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Showing posts from April, 2010

Be my guest - David Rayner dines at The French Laundry, Napa Valley.

David Rayner shares his experience in E,d+bK's Thursday series - "Be my guest - my most memorable meal" - of a decadent 18 course degustation at the legendary The French Laundry in Nappa Valley, California.

David's career has taken him from London, Sydney and now to Noosa. He worked at London’s most well known restaurants including Kensington Place and Launceston Place. In Sydney, David helped establish and transform some of Sydney’s leading eateries including The Brooklyn, The Edge and Lucciola of Balmain. His final stint in Sydney was to lead the start up team at Vault Restaurant where they were awarded a hat in the 2000 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

David was approached by Jim Berardo to initiate an innovative cuisine for the newly opened berardos restaurant and bar on Hastings Street, Noosa. After four years David decided it was time to establish River House Restaurant which established itself as one of Queensland’s finest restaurants.

In May…

Vodka, Chilli and Choc chip cupcakes recipe

When I flipped over the page on my 500 cupcakes desktop cupcake calendar I was hooked, I just couldn't resist the idea of this flavour combination, vodka/chill/chocolate, especially since the recipe includes a syrup which is poured over the still-warm-from-the-oven cupcakes.

I've tried chilli chocolate and like it, though I'm definitely more of a fan of the mild rather than hot variety.

You might want to play with the chilli/chocolate balance. I think I would up the chilli a smiggin next time.  I served these with a dollop of cream.

Vodka, chilli and chocoate cupcakes

3 tbsp vodka
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g castor sugar
225 self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1tbsp finely chopped red chilli (I used Creative Gourmet)
75g dark choc chips

for the syrup
5 tbsp vodka
2 tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 175 celesius. Place 18 paper baking cases in muffin tins. ( Made mine bigger so there were only 12)

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.…

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Poppy's at Emporium in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley make the most delicious red velvet cupcakes. I love them for the colour alone!

No guarantees on this recipe as I haven't tried it but if you are in need of a red velvet cupcake fix it's worth a try as it's fast and easy

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe -

Tasty bits - bmag, April 27

Gourmet getaway at Noosa this weekend

If you've been wishing you could go to the Noosa Food and Wine Festival this weekend and enjoy a weekend at Noosa, your prayers are almost answered.

As long as you can get yourself and a partner to Noosa, think about making a bid for this Queensland Holiday 

The holiday starts on the Sunshine Coast this Thursday and is a great foodie escape! Gold event passes give you access to the festival’s best while you lap up the luxury at The Rise Resort, Noosa.

Rub shoulders with Australia's top chefs at a “secret” VIP function, work with Masterchef’s Matt Preston and attend the celebrated Italian degustation dinner. Enjoy the Sunshine Coast's revitalising warmth at Mantra Mooloolaba and dinner at award-winning Spirit House restaurant. All proceeds go to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. 

It's a great deal with 6 nights luxury accommodation for two,  2 VIP Event Gold Passes, 2 VIP Degustation Dinners and 2 VIP entry to secret event. I'm attending the Festi…

Be my guest - Most memorable meal - Churrasco, Darlinghurst, Sydney

Brisbane expat and now Sydney diva, Zoe Condon (@Princess_Zo) was inspired to visit Churrasco in Syndey by news of the launch of a Brisbane churrasco. Here's her report on how they do it.

My memorable meal

Churrasco has two restuarants in Sydney, one in Coogee and the other in Darlinghurst.

It is $35 a head for all you can eat. There is a disc on the table, one side yes, green and the other no more, red. Until you say no more, they will continue to bring food.

Brazilian food is a carnivorous delight, with every type of meat you can imagine. There is sirloin, rump and scotch fillet as well as lamb, pork belly, ham, chicken and chorizo.The chorizo and chicken sausages come directly from the open fire on sticks directly to the plate. All of the meat is really tender and more ish. It's actually really hard to stop especially when the food just keeps coming and coming. 
The only two non meat products on the menu are mini cheesy bread rolls and cinnamon glazed pineapple which we a…

Mundo Churrasco, Bardon, Brisbane

It was all action at the opening of Mundo Churrasco (pronounced Shoo-tlas-Co) in Bardon on Wednesday night.  Wow, those Brazilians sure have beat.

This new addition to the line up on Macgregor Terrace is based on a 300-year-old culinary tradition that originated in the south of Brazil.  Think Aussie barbeque with a big Brazilian twist.

Owners Lucio and Flavia Boggian and Shirley Roiter think they are on to a winner. “One thing we noticed when we moved to Australia from Brazil is how similar we are in our love of food – especially meat cooked over an open flame! The Brazilian BBQ is a little different from the Aussie one as we use loads of fantastic meats and vegetables authentically cooked over the charcoal pit” he said.

Mundo Churrasco will offer an extensive variety of different cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish and vegetables, all cooked over open flame.

The beef and lamb that I tasted had a real flame grilled flavour and were delicious.  I also had some casava chips which …

Be my guest - Most Memorable Meal, John Lazarou

A series of guest posts where food lovers share memories of a stand-out meal.

Coffee Club king John Lazarou takes us on a food tour of Bangkok and Thailand, proving you can eat at roadside stalls and live to tell the story.

My most memorable meal
I've been fortunate enough to visit Thailand three to four times a year for the past four years now and even more fortunate to experience some of the finest hotels and best restaurants that Thailand has to offer.

During the first few trips my fellow Australian colleagues living in Thailand (ex-pats) played it safe and only took me to fine dining restaurants in five star hotels where most of the menu items are western with a Thai twist.

It didn't take me too long to discover street food, initially I did as I was told by the ex pats and avoided any seafood items from the menu and only ate where there was high foot traffic. It didn't take too long for me to be tempted by all those seafood delicacies I saw being prepared in the stre…

Best Brisbane Blogs

Sometimes when I'm sitting at the computer late at night or early in the morning I wonder why I blog about food in Brisbane.

I'm sure my partner and daughter wonder the same thing when I ask yet another question at a restaurant or market stall. Or, worse still, buy another jar of chutney or tea! But I don't hear them complaining when the purchase is native peppermint fudge!

But it's all about the quest to find new foods, great foods and something a little out of the ordinary - that keeps me going.

Being included in The Brisbane Times list 'Best of the Brisbane Blogosphere' is a real boost and puts a little more cream on the cake. Congratulations to Eat Drink Brisbane who also were included on the food list.

There are many other great local food blogs out there as well - keep going guys! Here's just a few
Food Bling BrisbaneGastronomy GalMelanger BakingWinos and foodies Eyes bigger than bellyStrayed table

Birches Restaurant, Mt Mee, Queensland

On the way back home from a beaut weekend visiting the Bunya Mountains we decided to stop for a final chat and debrief at Birches Restaurant on Mt Mee Road, Mt Mee.

I am continually surprised by the beauty of the areas surrounding Brisbane.  So close to the city, this is a verdant paradise of rolling hills, contented cud-chewing cows, scenic vistas and winding roads that are a pleasure to drive on a bike or car.

Birches Restaurant is one of the places along the way or a great destination all on it's own.  Judging by the picturesque church overlooking the coastline, it's also a popular wedding venue.

We were still fortified by goat sausages and farm fresh eggs (more on that soon) so the freshly baked scones with strawberry jam and cream ($7.90) were perfect. They were just as fresh scones should be - warm, soft and inviting.

If we were more in need of food the menu certainly had a good range of offerings. It's a fairly safe line up, the sort of menu that would appeal to eve…

The Silva Spoon, Cotton Tree, Sunshine Coast

You could almost miss this small tea and coffee emporium in King Street at Cotton Tree, which would be a real shame.

Walk inside the door and you'll find a very inviting atmosphere that is filled with a wondrous assortment of teas and coffees and a selection of mugs and tea pots that's hard to beat.

Despite the range of teas on display, we settled in for a coffee and each enjoyed a fine brew . Our indulgence was one of the shortbreads with a substantial spread of icing and sweet flower decoration on top.  They were buttery and slightly crumbly, like all good shortbreads, and the icing on top was a cute bonus.

I couldn't resist walking out without a selection of the fine teas on offer.  It was hard to choose, but with a little help from my friends I picked out some small foil packs of teas for those times when I really shouldn't or couldn't have another straight tea.

* Wellbeing - formulated to preserve and fortify from the inside out with lemongrass, ginger, dande…

Be My Guest - My most memorable meal - Will Cooke, Vapiano

Here's the first in a new Thursday series, Be My Guest. I'll be asking foodies around town to share some of their favourite meal memories. The events that have stuck in their mind long after the occasion has passed.

First up is a round the world trip of restaurants starting in Australia and ending in London from Will and Jodie Cook who recently established Vapiano, a new Italian eatery in the heart of Brisbane city.

Our most memorable meal…. 

There are so many things wrapped up in the connotation of your most memorable meal. The food, the place, the service and the company or sometimes how you even came to be there. In a lifetime, how do you determine what was your ‘most’ memorable? How do you separate out the different parts – sometimes like a jigsaw – some meals have been short a few pieces.

When asked to write this – I wondered how to separate the pieces; I closed my eyes and let my mind wander over my memories.

What seemed like a lifetime ago, before marriage and children…

New flights to the Granite Belt, Queensland

If you'd rather spend more time enjoying fresh local produce and sipping fine wine than driving, Sunshine Aviation's new Stanthorpe package might be just the ticket.

From next week, charter flight tours to Queensland's Granite Belt will be added to the menu of Sunshine Aviation to meet the boom in consumer interest in wine and food.

Initially established in Noosa in 1999, and now with a new base at Brisbane’s Archerfield, Sunshine Aviation will offer two day tours to Stanthorpe.  The package includes flights, overnight accommodation, meals and ground tours.

Flight time from to Stanthorpe is approximately 35 minutes Archerfield and from Sunshine Coast 85 minutes.  This leaves plenty of time to take in a tour of wineries, an olive or lavender farm plus visit a boutique chocolate, cheese or cider producer. In the interests of flight safety, wine tastings will be conducted on day one, ensuring a “dry flight” for the return journey.

To learn more visit TOURS at www…

Tasty Bites April 13 bmag

Olley's Coffee in the Rainforest, Mt Glorious

We we were breaking in some new hiking boots in preparation for a five day walk on Kangaroo Island - serious stuff. Our first stop included a view of the now full Wivenhoe dam and we found some wonderful wild flowers on the track.

Of course such exertion required fortification and by the time we found a suitable spot it was lunch time.

Olley's is a quirky spot.  Its the sort of place where you'll find just about anything, from scented oils to socks decorated with the Southern Cross. It's a mish mash of all sorts of stuff but the highlight is some very good organic honey.

The whole building is surrounded by rainforest and there are some really delightful places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere.  Inside there is comfortable seating as well and it's warmer if the day is cool.

The cafe offers breakfast with a few unusual twists like a Filipino breakfast with Asian sausage and chicken served with egg, garlic rice, fruits and coffee. Not sure about that one! There's also…

Embassy XO, Sunshine Beach, Sunshine Coast

I've been walking past the redevelopment on the corner of Duke and Bryan Streets on Sunshine Beach for some time, wondering what it would bring to this great strip of restaurants, cafes, delis and coffee shops.

We are regular visitors to Sunshine Beach and love the ambience, the opportunity to park the car and just walk where ever you want to go and the good quality food and coffee on offer.  It's a little paradise.

The three new operations to open are Embassy XO (previously Alegria Restaurant) which is an upstairs licensed modern Asian and Chinese restaurant with indoor and covered outdoor dining for up to 80 diners.

XO Bistro Wine Bar (previously Wasabi Restaurant) on the ground level, is a licensed and BYO beach-style bistro and wine bar serving pizzas, steaks and seafood in a more casual style. It includes indoor and outdoor dining for up to 100 people.

Completing the trio is XO Cellars,  a boutique style bottle shop serving quality wines and beers.

Company Director …

Trish's Carrot Cupcakes

Easter Sunday was one of those days when the sky was blue, the air was warm but not too hot and the birds were singing.

At least they were around the deck at Albany Creek where we sat for a delightful family lunch.  Trish kept rolling out dishes till we were all full up but the sight of these carrot cakes seemed to open up another part of my appetite.  I was fascinated with the cute little carrots Trish made to decorate the cupcakes.  The combination of marzipan and food colouring with tiny dill tops was very realistic.  I'm sure the Easter bunny would have been jealous.

Trish's carrot cake recipe is one she has made for many years.  It was given to her by the owner of a coffee shop where she often enjoyed the cake with her mother on outings.  The recipe converts well into cupcakes which were deliciously moist and the cream cheese icing was just fabulous.  Well done Trish!

Trish's Carrot Cupcakes

1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 teasp baking powder
3/4 teasp bicarb…

Top blogs for March

Looking at the top blogs, March was an interesting and diverse month on E,d+bK with large interest in one of Brisbane's top diners - Aria,  plenty of people checking out this great cafe in the mountains - Mt Glorious Restaurant & Cafe and lots of lookers at the pub grub available at the Normanby Hotel, Red Hill and the Ship Inn, South Bank

There were also high hits the blog on my latest cooking toy - the Sunbeam Pattie cupcake maker.

Here's the top five for March

* Best burgers - the Normanby Hotel
* Lunch at Aria
* Morning tea at  Mt Glorious Restaurant & Cafe
* Loving that lamb at the Ship Inn
* More fun with cupcakes - Sunbeam's Pattie cupcake maker

Farmer's Market Accreditation

Victoria has just launched Australia's first Farmer's Market Accreditation program - what a great idea!

The Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association (VFMA) Accreditation Program has a rigorous stallholder application process and about 350 members. It's designed to ensure their fast growing farmers’ markets sector is made up of genuine farmers, producers and makers so that people are buying goods that are directly from farmers and makers and that customer dollars are going straight back to regional communities

When visiting a market it's always nice to know that the sellers are the real deal and not resellers.

Victorian Farmers’ markets will gain accreditation under the VFMA Accreditation Program through a rigorous process once they have no less than 90% of stallholders accredited in metropolitan areas and no less than 75% in regional areas.

When you go to a 'Farmer's Market' how do you know if you're buying the real thing? First talk to the people you a…

Ultimate last minute Easter present - Guilt free chocolate massage

It's been a while, but I still remember the delicious chocolate aroma of this massage. It's a great Easter gift for those who love chocolate but not the calories. And for those challenged by time, it's also available as a gift voucher making it the perfect last minute Easter pressie!

And Ripple has now branches around Australia!

Here's my experience -

It’s more than eight hours since I was pampered in massage heaven and I still can smell chocolate!