All fired up at The Woods

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Sydney’s Four Seasons hotel in The Rocks.  Last time, it was for a traditional afternoon tea in the rather out-dated Cafe at the back of The Lobby. But nothing could have prepared me for the transformation that’s taken place since award-winning designer, Michael McCann, was commissioned to do a … Continue reading

3 Michelin Star Dishes for Sydneysiders

It’s not every day Sydneysiders have the opportunity to taste dishes created by a 3 Michelin star chef. Now at Caffe Sicilia, a charming Sicilian restaurant in Crown Street, Surry Hills, you can choose from four of Heinz Beck’s dishes, a legacy of his recent flying visit to Sydney. Beck runs the 3 Michelin star … Continue reading

Buon Natale:Christmas Italian-Style

Grazie mille, Steve Manfredi.  You’ve helped me figure out my menu for Christmas this year.  Manfredi is owner/chef of  Osteria Balla, a stylish modern Italian restaurant located at The Star, Darling Harbour, in Sydney. I was one of the “guinea pigs” invited to Balla this week to sample a light summery Italian-style Christmas menu, using … Continue reading

Ballarat Strikes Gold Again

Eureka! The historic gold mining town of Ballarat in central western Victoria has something new to boast about. One Michelin star-chef, local boy Damien Jones, will open his very own Thai restaurant in Ballarat next year.   Jones left Australia over a decade ago with internationally renowned Sydney chef David Thompson to open Nahm in … Continue reading

Secret Blend Coffee Masterclasses

When Melbourne coffee aficionado Salvatore Malatesta ran a series of dinners at his St Ali Cafe in South Melbourne pairing food with coffee two years ago, he was amazed by the response. “We ran 12 dinners at $150/head using five different brewing techniques and eight different coffees accompanied by eight dishes,” he says. “I was … Continue reading

A Cheesie Christmas

Are you making Edible Christmas Gifts this year? While most of us are relieved once the plum pudding and Christmas cake are made, cheese-maker Debra Allard has set herself a much bigger challenge. She’s made a Reblochon cheese which requires almost as much care as looking after a baby. “I have to turn it every … Continue reading

Leaping into the Asian Century

If it’s true, as our politicians keep telling us, that this is the Asian century, then maybe it’s time we extended this concept to our dinner tables. At least that’s the thinking of TV Chef Poh Ling Yeow: though we may be familiar with Asian cuisine, we don’t necessarily cook it at home. “While we … Continue reading

Spooks, it’s Halloween

I got the fright of my life early one morning last week.  I’d just  stepped out from my son’s apartment in the West Village, New York city, for a coffee and a pumpkin cupcake – and when I looked up, I saw a wizened old man hanging from the fire escape. He’d suddenly appeared overnight, … Continue reading

Bedazzled by Northern Italy

We’re sitting on the terrace of the Hotel Belvedere overlooking a wide expanse of tranquil blue water on Lake Como, northern Italy. By walking up the hill away from the village below, we’ve managed to escape the tourists who flock here by ferry (and car) to visit this picturesque resort town which sits on the crutch … Continue reading

Venice: Behind the Mask

The sweet strains of Once Upon A Dream from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty are drifting across the square as we make our way through the throng outside St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We’ve spent the past couple of hours inside what is arguably the most sumptuous church interior in the world, where every corner is a sombre … Continue reading
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