Month: April 2009


The perfect pork pie part 3: pork harder

It took four hours of a Saturday afternoon to construct this gigantic pie. The recipes available are all pretty similar, three different types of pork with herbs and spices surrounded by jelly and encased in a hot water pastry. This one based, again on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s, seems to be similar to most. Ingredients For the filling: 1kg pork shoulder 250g home made bacon 250g minced pork belly 12 finely sliced sage leaves Several sprigs fresh thyme salt to taste (my […]


What Lies Beneath

Melbourne-based chef Ben Shewry looks beyond commercially available ingredients, foraging along the seas shore for ingredients that most cooks ignore. Ed Charles joins him for a morning of foraging in Port Phillip Bay. Click here to see the full slideshow.


The perfect pork pie part 2: in a pickle

There’s a lot of meat and fat in a pork pie including the hot crust pastry which is made with lard and butter. I bought a whole tub of dripping, which is basically like lard (pig fat) but from beef, as my local Coles didn’t have any lard. I’ll be making Yorkshire puddings with the remainder in a few weeks. And, bugger, I can’t make the Roy Hattersley joke now. The acid in the piccalilli cuts through the fat in […]


The perfect pork pie part 1: Makin’ bacon

Five days later and the bacon is cured. Salty and sweet, with a hint of juniper and sage, it was worth it. Nothing is ever easy for me. Frustrated by the poor quality of filling and pastry in local pork pies it is my mission to make the perfect one. Or at least start wandering down that route. Where local artisans and manufacturers go wrong is the filling, which should be three types of pig chopped into different sizes and […]

Food blogs

Australian Food Bloggers Conference: ideas and sponsors wanted

It all started with an idea from Reemski from I am obsessed with food who set up an Australian (and let’s make that NZ too) Foodbloggers Google Group to discuss the idea of an Australian Foodbloggers’ Conference modelled on the not so International one in the US. I’ve also set up a group Google spreadsheet with food blog details so we can get an up-to-date breakdown of blogs. You can enter your details on this form. If you want admin […]


Twitter is helpful for small business

WITH sales falling and a faltering reputation caused by dirt-cheap brands, Australian wineries have a problem abroad, but small Australian wineries are fighting back. They are building their brands online using the free social networking tool of the moment, Twitter, which allows people to post frequent short messages of up to 140 characters and keep fellow users updated on their world. Many wineries and wine websites are discovering the advantages of Twitter, which is simple to use, costs nothing more […]


A chocolate biscuit or Mr Darcy: Which would you prefer?

“This was not to say that Laurence knew how to bake, though he grew swiftly defensive in response to my expression of surprise at his inability. Biscuits are nowadays a branch of psychology, not cooking, he advised sternly. Laurence had forumulated his biscuit by gathering some interviewees in a hotel in Slough and, over a week, questioning them about their lives, in an attempt to tease out of them certain emotional longings that could subsequently be elaborated into the organising […]

Italian, Prahran/South Yarra, Restaurants

Blog amnesty fortnight: South Yarra’s Bond St Cafe and its great value Italian food

Now I know how ignorant I was thanks to the apertivo that Mauro Marcucci sent us out at Bond Street Cafe and Wine Bar. Served in a champagne flute Aperol, prosecco, a slice of orange and a skewered olive, it was the delicacy and balance of the drink that impressed me. I know better how to treat this sibling of the bitter and medicinal Campari. Delicately. Many of you will already know Mauro from his days, many years ago at […]

Eat streets

Mr Lethlean I presume

So there I was drawing an interview to a close with Atul Kochhar from the glitzy Indian restaurant Benares smack bang next to the Jack Barclay Bentley dealership on Berkeley Square. A man wants to congratulate Atul on the best meal he’s ever eaten. And he’s from Melbourne. I overhear that his name is John. Atul tells John that he’s talking to a food writer from Melbourne. I inflate my chest and confidently stick my hand out and firmly shake. […]