On the Silk Road: Divine Bukhara

It’s raining mulberries on our dinner table at the Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrasa in Bukhara, an ancient city on the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, Central Asia. They’re white mulberries, also known as silkworm mulberries (Morus alba), not the black ones which stain your fingers and clothes. Their leaves feed silkworms, those voracious little spinners whose fibres … Continue reading

Mini Chef Christmas Cooking Classes

What gift do you most treasure at Christmas?  For me, the most precious is the home-made present, the one which expresses something of the personality of the giver.  It doesn’t matter how wacky it is.  In fact, its very imperfection is  part of its charm and humour. Some of my most treasured possessions are those … Continue reading

Halloween

Halloween is looming. Mischief, witchcraft and magic are brewing.  The kids are carving out Jack O’Lanterns, dreaming up tricks for trick ‘n treating and donning black pointed hats and masks. Most of us today think of Halloween as an American custom, but did you know it’s actually the popular Scottish name for October 31st, the eve … Continue reading

The Valley Cookbook

The sun is high in the sky by the time I arrive in Glenning Valley, a good hour’s drive north of Sydney near Tuggerah Lake on the Central Coast. I’ve come to visit cookbook author Loukie Werle and her husband Philip Gore to talk to them about their impressive self-published cookbook, The Valley. A majestic stand … Continue reading

Meet Indian Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar

It’s not everyday I meet a famous Indian chef or run a recipe for a kebab which requires a silk thread wrapped around it before cooking. The recipe is for Dorra Kebab, a skewered, well-spiced minced lamb kebab  cocooned in a silk thread and cooked over coals, and is the signature dish of Ranveer Brar, one of India’s … Continue reading

Winter Solstice in Hobart

Tasmania will always be the apple isle for me. No matter that these days it boasts all manner of fabulous gourmet foods: fresh truffles, wasabi, cheeses, saffron, wild abalone, rock lobsters and sea urchins. Nor is it because the shape of this pristine green isle summons up an apple image. It’s more personal than that. Tasmania, specifically … Continue reading

Guringai Festival: Cordon True Blue?

NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July each year. I first published this story on July 9, 2014: The Aboriginal flag was flying high last Sunday on Bare Island, La Perouse, at the beginning of NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week. A brisk westerly wind ensured it remained … Continue reading

24/7 Kitchen Still Going Strong

The last thing I expected when I returned to the Martin Place homeless camp today was a free feed.  Despite the dismantling of the actual camp, the 24/7 Kitchen is still going strong and serving hot food, cups of tea, coffee and hearty soup to the homeless. Only now they’re doing it right outside the … Continue reading

Darkness in the City

Dark Mofo, a festival which celebrates the winter solstice in Australia’s most southern capital Hobart, wouldn’t be Dark Mofo without some controversy. Yesterday’s “bloody sacrificial ritual” by avant-garde Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch which involved a dead bull, its blood and 500 litres of blood was no exception. From the moment it was announced earlier in … Continue reading

Hungry in the City

Bill Lemon is standing next to a bunsen burner at the top of Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD stirring a large pot of vegetable soup. It’s a healthy, colourful mix of carrots, celery, silver beet, broccoli, onions and sweet potatoes. “No salt,” says Bill.  “I haven’t added any salt.” Now retired, Bill is a former … Continue reading

John Olsen’s Edible Art

Next Wednesday at the Art Gallery of NSW, John Olsen, the acclaimed Australian artist,  will be talking about his lifelong passion for painting and cooking.  He’ll be joined by three other highly regarded chefs, Lucio Galletto (Lucio’s Restaurant), Damien Pignolet (Regatta, Bistro Moncur) and Matt Moran (Aria, Chiswick). A few years ago, I visited John … Continue reading

The Oldest Foods On Earth

Imagine this: There’s a knock on your front door. You open it. There’s a stranger there, pleasant enough, say’s he’s looking around the neighbourhood for somewhere to live. You invite him in, give him a cup of tea. He goes on his way. Some time later, he appears at the door again. This time with several friends, some of … Continue reading

Chocolate: Food of the Gods

Potent, irresistible and ever so smooth.  You might think I’m talking about one of the world’s legendary womanisers, and why not?  Indeed, the 18th century Casanova had a penchant for chocolate.  Apparently he consumed gallons of the liquid stuff and is alleged to have served it in much the same way that today’s playboys hand … Continue reading
Page 1 of 1612345...10...Last »