Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tasmania top 5

Growing up in Tasmania I was surrounded with some of the most sensational produce Australia has to offer.
I don't think I truly appreciated the gorgeous "apple isle" until leaving there 9 years ago, I have had several trips back over the years and still it never ceases to amaze me.

There is way to many possibilities as to what to write about when it comes to this topic but I am going to try by creating a top 5 list of fabulous Tasmania products

Ok so... No.1 Salmon!
Tasmania is one of the best producers of Atlantic Salmon. The pristine conditions and water temperatures is what helps them farm these beautiful fish, the environment is also beneficial in the breeding process as the farms are more natural to the salmons habitat preventing risks of disease.
With health benefits such as being high in protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin B this is a fish that should be enjoyed more often!

No.2 Honey
Honey is developed by bees using the nectar from flowers it is used to sweeten, preserve or to eat as you please. In western Tasmania the rainforest is home to the beautiful Leatherwood trees in summer they start to flower and it is then that these little busy bees produce Leatherwood honey. Leatherwood honey is thick, creamy and amber-yellow in color and I personally don't think it is as sweet as other honeys.

No.3 Cheese

Ah.. Cheese, There are several awarded Tasmanian cheeserys around including Ashgrove, King Island, Heidi Farm and even Mersey Valley.
With cool climates and some of the best dairy farmers in Australia it's no wonder they produce lovely cheese.

No.4 Oysters
Barilla Bay is one of the best places for Pacific oysters in Tasmania.
They have a small family run oyster farm and a beautiful restaurant that showcases these ugly little creatures.
Nutritionally speaking Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, iron, calcium as well as Vitamin A and Vitamin B12.
They are considered the healthiest when eaten raw shucked right from their shells, I think though with these little fellas you love them or hate them.

And lucky last No.5 Apples
They don't call us "the apple isle" for nothing.
Tassie is home to a lot of varieties of apples from Democrats, Red, Granny Smiths, Jonathans, and Red and Golden Delicious to the Less common Pink Ladies, Jonogold and Braeburn, a delicious snack at anytime of day.

As your driving through "the apple isle be on the Look out for roadside signs advertising apples and pears. Most are sold on an honour system. You help yourself from a small stall or shed and leave the money in a tin or a bucket.
I think that's a great way to have your produce admired by getting people to appreciate the effort that goes not only into the growing and farming but the picking as well.

Well there is my top 5 hope you all got something out of it, I am now thinking I am going to book another trip to Tasmania soon!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Ahhh chocolate it's one of life's sinful pleasures!
Chocolate is produced from the seeds of the cocoa tree the seeds are fermented they are ground,dried then roasted to produce cocoa mass, which is then melted to a liquid called chocolate liquor, that is then added to the milk and sugar etc to produce chocolate.

It is a product that is used on nearly all holidays at Easter in the form of egg and bunnies and Christmas as Santas and even in hearts for valentines day it is the perfect gift! Well if I got givin it I would defiantly not complain.

I think that chocolate has some form of secret ingredients it truly can make u feel warm when your cold or happy when you are sad.
And I think that if you can learn to really appreciate it in small proportions you can really have the cure to any problem you may face.

Wether you are in to dark,milk,white or with fruit or nuts, chilli,salt or even soy there is a type for everyone.

And if you ever meet anyone who says they don't like it well I gotta say that I think they may be lying

Monday, 11 June 2012


Oh garlic what is there to say .. You love it or you hate it!
I was inspired for this blog by some really good Greek lamb gyros with garlic sauce that we had out at lunch and let me tell you ... Deeee- lish!

Garlic is used around the world in all types of cuisine for its pungent scent and flavour and what's fascinating is once its cooked the dimensions of the flavour totally change to a mellow sweet taste.

Garlic is so versatile it can be used with nearly every meat and vegetable.
Garlic has been used in history not only for cooking but for its medicinal treatment as well, it is said to contain anti fungal, antibacterial and antiviral molecules.
Studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels and even prevent some varieties of cancer!
One negative to this delicious stinky goodness is in fact that.... Garlic breath!
Even the great William Shakespeare was quoted saying

“Most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.”

So everyone knows once eaten no matter how flavorsome it is it makes you smell!
The breath is caused through a compound found in garlic called Allyl methyl sulfide.
It settles in your bloodstream,lungs which travels through your breath and even travels through your skin, it's hard to cure but mum used to tell me to eat parsley but that may be an old wives tail.

For the record mum if you read this I did not just call you old xx.

The one thing I do always think of now and you probably remember is when you were sick as a child and mum used to cook you chicken soup and somehow it always made you feel better! Well when you think about it soup usually always has garlic in it.
Coincidental or Fact that mums chicken soup with garlic is a natural flu remedy??

Gets you thinking doesn't it? For me though no matter how bad it gets the breath I couldn't go without it and as a chef i believe that cooking and garlic go together like salt and pepper.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Eating for the scent of it.

Food... its one of those things you cant live without, well i cant anyway.

In the last few weeks i have seriously been considering giving up the thing i love the most(apart from Hubby) "food", I've been thinking of leaving the industry and stop talking about the things i love.

Then i was in the middle of a little suburb just outside of Melbourne called Bacchus Marsh, surrounded by fresh homegrown produce and little bakehouse's and i stopped and realised that there is no way possible i would give this up.

Cooking, Eating or Dining is what helps us restore all our senses, if you stop and think about it what would food or the whole experience be like if you couldn't see what we were eating? and if we couldn't see what we were eating would you still eat it if you couldn't smell it?
I have a challenge for you.. next time you crack into a block of chocolate before if your anything like me you devourer the entire thing take a small piece and block your nostrils!
as you chew you can feel that its smooth and taste that its sweet now before you swallow it unblock your nose then .... WHAM!!
You are hit with this scent of pure indulgence one that I'm sure you don't appreciate as you sit on the couch watching a soppy Hugh Grant movie while eating enough chocolate to get your entire calcium intake for a year, maybe that's just me?

Anyway food is a precious thing, but because it is so readily available everywhere i don't think we truly understand how enjoyable it can be.

As i  sit here writing this blog and actually wonder if anyone is reading this, wondering if i can get people to see food how i do or if we are a dying breed and that we are just eating because we have to.

when i wrote my macaroon blog i had a comment and i have to say that i have never been SO EXCITED that i had someone that wanted to read what i had said, what i had thought and wanted me to keep talking. So to that person i would like to thank you for helping me get the confidence to keep writing.

Basically what i am asking of people is to let me know what you think? what would you like me to write about? any tips or recipes you may need? plus it will also help me find out how i can get others thinking about food ?

So Please Get Commenting!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Brasserie Bread

On Tuesday I was sent to a "breaducation"class for one of our new suppliers at work ... Brasserie Bread.

Bread to me and many seems like one of those everyday items you throw into your shopping trolley on a weekly or daily basis, but can I say that after my little bakery tour I am certainly going to be using brasserie bread all the time.

They originated in Sydney but now have a melbourne bakery in thistlewaithe street in south melbourne.
You walk into this beautiful smelling place and there is a cafe open 6 days a week selling some beautiful cakes and savoury dishes that promote their produce.

The thing that fascinated me was this sourdough bakery which pump out thousands of loaves a week is a complete man made product! That's right no machinery it is all kneaded and shaped by hand.

The head baker Mick ran the "breaducation" class showing us how to knead an sculpt the bread and taught us about the process of a sourdough.
Firstly a starter dough is made which is continually fed to grow bigger and mature in flavour the bakery had classed this as their baby and seeing that they have had it for the past 16 years and fed it every day 3 times a day for that entire 16 years I can understand why they feel that way.

The brasserie range is quite extensive from fruit loaves with sour cherries to rustic ciabatta or even soya and quinoa and don't even get me started on their chocolate brownies or raspberry and pistachio friands! Yummy!!!!

I think though the stand out loaf was their caramelised garlic loaves a deliciously gooey sticky garlic sourdough which was left alone with me would not stand a chance of survival!

They roll out their sourdough and lather it with this caramel garlic jam then shaped into this rustic looking loaf which smells amazing!
All I can say is that after eating all that garlic I'm glad I didn't have to go back to work.

Brasserie bread supply several cafes and bakeries in melbourne and can be purchased from several retail stores across melbourne like Thomas Dux Grocer.

So to sum up I highly suggest you check it out.