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Eating and drinking during a Melbourne winter

Eating and drinking during a Melbourne winter

Try a canelĂ© 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.

The biggest blog bankruptcy post ever

The biggest blog bankruptcy post ever

Gin and blushing pink locally made tonic. I’ve a lot to write, a lot to tell and not enough time to do it. It’s time to declare the biggest ever bankruptcy on this blog, summarising the past two months when I haven’t been publishing. It’s probably been one of the one exciting vibrant and scary times in my life as I have given up my journalism to concentrate solely on Tomato Media, my social media and web development business, which […]

The Huxtabogan: the end to Smith St cool?

The Huxtabogan: the end to Smith St cool?

There’s a new burger in town and it’s a contender to take Melbourne’s best burger crown from Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill. It’s from a joint called Huxtaburger, the choice of hangout for a new breed on Smith St, the Huxtabogan, and costs $10 to Perry’s $23. There’s a lot that’s good about the burger, each one named after a character in the The Cosby Show. My favourite is “The Bill” which at $10 is a patty of grass-fed […]

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

I’m not going to do FebFast this year because I suspect giving up alcohol altogether isn’t going to do anything for Australia’s economic progress. Let’s face it, the economic impact on restaurants and bars of Febfast is horrendous. Most hospitality venues are doing it fairly tough and the fact that the economic model is based on selling alcohol, February is about to become a lot tougher. And let’s not forget, outside of the resources sector, the contribution winemaking and restaurants […]

Inside My Mexican creole controversy

Inside My Mexican creole controversy

I started with a vieux carrĂ©; Buffalo Trace bourbon, Remy VS Cognac, Rosso Antico, Yellow Chartreuse, Orange & Rhubarb bitters, a grapefruit twist. But this whole creole contraversy was shaken and stirred when @burgermary started calling the authenticity of My Mexican Cousin’s creole credentials into question. Is short the restaurant, which is attached to and with it’s Six Degrees fitout jars with the Melbourne Recital Centre, is named after the most popular dish on the St Ali menu (corncakes) and […]

The George Calombaris effect and surcharges

As the Christmas and new year break recedes and Australia Day approaches, once more the open wound of the hospitality game one again resurfaces: surcharges. This time though it has hit the headlines big time thanks to the perfect storm of a silly season slow news cycle and Masterchef judge and serial restaurateur George Calombaris mouthing off about it in the Power Index (where I’m pleased to see That Jess Ho rates a mention in its analysis of the Melbourne […]

A griddle to die for

A griddle to die for

When I arrived in my flat nearly a year ago, I brought only half a kitchen with me and had many essentials missing. I’ve been limping along with a cheffy frying pan that needs replacing and no griddle. But the early arrival of zucchinis at my plot in the Mater St Community Garden meant that I had an urgent need for a griddle before I was overwhelmed by monster vegetables. The thing is I’m in early negotiations with a sponsor […]