Top cuts from this week's food news

Making the cut this week - Food and wine in James Street, Good Food month launches in Brisbane, new chef and menu at Bacchus, Bastille Day celebrations at Park Road, Ben O’Donoghue and Alastair McLeod turn wine maker thanks to Wine Selectors and explore sake at Sake.

Second James Street Food and Wine Trail 


Fortitude Valley’s James Street will host the second annual James Street Food & Wine Trail to showcase the precinct’s premier food, fashion and lifestyle destinations from August 3 to 10.

Featuring an extensive culinary market hosted by the Standard Market Company and cooking demonstrations with Bucci’s Shaun Malone, Gerard Bistro’s Ben Williamson and Harveys’ PJ McMillan, the James Street Food & Wine Trail will be a week-long epicurean adventure.

Some of the highlights of the week include QLD Good Food Guide Awards 2013 Best New Restaurant, Gerard’s Bistro, hosting tea and food collaborations with Scrumptious Reads, an Arabian Sweets Bazaar with Jocelyn’s Provisions, Pol Roger Champagne in all of the restaurants and a Craggy Range tasting tent.

“We’ve been planning some really exciting events for people to get totally absorbed in and embrace the amazing food and wine culture of Brisbane,” said Gerard’s Head Chef Ben Williamson.

The full James Street Food & Wine Trail program including ticket information will be announced in July. For more information, visit

Good Food Month pops up in Brisbane

Heading your way in October is Citi’s Good Food Month (formerly in Sydney and New South Wales the Crave Sydney International Food Festival) in partnership with and The Queensland Good Food Guide, 2013.

Judging by initial announcement, the Brisbane program is just small pop-ups rather than the events which attract mega attention in Sydney and Melbourne such as the Night Noodle Markets and the Shoot the Chef culinary photographic competition.

Brisbane restaurateurs are being invited to take part in this month which is all about food, drinks and signature events such as Let's Do Lunch and Hats Off Dinners.

Editor of the QLD Good Food Guide Natascha Mirosch said it was a great opportunity for those Queensland restaurants who feature in the guide to showcase what they can do.

''There are two categories they can participate in - Let's do Lunch, where they offer a set lunch for $38 per person and the Hats Off dinners, where any hatted restaurants in the guide, abandons their usual menu and gets really creative with themed one-off dinners, " Mirosch said.

Let's hope this takes off an we see Night Noodle Markets in Brisbane next year!

Good Food Month

New head chef, new menu at Bacchus


Former Bacchus sous chef Mark Penna has been appointed Head Chef bringing with him a menu change towards combined classic flavours with modern twists.

“I personally like to eat pretty heavily and I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil over butter but in winter our palate does love robust flavours,” says Head Chef Mark Penn.

‘The new menu has a lovely range of winter earthy flavours which are rich without being too heavy, I think this menu has a great balance of hearty without being too much."

Two key winter entrée additions include king fish with wild garlic, quail egg and smoked oyster aioli and rabbit, baby leak terrine, roasted hazelnut puree and pickled shemji mushrooms.

The ballotine of veal with mushroom ragout, soft white polenta, veal sauce and sage brown butter is a prime example of Mark's hearty and satisfying winter dishes on the main menu.

A clear favourite from the dessert offerings is the predicable but crowd pleasing sticky date soufflé with toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream.

Lighting up for Bastille Day


It’s looking brighter over at Park Road with the installation of new lighting on the  Savoir Faire Eiffel Tower in time for Bastille Day on Sunday, July 14.

Park Road will be turn red, white and blue with pop-up sidewalk market stalls, roving performances, art exhibitions, live music, fashion parades, French military parades, A Eugine Atget photographic homage, macaron making demonstrations, French food and wine, and vintage Citroen car displays for Bastille Day.

Celebrating both the lighting and Bastille Day, Alegria Mediterranean Bistro & Bar has a six course degustation, ‘The French Table’,  from July 7 to 21 for $85 per person.

Head Chef, Lorenzo Nobilio with sous chef Andrew Burkill, have created a mouth-watering menu including boudin noir, Foie Gras, Truffles,  Blu D’Avergne and Cremeaux triple cream brie and classic dishes such as Planche Charcuterie – Rillettes de porc, Foie Gras, Terrine de poulet, Boudin Noir, Chutney de poire and Bouillabaise de fruits de mer avec un bouillon de tomate et le safran et rouille.

Lorenzo spent some time in France in the early 90s and it was here that he first started his passion for food, starting his journey cooking in small bistros  before coming back to Australia and training under Russell Armstrong at Tables of Toowong.

“The French Table is very typically French, the food will come out on share plates, which is very provincial French, I have chosen a diverse range of ingredients that you do not often see on most menus.”

Want to try snails?  Alegria has snails and truffles on their lunch menu.

Sake Brewers Dinner


Have you discovered the real sake yet?

Sake Restaurant & Bar is hosting a Sake Brewers dinner on Wednesday, July 31, 6.30pm with two prestigious Sake houses from Japan - Kozaemon and Kirinzan - and a mini masterclass paired back tasting with a four course degustation dinner created by head chef, Shinichi Maeda.

An exciting line up of rare and exclusive sakes will be showcased and special guests Kozaemon from Nakashima Brewing Co. and Eriko Mukhoda from Kirinzan Shuzo will take guests through each course. $149 per person (ncludes 4 courses, canapé and matched Sake). Bookings 3339 0999

This week I’m liking Wine Selectors Chef Series

Wine Selectors have put an interesting twist on the process of food wine matching by askingchefs to create their own collection of wines designed to match their own cuisine.

Along with Frank Camorra  and Ian Parmenter,  local boys Ben O’Donoghue and Alastair McLeod worked with Wine Selectors to identify the best varietal and terroir to complement their cooking style and preferences.

So what did they come up with?

Ben suggests drinking his Hunter Valley Shiraz 2011 with Grilled miso cured Wagyu beef while Alastair McLeod wants you to try his Riesling 2010, Mt Barker SA with Anise roasted barramundi with steamed clams and heart of palm.

I sampled a bottle of Ben’s Shiraz and Alastair’s Reisling and although my home-cooked food matches were not in their restaurant league, I was very happy with the flavours.

Bottom line:  Nice wine, well worth exploring.

You can purchase these wines at

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post.  Wine Selectors supplied Ed+bK with two bottles of wine to try.