Posts Categorized: Sustainability

A special vegan dinner with Nic Poelaert

What: A vegan dinner with Nic Poelaert of Embrasse and winemaker Neil Prentice When: Wednesday 7th September 2011 7pm Where: Embrasse, 312 Drummond St,Carlton Vic 3053 How much: $85 for five course and a shared carafe of wine. Additional wines available at a reasonably price. How to book: SOLD OUT Book here with Eventarc. Booking fees apply as we use a booking service to help manage the event to save me days of dealing with emails. This is a very special meal with chef Nic Poelaert and winemaker brought together by Ed Charles as part of the Melbourne Fringe Food Festival. The food world is awash with meaty events but there are few catering for the ethical eater who chooses to avoid animal flesh. I chose to do this with Nic because I have been inspired by his beautiful treatment of vegetables and his abilities to use modern techniques to pack in flavour and play with texture and temperature. There is no reason that vegan food should be treated with distain as any non-meat dish prepared well can pretty much match the flavour of any meaty or dairy dish. But it is a challenge and one that I think modern chefs should attempt to meet. Neil in turns though a meat eater, makes wines with minimal intervention and no animal products and have a unique character. Nic in turn will be offering some additional nibbles to the menu below. This meal is five courses including at shared carafes and additional reasonably priced carafes of Neil’s wine available. We’ve tried to keep the costs down as far as possible. Menu Pumpkin, Bergamot Taste of the sea.Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sugar beet, grilled zucchini, hazelnut Burnt carrot, burnt potato, golden raisin Forest floor….Pickled, cooked, raw and smoked mushrooms, fried bread Avocado and chocolate mousse, red pepper jam NB: Taste of the sea does not contain fish.

The Butter Factor

Butter’s come a long way since Marlon Brando first used it as a lubricant – just as cheese has come a long way since it was imported into Australia in tins. We now have our first legally made unpasteurized cheese – known as C2 – available from Bruny Island Cheese. And for the first time the Australian Cheese Awards have recognised a really decent local cheese – Jindi Old Telegraph Road. The long slow march of the cheesemakers is now paying off for us cheese nuts. And now the same is happening for butter in a few isolated spots across the country. Up in Myrtleford Naomi Ingleton and her mum Bronwyn have brought the disused Butter Factory back to life and are now churning their own cultured butter with a churn found on a rubbish dump in Gippsland. Cultured butter is common in Europe but not here, where cream is simply churned and made into butter either with or without added salt. Cultured butter is fermented and has much more interesting flavours. Being an artisan product, it is much more expensive than the bricks you can by at Coles or Wollies. But there again it is infinately superior to those mass market products and available in smaller quantities. I like this butter (called The Butter Factory butter) a lot and (against doctor’s orders) prefer the salted to the un. If you want to see an artisan-made butter industry flourish then I’d suggest just trying this butter out and if you like it to tell your friends about it – like this post on Facebook perhaps (below). It’s worth it and really important to support small producers like this. We have become used to paying too little for our food thanks to the marketing of Coles and Woolies (and don’t get me started on the $1 milk thing). We need to pay more and very soon will be paying a lot more. Find this butter: Melbourne Key ingredients 171 Queens Pde – Clifton Hill Pete-N-Rosies Deli – Prahran Market Leaf – 111 – 113 Ormond rd, Elwood Leo’s – Kew, Heidelberg, Hartwell Maxi foods – Blackburn North Passionfoods – South Melbourne Bills Farm – Queen Victoria Market Regional Vic Forever Fresh – 178 Annesley St, Echuca Goldfields Greengrocer – Beechworth Larder Fromagerie – Beechworth King Valley Fine Foods – 4/103 Murphy St, Wangaratta Vegetation – Mt Beauty Dare’s Fruit & Vegetables… Read more »