Month: October 2010


Would you like coffee with that?

TWO years ago, architect and former hospitality worker Zenta Ganaka wanted to create something different. He had ideas about a shared architectural office where people could walk in off the street, then he hit on the notion of combining a lifestyle retail store with a cafe. After all, he’d worked in design and had an interest in designer objects and furniture, and had worked in hospitality. And cafes nowadays are community spaces. He set up his store and cafe, Cibi, […]


Can food be art?

Food has come a long way since Stone Age man started hunting and painting the beasts he killed on caves. What was basic nutrition (later to become a status symbol) has been refined, polished and taken to new highs, catering for both rich and poor. But now chefs are claiming food, as well as being a feast for the eyes, can be art, while art critics ask whether something that is functional, and a temporal thing that doesn’t hang around, […]

Drinks, journalism, Sherry, Wine

A perfect match for sherry

When Heston Blumenthal, one of the world’s most recognised chefs, starts to recommend sherry as the ideal match to food, it’s time to stand-up and reassess this fortified wine. In Australia, we have a ready supply of imported sherries, but also locally made wines in the sherry style. These are now called “apera”, a branding invented because Australia needed a new term for sherry after the signing of the international wine agreement, which outlaws outside countries from naming their products […]

Matching food with wine
journalism, Sherry, Wine

The A to Z of food and wine matching

There’s a lot of stuffy tradition associated with wine and what food to match it with. It stems from the 18th and early 20th century dominance of France and the rest of Europe in winemaking, and the stuffiness of the English. Plus, before food and wine traditions developed in Europe, roads and the car opened up what were often isolated regions. This meant that the food and wine regions were very localised and both developed to complement each other. In […]

Restaurants, St Kilda

Book now: Food bloggers to prove they can cook

The time has come for Melbourne food bloggers to prove they can cook in a special once-only dinner that is not for the food intolerant at Miss Jackson in St Kilda. Anchovies, tongue, pork, gin and strawberries are all on the menu. Some come and join me Penny (whose idea this was), Billy, Jess and Matt for what promises to be a big and interesting night. Where: Miss Jackson, 2/19 Grey Street St. Kilda (enter via Jackson Street) When: 6.30pm […]


Simply garfish

These garfish, with their long beak-like noses are stunning glistening, shiny fish. There aren’t the cheapest in the markets but at under $17 a kilo right now they aren’t the most expensive fish either. The white meat is delicate and the best way to cook them is to keep it simple. Here we rolled them in seasoned flour and pan fried them. That’s all. And they were served with a squeeze of lemon, the new season’s asparagus, herbed butter and […]

cafe, Cooking, Eat streets

Canelés: the next big thing?

Canelés: the new thing? Once it was donuts for me. Then a rainbow cornucopia of macarons. Now it’s Canelés, this particular one from Dench Bakers in North Fitzroy. To me they have the look of a barnacle or some such other marine creature that you have to chisel off a rock. But they are in fact gorgeous soft brioche-like confections soaked in custard and caramelized on the outside. They are a small snack but big enough for your partner to […]

Chefs, Interviews etc, journalism

The rock star chef

Alex Atala is quite literally a rock star chef. A former DJ and punk musician, the tattooed Alex Atala is a Brazilian media sensation and runs what is claimed to be one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. What makes him different to many other carbon copy celebrity chefs is that he shuns high-end ingredients. He’s turning French restaurant traditions on their head and has recently taken the gourmet delights of foie gras and truffles off the menu […]