The ultimate grill masters at Michelin-starred Asador Etxebarri

November 20, 2013
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In our brief sojourns through London and Paris we’d sought out great value restaurants and bistros. By the time we’d reached Sarlat we’d opted for more the simple pleasures of local market fare and home cooking. But who doesn’t like a nice treat every now and then? Spain and more specifically, its celebrated food capital […]

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Foraging for abalone and a recipe for abalone and chicken congee

October 9, 2011
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Foraging is the new black. No longer solely a pastime of individual or community hippies, herbalists, naturalists or ethnic groups – foraging is going mainstream and from the highly specialised and exclusive kitchens of Noma to local commercial kitchens, foraged food is finding its way onto menus and plates everywhere. It’s encouraging but not entirely […]

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Foraging for sea urchin roe

May 22, 2011
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Or should that be sea urchin gonads? Let’s not beat about the bush here. There’s no “roe” per se, the revered Italian ricci di mare or Japanese uni you find atop sushi is actually one of 5 gonad segments in a sea urchin. Didn’t think you’d ever eat reproductive organs? Sorry to burst that bubble. […]

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My top 10 memorable food holidays

December 25, 2010
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What a whirlwind year! 2010 has zipped past me like the Stig in a speeding Koenigsegg, with only the whispering ghosts of his lingering cologne as a souvenir to remind you that anything ever happened. Whilst we still have days to go till we launch into 2011, it’s not premature of me to call it […]

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Lazy summery Saturdays at Helm Bar

October 13, 2010
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Our Saturdays are now a routine ritual. I wake up at 5:50am when the yet-to-be-identified bird that has taken up residence directly outside my bedroom window screeches it’s incredibly infuriatingly loud alarm-like bird song for 10 minutes. Calling all ornithologists or those with a keen ear for bird calls! What is it and short of […]

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Salt and pepper crab, scallop and calamari

September 19, 2009

On a recent grocery trip to Cabramatta, I came across some cute little scuttling crabs I’d not seen before. The sign said shore crabs – but they certainly looked different and appreciably larger than any crab I’d ever found on any sea shore I’d explored – and believe me, I’m always on the lookout for […]

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The Deadliest Catch of Alaskan Crab

September 2, 2009

Oh how I love crab. I have a great weakness for these scuttling arachnids and if it appears on a restaurant menu, I’ll preferentially order it over anything else. I’ve tried a plethora of different crabs across the globe from the humble blue swimmers and meaty mud crabs widely available in Australia, to hairy Shanghai […]

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Som Tum anyone?

April 2, 2009

There have already been a few posts dedicated to this delectable Thai green papaya salad, but how can one get enough of som tum? When friends just back from the UK asked us to pick up some som tum ingredients the next time we head out west to Cabramatta, we happily obliged as it gave […]

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Dreaming of Shanghainese little lobsters…

March 11, 2009

Have I mentioned I have a slight obsession with crustaceans? I love them in every form and if it appears on a menu, I’m going to order it. I have now eaten various crustacean species all over the world, from the delicious Alaskan King Crab in Miami, to the alien insect-like mantis prawns in Hong […]

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Here fishy fishy fishy…

January 6, 2009

Deciding that we’re a bit too fond of our red meat and don’t have enough seafood in our diet we made poached ocean trout with tomato and olive salsa and caramelised roasted new potatoes for dinner last night (recipe here: The salsa is seriously absolutely delicious – but unless you’re trying to wage garlic […]

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