IMG_1199In what has become somewhat of a ritual, my brother and a few of his mates are working at the Wye River General Store over the summer (although the fantasy teen-movie-esque summer of bonfires, beers and lifelong friendships has apparently been stymied by the greasy reality of two months working on the deep-fryer). This period also coincided with my mum’s 60th birthday, and so we packed-up and spiraled down the Great Ocean Road to Wye River for a rare family sojourn. We needed a special venue for the big birthday lunch. Resolving that we might as well progress even further into the wilderness, we decided on the hatted Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant, in Apollo Bay…

Advertisements

IMG_1090
This is a recipe for pavlova, all grown up. Charged with dessert duty for Christmas, I wanted to reinvigorate the old family favourite topped with its familiar medley of tropical fruits. Cherries are plump and bursting with sweet, slightly tart juice at this time of year, and we’ve spent hours devouring cherries in the sunshine, chatting and spitting the pips into napkins and into the garden…

IMG_1780 As summer peeks its head over the horizon and delivers long, sparkling days, Melbournians have emerged from hibernation, ready to shake off their moon-tans. Energised by the impending year-close, December is a month-long festa laden with cocktail food, booze and frivolity. Consequently, sleep has become a luxury, I’m getting by jamming anything sugared and/or caffeinated into my face, and my gym bag is a throbbing sack of guilt gathering dust in the corner of my office…

IMG_0995 I am a big fan of edible Christmas gifts. For two reasons. Firstly, it substitutes a Bourke-St-Mall-induced panic attack for a relaxed morning of baking in the comforts of my kitchen. It is also an affordable way to spread the Christmas cheer a little further without deferring to a token bottle of wine or Lindt balls (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things!) …

IMG_0822 (2)

Making these bao was like inviting three of your friends, that are not acquainted, over for lunch.  I am familiar with the components – the kim chi, the bao and the sticky salmon – and I knew that the three would hit it off.  It was a bit of a 3-way-friend-blind-date.  The outcome? Pretty sure they’re picnicking this afternoon, hitting the beach on Sunday, and perhaps even spending Christmas together.

photoThe few times I’ve passed Teta Mona during the last few weeks, curious East Brunswickians have stopped to take a look – peering through the shopfront enticingly stamped with the words ‘Lebanese Soulfood’.  Teta Mona opened its doors for business on Thursday and is already drawing quite the crowd…

IMG_0785 Many of you will have that ever-expanding list of restaurants you have had been itching to attend but have been prohibited by: time, money, a 3 month advance booking requirement, or a no-booking policy and a 2 hour wait in line.  Imagine how fantastic if would be if all of those eateries were all living on the same street, and you could walk freely from one to the next, sampling signature dishes, and construct your own bespoke grazing menu.  This is why Taste of Melbourne is a food festival I really look forward to each year…