-course meal made from rescued ingredients by OzHarvest chefs. During March, five of Sydney’s best chefs are taking over the Refettorio, serving up a bespoke gourmet three-course menu based on the zero-food waste philosophy. Each ticket costs $120 and includes a donation to help keep our doors open and serve six people who need a free nourishing lunch during our weekday service. Book tickets here.
481 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW.
Tasting Australia, 28 April to 7 May. South Australia
Tasting Australia has its beverage programme for 2023. New Drinks Curators Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane have developed an impressive line up of drink-centric events with a range of masterclassesl focusing on particular wine varieties, alongside sustainable viticulture, women in wine, low-alcohol wines, natural wines and Barossa’s next generation winemakers. These will cater for both the experienced palate, and those who are just discovering the world of drinks.
That’s Amore Cheese Ricotta Festival 2023, 26 March, Melbourne That’s Amoremake seriously fabulous soft cheeses. Many years ago I did a TV cross live from the Good Food & Wine Show. with founder and owner Giorgio Linguanti as he made fresh mozzarella. This is their third ricotta festival and the only one in Australia, featuring huge vats of fresh hot ricotta, Italian food and drinks pop-ups, a local producer marketplace, entertainment for the whole family and kids activities.
Tickets $8 – $10 book here