Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ma Mensa, Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast

There's nothing like a spot of Italian for a group of hungry foodies and so on a recent Noosa sojourn I headed along to the well known Ma Mensa in Hasting Street.

Located at the northern end of Hastings Street, Ma Mensa has an indoor/outdoor setting with more than a touch of Italy.  It's popular amongst visitors and locals and the prices are in the reasonable range, especially for the pasta, risottos and pizzas.


Monday, 28 June 2010

bmag June 22

Top 10 Wellington Travel Tips

Windy Wellington certainly lived up to its reputation for my fleeting visit in June.


The only sign of blue sky that I saw was a poster of the harbour at the Central Markets. Boy it looked beautiful!

Unfortunately for most of my visit the sky looked like this.



Even the locals were complaining about the weather but that didn't stop a whole bunch of them trudging, or I should say running in the Wellington Marathon. They breed 'em tough here.

One of my fellow travellers, who has visited many parts of the world, said in her view Wellington on a good day is one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Inclement weather certainly didn't slow us down. We wined and dined our way throughout the CBD and the interior of Te Papa was warm and dry despite the rain outside. Te Papa is a not-to-be-missed  Wellington highlight for all the family.

Here are my top 10 Wellington travel tips -

  • In Wellington on a Sunday and like food? Don't miss the City Markets next to Te Papa. These indoor markets are filled with the most amazing selection of high quality foods. Great if you are self catering but still wonderful if you are looking for gifts reflecting the region to bring home. So much better than another t-shirt and a great chance to meet and talk with locals. 

  • Get down to Cuba Street and walk its whole length. Poke your head into the quirky shops and stop to eat in the cafes and restaurants. Doesn't matter if it's morning or night – there will be something open and it's likely to be good.

  • Wellington on a Plate (14 – 29 August) is a great reason to travel to the region. For two all things culinary will be celebrated with a programme of over 80 events scheduled.The program is innovative and inclusive, with something new and different at all levels. Foodies heaven. Find out more here.

  • If you want to blend in, wear stylish black – head to toe. Wellington dresses well, with layers to keep you warm and a coat to peel off once inside. Don't forget a hat (beanie) and gloves).

  • Old BankArcade and Chambers is a heritage building on the corner of Lambton Quay and Hunter Street. It's a great spot of exclusive boutiques including Andrea Moore, Richohet, Workshop, Minnie Cooper, I Love Paris, Ruby, Nature Unplugged and more.

  • Dessert is a big thing in Wellington. Treat it like a special occasion and revel in it! The cold will make you burn off the calories in no time - promise!

  • Make sure you sample wines from around the New Zealand. Marlborough and Martinborough are both close wine regions.

  • Book a room with a view. A hotel on the hill is still walking distance to everything but the city view is fabulous. I stayed at the the Mercure Wellington and Novotel Wellington.







  • If you have left over NZ cash when you get to the airport and no immediate use for it – spend it! Changing it back to AU will cost you more than the premium you pay for goods at the airport and the exchange rate works in your favour when purchasing.
  • Do remember to declare your walking boots on entry to New Zealand and when returning to Australia. Customs will ex ray your bag and find them any how. They don't like it when you forget things...

Bottom line:
As well as offering a convenient place to stay during Wellington on a Plate, the Mercure Wellington hotel has a special lunch menu and dinner and dessert offer at its restaurant, Brasserie 345.

The restaurant’s set lunch menu available during DINE Wellington is priced from $25 which includes two courses plus a glass of Wellington regional wine selected from the hotel’s exclusively local Mercure Grands Vins wine list and tea or coffee. Guests can choose between Kumara and smoked fish bake with rocket salad or hearty braised lamb shank on creamy mash with wilted greens for main. The dessert choice is Tiramisu served with Kapiti affogato ice cream or pecan tart served with Kapiti pohutukawa ice cream. Courses have been matched with Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc or local Pinot Noir.

Brasserie 345 will offer a Modern New Zealand à la carte dinner menu for the duration of DINE Wellington, Those who dine in will receive a free dessert when they order a main course.

Mercure Wellington, 345 The Terrace, 04 385 9829.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  This was visit was hosted by Tourism New Zealand.

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Interislander Ferry - New Zealand


I’m at sea, but in a good way.

I’m crossing the gap between the New Zealand’s two islands known as the Cook Strait.

The journey gets most interesting when we reach the Marlborough Sound but today it’s a bit cloudy and rainy so I’m waiting to see it all unfold over the next day.

The Interislander is like a ‘floating bridge’, transporting passengers, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and rail freight between Wellington and Picton. Around 1 million passengers and ¼ million vehicles are transported each year.

I’m on the Kaitaki – the largest passenger ferry in New Zealand. Capacity for 1,650 passengers, 1,780 lane metres vehicles, 60 crew. 181.6m long, 22,365 tonnes, 20.5 knots max speed.

Even better, I’m in the Kaitaki Plus lounge which is billed as the most comfortable and luxurious way to travel between the islands.  And it sure feels that way. There are comfy chairs, free internet access, free papers, food and drinks, and no children under 18 years!  This is how I like to travel.

We had the chance to visit the bridge and speak with the captain and crew.  We all had a laugh when a crew member who was asked 'How long does it take to stop the ship?' said 'It depends if it hits the wharf or not.'  Don't worry, he was joking.  Although when we headed into Marlborough Sound I wondered, from a distance, how the ship would fit such a narrow passage. Luckily, it's a lot larger closer up!

video

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Brisbane Masterclass Update

Thinking of drinking in the brilliance of passionate patissier Adriano Zumbo at the Hilton Brisbane Masterclass weekend (July 24 & 25)? Well if you haven't already booked you're too late - it's now booked out.

And here's the kicker - Masterclass Coordinator Alison Alexander says he's doing something with Wagu beef. No more information was coming from her lips so you'll just have to wait and see.

You'll leave with a special treat is the teaser in the promo for this session - wish I was going to be there!

I'll just have to join the queue of Sydney siders outside Adriano's Balmain patisserie to indulge in his famous French macaroons or his luscious cakes and pastries.

South Bank Surf Club, South Bank, Brisbane


Lifesavers on watch towers marked the entrance to Ben O'Donoghue's new South Bank Surf Club which opened last night.

In typical lifesaver style they were nonchalantly checking out the crowd but it must have been a trifle chilly atop those towers. And yes, they were wearing budgie smugglers while everyone else had donned overcoats and scarves. We were told to dress warm because it's an outside venue but it's really quite warm for an outside venue. The crowd and heaters kept us all toasty while the glasses of champagne dulled any pain.




South Bank Surf Club is located overlooking Kodak Beach in Brisbane's South Bank.  The restaurant fits the position well - it's casual dining with an edge reflected in the menu which ranges from straight up char grilled grass fed Barcoo Darling Downs Angus X Rib Eye steak and Surf Club fish and chips to kingfish sashimi and wasabi prawns.  The menu is heavily seafood but there's enough for non-seafood lovers (chicken, lamb, steak and kangaroo) to find a fix.

My highlight were the very smooth and fresh tasting oysters that were shucked in front of me. I was told they are just a couple of months old, unlike normal oysters which are grown for much longer.  This may be the reason for the smooth and silky texture - delightful. Michael Dalton of Fino Foods is the supplier. These are available individually with a selection of sauces.



Ben has introduced a 'day' menu concept where there's a special share menu from Tuesday to Sunday - look for Mediterranean fish stew, stir fried chilli blue swimmer crab and whole grilled Thai-style reef fish amongst others.

Even the breakfast menu looks interesting - Surf Club Crumble pots with stewed seasonal fruits and Vannella buffalo yoghurt and granola crumble appeal to me. I'd also be tempted by Eggs Bender - Snowy Morrison’s hot smoked salmon, poached free range eggs, horse radish hollandaise and potato hotcake.

This is a kid friendly venue and there's a special nipper's menu which should delight as any course is served with ice cream and lemonade.

Bottom line: One to check out once the dust settles. Great for seafood lovers.

South Bank Surf Club
30aa Stanley Plaza Parklands, South Brisbane (07) 3844 7301 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (07) 3844 7301     

South Bank Surf Club on Urbanspoon 

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Tea Centre, Albert Lane, Brisbane


Brisbane's laneways are finally emerging from dust bin haven to coffee heaven creating new quirky eating experiences throughout the city.

The new Albert Lane is not the result of a makeover, instead it has emerged from nowhere as part of a redevelopment on the corner of Queen and Albert Streets in the heart of  Brisbane. It's home to several eateries worth checking out - Vapiano, Mad Espresso and Little Singapore.

But if you are after a good cup of tea it's hard to go past The Tea Centre.  They have over 180 varieties of tea and an eclectic selection of tea pots and tea cups on display and for sale.

The Tea Centre is part of chain with eight retail shops on the east coast. Their tea comes from around the world and is air freighted to Australia every 6 to 8 weeks - about 25 tonne of it annually. So you can pretty well guarantee there's going to be a tea for you - if you can make the choice.

Along with your tea you can have a sweet treat ranging from brownies or apricot cheesecake to yes, you guessed it, a cupcake! There's also another favourite of mine, Sticky Date Pudding with caramel sauce and cream.

If you'd rather go the savoury route, there's a selection of toasted sandwiches and wraps, soup of the day and savoury and fruit muffins.  And Banana Bread - the deli staple.

I was very pleased with my choice of tea. An Assam blend, it was strong without being overpowering, with a great tea flavour.  V Diddy chose an iced tea and enjoyed the sweet, rosehip infused flavour.


Of course I also chose a cupcake, in fact we chose two from the display cabinet. I spied the cupcakes on quick Friday night visit and when I returned on Sunday lunchtime I saw similar cupcakes in the cabinet. After eating the cupcakes I think they were one and the same.  They had that 'I tasted good once but now all I taste of is the fridge' flavour.  And they were cold. It was disappointing.  Especially since the large cupcake cost me $5.  The icing was the most disappointing. The cake, while unappetisingly cold, had a reasonable flavour and texture.

Bottom line: Great tea but forget the cupcake unless you know it's very fresh.

The Tea Centre
Shop G11, Albert Lane, Brisbane. +61 3211 3856

Tea Centre on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Kim Thanh Restaurant, West End


My only trip to Vietnam was a two-day conference several years ago.  We were treated to several formal banquets but I didn’t get a chance to get out and eat in the streets as I would have liked.

So when one of my twitter ‘friends', Bao La, who is apprentice chef to his mother at her 24-year-old Vietnamese restaurant in Brisbane's West End, Kim Thanh,  issued an invitation for a Saturday night dinner with a few other bloggers, it was irresistible.

The restaurant has a typical busy Asian atmosphere with large tables full of people enjoying the food.

Here’s what Bao rolled out from the kitchen –

Vietnamese fried spring rolls (cha gio) came first (pictured above). Bao says in Vietnam rice paper is used instead of pastry, usually caramelised rice paper. The filling ingredients were pork mince, crab meat, prawn mince, taro, onion, carrots, bean thread vermicelli and fungus.


Vietnamese pancake
Beef wrapped in betel leaves
There also was a Vietnamese pancake (banh xeo), literal translation would be "cake sizzling".
The batter was coconut cream, water, rice flour, turmeric, custard powder and the filling was shrimp, pork belly, bean sprouts and spring onions.

I particularly enjoyed the beef wrapped in betel Leaves (bo la lop) literal translation (bo) beef la lop (betel leaves). Traditionally this is just eaten by itself from the skewers but Bao wanted to show us how some of these dishes are eaten in Vietnam.  He says you would always get a side of herbs that you would wrap up in lettuce leaves.  Each place would send out a mixture of herbs so not all places would be the same.  Bao chose to serve it with mustard leaves, perilla, fish herb, chrysanthemum leaves, sour herb and variety of mints.  With spring rolls and pancakes these would be the only greens you would actually need.

If you were to have something like "nem nuong" pork ball skewers, other things would be added to the wrap like pineapple, green banana, young mango leaves, star fruit.. It would be balanced out with a yellow bean pork liver dipping sauce. That’s for next time.

Mi Quang

The main was  "Mi Quang". This was a pork with dried shrimp broth, flavoured with annato seeds and diced jicama. Although it was named "mi" which means egg noodles, it is actually turmeric coloured rice noodles which gives it that egg noodle look. Served on top was puffed up rice paper.

Mi Quang is actually named after the Quang Nam people from the DaNang Ho An region.

Che Xoi Nuoc

The dessert was Che Xoi Nuoc. There is a bit of disagreement amongst Vietnamese people on what it is actually called. Some say Troi Nuoc, others say Xoi Nuoc. Inside the glutenous rice balls were mung beans. The balls were cooked in a ginger sugar syrup and served with coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds.

Bottom line: These were special dishes that Bao La made for our dinner but if you give him some notice he might do the same for you.  I’d encourage you to give it a try as it was a great dinner and an interesting experience to try dishes that you wouldn’t normally discover.

Kim Thanh Restaurant
93 Hardgrave Rd, West End, Brisbane +61 7 3844 4954

Kim Thanh on Urbanspoon

Friday, 18 June 2010

Echinda Magic Restaurant, Mt Gravatt



Not living on the south side of Brisbane, Mt Gravatt is a place I rarely visit and I'm ashamed to say I've never been to the lookout before.

Usually when I'm looking for a view of Brisbane, I head to Mount Coot-tha which is just up the road. There the kiosk has morphed into a cafe and there's also a restaurant. The views are great but it's also very crowded, sometimes with buses full of tourists.

You won't find bus loads of people at Mt Gravatt lookout but you will find great views and a children's playground that's sure to please young and old. We had a bit of fun on the moving platform after lunch but it was a challenge in high heels.

But to the food.  I was lunching with friends who were also keen to try out this new cafe/restaurant which quietly opened several months ago.It was a windy day so the only seats worth taking were the ones inside.  I could imagine on a clear winter's day the seats outside would be superb.

We chose a trio of dips and Thai-style pork bites from the appetisers menu. The dips were a nice starter at $12.50 with plenty to share between three. The pork bits, also $12.50,were three mid sized balls that lacked a real flavour. Combined with the sauce they almost worked but needed more of a lime hit.


My main was an Angel Bay beef burger $12.50.  It came with 'garden greens', tomato, cheese and smokey BBQ sauce and chippies - yay! The beef pattie had a good flavour and the overall burger was great but the slices of raw carrot were a little hard to eat in the burger.


Pinecones chose a steak sandwich, also $12.50, and said the steak was tender and well flavoured. Big Al went for Hoisin chicken and Asian greens, $19.50, which came with jasmine rice piled high.  It looked reasonable and she ate it all.  It was the most expensive item on the lunch menu.


The Merlo coffee was matched with a custard slice, which was pretty good as far as custard slices go.


The views were spectacular, right across the city and over to the sand hills of Moreton Island.  I'd love to see the city view at night.

Echidna Cafe is not open for breakfast and closes after lunch but you can still get a coffee from the kiosk.  It opens again at night when there's a different menu.

Judging by the number of people lunching during our visit, it's found an audience.

Bottom line: Value for money varies. Overall reasonable quality food but nothing out of the box. Worth a visit for the views and a simple lunch.

Echidna Magic Cafe,
Mt Gravatt Lookout,185 Shire Rd, Mt Gravatt  +61 7 3349 5198

Like this post? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for regular updates.
Echidna Magic Restaurant on Urbanspoon




Thursday, 17 June 2010

Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence

I'll be watching Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence on SBS ONE at 7.30pm tonight with plenty of interest.  Not only because I'm doing a master class with him in August but I'll also be looking for an 80s perm! Not for myself, but the 80s incarnation of a friend on my Eat,drink+beKerry facebook page.

Sue and Danny White are the ones in the documentary.  Sue is the one with the perm, not Danny.  Tetsuya is a friend  from way back and they supplied lots of the old photos for the documentary from when he first came to Australia in the early 80s. (That explains the perm - I wonder if we should look for shoulder pads too?)

Sue says Tetsuya is such a nice person and Danny hired him as a kitchen hand for his first job in Australia. She surprised Danny and invited him to the opening of their restuarant  in Scarborough which, appropriately, is called Danny's Restaurant.

Now you have some extra trivia to make your night's foodie television!  See what else is on this week.

Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly fix of E,d+bK highlights!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Kangaroo Island - the movie!

Here's snippets of our five day trek over Kangaroo Island with Park Trek. It was a wonderful experience.

I'm writing about the full journey in the August edition of Go Camping Australia. Thank you to my partner, Special K, for compiling this video. Many hours of work here - you are a champion!



Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Capri Cafe Bar, Emporium, Brisbane.

You really should try a pizza at Capri Cafe Bar, but don't forget to explore the whole menu.



Reviewed in Where Magazine

Capri on Urbanspoon

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Outpost Cafe, Canungra, Gold Coast Hinterland

Enjoying the view from Main Western Road at North Tamborine




Some beautiful winter weather saw us heading out on a motor bike ride on Sunday through the Gold Coast Hinterland.


We planned a half day ride to end in a barbeque lunch back in Brisbane. It was cold when we started so many layers were required to make the ride enjoyable and neck warmers essential!

Starting from Windsor, we headed down the M1 to turn inland towards Canungra. Once you leave the highway, the scenery is wonderful with plenty of rolling hills, occasional farms and lots of bushland.

The Outpost Cafe in Canungra loomed just in time for morning tea. As evidenced by the line up of bikes outside, this is a popular cafe with bikers.  And there were plenty of them taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Located on Canugra's main street, The Outpost Cafe is open from 6am and closes at 4.30pm except on Fridays when it is also open for dinner. We were too late for breakfast so settled for scones, jam and cream with a cup of coffee.  Special K ordered double shots because last time the coffee was a bit weak, this time the coffee made my eyes open double fast.


The scones were great but the packaged jam and imitation cream were just ordinary, nothing special at all.

I've heard good reports on the savoury mince on toast for breakfast and the Stockman's Breakfast if you are very hungry.  For lunchtime you should try one of the fantastic homemade pies or the Wagu beef burger with the lot looks like something to try.

The view from Main Western Road at North Tamborine

From Canungra we headed up the mountain to Tamborine and had a quick stop on Main Western Road, North Tamborine. I've stopped here before to watch hangliders jump off the side of the mountain. Very impressive.  There were none there this day but the view was outstanding.

Back in Brisbane for lunch we spent several hours having a few wines and planning the next trip... now what did we decide?


Bottom line: Good place to stop on the road with good, filling food.

The Outpost Cafe, 44 Christie St, Canungra QLD (07) 5543 5283

Roy, Russell, Karen and TC enjoy morning tea at The Outpost Cafe

Foodies survey - make your opinion count!

How often food is the main motive for travelling to another region, state or country?

Researchers from The University of Queensland’s School of Tourism want to find out.

Professor Don Getz and lecturer Richard Robinson are so serious about their food tourism research, they have roped in executive chef from Hamilton restaurant Bretts Wharf, Alastair McLeod, to help them with a voucher offer for those who complete the survey. Find the survey at  www.tourism.uq.edu.au in the box on the left or just go here

Alastair said he considered himself a food tourist, with recent travel to the US and Canada to keep up with the latest trends.

"Research is essential. You rest, you rust! " he said. "Experiencing the food of a country or region is in itself experiencing the place. Taste and smell are two of our most powerful senses.

"The public are much more educated and interested about food. Television cooking shows have had an enormous influence, I think."

The UQ researchers hope to develop a scale to measure a person’s inclination to travel for food tourism, products and experiences.

Their Travel Food Involvement Scale will help Australian tourist operators and food festival organisers better understand the needs and wants of their customers.

I’ve completed the survey, which takes about 20 minutes.  It’s not hard and at the end there’s a voucher offer from Brett’s Wharf as a reward for your trouble.  Do it now as the survey ends on June 30.

bmag June 8

Brisbane Cheese Awards winners

Here are the Gold Medal winners in the 2010 Brisbane Cheese Awards judged at Inn on the Park, Alice Street, Brisbane on June 12.

Congratulations to Witches Chase Cheese!

Primary Industries Cup – Best Queensland Cheese
Witches Chase Cheese Co Semi Hard Cooked Style - Chevphilly

Lord Mayor’s Cup – Champion Cheese
Jindi Cheese Washed Rind - Fire Engine Red

Cheese Please Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Soft
Meredith Dairy Ash Chevre

Fine Fruit on James Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Marinated
Yarra Valley Dairy Persian Fetta

Black Pearl Epicure Cup
Best White Mould
Woodside Cheese Wrights Woodside McLaren

Palatable Partners Cup
Best Blue Cheese
Jindi Cheese Sapphire Blue

Fino Fine Food Cup
Best Washed Rind
Jindi Cheese Fire Engine Red

Rosalie Gourmet Market Cup
Best Cheddar
Pyengana Dairy Tasty Cheddar

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Fresh Curd –Textured
Vannella Cheese Factory Burrata

Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Fresh Curd – Matured
Yarra Valley Dairy Black Savourine


Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Semi Hard – Cooked Style
Witches Chase Cheese Co Chevphilly


Brisbane Cheese Awards Cup
Best Hard – Cooked Style
Limestone Coast Cheese Company Brandenburg

Fresh Curd Soft
Udder Delights - Goat Curd
Udder Delights - Chevre
Emmos -  Goats Soft Curd
Hindmarsh Valley Dairy - Cumulus Goats Curd
Vannella Cheese Factory - Buffalo Ricotta
Meredith Dairy - Ash Chevre

Fresh Curd Textured
Puglia Cheese-  Bocconcini
Puglia Cheese -  Fior di Latte
Vannella Cheese Factory-  Burrata
Vannella Cheese Factory - Buffalo Mozzarella
Shaw River Buffalo Cheese - Buffalo Mozzarella
Yarra Valley Dairy - Gentle Goat

Fresh Curd Matured
Woodside Cheese Wrights - Woodside Grace
Woodside Cheese Wrights - Woodside Vigneron
Yarra Valley Dairy - Black Savourine

Fresh Curd Marinated
Udder Delights - Marinated Chevre
High Valley Wine & Cheese Co - Pesto Feta
High Valley Wine & Cheese Co - Olive Feta
High Valley Wine & Cheese Co - Chilli Feta
Grandvewe Cheeses - White Pearl
Yarra Valley Dairy - Persian Fetta
Yarra Valley Dairy - Juno
Nimbin Valley Dairy - Orange Billy
Bangalow Cheese Co - Coorall Fresh Curd


White Mould
Locheilan Farmhouse Cheese - Kaarimba Soft
Woodside Cheese Wrights - Pompeii
Woodside Cheese Wrights - McLaren
Udder Delights - Adelaide Hills Brie
Udder Delights - Adelaide Hills Triple Cream
Kingaroy Cheese - Stuart River Triple Cream Brie
Kingaroy Cheese - Barkers Creek Camembert
Jindi Cheese OTR - Brie
Gallo Dairy - Gallo Camembert

Blue Mould
Jindi Cheese - Sapphire Blue
Jindi Cheese - Traditional Blue
Udder Delights - Heysen Blue
Meredith Dairy - Goat Blue


Washed Rind
Jindi Cheese - Fire Engine Red
Gallo Dairy- Barren River
Maleny Cheese - Lé Blochon
Milawa Cheese Co -  King River Gold

Cheddar
Shaw River Buffalo Cheese - Lady Julia
Maffra Cheese Co- Cloth Cheddar
Pyengana Dairy - Tasty Cheddar
Limestone Coast Cheese Co - Callendale Cheddar


Semi Hard Cooked Style
Fromart - Devil’s Foot
Witches Chase Cheese Co - Chevphilly
Witches Chase Cheese Co -  Caerphilly
Gallo Dairy - Tilsit
Gallo Dairy - Gruyere

Hard Cooked Style
Towri Sheep Cheesery - Pecorino
Puglia Cheese - Parmesan
Limestone Coast Cheese Co -  Brandenburg

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Brisbane Cheese Awards 2010

Today was the judging of the Brisbane Cheese Awards at Royal on the Park in Alice Street, Brisbane.

The day started at 9am with about 15 judges equipped with hats and gowns and over 185 cheeses to taste.

The cheeses are divided into Fresh curd- soft; Fresh curd - textured; Fresh curd - matured; Fresh curd - marinated; White mold; Blue Mould; Washed Rind; Cheddar; Semi Hard Cooked Style and Hard Cooked Style.

I drew the short straw and had to start with Blue Mould at 9am in the morning but after the first five or so it didn't really matter any more.  The goal is to judge each cheese on its own merits according to taste, presentation and texture.  The judges are divided into groups taste all the cheeses on one table first, selecting their top five.  These top cheeses are then tasted by all the judges to find those worthy of a gold medal which requires 45 points or more out of 50.

I'm lucky because I seem to be able to retain my palette throughout the morning although I won't be lining up for cheese again soon.  I thought the cheeses were mostly of high quality, except in a few categories, and even better than last year

The winners will be posted on my blog but if you can follow the awards tonight at www.twitter.com/finofoodandwine

Tomorrow is the public day and you can enjoy cheese tastings and sales at Inn on the Park.  Full details here.  It's a great opportunity for cheese lovers.

David Pugh of Restaurant II was one of the judges.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...