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Showing posts from February, 2014

Food news you need to know x 6 - this week's Top Cuts

This week it's all about 2014 food trends, autumn produce, healthy options, Tiki cocktails and chicken bunny chow.
Mutant foods, single item restaurants and culinary-inspired travel  This is the year when sushi tacos and the ramen burger will push your flavour boundaries.

I was one of 16 food experts who gave opinions for Weber Shandwick's Australian Food Forward 2014 study which identified the latest food trends predicted to shape Australia's food culture this year. Food Forward also surveyed more than 1,000 Australian consumers and food experts nationwide.

"Australia has a growing passion to explore new cuisines and flavours. Our latest Food Forward report shows that our country's food culture is being reshaped, embracing a whole new combination of foodstuffs in 2014," said Ava Lawler, Managing Director, Weber Shandwick Australia. "As our food palettes diversify further, you will see flavours inspired by the heritage of our chefs, the continuing rise …

Singing praise for Wild Canary - new bistro at Brookfield

"Did you see the veggie patch?" I'm asked as I walk through the door to lunch at Wild Canary Botanical Bistro, Brookfield Garden Centre's new breakfast and lunch option.

I glance around, looking for something slightly feral with overgrown, half dead plants, the sort of veggie patch I have at home, and nothing looks familiar.

Then Brookfield Garden Centre owner Robin McLay points to beautifully ordered, raised raised beds filled with luscious greenery bounded by rows of trees that soon will be a hedge.   I wish I could take it all home!

Everything at this centre benefits from a green thumb, a deft touch and a passion for good food.  For head chef Glenn Barratt (ex Restaurant II), it's a dream job.  Glenn loves the green aspect from the kitchen and the chance to use garden fresh and local produce, plus he only works daylight hours.  I caught him out snipping micro herbs for the next dish. Glenn also has sourced bananas from Brookfield and honey from Fig Tree Pocke…

All hail the Queen! A taste of cruising on Queen Mary 2

Standing on the doorstep of another more gracious, more relaxed and more enjoyable world.

That’s what it feels like to pause on the ‘gang plank’ of the largest ship to visit Australia, Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2.

Last time I boarded a ship for a Sydney to Brisbane cruise I got off in Brisbane in my school uniform and arrived via taxi just in time for first class, missing the dreaded daily chapel session (double score).

This time I’m older, wiser and much better travelled but boarding this 345 metre long vessel that is as high as a 23-story building? Well, I’m jumping with excitement!

Joining me on this voyage were bloggers and friends Annabelle Candy (Get in the Hot Spot), Christina Soong (The Hungry Australian) and Lee Mylne (A Glass Half Full).

Once inside I’m not disappointed, there are chandeliers and grand staircases in the six-storey lobby, cinemas and swimming pools and a planetarium. Yes, the Queen Mary 2 has the first ‘at sea’ planetarium, Illusions.  The spa has 24 tre…

Food news you need to know x 6 top cuts

Which animal that we eat is rarer than a panda?  Would you eat worms? New chef and light French-style menuNow open at nightEasy home diningCrowd funding for food Rarer than a panda
Do you know the difference between a Berkshire, Wessex, Saddle Back or Tamworth pig?

And did you know that commercialisation has reduced pig breed numbers so much that now some breeds are rarer than a panda?

Taking the pig by the trotters, Pig 'N' Whistle Indooroopilly executive chef Deniz Coskun is leading the march by celebrating the International Day of the Pig on Saturday March 1 with a fun family day.

"It's simply due to lack of popularity," says Coskun.  While it may seem counter-intuitive to eat a rare breed to save it, it's one of the keys to rescuing these breeds.  Without a commercial market for these animals, farmers have no incentive to raise them.

"Commercialisation has seen these rare breeds decline as they require land to graze and grow slower than other breeds …

Giddyup to taste new burgers at Pony - taste test x 5

There's an intriguing waft of wood-smoked meat that rushes past my nostrils as I walk into the sleek, slick den of Pony Dining in Brisbane's CBD Eagle Street Pier. It's certainly enough to excite my taste buds before I even gaze at the menu.

I'm here to put their five hoping-to-be-famous burgers to the test and I've brought reinforcements - three experienced travel writers who know what they like and aren't afraid to talk about it.

As Trent Farrell from Pony explains, the new burgers are a way to taste Pony's fare in a different way and you'll find the fillings on the menu in different ways. It's also a cheap price point that their other meals and beats a burger at Grilled (located just downstairs), hands down in my opinion.

The burgers all come on a soft white roll accompanied by a side of well cooked, thin cut fries.

My tasters, bloggers Lee Mylne (A Glass Half Full), Danielle Lancaster (Blue Dog Photography) and Christine Retschlag (The Global …

How fresh can it get? Straight from the fisherman at Shorncliffe!

"I'd have to kill you if I told you that," he says with a smile.

But in the next breath he reveals that the kilo of bright red bay prawns being loaded into my plastic bag were caught somewhere between here (Sinbad Street, Shorncliffe) and Mud Island in Moreton Bay.

Don't know where Shorncliffe is?  It's a neighbouring suburb to Sandgate down on Brisbane's beautiful bayside.  It's worth a day trip for breakfast, lunch or a picnic by the sandy beaches.  The waves are small and perfect for young children.

Fisherman rarely like to divulge their secrets and this episode was no exception to the rule, but I walked away happy in the knowledge I had spoken with the man who caught the catch.

My shopping bag was filled with thick juicy calamari strips ready to be turned into salt 'n pepper calamari and some sweet little whiting fillets that will be a perfect dinner for two - all for $30!

There's plenty of room to pull up along side the stalls and you can s…

Food news for those in the know - Top Cuts from Ed+bK

This week - Wander laughing through vineyards, dream a little Italian dream, enjoy a sky-high cuppa,  and off to a seven-course dinner!

Welcome Jamie! Rowes Arcade is set to be Jamie Oliver's new Brisbane home with a Jamie's Italian Restaurant tipped to open there later this year.

It's a big one, with space for up to 240 people across two levels including a bar with seats for up to 80, and will be the largest Jamie's Italian in Australia.

Expect a bit of a stylish fit out with chandeliers contrasting with the original sandstone walls of the heritage-listed Arcade.

Wondering how this will differ from established inner city eatery Vapiano. Anyone able to compare the two? Please share in the comments section below.

Time for a cuppa!
Thumbs up to Virgin Australia for their promise to offer complimentary refreshments on all flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, regardless of the fare type purchased.   They say it will be a delicious snack and beverage and I hope …