Do Mangoes like poetry?

In my latest book, The Cook’s Garden, there’s a poem by Richard Tipping which goes like this: mangoes are not cigarettes mangoes are fleshy sinful passionate fruits mangoes are hungry to be sucked mangoes are glad to be stuck in the teeth mangoes like slush & kissing mangoes are not cigarettes mangoes are idiosyncratic seasonal … Continue reading

Just Mad About Jamie

It’s 6pm and already a long queue has formed outside Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Pitt Street, Sydney CBD. City workers, eager to get home,thread their way through the crowd. Despite initial concerns that Aussies wouldn’t want to queue, they’ve been happy to do so ever since it opened a few weeks ago.  A long wooden … Continue reading

The Family Meal with Ferran Adria

When I was invited to the launch of Ferran Adria’s new cookbook a few weeks ago, I expected to find something magnificent, though not a cookbook I would ever take into the kitchen and cook from. Adria, after all, is the former chef and driving force behind El Bulli in north-east Spain, often proclaimed the … Continue reading

Milton-Ulladulla Harbourfeast

THE Milton-Ulladulla region will celebrate the return of its annual food and wine festival this weekend. Harbourfeast will kick off with a festival dinner at Cupitt’s Winery on Friday, November 4 and will continue the following day (Saturday, November 5) at the Ulladulla Civic Centre, showcasing the very best the Southern Shoalhaven has to offer … Continue reading

Hallowe’en: it’s not quite what you think

Last week, a fellow twitterer sent me this message:  “Couldn’t we pass on the Halloween pumpkin carving? Flooded with enough US culture already!” He was referring to a query of mine on the Mini Chef Facebook page: “Have you ordered your Halloween pumpkin yet (in time to practise your carving skills)?” I had to remind … Continue reading

Looking for a Sugardaddy?

Pastry chef Brent Templeton has worked for Lindt Chocolate patisserie, the Yellow Bistro in Kings Cross (owned by former Rockpool pastry chef, Lorraine Godsmark) and Black Star Pastry and Bloodwood restaurant in Newtown. Yet he’d never made a batch of scones until a few days ago. “There are so many things to learn in the … Continue reading

Are You As Cool As A Quke?

Last week I was surprised to find a green plastic lunch box  on my doorstep when I arrived home. It was tied up with a yellow ribbon and when I looked inside I found it filled with finger-length cucumbers, called Qukes by their producers. Torpedo-shaped and smaller in size than their cousins, the Lebanese cucumbers, … Continue reading

Three Cheers for Community Spirit

It’s a cool windy morning when I pull into the Killcare General Store at Hardys Bay on the NSW Central Coast. Despite the grey skies, proprietor Garry Janes has a big smile on his face and greets me warmly.   The reason I’m visiting is because I noticed his thriving herb and vegetable boxes outside the … Continue reading

King of the Vegetables

Can you imagine three asparagus spears weighing 500g? It’s the weight recorded by the Roman author Pliny (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD) of asparagus grown in the wetlands of Ravenna in north-eastern Italy. Some stalks even weighed in at 300g each. The Romans were in fact the first to cultivate asparagus from the … Continue reading