Food Skills Expert

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's News in Food...from Launceston and Hobart, Tasmania and back to Parkdale, Melbourne

Parkdale, Melbourne - Friday 15th July
Enjoyed a delicious French luncheon with Julie and Alison at another world's best secret at Ficelle Restaurant- 2 courses entree and mains for $15-95! As an example, I enjoyed the snails in a creamy tomato, wild mushroom and mustard seeds followed by home made gnocchi with mushrooms and chicken accompanied by a Yarra Valley Rose - we all enjoyed coffee after.
So 2- course luncheon for three ladies including wine and coffee for under $90-00. Hats off to chef and owner - Thierry Lelivre!
Where is it? 196 Como Pde West Parkdale, 3195 p. 9587 4422

Tasmania Culinary Treats (5th- 9th July, 2011)
On a recent sojourn to Tasmania, Jan and I were delighted to explore the culinary delights of the local fresh food, beer and wine produce. Minimal food miles here and the quality of the fresh food produce is second to none!
Paltry offerings, however, when we arrived 6-30am Tuesday in Devonport on the Spirit of Tasmania  led us (of all places) to McDonalds - seemingly the only place in town with an inviting hub-bub and the promise of something warm. I had always pooh-poohed the idea of McDs but my son Alexander had always recommended the Bacon and Egg Mc Muffin, which was surprisingly good. A fresh muffin, freshly cooked egg and real bacon accompanied with a strong, flavousome, cafe au lait, Jan and I were set for the day- and for under $10-00 for two.
So have a re-think next time you're in Devonport, Melbourne Tullamarine, Paris CdG or Amsterdam Schiphol, NY JFK - you can be guaranteed of a sustaining, economical and reliable breakfast!

The offerings certainly improved from there - culinary treats awaited in Launceston, a pretty town on the mouth of the Tamar River on the north coast of Tasmania: a town that prides itself on local quality food and wine (beer and cider) produce.
At the end of the Cataract Gorge, Jan and I enjoyed a fine evening meal at The Gorge Restaurant (Phone 6331 3330) - 3 delicious courses for $41.90

Jan enjoyed Caramelised Smoked Quail with Hazelnut and Orange Salad with Raspberry Dressing, Ocean Trout with Shitake Ragout, Prosciutto and a Red Wine Vinegarette for mains and followed by Duo of Brulee served with Almond Bread and Double Cream.
I enjoyed a delicious Creamy Seafood Chowder, Venison Shank served with Parsnip and Roasted Garlic Mash and followed by Flourless Banana Pudding with Rich Toffee Sauce.
This was accompanied by a local Pinot Noir - of which Tasmania is famous!
A brisk 15 minute walk home along the Cataract Gorge certainly helped to minimise those extra kJs!

and from Hobart...
not exactly about food but no visit to Hobart is complete without a visit to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), an incredible surreal journey that will take you from Egyptian mummies to the Porsche Carrera Fat Car.  

As a handmaiden entombed in her Pharaoh's tomb in another time and place, it was painstakingly chilling to pick my way across the 8 hopscotch white marble stones surmounted on an inky black limpid pool to reach the Coffin and Mummy's tomb of Pausiris - the mood was set to recreate a darkened sombre Mummy's tomb with the drip drip of water and Andres Serrano's (of Piss Christ fame) The Morgue as a stark backdrop.  My recommendation - do not attemp if you are in any way claustrophobic!

You could describe the inspirational MONA as Salvadore Dali's Pubol Castle meets British Museum.

And finally, Salamanca place on a chilly Saturday morning - great Farmer's Market food with fresh, fresh produce...

That's Jan standing against the fresh fruit and vegetable stalls - note the Dutch tri-kleurige flag!

Note: original purple carrots

Famous Tasmanian Apples - Royal Galas

Ashbolt Farm Produce really appealed to me with its Elderberry Concentrate, Olive oils Cordials.  I enjoyed a warming Elderberry Tea served with ginger and lemon - am still enjoying it at home after purchasing a sample of the supplies after returning home to Melbourne on a chilly Sunday morning.
Tonight I plan to use the Black Elderberry Concerntrate to baste a roast beef topside for dinner...

To be sung to the tune of Abba's 'Thank you for the music'

Thank you for the food skills, the food I’m making
Thanks for all the joy I’m creating
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without good food, what would we be?
So I say thank you for the food skills
For giving it to me.

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