Words by Gregor Stronach I received an invitation a couple of weeks ago, by email – and it took me all of about 20 seconds of frantically stabbing at my keyboard to type “Yes please, of course, I would love to be there, it sounds amazing!” to lock in my seat at the Crow Bar for the Made in Mudgee event on August 25.
"Sumptuous food with complimentary wine choices. A fun, relaxing and educational evening." - Matt Slee, Tulloch Wines
TGIF! After a long week, there is nothing better than settling in with a glass of wine... Our guests at The ArtHouse Hotel were lucky enough to do just that last Friday!
Lounging on the Chesterfields with a Tulloch Cuvee in their hand, our guests were well and truly “UnWINEd”ing into their weekend. As the last guest arrived and the last of the bubbles disappeared... our first “UnWINEd” dinner began.
I’ve long been a fan of cheese pairings – but I’ll readily admit that they’ve all been pairings done with a range of wines, from the ‘top shelf’ end of the decadent scale to some seriously mediocre offerings lined up alongside a bowl of well-beyond room temperature cheddar cubes.
But even longer than I’ve been a fan of a cheese-pairing evening, I’ve been a devotee of whisky – specifically, Scotch whisky (with the occasional smattering of Irish, Bourbon, Canadian, Rye, Japanese… and especially Australian whisky thrown in for good measure…)
Wine was breathing, cheese bubbling on the stove and you could faintly see your breath in the air when you spoke... yes, Winter was here and so was the Fondue Feast! As the last candle was lit, the first guests started to filter in up the stairs...
"FOOD REVOLUTION DAY IS FIGHTING TO PUT COMPULSORY PRACTICAL FOOD EDUCATION ON THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM. With diet-related diseases rising at an alarming rate, it has never been more important to educate children about food, where it comes from and how it affects their bodies." - Jamie Oliver
A brisk Autumnal Friday morning, the animals are awake and the Garden is starting to fill with the rich smell of morning coffees and fresh bread coming out of the oven... the scent of a big weekend ahead!
It's Food Revolution Day and The Grounds of Alexandria are hosting the Lunchbox Angels on a weekend of food education and fun for the whole family!
As eagerly anticipated by Guillaume and his team as it has been by diners! I finally set aside a night to experience it for myself!
The website was yet to launch, so the excitement about the menu was the topic of discussion in the cab ride over...
"What do you think he'll keep from Bennelong?" "Ohh I hope the Tuna is still on the menu!!" "Can't wait... so hungry!!"
With rumbling tummies and the 9 months of waiting... 'we couldn't wait', is an understatement.
The smell of freshly baked bread wafts around the room... as the Tertini 2009 Sparkling Cuvee Pinot Noir Chardonnay is being poured. A wintery night, reminiscent of my drive down to the Southern Highlands just a few weeks ago... you could faintly make out your breath as you spoke..
A hint of frost on the windscreen… rows of naked vines line the side of the road… rolling low hills in the distance… Yes, it is early Winter in Mudgee.
A region that is not defined by any one Wine or grape varietal, but is “good at many wines” Rob Black, Winemaker - Bunnamagoo Wines. This historic town is oozing with character which is reflects in its winemaking.
With so many food fads, diets, pills, supplements, allergies, rules and restrictions on what we can and should eat, our relationships with food have become tainted. We have been brainwashed to fear food and to analyse what we eat in order to be healthy and have "the perfect figure". From calorie counting, to cutting out food groups or certain foods altogether?! This is no way to live... watching every mouthful and regretting meals...
Eating happily and enjoying life is all about one key concept.. BALANCE. Our plates should be as balanced as our lives. Choose colourful foods, natural foods and eat often!
With this paradigm in mind I have selected my favourite Sydney "Food Havens" full of natural, colourful and FLAVOUR PACKED goodies. Chefs are getting more creative with how they approach food and the dishes they are designing. They are going back to basics and in some instances, keeping it raw - no cooking required!
“Coffee is far more than a beverage. It is an invitation to life, disguised as a cup of warm liquid. It's a trumpet wakeup call or a gentle rousing hand on your shoulder ... Coffee is an experience, an offer, a rite of passage, a good excuse to get together.” - Nichole Johnson
Coffee to me is more than a caffeinated beverage, but a way to explore great new places. I have discovered where there is great coffee, I find great service, good food and new places...
Over the last week in my search for coffee I have in turn discovered some of Sydney's little gems..
"Friends, like wine, get better with age..."
This week's favourite... Nomad, Surry Hills
After receiving the brief: "I want you to take me somewhere hidden away with good food and wine... I will leave it up to you..."
I started perusing the internet for reviews, blogs and Sydney's best kept secrets... After sifting through countless websites, one restaurant jumped out at me.. Nomad.
I was drawn to the concept, the wine list and most importantly.. the FOOD! A seasonal, ever changing menu that encouraged diners to share.. perfect! After receiving the OK! from my good friend and dining companion for the evening.. I called, booked and penciled it into the diary...
"...the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link with some memory of the table" Charles Pierre Monselet
Sometimes it is nice just to stay in on New Year's Eve.. share a nice dinner, a bottle of wine or two with someone you care about.
Away from the hustle and bustle, the crowds, the long waits to get home... just the two of you.
This was my New Year's Eve...
Undoubtedly, the BEST restaurant in Sydney. An experience that combines, exceptional, personal service, high quality produce and outstanding attention to detail and flavour combinations. As a regular diner at Guillaume's iconic restaurant, I am devastated to see it go.
To dull the pain and disappointment, there is no better way than to MAKE LOTS OF RESERVATIONS BEFORE IT CLOSES! To justify the spend, I merely reason that I would in fact dine there at least 1-2 times per year in the next few years... it helps, ok?
I would like to share with you my personal highlights from the series of dinners at the restaurant to date... one more booked at this stage..