Tuesday, 29 August 2017

5 reasons you don't want to miss Floriade 2017

Canberra's fabulous flower show known as Floriade will transform the nation's capital this Spring as the city bursts into bloom for the festival's 30th anniversary year. Here are five reasons you need to celebrate Australia's premier spring celebration.

There will be surprises around every corner
This year's Floriade will feature amazing works of art that are set to transform Canberra’s Commonwealth Park. The masterpieces have been created by a mix of local and national talent, using everything from natural stone through to repurposed plastic. There will also be amusement park rides designed to give visitors a bird's eye view of the flowers.

The inaugural twilight concert will celebrate this year's 30th anniversary of Floriade.

This year's celebration will include an inaugural twilight concert
To celebrate three decades of being in bloom, this year's Floriade will include an open air musical performance by The David Bowie Tribute band, which is to supported by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. This ticketed event offers an exclusive opportunity for visitors to see the 2017 flowerbed designs before the gates officially open the next morning.

A walk of art... Floriade will explode in a riot of colour to mark the change of seasons in 2017
Floriade embraces four-legged fun
On Saturday, October 14, dog lovers will be able to bring along their four-legged friends as Floriade's popular Dogs' Day Out returns.  

There will be so much to see and do for children at this year's Floriade 2017.
Kids will be kept happy
Floriade offers something for the whole family in 2017 with an impressive roster of activities for children designed to encourage them to stop and smell the tulips, explore, discover and play. The kiddie-friendly activities on offer include hands-on cooking demonstrations and circus workshops.

Floriade is a celebration that will surprise and delight the entire family.

This year's Floriade 2017 will be held from September 16 until October 15 at Commonwealth Park, Canberra. Visit floriadeaustralia.com for more details

Monday, 28 August 2017

Six reasons to visit Sample Food Festival in Bangalow

Hello pumpkin: Paul West, of River Cottage Australia, is one of the stars of the NSW festival.

More than 17,000 food lovers are expected to descend on the 7th annual Sample Food Festival to be held in the northern NSW town of Bangalow this Saturday, September 2. Here are six reasons you should join the hungry hordes.

More than 17,000 gourmands are expected to attend this weekend's Sample Food Festival in Bangalow.

It's a feast of epic proportions
It's the largest gastronomic celebration on the northern NSW event calendar and it falls on the first weekend in Spring, which is the perfect time to show off local food or drink at the festival where you are guaranteed to eat well and learn as you go.

To play Spot the Celebrity Chef
You will dine and drink elbow to elbow alongside award-winning chefs Sean Connolly (The Balcony Bar, Byron Bay), who will have a signature plate on offer, TV's Paul West (of River Cottage Australia on the Food Network) and Ready Steady Cook chef Matt Golinski, who will battle it out in the Olsson Salt Celebrity cook-off.

Cape Byron Distillery will show off its Brookie's Gin

For drinks and high jinks

Renowned brewery Stone & Wood will offer a range of beers with Cape Byron’s Brookies Gin and the Tweed Valley’s Ink Gin joining the line-up.

Smokehouse will be serving its signature pulled pork burgers with slaw.

It's easy on the wallet
Twenty-six of the region's best restaurants and caterers will produce $5 and $10 tasting plates inspired by their signature dishes, which is a fraction of the cost of dining in their establishments.
Guests at Sample can enjoy signature desserts from local chefs such as Katrina Kanetani. 

Local chefs complete the lineup
Chefs Katrina Kanetani (Town), Bret Cameron (Harvest), Monique Guterres (Hungry Like The Wolf) will join visiting chefs Matt Golinski, Luca Ciano, Ben Williamson and Clayton Donovan to complete the 2017 line up.

It's a celebration of the region's bounty

There will be cheesemakers, macadamia farmers, spice artisans, Asian street food specialists, fruit growers and dozens more delicious opportunities to try the region's amazing fresh produce.

Visitors to sample will meet local artisans and growers who have stayed true to their roots.

WHEN : Saturday September 2, 8am – 4pm
WHERE: Bangalow Showground
TICKETS AT THE GATE: $5 per adult, children free

Monday, 7 August 2017

Five minutes with Zachary Tan

Zachary Tan is executive chef of Lucky Suzie, Devon on Danks and Devon Cafe.
Zachary Tan is executive chef at Lucky Suzie, Devon on Danks and Devon Cafe in Sydney. Here are the pantry staples he has on hand at home in order to whip up Asian-inspired dishes at a moment's notice: sambal, shrimp paste, fish sauce, miso, rice, Sriracha, black vinegar, dark soy, light soy, rice vinegar, white palm sugar, fried eschallots, coconut cream, ginger, limes, chillis, coriander, pandan, garlic and eschallots.

Tan is the master of making Malay food accessible: have your chopsticks at the ready for the nasi lemak with chicken curry, pork belly satay skewers and coconut-spiced chicken. Tan says the fundamentals of Asian cuisine start with having the right pantry staples.   
But he says the most challenging thing for cooks that come from a non-Asian background is to to understand the fundamentals of Asian cuisine. 
"The most challenging thing is knowing how or what those Asian pantry ingredients actually bring to a dish and learning how to control those volumes and quantities. For example if you are going to add fish sauce, you need to ask yourself, 'What does it bring to a dish?' I can tell you, it brings a lot of saltiness and umami. And so when you are doing Asian recipe and you understand what it actually brings, then you can move forward," says Tan. 
"I would urge people experimenting with Asian flavours to experiment with the acidity or saltiness or umami of a dish. It's only then you can understand the recipe a bit better and it becomes easier to balance the dishes."
Lucky Suzie is located at 78 Stanley St, Darlinghurst, luckysuzie.com.au

To understand the fundamentals of cooking Asian cuisine, it's a good idea to experiment.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Get your game face on for #ByronFoodFest

The inaugural Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival will be held at Elements of Byron. Image: Supplied

Take Byron Bay and its surrounding beaches. Now add food and drink to the mix and you have the perfect formula for Saturday's inaugural Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival. The June 3 event will see an amazing choice of food and beverages on offer - from high-end signature plates created by 12 celebrated local chefs to artisan ingredients produced in Byron's backyard.

Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival organiser Remy Tancred. Image: Supplied

"Those who are interested in food and wine are also interested in provenance. This event will be a great opportunity to show off our wonderful Byron Bay food and drink produce which our local community is justifiably proud of," says festival organiser Remy Tancred, who is also behind the hugely successful Sample: A Taste of Northern NSW festival held four times a year in nearby Bangalow. Here are a few reasons to visit the first-of-its-kind festival.

Sample dessert queen Katrina Kantani's Bangalow Mess - one of her signature desserts at #ByronFoodFest Image: Supplied

1. To rub shoulders with some of Australia's top chefs
Enjoy food prepared by some of Australia’s best-known chefs including special guest Neil Perry, (Rockpool Group), Darren Robertson and Mark Labrooy (Three Blue Ducks), Sean Connelly (Balcony Bar and Oyster Co.) and Ben Devlin (Paper Daisy).
Salumi Australia will be one of many artisan ingredients on show at #ByronBayFest 
2. Stock your picnic hamper with artisan produce
Nosh on native ingredients such as KombuCody (Australian wild seaweed harvested by hand), Bottarga Australia (mullet roe sourced from Tweed Heads and transformed into this golden delicacy), Salumi Australia and wild lime products made by indigenous company First Food Co). Brookfarm will also launch Brookie's Slow Gin which uses its macadamia nuts as one of the botanicals.

Rub shoulders with artfully dishevelled locals at Bangalow Farmer's Market. Image: Supplied
3. Mix with laidback locals at the Bangalow Farmers' Market 
Head to the hinterland to the delightful village of Bangalow where you will find Tawnya Bahr, of Straight to the Source, guiding VIP festival-goers around the market. The market is more like a social occasion as the community's artists, artisans, bakers, victualers, therapists, farmers and friends flock to the market with the enchanted forest vibe.

4. To live it up at Elements of Byron
Enjoy wandering around the grounds of Elements of Byron, where the festival takes place on June 3. For the duration of the day-long event, 12 of the country's top chefs will offer up a signature dish for a mere $10 a plate that you can pair with wine from one of 12 visiting wineries. Schedule a return visit to Graze Restaurant for product-driven dishes such as slow-cooked Milly Hill lamb shank terrine with almond hummus, pacific raw tuna, crispy duck skin, shitaake dust and pickled cucumber.

Learn from the masters at the #byronfoodfest this weekend. Image:  Supplied
5. To mix it with the best in a masterclass
Attend a masterclass and learn from producers such as Pierre Issa, of Pepe Saya Butter Co., a bonafide Australian food hero who will be demonstrating how to Churn Some Butter. Chef Luca Ciano will also be demonstrating how to make proscuitto and Olsson Salts will be showcasing its Salts of the Earth at the beachfront festival.

Much of the bounty for the #ByronFoodFest comes from the hinterland, where macadamia nuts farms are prevalent.

Tickets are $20 and include festival entry, a tote bag, wine glass, festival program, masterclass and live music access, and an opportunity to meet some of Australia’s top food and beverage royalty.
Visit byronbayfood.com.au/sample-food-festival/