{Restaurant Australia} Invite the world to dinner

Peter Gilmore in the Restaurant Australia campaign

Let’s invite the world to dinner, says Tourism Australia in its newest campaign, Restaurant Australia. The stunning campaign will showcase Australian produce, chefs, and food. And in a couple of weeks I get to go along to an extraordinary event in Hobart, at MONA, in which our chefs Quay’s Peter Gilmore, Attica’s Ben Shewry, and Rockpool’s Neil Perry are being given the reins to show off what this gorgeous country has to offer. Check out the video… It’s a bit pride inducing, fellow Aussies.


Noma chef Rene Redzepi makes the hen and the egg

Is this the perfect dish? At Noma, chef Rene Redzepi has diners cook their own egg with hay oil, served with spinach leaves and wild plants growing in the local forest.

A hot plate at 280F (138C) appears on slightly wet hay, and guests are instructed to cook the egg. “You would be surprised at the number of people who have never cracked an egg before,” he says. The dish creates dialogue and interaction, and shows people how easy food can be. Guests add thyme butter to the pan, cook the spinach leaves and wild ramp leaves, and it’s topped with a pretty potato chip. All the small wild plants are sprinkled over.

Rene Redzepi

I’m going to recreate this at home. Such a gorgeous idea to serve guests as a summer lunch.

Rhubarb and apple crisp with cinnamon ice-cream

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Something hot and pudding-like may not be in tune with Sydney weather right now, but I’m churning up a batch of spiced cinnamon icecream this afternoon to serve with my light rhubarb and apple, American-style crisp. It’s all the comforting softness necessary for a Sunday night, after a salt-sprayed summery day.

Here you will find my recipe for rhubarb and apple crisp with cinnamon ice-cream in SBS Feast magazine. {READ MORE}

Imperfect picks help stop food waste

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Knobbly carrots and misshapen pears, stunted broccoli and scratched up eggplant; we bypass them all as we reach for aesthetically perfect fruit and veg on our grocery shop routine. Would you buy these imperfect picks from the food markets, the supermarket? Loads of us wouldn’t. Which is why 25 percent of Australian produce gets thrown back to the earth, considered unsuitable for our consumption. That’s HUGE wastage, to the detriment of our environment and our farmers. What can you do? Well… {READ MORE}

What Jamie Oliver told me


Blown away by this guy. I knew he was clever and impassioned, that he could cook. But Jamie Oliver in person had me kind of swooning. We got chatting on a red leather sofa during his latest trip to Sydney, I used two tape recorders just in case (one died so thank goodness), and talked about food, obesity, his latest book, and fatherhood.

Jamie Oliver cannot stand spoilt kids. The father of four cracks down on that, he admits; he’s kind of strict. “If I sniff that, it gets drummed out of them straight away.” He wants them to be polite, lay the table for dinner and, he adds, “I’m pretty hardcore about pulling your finger out and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, basically.”

My interview with the ridiculously talented Jamie Oliver came out today in Sunday Style magazine. Download it on your tablet here. {READ MORE}

‘Peanut butter and jelly’ sugar-free protein smoothie


This breakfast is so portable you can have some of it as you rush out the door, then a little more on the 7.56am commute, then at your desk when you trawl through your emails. For those of us who hanker for peanut butter and jam on toast first thing, but push the idea aside as simply silly in the name of eating nutritious and less carby things, this tote-able breakfast is the stupendously delicious answer to our prayers.

I’ve been running, a lot. I joined a running club and discovered (after personal trainers and even a miserable boot camp) what it means to work hard, physically. The trainer who leads it has taught my muscles a thing or two. On the first sessions, I’ll admit, I silently freaked out at the hardness of it. But damn I loved it too. And I’ll be back again next week.

But an early early morning workout like that demands a breakfast; a real breakfast that tells the muscles to stop freaking out, that fills you up until lunch and, importantly, that feels like breakfast. I’m all about green smoothies right now but they don’t evoke that kind of breakfasty goodness, that morning aroma that comes with coffee and toast and sun streaming in. So I made this. A protein shake, but with nutritious, virtuous things in it (including LSA, that ground linseed, sunflower seed and almond mix), and with a sorbet-like raspberry topping. It’s like toast with peanut butter and a little dollop of raspberry jam, in smoothie form. Here’s the recipe for my Peanut Butter and Jelly smoothie. {READ MORE}

Pepita and grain salad with pumpkin and tahini

A bounty of healthy grains and seeds matched with rich and sweet roast pumpkin, this salad makes a perfect side dish or hearty lunch. Packed with protein and flavour, this dish has it all. Pepitas add a crunch to the salad, which is bound by textures and colour. You can reserve the seeds from the pumpkin, roast them and add them to the salad. I love these ingredients; I have them every day, whenever I can. I tuck pumpkin into salads and soup, and pepitas and other seeds into my three-grain Be Natural porridge every morning. But here’s my recipe for pepita and grain salad with pumpkin and a creamy tahini dressing.

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pumpkin {READ MORE}

{this week} in a few snaps


Refusing to be held hostage by the weather this week in Sydney, I traipsed about looking for the best places to be during unrelenting downpours, and then when the sun and blue came out in all its glory. There’s nothing like a ramen to shun the winter chill, then to what is arguably Sydney’s best undercover market for important Saturday rituals of buying bright flowers and a crunchy croque madam with soft egg, and a sea pool for when it finally warmed up again. What did you do to escape from the chill this week? We’ll need ideas for the next few weeks… See more pics on Instagram.

clockwise from top left >> No. 01 Prawn ball sour ramen soup at Ryo’s in Crows Nest (egg and kim chi on the side)  >> No. 02 Flowers from the chap, after a nudge, from Eveleigh Markets >> No. 03 The Wombarra sea pool down south (only doable after you’ve warmed up by running to the pool first)>> No. 04 The Crooked Madam (or croque madam by Bird Cow Fish at the Eveleigh Markets.  

An A to Z (Apple cores to Zucchini stalks) on compost

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Separating plastics from paper is virtuous enough for those of us whose abandoned melon rinds and citrus peelings continue their steady march into the garbage bin.

Others are keeping vegetable scraps from all those amazing meals – plus coffee grains, tea bags, apple cores and corn cobs – in a bid to reduce waste and keep the garden flourishing.

The green design revolution has made few inroads with composters that appeal to the honorable recycler as well as the design aficionado. It’s not a problem for people with sprawling gardens, but in small spaces it’s a different story. Whether it’s to the worms or an apartment friendly compost bin, recycling food scraps is an economical and environmental win, and will provide health humus for whatever garden – pots, sprawling beds – you do have. {READ MORE}

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