Just the best food and travel news for Brisbane and beyond

This week in top cuts - fit a butcher in your pocket, seasoned Sundays, perfect pizzas, gobble up Turkey, how to travel to China and dinners you won't want to miss.

A butcher in your pocket

Do you miss the reassurance of chatting with your local butcher? The one who greets you by name, has a new meat suggestion for your dinner and can tell you the best way to cook it? 

The Ask the Butcher App won’t call you ‘love’ but will let you tap into the unrivalled knowledge only a butcher can provide.

The App is the creation of Anthony Puharich who, with his father Victor, owns Vic’s Premium Quality Meat and has been supplying premium meat to Australia’s finest restaurants since 1996 as well as serving up specialty meat at the prestigious Victor Churchill butchery in Sydney. Anthony is also the host of LifeStyle FOOD’s latest TV series, Ask the Butcher.

Find it at the iTunes App Store for $2.99 and is iOS exclusive.

Seasoned Sundays at Stokehouse

Good news for fans of Autumn Sundays at Stokehouse – the restaurant is continuing its popular weekend lunch special throughout the year! ‘Seasoned Sundays’ will continue to offer the finest quality produce and contemporary flavours guests have come to love, with a focus on the freshest seasonal ingredients. Enjoy an entrée share plate, main and dessert for just $60 per person, with a new menu that is handwritten weekly based on the very best, seasonal produce of the moment.  Available every Sunday from 12.00pm. Bookings essential, contact Stokehouse on (07) 3020 0600.

Perfect Pizzas class at Spring

Spring’s Perfect Pizzas cooking class on Monday, 27 May will teach you all the tips for creating the just-right base and flavoursome toppings, from traditional Margherita and Marinara to modern favourites such as Meat Lovers and Hawaiian. Create your pizzas, fire them in the oven then enjoy them over a glass of vino! Teaching the class is chef Christian Gruber of the much-loved CJ’s Pasta, serving up authentic and delicious pastas, wood-fired pizzas and gelato.  $100 per person, call (07) 3229 0460 or visit www.spring.com.au.

Gobble up Turkey

Standing at the back of a veritable conga line (sans hip-holding) in a large tour group, and barely hearing what the tour leader is saying can be frustrating, not to mention the tightly packed and often inflexible itineraries.

Australia’s small tour specialists, Gypsian Boutique Tours, was borne from over 40 years of combined travel adventures and understanding of what travellers aged 45-years and over want from their tours. 

This September, the self-confessed gypsies will be hosting a captivating 15-night Ultimate Turkish Feast tour combining food, culture and local knowledge with lashings of fun and flexibility.

The tour starts in Istanbul fossicking in the fresh food markets of Kadikoy before bringing it back to prepare a beautiful three-course meal and then heading south along the Aegean coast to Selcuk, famed for some of the finest Roman ruins in the Mediterranean, before hitting a foodie’s utopia…Priced from $6,995 per person  www.gypsiantours.com.au

Travelling to China?

Hot on the heels of upgrading its Brisbane flights to brand new A330-223 aircraft, China Southern has confirmed that it is moving to five weekly flights from June 26 and would consider daily and even double daily services from its Guangzhou hub if the market grows sufficiently.

“Our aim always is to be aspirational,” said China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Mr Henry He.  “But how aspirational depends on the level of support we get from the industry and present growth rates continuing to increase.”

Mr He said Queensland’s great beaches and friendly people meant the Sunshine State was becoming very popular for Chinese holidaymakers.  But to justify extra capacity China Southern needed to be able to back-fill its flights with Australians wanting to visit China or to fly via Guangzhou on the airline’s Canton Route to the world. China Southern

What’s on

For your dining pleasure ….

Bistro Ephémère,  Brisbane westside

Pop is going posh at a secret location on the west side (minutes from the city and not in their usual location at Ballymore), the folk who brought you Tacquito Taco Pop Up are going French with Bistro Ephémère. They are re-creating a French restaurant for one night only, with a slightly retro feel.  It’s limited to just 60 people so get in quick.

When:  Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday May 30.
Cost:  $70 for 3 courses. Wine and beer will be available to purchase on the night.
Bookings:  Pop Up Productions

Ole, South Bank

Bodegas Patrocinio's managing director, Fernando Villamor, will present a showcase of wines produced by one of Rioja's most acclaimed wineries, to be paired with a selection of Ole's tapas and raciones.

When: Thursday, May 30
Time: 6.30pm
Cost: $69 per person.
Bookings 3846 1201

Fire & Ice, Cooroy

Crocodile chipolatas with Coolamon Bush Tomato relish; Wattleseed damper; Quandong Jam; Riberry Jam; Lemon Myrtle Yoghurt; slow roasted tomatoes and warrigal green pesto….   Join Slow Food Noosa for an indigenous-inspired and educational journey to experience the subtle but distinctive flavours of Bush Tucker food with one of Australia’s most accomplished Indigenous Bush Tucker Chefs, Dale Chapman. Dale has been cooking for more than 30 years and has taken Australia’s bush tucker to Italy for Slow Food’s annual Terra Madre day.

When:    Thursday 30 May
Time:     7.45am for 8am start
Cost:     Slow Food Noosa members: $24; Non Members: $29. Ticket price includes a full buffet breakfast.
Bookings: 5474 3711.

Disclaimer:  This is not a paid post

Kerry Heaney