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Just the best top cuts for food and gourmet travel

This week sees the start of Brisbane's Italian Week, new restaurants and chef appointments, a luxury limo service to Bali, tips on cooking the perfect risotto, a heads up for Eat Local Week in June, new lunch option at Noosa Long Weekend and how to stay connected while travelling overseas without breaking your budget.

New food news

Stokehouse has announced Sous Chef Richard Ousby has been promoted to Head Chef, taking over the reins from Tony Kelly who opened the restaurant and has moved to Peter Kuruvita’s Beach House in Noosa.

Romain Bapst, formerly of Il Centro, Drift at Milton and Brookwater, will open his own restaurant, Lutece Bistro and Wine Bar, at 1 / 60 Macgregor Terrace, Bardon in July.

Happy Little Dumplings is set to open another of its successful dumpling houses at The Barracks mid-June.

Italy comes to Brisbane

A feast for the mind, soul and belly, the seventh annual Italian Week (Sunday 26 May – Sunday 2 June 2013) is underway in Brisbane.

Headlining the week is a range of mouth-watering cooking classes from making authentic pasta to earning your barista stripes  says Italian Week Producer Alessandro Sorbello. There’s also degustation events at Artimino at Graceville, Dell ‘Ugo New Farm, Tartufo Fortitude Valley, Porchetta and Pinot at Taste Loft in Fortitude Valley.

Of course, it would not be Italian Week without the hotly contested Waiters’ Race in Queen Street Mall at midday on Thursday 30 May.  See the full program at

Perfect Italian risotto

Do you wonder why the risotto you cook at home never has the same flavour and texture as the risotto you’ve enjoyed had in Italy or at your favourite Italian restaurant?

The difference could be these chefs are using Vialone Nano and Carnaroli rice says Enoteca Sileno owner John Portelli, a passionate Australian of Italian descent who loves nothing more than a good risotto.

To help Australians create true Italian-style risotto, Enoteca Sileno is has undertaken a world-first, creating a website dedicated to the art

According to John a real risotto can be recognised because 
•    each grain holds its distinct shape and texture. It is never mushy, gluggy or too creamy
•    it has consistency from even cooking throughout the rice
•    rice is always the hero of the dish. With the nutty, herbaceous flavours of the grain complimented by other ingredients

Eat Local Week

It’s a week of cooking classes, farm tours, food and wine tastings and hosted dinners for Eat Local Week festival which starts in the Scenic Rim on June 23 culminates in a Winter Harvest Festival on June 29.
“Brisbane and Gold Coast residents may not realise that much of the food they consume was grown in the Scenic Rim, which is located just one hour’s drive away,” says Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent, himself a third generation vegetable producer.

“We are fortunate to have such fertile farming land, closely located to the city and tourism and agriculture account for more than 30 per cent of the businesses operating in this region.

“Particularly between June and December the paddocks between Boonah and Aratula produce a diverse range of vegetables for markets in Queensland, Australia and overseas. Throughout the year our producers supply beef, pork, dairy products, chicken and boutique food and wine products to the market.”

See the full program at

Limo to Bali

How good is this? Garuda Indonesia has introduced a complimentary limousine service for Executive Class passengers in celebration of the airline's Brisbane relaunch in August. Executive Class passengers departing from Brisbane will experience a seamless door-to-door journey, enjoying a drop off service to Brisbane airport and a pick-up service from Brisbane airport upon their return from Indonesia.

Commenting on the new service, Bagus Y. Siregar, Vice President for Garuda Indonesia Australia and SWP said: "With a chauffeur service to and from their home and a very generous 40 kilo baggage allowance, Executive Class passengers will enjoy a reliable alternative to organising taxis to and from the airport. This will provide an added level of convenience for high end and corporate travellers who travel regularly.

From August 1 2013, the Brisbane service will depart daily to Denpasar on Garuda Indonesia's B737-800 Next Generation aircraft with a seating capacity of 162 passengers, with 12 in Executive Class.

And why I like Bali -
Luxury in Bali
Cat poo coffee

Lunch with the insiders

Would you like to share lunch with Barrie Cassidy and his fellow ‘Insiders’ forum panellists, George Megalogenis, Dennis Atkins and Nikki Sava as part of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival from June 14to 23 ?  What about ‘chewing the fat’ with other well-known forum guests and the chance to extend the topical and timely discussions on a more personal level?  This year a special forum and lunch package opportunity has been offered as a new option for four of the six total forums in the June 14-23 Noosa Long Weekend Festival program  -

Stay connected while travelling

HolidayPhone now offers a Mobile WiFi Hotspot solution for customers traveling to 29 popular destination countries. Travellers with carrier locked mobile phones can now benefit from flat rate internet when abroad, with a Mobile WiFi Hotspot device and a prepaid Data SIM Card from HolidayPhone. The WiFi can be shared by the entire travel party and provides a secure and private WiFi connection. SIM cards from HolidayPhone are available when visiting Spain, UK, USA, Italy and 25 other popular vacation destination countries across five continents. The Mobile WiFi Hotspot device can be used across all markets together with a local data SIM card.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:   This is not a paid post.


  1. Italy, indeed, is a very influential country—mainly because of its fascinating and impressive culture. Food, in particular, is their forte, and Italian cuisine is undeniably well loved everywhere around the world. A considerable number of people will tell you their favourite food is pizza or pasta. Nevertheless, Brisbane's Italian Week had lots in store for residents this year. Impressive beyond words. Cheers!


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