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 of Korean and Scandinavian cuisine, mutant foods and freekeh expected to be big hits."

  • Trend clusters identified -
  • Demise of international flavour boundaries
  • Wholesome home-cooking prevails
  • Vegetable rejection
  • Shopping conundrums
  • Social networks a prime food influencer
  • Gourmet getaways
  • Culinary technology takeover
Read the full report.

Seasonal produce available at Autumn on James

Get set for Autumn on James

Country comes to the city in from March 14 to 16 when Southern Queensland Country presents Autumn on James Street in Fortitude Valley. Expect cooking demonstrations from celebrity chef Adam Liaw, farm gate stalls with honesty boxes and  a market day with stalls selling the bounty of the regions on Saturday March 15 with condiments, sauces, jams, organic meat, fresh fruit and veg, olives, breads and cheeses.

Autumn is a fleeting affair in Brisbane but head out to the country and you can see the season in all it's glory.  I'm talking piles of yellow leaves, crisp morning air, blue skies and barrow loads of seasonal produce. Get taste for it at Autumn on James or find out more

Raw noodle salad from Freestyle Tout

Just dessert no more

Fresh from a jaunt around the Continent, Freestyle Tout Owner Martin Duncan has introduced a new healthy twist to his iconic dessert destination.  No tears now, you can still have your faves, but Duncan has introduced a new wave of healthier options and smaller portion sizes. You can also expect more gluten free, bean, vegetarian, dairy free and sugar free options.

Look for rainbow raw noodles with creamy nut cheese, brunch frappe and green machine smoothies, zucchini and seaweed salad and vegan sugar-less raw chocolate tart.  Keep healthy and top up the veggie garden with some of the heirloom packet seed varieties on offer.

Find Freestyle Tout in the Emporium complex in Ann Street, Fortitude Valley.

Tiki cocktail

Calling Tiki Connoisseurs

Are you a devotee of Tiki cocktails from the 1950s and 60s?  Here's your chance to meet New York's Tiki master, Richard Boccato who is visiting Brisbane again to update the menu at Alfred & Constance's White Lightning Tiki Bar.  Take yourself there on Friday, February 28 from 8.30 to enjoy some real Tiki action.

Gluten free bread from Chester Street

Gluten free at Chester Street


Fresh from the bright blue wood fired oven at Chester Street Bakery & Bar is a new range of gluten free, dairy free bread made with rice flour, sesame and poppy seeds, eggs and soy milk.  You can buy a loaf to take home or enjoy their great gluten free bread for a dine in breakfast, lunch or dinner. Oh, and did I mention there's an awesome bar as well?

"Honey, can you pick up some bread while you have a quick drink on the way home/?"... now that sounds like the sort of request that will win friends and influence people.

Brett Holmes with his winning dish

Chicken Bunny Chow wins but where's the bunny?

Finding 'Australia's Best Home Cooked Dish' is the new flavour of the moment for the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival 2014, to be held from May 15 to 19.

Yesterday was the Queensland cook-off and Brett Holmes from Peregian Beach walked away with the Queensland State Winner title.  Next he will be one of six competing at the national Grand Final at the festival.

It was a street food dish from his home country, South Africa, that won Holmes the Queensland title. He says he's excited about the $23,000 grand prize package for Qantas Presents 'Australia's Best Home Cooked Dish' which includes a trip for two to London.

Recipe: Chicken Bunny Chow

1 loaf of white bread, unsliced
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 cup oil
1 onion chopped

1 and 1/2 tablespoon Raja's curry Powder
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon hot ground pepper
2 teaspoon turmeric

Chicken thigh fillets (4-5 fillets)
2 tomatoes chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 teaspoon freshly finely chopped ginger
6 curry leaves
2 potatoes chopped in cubes
plain yogurt

Fry all ingredients listed under A until onion is cooked
Add all ingredients listed under B and cook until spices start to stick to bottom of the pot
Add tomatoes and stir
Add meat, ginger, garlic and curry leaves
Simmer until meat is tender (approximately 30 minutes)
Add little water and potato cubes and simmer until meat and potato is cooked
Cut the bread in half, hollow out each half and fill with curry.
Place bread that was removed back on top of curry with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Byron Slow Food Tours

Take yourself down to Byron Bay in June for a Food Tour and cooking classes by Terase Davidson, founder of

Terase spend most of her family holidays hanging out in the kitchen at the iconic Fig Tree Restaurant at Byron which was founded by her aunt and uncle.  Now she is returning to the restaurant to team up with cousin Che who currently runs it for cooking classes and a tour which will highlight the best of the Northern Rivers Region.

Kerry Heaney