A vegetarian summer

Summer marks barbecue season in Australia. But it’s a tough one for vegetarians and vegans who’d do anything to avoid a barbecue soaked with animal fat, and who’d prefer tasty food over another nut roast. Melbourne-based naturopath Gill Stannard says there is a dearth of Christmas vegetarian recipes on the internet – most are just plain stodgy or try to mimic northern hemisphere winter recipes. What Stannard looks forward to eating is really fresh, seasonal organic vegetables with flavoursome young […]


Mobile payments taking off

WITH the arrival of the iPhone and smartphones in Australia in mid-2008, 2009 was the year mobile internet browsing took off. Now PayPal reports that this year mobile payments took off in Australia, opening the battlelines between payment systems, some that use SMS and others smartphone apps. PayPal’s figures indicate a twelvefold increase in mobile payments from $2.7 million last year to $35m this year. And the mobile commerce market is estimated to reach $26.9bn in value by 2013 according […]


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 […]

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 […]


Supersizing Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins has drunk human breast milk. She’s even squirted goats milk from the teet into her mouth. But nothing quite prepared her for eating udder in the first series of Supersizers Go. And yet now she and British journalist and restaurant critic Giles Coren (famous for his stinging emails to newspaper sub-editors who have changed his work) are back to eat more unappetising animal parts in series two of their popular Supersizers series, Supersizers Go. The show’s inspiration was […]


Marketing online: keep it open source

FOR Sabino Matera the goal was to have the Quoco website up and running for the Taste of Sydney event last March where he had paid to have a stand to display food products imported from Puglia in Italy. But despite having a background in writing code in the information technology industry, Matera found he was tripped up at every step in getting his website up and running for the launch, with the designers eventually missing his all important deadlines. […]