{this & that} blush and blues

this & that_pink

Soft hues are in this season, and that’s true in fashion as it is at home. The pale pinks and slightly teal blues have been around for a while, but now everyone seems to have a pink coat or a pop of that blue. And into the home it comes, too. Pink and grey work in fashion, and with interiors I love them with darker hues, lots of wood and deep blues, emerald greens and copper. Lots of inspiration for spring and as we fall further into summer.

>> No. 01 e15.  >> No. 02 Chloe. >> No. 03 The Klein>> No. 04 Camper by Jardan.         >> No. 05  Style Tao>> No. 06 Sara Strand. {with extra inspiration from Baroness O}


Hartsyard 3

The dish everyone is talking about at Hartyard, Newtown’s seed and feed restaurant that does produce-led American-style food, is the oyster po’boys. The two-bite morsels of a deep-fried oyster come between bouncy little English muffin-style buns. It’s Sydney Americana’s rendition of the Momofuku pork bun.

The menu at Hartsyard is split into ‘seed’ (lighter options) and ‘feed’ (more substantial dishes), and is meant for sharing. It’s American owner and chef Gregory Llewellyn’s take on modern-day comfort food. There is pork terrine with pickled vegetables, crispy pig-tail croquettes with buttermilk dressing and fried chicken with gravy. It’s heart-stoppingly rich food that’s packed with texture and fun.

Herbs and greens on the menu come from the greenhouse out the back of the restaurant, and vegetables are harvested from a garden not far away. Guests can dine in the 36-seater restaurant, or at the front bar area. The cocktails are rather excellent. We perched at the bar with a ‘Rhubarb Sour’, an Applejack, Rittenhouse Rye, rhubarb, lemon juice concoction, and ‘Them Apples’, a muddle of Tuaca, JD honey, spiced apple puree, lemon and cinnamon. Took these pics on a recent visit, before it filled up with Newtown’s finest.


Hartsyard 2 {READ MORE}

{the making of} olive oil

As jobs go, writing about food and travel is pretty great. I get to travel around the world, and best of all Australia, and find the best things to eat and drink there. I did an olive oil story a while back for The Sydney Morning Herald and revealed that basically Australian extra virgin olive oil, eaten the year it is harvested, is rather remarkable. It’s fresh, real and whole food, without additives and refined oil you often find in imported oils. And it’s very good for you. But to research the story I went along to watch an olive harvest, to see the olives picked and turned into olive oil in a matter of hours. Usually I take pictures to record these things, but I used my trusty iphone to shoot this instead. The making of extra virgin olive oil. I filmed this at Cobram Estate.

Unearthed dinners at Studio Neon

A couple of Sydney chefs have deconstructed the restaurant formula and opened a space they let out for Vogue fashion shoots and music television interviews, and which they use for a pop-up restaurant of their own. The grungy space in the Redfern end of Waterloo has paint-splattered floors, a wall of old stereo speakers, a nook filled with vintage sofas and a graffitied wall of a giant octopus taking down a ship. And on one end of the room is a professional kitchen, from which they do their dinners. This weekend the chef duo will host the second of their ‘Unearthed Dinners‘, a five-course meal made up of foraged and borrowed things from the urban and Sydney environment. We had tuna tartare hidden in a can, a teaspoon of tuna marrow taken straight from the warmed bone, a chicken-skin sandwich and I discovered sea blight (much like samphire but without the central string). I don’t want to ruin the finale in case it’s repeated next week, but a rose-sorbet dish is stunning, a perfect date dessert.

Studio Neon is run by chef Aaron Teece with Richard Robinson, and the pair forage and dive to find food to inspire the menu. You can book in to tomorrow night’s dinner here. {READ MORE}

{recipe} pinch chicken wontons

Steamed Chinese-style dumplings are popular as an unfussy starter at my place. They’re also wonderful served as part of a larger Asian meal, leaving fellow diners impressed at the apparent effort. They may look rather rustic but I predict these home-made dumplings will be a satisfying alternative to traipsing to the nearest yum cha. The fanciness can go up a notch if you’re prepared to pleat the wrapper around the mixture. If pleating is too much, bunch the wrapper like little money bags that don’t quite close. Leave a little of the filling peeking through at the top, with a dot of chilli to add colour.

The Sydney Morning Herald produced this video, check out the full recipe here.

{recipe} homemade almond milk

almond milk

almond milk

almond milk-2

Excuse all the health kickiness at the moment. There are a lot of green smoothies and lentils, seeds and homemade sauerkraut, kimchi and gluten free coming out of the kitchen right now. I’m being a bit obsessive about it. I have a pretty major photo shoot coming up in about two weeks and I’m determined to be glowing and gorgeous (and a few kilos lighter). I’m shunning lethargy and the odd spot for feeling relaxed and happy, full of energy and free of aches and pains. My place has been sugar free for a week, berries excluded (I’m never giving up berries), and it’s already paying off. But I’ll talk more about that later. Right now I want to talk about this homemade almond milk. I usually drink soy milk but have included this for homemade cereal mainly. It’s totally easy to make with the right gear, and I can recommend the flavour enough. It doesn’t have that almond-essence flavour that might deter many, but it’s creamy and soft, obviously a bit nutty in flavour. It’s delicious. Here’s how you make it. {READ MORE}

morning coconut and nectarine bircher

vitamix bircher

I have something pretty exciting to tell you, but first I have a breakfast spiel {Click HERE if you’re impatient}. I’m so useless at bothering with breakfast. And often, I just don’t. So when Vitamix loaned me one of their super power blenders I jumped at the chance, even if it meant shoving everything good and healthy together and making green smoothies for a month or two. Breakfast in liquid form. Once you get into green smoothies first thing you’ll never go back, it’s like a liquid kick of energy that powers you through the day. My skin improved and I don’t need an 11am breakfast chaser to get me through to lunch. But then I started experimenting past the spinach, lemon, almonds, coconut water, carrot, beetroot and pear blend and craved something served in a bowl. So I came up with this. A super quick bircher made with the best early season stone fruits, oats and a bunch of sneaky healthy things, topped with chopped nectarines and flaked toasted almonds, a drizzle of maple syrup. Don’t have a Vitamix? Well that’s how I can help…


the kitchen garden at bells at killcare

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BLOG_bells at killcare-5

About a thousand pictures to tell a story about a long lunch at Stefano Manfredi’s restaurant in the Central Coast national park, Manfredi at Bells. The chef celebrates 30 years of service to the Australian food industry this November, and to mark these three decades we joined him in the gardens at Bells at Killcare where the restaurant is based. The garden has a huge influence on the food the chef serves, and he grows his own beans, tomatoes, arugula (rocket), silverbeet, chard, sorrel, onions and potatoes, and so much more. The garden spans about 500 square meters and supplies the restaurant with more than 15 % of the produce on its menu. we visited the 50 free range hens, which supply fresh eggs to the restaurant. Visitors to the restaurant can wander into the gardens and see the produce while they wait for their meal. Stefano talked us through the more usual vegetables, handing over leaves of sorrel or arugula to taste.

BLOG_bells at killcare menu

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A “celebrating three decades” menu spanned the best dishes of Stefano’s career; antipasto including vitello tonnato and fried zucchini flowers with gruyere (1998 Bel Mondo, remember?). Scarlet prawns were served with fresh borlotti beans and pickled vegetables “giardiniera”, a new menu item at Bells. Stefano’s signature dish, the pumpkin tortelli with burnt butter and parmesan (1984 from The Restaurant Manfredi), was sweet and buttery, nutty and soft. Grilled whole snapper was served with salsa verde (made fresh from herbs from the garden). There was roast quail wrapped in proscuitto and sage, not too salty, a crispy exterior giving way to the sweetest meat. And to match this savoury meat were sweet caramelised onion pieces (a 2009 classic from Bel Mondo). {READ MORE}

BLOG_bells at killcare menu fish {READ MORE}

tapioca, watermelon & coconut pudding

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BLOG_tapioca, watermelon, coconut dessert-2

This amazing little bowl of coconut tapioca is a takeaway pudding from Shortgrain, the Thai-influenced little canteen by Longrain in Sydney’s Surry Hills. I brought it home after a sneaky freelance lunch there today, and the little pot (best $4 I ever spent) is packed with toasted shaved coconut, little wafer curls embedded with black sesame seeds, cubes of fresh watermelon and pineapple. Served cold, the textured sago is light, doused in the lightest fresh coconut milk. I’m definitely going to try to do a homemade version soon, but then Shortgrain is just a quick skip into the city. {READ MORE}

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