Review: Good Food and Wine Show 2013

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I was lucky to be able to spend a day and half at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show. Friday was nice and quiet and I was able to get into some masterclasses. Saturday was busier and some of the sessions I wanted to go to were booked out, so it pays to book early.

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In the Celebrity Theatre I caught the always delightful Maggie Beer and the cheeky Anna Gare. I paced myself trying wines in the Riedel Wine Theatre. Then I sampled some new cheese in Cheese Alley. I also watched Bella in the Chopping Block.

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One of the highlights was meeting Miguel Maestre in the Chef’s Table. He was entertaining and humorous.

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I ate a tasting plate of three course allergy friendly Bulletproof menu. It was totally vegetarian and Italian themed. Instead of pasta, Miguel used a lettuce leaf and zucchini spaghetti in a creative way. I learnt a handy tip – that his mama used to say “one garlic clove per person”.

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Later I attended the wine tasting Riedel masterclass, where we sampled six regional Australian wines. I was impressed by variety of wine tasted and the good value with the gift pack of glasses and a bottle of wine.

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The cheese tasting experience was interesting. I learnt that mozzarella in Italy is always eaten the day it is made. I particularly liked the Tuckers Natural caramelised onion crackers.

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At the end of the day, I attended the Nespresso coffee tasting journey. I quickly picked up how to use the machine and we tried four different coffee pods, including an affogato – decaf on Movenpick vanilla ice cream.

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Maggie Beer’s new icecream – malted milk and chocolate biscuit wins the best food sample in my book.

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Overall an enjoyable way to spend a day exploring and tasting your way around some of Queensland and Australia’s best food and wine producers.

Highly recommended.

Thank you Square One PR for inviting me to be a guest at the Good Food and Wine Show

Top ten food experiences to have in Brisbane

After much debate with my husband, we have come up with this list of our top ten food experiences to have in Brisbane:

  1. Award winning Very chocolate gelato from Sugo Mi Gelateria.
  2. Fat Pho Noodles at Fat Noodle
  3. Sustainable fish and chips from Swampdog.
  4. Coffee at Cup Cafe
  5. Authentic Italian wood-fired pizza from Vespa Pizza
  6. Romantic dinner for two at Montrachet
  7. A slice of cake from the Welsh Lady
  8. Three course celebration lunch at Aria Restaurant
  9. A takeaway wrap from Cafe Wrapture
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  10. A selection of chocolates from Mayfield Chocolates

What are your favourite eating experiences in Brisbane? 

Book review: Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger

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Bill’s Italian Food by Bill Granger covers over 110 recipes with full colour photographs of the dishes and happy shots of Bill’s family. Although the recipes are not necessarily authentic Italian fare, they are Bill’s interpretation.

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The recipes are divided into the following sections: pantry, instant, weekday, slow, dinner, party and sweets.

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We tried the bellissimo meat loaf with simple tomato salad as well as the mozzarella, roasted capsicum and caper pizza and both were delicious. Highlights from the book include slow roasted lamb shoulder, with orange, anchovy and fennel; as well as the chocolate and hazelnut cake with nutella frosting.

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Granger confesses it’s not just the food he loves, but they way Italians live: “They don’t suck coffee from disposable sippy-cups … They lean against marble bars and drink tiny grown-up espressos.”

A delightful and seasonal Italian inspired cookbook.

Bill’s Italian Food – buy now on Fishpond

In My Kitchen – August 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen August 2013. This month, in my kitchen are …

Loose Leaf Tea House

I tried three teas from The Loose Leaf Tea House, with English Breakfast being my firm favourite.

Herbies spices

Fragrant Sweet Spices by Herbie’s Spices. I have used 1/8 teaspoon in a mug of hot chocolate to give it a lovely warm spicy taste. You can also add 3 teaspoons to a cake mixture – I tried it with some gluten free chocolate brownies.

I recently interviewed Ian Hemphill from Herbie’s Spices.

Melinda's Red Velvet Cake

Melinda from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies allowed me to try some of her delicious products. My favourite was the gluten free Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownies. The Decadent Red Velvet Cake is the last one I have to try – but I’m saving it for a special occasion.

San Remo Spelt Pasta

We have been having San Remo spelt pasta and using spelt flour instead of wheat, as spelt is one of the more tolerant gluten grains. Both are easy substitutes and we have hardly noticed the difference.

JarKey

This nifty little device is called a JarKey and it helps lift off the lid of bottles and jars. It’s invaluable and every kitchen should have one, especially if you have arthritis in your hands or you do a lot of preserving.

We are giving away plenty of passionfruit to family and friends.

Posted for In My Kitchen August 2013 hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

How we can eat our landscapes – by Pam Warhurst TED video

What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TED Salon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.

Pam Warhurst co-founded Incredible Edible, an initiative in Todmorden, England dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community.

For National Volunteer Week.

Brisbane Times Good Food Guide Queensland 2012

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I was excited to get my hands on the very first edition of the Brisbane Times Queensland Good Food Guide.

With more than 450 reviews of eateries in Brisbane and covering the top of Queensland right down to Northern New South Wales.

Each review includes price range, opening hours and a score.

The 208 page full colour book is edited by Queensland food writer Natascha Mirosch. She has dispatched more than 25 reviewers all over Brisbane and up to Port Douglas and down to Coolangatta to seek the best places to dine in Queensland. Find out which dining establishments were dished up a coveted Good Food Guide Award chef hat.

The book is available in newsagents and book stores for $24.95.

An online version of the book is available, with access to all of the reviews. For a limited time the website only subscription for Brisbane Times Good Food Guide is only $4.50!!!

This is a Rocketman Media sponsored post.

The Urban Orchard video

The Urban Orchard is a network of households in your local community who are meeting monthly to swap and share the produce of their backyard (or frontyard!) gardens, and conduct workshops on gardening and preserving the harvest.

In November 2007, Friends of the Earth Adelaide and the Goodwood Goodfood Co-op launched a homegrown fruit and vegetable exchange in the inner south-western suburbs of Adelaide. It’s a concept that has been practiced formally and informally in communities probably since time began. The basic format of this particular exchange was inspired by the Urban Orchard project initiated by Melbourne’s CERES community environment park.

The Urban Orchard project was initiated in Adelaide by local community members passionate about gardening, good food and building community.  Through providing a central space for community members to come together and share their homegrown or gleaned surpluses, the exchange offers a number of strong social and environmental benefits, including:

  • reducing waste by redistributing surplus fruit, vegetables, herbs and seeds
  • cultivating networks within the neighbourhood and building stronger communities
  • providing healthy, seasonal food for the community
  • sharing valuable skills in gardening and food preparation
  • avoiding greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for produce
  • transported from outside the local area

The Urban Orchard is currently active:

Communities around Australia are adapting the Urban Orchard concept to meet this unique local needs. A  do-it-yourself guide is available for download.

Hungry for Change – about the experts

I’m counting down the days for the new Hungry for Change documentary. Why? Because it’s produced by the same people who did the “Food Matters” documentary, which is my all time favourite food and nutrition movie. Hands down.

If I’ve learnt anything is the last few years, 100% what food you eat does matter to your health.

While waiting for the release, I wanted to find out some more about the experts featured in the new movie.

Wow what an incredible range of talented people.

Documenary review: Growing Change

This commodification of food by industrial agriculture has created a chasm between the grower and the  consumer. But now there’s a change. People want to close that gap in.
– Costa Georgiadis

How will the world feed itself in the future?

Is it possible to grow a fair and sustainable food system?

This film shows an experiment in how to create that change with promising solutions.

In Venezuela, from fishing villages to cocoa plantations to urban gardens, a growing social movement is showing what’s possible when communities, not corporations, start to take control of food.

Sydney filmmaker Simon Cunich went on a 12-month journey from community gardens in Sydney to farming co-operatives in Venezuela.

This documentary has a wonderful positive message. It stands there right next to the now classic Power of Community.

Highly recommended.

Growing Change