Recent posts

The new shape of food journalism and reviews

The new shape of food journalism and reviews

Some things creep up on you. Others arrive in clusters. The evolution of food journalism and reviewing in Australia is a mixture of both with the dumping of two important restaurant critics in Sydney and Melbourne, the replacement of the editors of two major newspaper food sections at Fairfax and the elevation of Yelp! as the most likely winner in the food review stakes. So what happened? First to the Yelp! news, which is really significant. The latest IOS update […]

Save Epicure. Or build something new?

Save Epicure. Or build something new?

The food and drink business has a love hate relationship with its media. They are either moaning that newspaper sections and magazines don’t write about them. Or when they do they get it wrong. Then there is the thorny issue of critics, the journalists that probably get the most stick for not rating restaurants (or anything subject to critique) quite as highly as the owners would like. When I started my own food magazine Tomato (which became this blog) eight […]

Refining my kitchen design

Refining my kitchen design

Do you ever change your mind? My problem is that every time I see another kitchen it gives me an idea for my current one. These drawings and scribblings were refinements I made with Chelsea Hing, my designer, to another option for my kitchen design. Basically it’s a minor variation on my current kitchen in that it moves the fridge from my free standing bench and puts it against the wall. The sink remains facing the outer wall and the […]

Follow the McConnell brothers’ golden trail

View The McConnell trail in a larger map It’s no secret I hate progressive dinners. Although all to often post dinner I find myself and a few pals progressive drinking. But my regular trips from Collingwood to St Kilda and back has taken me on the newly trodden McConnell trail, taking on the new eateries from brother Andrew, Matt and cousin Jason. It makes me wonder if there are possible anymore culinary wunderkinds to come out of this family’s kitchens? […]

Chin Chin’s $275 first birthday dinner with the awesome David Thompson was worth it

Chin Chin’s $275 first birthday dinner with the awesome David Thompson was worth it

I had to think long and hard about attending this dinner. But the fooderati came and ate. $275 for a Thai meal. That’s 13 courses cooked by David Thompson and pretty much unlimited booze. I’ve never spent so much on what is a function meal but I’m glad I did sitting on the corner of the bar seeing David sweating over the woks and pestle and mortar rejecting dishes that weren’t good enough. Usually when you stuff 150 or so […]

First draft of the kitchen design

First draft of the kitchen design

There’s been a lot of thinking about the new kitchen design. Chelsea Hing has visited my place and measured it up. But that hasn’t stopped me remeasuring it up every few days, pacing around and thinking up ideas. Oh, and boring friends silly on the them of my proposed new kitchen. I’ve passed a few ideas onto Chelsea and this is the amazing look she has come up with, which was a big surprise. First off she proposes we raise […]

Eating and drinking during a Melbourne winter

Eating and drinking during a Melbourne winter

Try a canelé at Pei Modern for #melbwinter In summer we sit on the streets and on the rooftops. But winter in Melbourne is equally specially with plenty of dark warm rooms to hibernate in to eat and drink (in addition to the films, fireworks and footy). I’ve been asked with several other high profile Melbournians including Guy Grossi (Melbourne restauranter), Andy Murphy (DJ), Lauren Brain (Nova radio), Thom Whilton (Melbourne fashion blogger), Tim Blackwell (Nova radio) and Bianca Chatfield […]

Intoxicated with the first truffles of the season

Intoxicated with the first truffles of the season

I’m going to give you a list of my top 7 truffle recipes. But first I want to tell you about my first intoxicating, dense and aromatic truffle of the season. Unexpectedly on Sunday Simon and Bernie from the pop-up truffle shop Madame Truffles (re-opening June 22 2012) returned from foraging in NSW with a giant truffle larger than an iphone and a pretty decent sized one as a gift for me. They were straight out the ground as fresh […]

I need a new kitchen

I need a new kitchen

Need perhaps is a very strong word. My current kitchen is adequate but also has some serious failings as I like to cook and entertain. Lots. Naturally I’ve started boring my friends about this until finally my mate James introduced me to Chelsea Hing to come up with a new design. My plan I pitched to Chelsea is that I write about the process of designing, our inspiration, selecting appliances and finishes, and building a new kitchen in excruciating detail […]

Melbourne Trends 2012

Recently, I was asked to talk to journalists in Melbourne and Sydney about Melbourne food trends in 2012. I’ve yet again been so bloody busy that I haven’t had a chance to blog it but here is a video shot of the Melbourne day.