Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2012

Keep it clean for latte love

Australia is no longer the home of the bushie, it’s the home of the barista!

We are a nation of coffee drinkers; by 2013 we will spend more than $800 million on coffee, and that’s not including takeaway coffees or coffees consumed in a cafe.

Given the rise and rise of the home barista, the espresso experts at Merlo have titled June 1 national Clean Your Coffee Machine Day, the day of the year where your coffee machine gets a whole latte love! K2 - this is a job for you Honey!

So if you can't find the instructions that came with your coffee machine, here's some great tips from Merlo’s chief espresso expert Dean Merlo , who knows a thing or two about cleaning a coffee machine. His dad Gino introduced the very first espresso machine to Queensland in 1958, and Dean established the first torrefazione - an Italian style roasting house - in Fortitude Valley in 1996. Merlo has since grown into one of the country’s leading espresso coffee companies, now boasting six torrefaziones, a…

Is sake the new sauvignon blanc?

Sauvignon blanc or sake? Is that the question you'll be asked next time you order a drink?

Although not a personal favorite, sauvignon blanc seems to be the drink of choice for many when wine is on the list. It's seen as an easy no brainer, a wine that suits most palates and goes with most anything. I've been in chain store bottle shops where the rows of sav blanc have outnumbered all other whites by three to one.

However Sake Master Toshi Maeda believes it won't be long before sake is offered with as much availability and enthusiasm as overdone sauvignon blanc.

"There are sake bars opening everywhere," he says.

And indeed, he was in Brisbane for the opening of a new Sake bar at the newly renovated Wagamama in the Wintergarden, CBD.

Toshi, who hails from Melbourne, obviously has a deep love for sake and a vested interest in its success. Originally from Kobe, Japan, Toshi arrived in Australia in 1996 to stay for a year and study English. Australia got under h…

Italian Week in Brisbane

Opera, gnocchi, limocello and accordion music - it doesn't get much more Italian than this in Brisbane.  Throw in a cobbled laneway and a high profile Italian chef and it's la dolce vita.
Launching this year's Italian Week (May 23 - June 2) was an Italian Alfresco Feast cooked by a master of modern Italian cuisine, Stefano Manfredi, and served in a cobbled lane way. Or that was the plan - unfortunately unseasonal rain caused the event to be moved inside the Treasury Casino & Hotel but clever staging meant the move did not detract from the dinner.
Celebrating its fifth year, Italian Week offers an insight into the modern Italy and shares Italian culture and lifestyle.
Stefano Manfredi's menu showcased Italian olives and oils from several regions, gnocchi made to his mother's recipe (but never quite as good according to Stefano), achingly tender shoulder of lamb and a special 'street food' dessert from Western Tuscany that is eaten with your hands.
I ch…

Discover ground to table at Delectable

There was such excitement in the air at the official unveiling of Brisbane's first full on food festival.

Launching Delectable (16-29 July) at Tank was Creative Producer Anthony Bastic, gardening guru Phil Dudman and celebrity chef Alastair McLeod.

Delectable will be a showcase for the State’s food, produce and musical talent with a 14 day program from Monday 16 to Sunday 29 July, featuring some of Queensland’s and Australia’s best known food and gardening personalities.

Australia is well serviced by food festivals but Delectable is taking a different path with a strong emphasis on ground to table.  Brisbane's CBD will be transformed to show us how to grow food in our own back yard and how to turn it into delicious meals. 

I'm looking forward to learning about vertical gardens for my inner city plot and watching top chefs team up with top rural producers and tasting the results.

And I can't imagine a better time to have a food festival than during our glo…

Tasty bits from bmag

Latest food news for Brisbane - James Street food update, Little Dumplings in Bulimba, A Game Feast at Victoria Park Golf Complex, Italian Alfresco Feast on Friday at Treasury Casino, Taste of Column June 22-24.

London Xpress Cafe, Woolloongabba

My love affair with telephone boxes has waxed and waned boosted by images of  Doctor Who (preferably the dashing Peter Davison not the overdone Tom Baker) emerging from the Tardis and knocked down by the reality of smelly, vandalised roadside call boxes.

Even in the UK it's hard to find one now days which makes the telephone box styled entrance to London Xpress even more poignant for expats and lovers of curious anomalies.

Positioned in the thriving top precinct of Logan Road, London Xpress is a little different from it's neighbours Pearl, Canvas, 1889 Enotecca and Crosstown Eating House.  It's really just a simple cafe with a theme of British food.

Owners Jay 'coffeenoisseur' and Satty 'coffeenista' Bassi are British by birth with origins in Liverpool and Yorkshire. Jay has lived in Australia for 14 years and Satty for four years. Both have experience in hospitality and readily extend a welcome to their customers.

The cafe menu includes normal burgers and…

Petaluma winemaker's dinner at Sake

One of the joys of my job is being invited to special dinners and the Petaluma Winemaker's Dinner at Sake is one pleasure I'll remember for a while.
I really enjoy the clean fresh flavours of Japanese food and the light handed cooking style however my partner, K2, is not such a fan.  He's still dealing with a double brush with ciguatera from his youth and his eyes glaze over at the thought of raw or semi cooked fish.  But he's a trooper and no doubt lured by the thought of a night of exceptional wines, he agreed to come with me.  And the up side of this is that I always get to eat his oysters!

Before we adjourned to Sake's private dining room we met the delightful Penny Jones, one of Petaluma's wine makers. Penny has been working for Petaluma for seven years and says she spends most of her time at the winery working rather than attending dinners and looking glamorous.
Listen to her stories about working during the winery's busy period with 12 hour shifts s…