Thursday, 29 November 2012

Gallery One, new at Westfield Carindale


Who would have believed that Westfield Carindale would be the perfect home for a slick new Italian restaurant with a $1.5 million fit out?

Brisbane shopping centres are better known for food courts with techno colour sauces and dodgy coffee than full flavoured food but all that has changed with the opening of Gallery One

Find Gallery One near the mall entrance to Myer.

Enter Tony Di Vincenzo, a first generation Aussie with a passion for great food and shared dining and gun chef Trent Robson, ex Pier Nine, 1899 Enoteca, Belle Epoque and Pescatore with a restaurant concept that could have been lifted from any of Brisbane's innovative restaurant dining precincts.


Tony Di Vincenzo and Trent Robson

The doors to Gallery One have been open less than two weeks but already locals are loving the authentic Italian cuisine and crisp based pizzas. And what's not to love about six metre long refrigerated cabinet groaning with pasticceria, tortes and patiserrie ready to go or served with a cappuccino made with their own hand crafted special blend of quality Arabica beans. 

The six metre long pastry cabinet also doubles as a breakfast bar

Inside the pastry cabinet



With most food offerings made in house, from the sour dough bread to the pasta and with dishes decorated with garnishes grown in Trent's own garden, there's lots to enjoy.

The wood fired pizza oven fires up daily with charry, hand spun bases topped with buffalo mozzarella, house made sugo, San Danielle prosciutto, swiss browns, salami and much more.  There are several inspired salads as well as pasta dishes and mains that follow the time honoured Italian style of simplicity and the restrained use of great flavours like ripe tomatoes, fresh Australian garlic, aromatic herbs, quality seafoods, meat and poultry. Most dishes are priced between $15 and $25.

I like the specially designed ‘work tables’ where you can plug in your devices to charge and get some work done using the free wifi while sitting on funky, old-man-face stools.  Check out the shiny black chairs as well and you'll see they are replica Him & Her Chairs crafted from polyethylene and modelled on male and female derrieres by Fabio Novembre.  Tony says they are strictly for inside the restaurant in case they 'frighten or offend ' shoppers.




Believe it or not, this is a stool.


Yep, these chairs are modelled on people bottoms - male left, female right.

The fit out is slick

Breakfast is all served daily and includes choices like a hotel-style ‘Continental’ – ham and gruyere on sour dough, croissant and honeycomb yoghurt and fresh fruit with preserves or more indulgent choices of truffled egg, housemade gravadlax and toasted brioche with stracchino or  and buttermilk pancakes with ricotta, strawberries and maple/rum syrup.

Owner Tony Di Vincenzo is a first generation Aussie with a passion for great food and shared dining.  After a successful career in IT, the Italian in him took over and he created the Gallery Group – Gallery Soho at Coorparoo and Gallery Cafe at Westfield Chermside and now Gallery One at Carindale.  With the extension of the Carindale site, Tony decided to upgrade his café bringing a strong Italian flavour to the menu and a multi-awarded chef to execute his vision.

Trent Robson has vast experience in both the UK and Brisbane and it shows on the plate.  Together these Italo-philes are bringing a new level of dining for the increasingly discerning tastes of shoppers at these centres. 

"Most shoppers are blown away by the fit out and the food," Trent says.

Freshly made pasta


Salumi board – Calabrese salami, san Danielle prosciutto, cornichons, caper berries & grissini $21

Zucchini flowers lightly battered, ricotta & pinenuts, crème friache, horseradish $18

Potato croquettes of parmesan & mozzarella, sautéed peppers & dressed radicchio $16

Pappardelle- ribbon pasta, corn fed chicken, tarragon & truffle, mascarpone & walnuts, parmesan $19


The restaurant seats 180 in two areas, inside the slick intimate restaurant space has cosy booths and a line of banquettes and out in the mall atrium, encircled by delicate custom designed iron work, white upholstered chairs make for extra comfy dining without any restaurant noise.

There's more seating in the atrium space.


Bottom line: Restaurant quality food in a shopping centre.
Best tip: Go, experience, and you'll be a believer too. Try Gallery One pre movies when it opens soon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Gallery One, Carindale shopping centre, Carindale (find it outside the Myer entrance in the mall)




Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Gallery One.

Apple strudel Viennese style




Thank goodness the days when a woman's worth as a marriage partner in Austria was judged by her ability to make strudel pastry without a hole are over or there would be lots of unmarried travel writers.

How do I know this?  Take a group of travel writers, a large lump of pastry and a rolling pin and it's not hard to work out who would be left on the shelf.

The Austrian National Tourist Office was in town recently with a pop up apple strudel making class at Alchemy Restaurant.

There were some excellent tips from a master Apple strudel maker.
  • It's a simple dough and the secret is in the resting 
  • You can roll it out with the rolling pin but also stretch the dough 
  • Remove your rings if you don't want holes in the dough
  • Pull until nice and thin and can almost see through the pastry
  • Cut off the thick edges
  • Sprinkle with bread crumbs so the apples don't soak through the dough too quickly
  • Spread with apples and raisins
  • Fold sides in and use the table cloth to roll up. Brush with butter and put in the oven for a hour to caramelised the apple at about 180 degrees
    The pastry will be cooked after  half an hour if you are desperate.

    Apfelstrudel (Apple strudel)

    Ingredients:


    Strudel dough
    ¼ kg (8.8 oz./2 cups) very fine flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1‐2 tablespoons oil
    About 1/8 litre (½ cup) lukewarm water
    100 g (3.5 oz./ ¾ cup) dry bread crumbs
    125 g (4.4 oz. / 5/8 cup) butter
    1 ½ ‐ 2 kg (3 ½ ‐ 4 ½ lbs.) apples
    Sugar and Cinnamon
    Ground cloves
    Walnuts and raisins

    Method

    For the Strudel dough, mix together flour, salt, oil and enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough. Knead very well until it becomes silky and smooth.

    Form the dough into a loaf, cover and allow to rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the
    dough on a table covered with a floured cloth. Place your hands under the dough
    and, using your thumbs and the back of your hand, gently begin pulling and stretching
    the dough until wafer‐thin. Trim away the thick edges.

    Brown the bread crumbs in some of the butter until golden brown. Brush the strudel
    dough with melted butter and spread the bread crumbs over it. Peel and core the
    apples, cut into thin slices (a cucumber slicer may be used) or grate coarsely.

    Season with sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves and spread on top of the bread
    crumbs. If you like, scatter a few raisins and/or coarsely grated walnuts on top.

    Using the cloth to help lift the dough, roll up the strudel from the sides as you would a jelly
    roll. Place it seam side down on a baking tray, brush generously with butter and bake
    at 180°C (350° F) until golden brown.
Here's our group effort at making Apfelstrudel

Sarah tried to peel the apple without breaking the peel - not so easy!

David started the pastry rolling.

David, Sarah and Lee pull the pastry carefully, trying to avoid making holes.

Lee used the table cloth to roll the strudel

And roll the strudel

And roll the strudel
And this is one that was made earlier (I'm sure ours would have looked like this)

The Austrian National Tourist Office chose Alchemy's riverside views for their strudel making class. It was as close to the Danube as they could get - obviously we had to use a LOT of imagination there.

Next year is a great time to visit Austria with a huge line up of delights to amaze. They tell me that in 2013 life in the Austrian capital will be given over to the art of enjoyment with three new attractions.
  1. There's the eagerly anticipated reopening of the Kunstkammer (Chamber of Art and Wonders) at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
  2. In late 2012, the curtain will go up for the first time at the brand new Vienna Boys' Choir concert hall in the Augarten park (My secret talent - which is not a secret any more after this - is that I love to sing in choirs, but probably not a boys' choir). 
  3. And in spring 2013 the newly refurbished Liechtenstein City Palace will provide a princely backdrop for Biedermeier and classicist art .
All three are welcome new additions to Vienna’s burgeoning cultural scene which is centered on its 160
museums, four opera houses and somewhere in the region of 15,000 concerts every year.

Vienna is a very popular destination for Australians, as you can see by the figures below.




Judging by my fondness for Gustav Klimt's work, I think I am a little Viennese at heart. Austria is certainly on my bucket list and here are my five top food reasons to visit Vienna!


Coffee shops like this

Cakes like this

Wiener schnitzel

Dining like this.
This is obviously not food - it's my favourite Gustav Klimt painting - enjoy!

Find out more about Vienna.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Vienna Tourist Board and The Austrian National Tourist Office at the cooking class.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Top tips on writing travel apps



With the media scene changing faster than a roller derby, travel writers are amongst the many journalists struggling to find ways to secure their income in uncharted waters.

Writer, photographer and acquisitions editor for Sutro Media, Kim Grant was a key note speaker at the Australian Society of Travel Writers Annual Conference held at the Novotel Lombok in October. Kim, who has produced about 400 apps, shared her tips on how to make the most of the app world and make money out of your own expertise.


According to Kim the pathways to assured success begin with stellar content.  That’s good news for good writers!

She says having a niche and specialities are important as, in the online world, the only thing you control is your content, writing and expression and you can't market poor content.

While traveller writers are good at providing information, it's not hard to see there is an overflow of travel information available. So now information is just not enough, it's all about context and giving the big picture. Kim's tip is to step back and give an overall perspective to create the most valuable content.


What else should you do? 

  • Aim to provide curated links from your app to other content to create rich multi media. 
  • Link out of your work or it will look really flat. 
  • Signal you are on top of things with dynamic updates.
  • You only have a few minutes to grab the reader or they will delete your app .Pitch how easy the app is to navigate early and strongly.
  • Building a community is easier with more users. Content + community = good content


For all this to work well, you need to live in your speciality world. (Guess that makes all that dining out I do even more worthwhile.)

Kim says it's important to build up a network of magazine connections that can help you promote your app. Success is not so much about luck, but more about hard work.

Social media is vital. Don't dabble, build a presence, be persistent and consistent. Pick two platforms from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pintrist and focus on these.

Kim advises giving away your content for free. All Apple cares about is that apps are downloaded.

She says people love free content and free apps are downloaded 5-15 times more than paid apps, but gain traction in the market place. People then stick in and play and that's where you can earn money. You  can give away a product to get a paying customer or sell an app for $3 and only get .90 cents.

Even if the money isn't there right now, Kim says this is where the game is being played.

She suggests giving away 350 entries for free where the user has to upgrade to get extra content. The extra content might be more photos, the ability to save favourites, or even the opportunity to feed the author. (I like that option.)


Show me the money! 

So how do you monetize an app? 

*Booking referrals
*Google ads
*Daily deals
*Sponsorships for ads

Mobile monetization is a rapidly growing opportunity. While it is now only 10  per cent of internet traffic, Kim says within five years it will be 25 per cent.

It takes time but if you follow your heart’s content and own the space, you will make money from writing an app and end up with a guaranteed income stream.

How to promote your app

*Reviews and ratings
*Collaborate with other colleagues - establish a group and work on establishing each other.
*Need a brand name - have to keep feeding the beast
*Promo codes
*Nurture iTunes - change the photos every season. 

Kim’s final advice was pick and choose what you spend your time on. It's all grey.

Disclaimer: E,d+bK was attending the Australian Society of Travel Writers annual conference which was sponsored by Novotel Lombok and Garuda Airlines.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Top cuts – Food news for Brisbane and beyond


Not happy Graham


CBD restaurateurs are furious about the Brisbane City Council’s increased restrictions and fees for parking in the Brisbane CBD and they’re not taking it lying down.

They are petitioning the Mayor of Brisbane City Council Graham Quirk to repeal the changes to ensure that city restaurants and businesses don’t close down.


Restaurant Two owner and head chef David Pugh says “At the end of the day it’s an unfair extra cost for city customers at a time we should be encouraging people to spend money and stimulate the local economy. Council needs to take responsibility for their decisions and understand that they have significant impacts for local businesses.”

Moda Owner and Head Chef Javier Codina is also concerned about the time restrictions that will apply until 10pm at night.

“The average sitting time at most city venues is well over two hours, these restrictions will prevent our customers from using off street parking at all.” Javier says. Many of my diners make dinner reservations for 7pm so they don’t have to pay for parking. It’s not hard to see that this will result in diners staying home rather than coming out.”

The RACQ annual audit of capital city off-street parking costs, found Brisbane was Australia's most expensive CBD for one-hour parking, and the second most expensive city for parking overall. Read more:

What do you think about CBD parking? Leave a comment below.

River buzz


Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan are set to open Riverbar & Kitchen by the river in Brisbane’s CBD on Friday December 7. The bar with its casual dining and vintage nautical theme will be a great spot for coffee in the morning, lunch or drinks after work and with the sensational river and Story Bridge views.

The bar menu, designed by Matt, has plenty of inexpensive options including snow crab slider, pickled cornichons, butter milk bun ($9), margarita pizza, tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza ($17) or a bucket of prawns, lemon, and cocktail sauce ($20).

Keep watching for a chance to try a Single Origin Roasters Riverbar coffee +daily pastry via Ed+bK.

Feel better with a little bang bang


Here’s a good idea from Renata Roberts at Sichuan Bang Bang, a hot little Chinese diner in the backstreets of Kenmore, a special Sichuan menu to aid in hangovers, stomachupsets and general seediness. It’s packed full of Vitamin D for big night out replacement, punching in spicy flavour to satiate hunger, chilli to boot ensuring high activation of sweat glands to detox the boozy body and Chinese herbs and teas to rehydrate, calm and repair. There’s Tiger Balm and Salonpas patches for aches and pains and serene music to sedate the mind. For those who can’t farewell the magic from the night before, a frosty Tsing Tao awaits.

Renata also supplies a cheat sheet Sichuan Doctor’s Acupressure Points for Relieving Hangovers which you should probably wait to administer in the privacy of your own home.

Here’s a quote, courtesy of Renata, to think about when you have a hangover “Did you know that having a hangover is… is not having enough water in your body to run your Krebs cycles? Which is exactly what happens to you when you’re dying of thirst. So, dying of thirst would probably feel pretty much like the hangover… that finally bloody kills you.” ~ Charles Herman in A Beautiful Mind

New wine bar

Check out the new wine bar Incider Trading at 153 Wickham Terrace in the Valley. Food spotter Lauren Schulz says it’s “more of a wine bar than a restaurant but there are food options available. The selection of wine on offer is unique and it is clear the owners have not only a love for wine but also the knowledge to give a bar like this the credibility it needs.”

Stokehouse welcomes…


Two talented new Sous Chefs have joined the Stokehouse team. The 2012 San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year, Richard Ousby, joins the team, lending his award-winning culinary flare to the restaurant. Braden White has been promoted in-house after working for Stokehouse as Junior Sous Chef since the restaurant opened last year, and prior to that he spent several years as Sous Chef at Hamilton Island’s Yacht Club and fine dining spot, Romano’s.

Vote for your favourite food blogger

Noosa International Food & Wine Festival is asking ‘Who is your favourite food blogger?” Here’s where to share your views

Disclaimer: Just sharing food love

Kerry Heaney

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gourmet Food Travel - Kangaroo Island FEASTival



It's got it all - fabulous food, exciting scenery, pristine location, superb beaches, unique tastes, local wine - there's only thing you won't find on Kangaroo Island and that's the rat race.



I've walked much of Kangaroo Island with Park Trek and managed to slip in food spotting along the way but I would be back in a heart beat for the second Kangaroo Island FEASTival from April 25-30 2013.

The six day program of culinary and wine adventures features 15 extraordinary gourmet events inspired by Kangaroo Island's stories, locations and the people behind its enviable food and wine with George Calombaris and Maggie Beer taking time out of their rock-star schedules to host key events.



George will launch the festival with an exotic dinner of abalone, goose and sheep's cheese in a marquee at the water's edge in sleepy Kingscote. South Australian food icon Maggie Beer (The Cook and the Chef) will showcase the island's pig on a spit and Marron (freshwater crayfish) at a Roman Banquet.

Among the usual food festival master classes and themed dinners the FEASTival program includes unique Pop-Up Dining events and FEASTival's own FilmFood evening, in partnership with the Adelaide Film Festival.

Australia's leading native food chef Andrew Fielke will create a progressive film and food dinner where each course is inspired by a short film that reflects the island's natural wilderness and native foods.

Joining the celebrity chefs, local Kangaroo Island food identities - like Southrock Lamb's Andy and Kate Gilfillan - are opening up their own homes to throw Table Surfing lunch and dinner parties for FEASTival visitors.

The island's legendary seafood features in several novel events. Join a casual 'oyster and fizz' lunch where the oysters are served from little fishing boats floating by. Take a mystery fishing charter for a two part progressive lunch. Or enjoy fish and chips at the Utes and Boots Picnic in a location that's only revealed on the day.


Kangaroo Island's own distillery owners Jon and Sarah Lark will reveal the secrets of gin making over a casual dinner, Dudley Wines hosts an interactive dinner with local producers and Islander Estate wines will feature as part of a gourmet meal aboard beautiful luxury yacht Lady Eugenie.

Sunday 28 April will be FEASTival's big day out, featuring the hostly contested Kangaroo Island Signature Dish Competition, judged by Maggie Beer and Andrew Fielke, food stalls from the Penneshaw Farmers Markets, fishing and squid catching competitions, fish smoking demonstrations and a junior chef master class for adults - taught by local school children.

FEASTival producer Nick Hannaford, whose own career includes co-founding Queensland's award winning rainforest dining experience Flames of the Forest where he catered a private dinner for Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, says: "Growing up on the island I respect its natural beauty and emerging food and wine industry, so it's crucial that each event is sensitively designed to balance the location, food, wine, and personalities. I just then add that little touch of theatre!"

Tickets on sale now at www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/kifeastival

Here's more on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island Farm Gate Trail
Kangaroo Island highlights

Disclaimer:  Just spreading food love.

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