the opera house sydney australia
I’ve been every where man! and its true…at least all the way around Australia……I’ve been shooting Virgin Tourism with Tourism Australia and we did 14 locations in 18 days…..unbelievable tour of what gorgeous things this country has on offer…not just as a tourist but food and wine! we went to Montalto Winery on the Mornington Peninsula, Bruny island Cheese and Get shucked on Bruny Island, Chow in Darwin, Frasers in Perth and many many other places of physical but also culinary beauty. Fresh gorgeous resources right here is Australia….im committing to show it all!
luna park sydney australia
I truly had an epiphany about the food this place and i feel i should showcase more of what this massive untouched gem of a country has on offer….for me to cook and also to visit……I’m going to be going to the US a lot more as well….ive singed up as a director with Giraldi media in New York to shoot beauty and food commercials and i plan to do some cooking with my gorgeous friend Tana Hardwick….we will extend my cooking and private chef work into New York….
so excited about this year…I’m going to go super nuts with the photography as well….some fine art food pics for buildings and hotels in on the cards as well……some more cookbooks (apart from the 7 on Kindle/Amazon) and some more of everything….more more more!!!
so to do a late kick off for 2014 here we go!!!
‘the toaster’ sydney harbour australia
its summer down here is Australia. here is a delicious light brunchy summer menu. so simple and easy to make, concentrating on fresh market garden vegetables and pure eggs and yoghurt. its a gentle time of year!!
garden salad feta in parsley, and frest duck eggs
just a delicious fresh garden salad for warm days. boil 2 duck eggs till hard. slice across the bias some small carrots and slice some cucumbers down the lenthg with a potato peeler. form some soft feta into balls and roll in parsley. assemble on plate using a cut duck egg as the focus. sprinkle with olive oil, white onion oil (oil steeped in a wedge of white onion) and some white balsamic. i do like to eat the eggs warm but its up to you. i also like a slop of mayo…mmmm….
courgette tart with caramelised onions, ricotta and cheddar
little bombs of deliciousness. i bake these for a cafe every day. they have a gorgeous centre of caramelised onion which is hidden.
peel 2 zucchinis with a potato peeler. cut 2 pieces square of shortcrust. place the pastry in 2 tins which are oiled up. make circles with the strips. fry with a splash of white vinegar and a teaspoon of icing sugar, 1 finely cut onion. cook till brown. place the mixture into bottom of pastry lined dish. put a blog of ricotta, a handful of grated cheddar, and top with a small round of zucchini. fill the pastries up with 2 eggs whipped with a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup cream. cook at 160 for 30 minutes. eat hot with oiled parsley and lots of pepper
mango cheeks, yellow box honey, vanilla sugar frozen yoghurt
so simple and so fresh. i mix a full tub of greek yoghurt (approx 2 cups) with 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, and a splash of vanilla syrup. (i do like it to be spiky). swirl it around. place a sheet of greaseproof paper in a small tin and put the yoghurt in. drip yellow box honey over it. freeze till it becomes less runny. (approx 2 hours). in a gorgeous glass put a cut mango cheek in and a large spoonful of the yoghurt. drip honey over it and serve. (i do like to chill my glasses). decorate with flowers.
i love cheese at the end of a meal or actually at the beginning….. a cheese plate of many, or just a singular delicious one is my fave. or even just my little cheese salads that almost have the components of a cheese plate but all in a tiny finely sliced salad. just scoop onto a tiny cracker or a slab of walnut loaf.these ideas are fast easy and really fresh for new ways of dining.
its not that i dont like desert, its just that sometimes its all about the cheese. something simple. something different, always fresh..
ash blue, pear, thyme, lemon and wilted onion.
finely chopped ash blue cheese, fresh pear, thyme twigs and white onions just melted with olive oil and white vinegar bring this dish to the heart of my favourite things to eat. sharp, salty, sweet, sexy. start a night with this dish and you can’t go wrong. a cheeky laviosh with a tiny pile on top is…the…..best…..thing…
pecorino, mustard seed drips, fuji apples and walnuts
double brie, walnut bread, 5 hour oven dried red grapes
i put a bunch of seedless red grapes in the oven on warm/100C for 5 hours, turning them slowly so the ones on the bottom don’t bruise. they are amazing and go so well with just the creamy cheese and soft walnut loaf.
emmenthal, radish, delicious apple and celery root salad, cheddar biscuits
i buy these small sharp cheddar biscuits from the big department store deli. most big delis stock a good english cheddar biscuit.. its just a good stab of sharp cheddar with the nuts and cheese.
feta, rocket, mint, caper and deep fried cornichon salad
a finely chopped sale with a biscuit is a great new way to rock a cheese plate. this is a chopped salad. so every cut up small. onions off set the capers and cornichons with a sharp stab of sweet mint and feta. yum! dress with a good extra virgin olive oil only and let the flavour mix do its job!
buche daphinois, radishes, walnuts, olive bread crusts
i do say olive crusts because it is just that. i buy a good olive sourdough and only use the crusts. chewy and salty….delish.
clarin, sweet pickled white onion shred, figs
this is a gorgeous mix. the light cream of the clarin, with some shredded white onion soaked in icing sugar and white balsamic. the sweetness of the figs is just gorgeous.i light lavish cracker is stunning with this.
i make this salad for Alimentari (car william and paddington streets, paddington sydney). it runs out the door. this gorgeous salad is a really pure event. nothing but, shrooms, basil, micro upland cress, parmesan powder lemon and oil….oh and my favourite. fregola. …little bombs of bliss…..
fregola with mushrooms, lemon flavours , parmesan powder, basil and cress
this recipe is ridiculously easy…….. easy and fresh food is something we love. fregola is the gorgeous of pastas. little delicate and gorgeous it is perfect for a gentle salad that is a little bit different but very fresh.
i do this by the bag of fregola.
boil i bag of fregola till al dente. rinse in cold water till cool.put in a big bowl. slice 6 large button mushrooms and 1 small onion finely into slices and drip olive oil and sprinkle salt over. heat a frypan till really hot. drop the shrooms in and turn off letting them cook but cool at the same time. don’t stir. when cool put in with the fregola with: grated lemon rind from 1 lemon and then squeeze the juice in, 1 handful baby basil leaves, 1/2 cup really fine grated parmesan, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. stir and put into bowl. season op with pepper and sprinkle more parmesan some more baby basil leaves, and some upland cress.
amazing with a roast chicken or just on its own. enjoy!
i am really lucky. i have two jobs. three if you count my beautiful babies and being their mummy. i am private chef and cinematographer. i have done both for 30 years. its only the last couple of years that i started documenting my travels and the wonderful treats that i experience along the way. it is an education to travel and dine, and every country and every cuisine and the dining experience there, fuses my food back home with ideas and modernisms.
wild with garnish means all of this. madness with extra…..
this blog is a vechile for me to show and express both, the food and the photography study whilst i am there.
this is singapore recently. i went there to direct and shoot a vaseline commercial. i spent a lot of time in the hawker markets, watching them make the noodles, and the creation of food there everyday. i am obsessed and i love it.
when i am in production or shooting. we go and eat everywhere. the producer and team normally with me. however when the shoot is over and i am in post production and editing i am normally on my own and that when i get to explore.
and this is Bangkok….so incredible and an endless journey into flavour and fragrance. there is something about that incredible heat and the tanginess and bite of the chilli. its so compelling.
i do have a weak spot for asian food. i am a little obsessed and find every dish every time, incredible. simple executions, fresh food, fragrance and fragrance on top of that.
my love of food and the possibilities keep me thinking all day every day. it can get a bit weird…but who cares…right?
i think its time i described how i do recipes…..i don’t really. this is not a site for complication or stress. i like my food to be easy . i don’t use recipes really because i don’t really cook anything that needs them. i use ingredients and just let the flavours and my taste flourish. so really its a little free form and a little loose. i am sorry but i promise it works and it releases you from the prison of measurements in small doses. i use cups and tablespoons and stuff but only broadly. admittedly this is difficult to grasp but lets use some easy examples to set my story straight…….
soy tamarind spatchcock with sweet zucchini shred
cut up 2 spatchcocks removing the spine and into 4 pieces each. soak for 1 hr in 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon tamarind paste. roast with a few extra small tomatoes in hot oven 250C till dark, turning all the time. with a potato peeler shred 2 zucchinis lengthways. soak for 30 minutes in a mixture of white balsamic and icing sugar. (you can add some chilli here is you like). make a circle with the zucchinis and place 4 pieces in each circle and a piece of tomato on top. drip olive oil and lemon juice around the outside. serve with rice that has grated ginger and salt and pepper in it and some fresh greek yoghurt and finely cut mint.
i encourage people to taste their food. its not me being lazy with the recipes, its paying respect to the people cooking and getting them back into really bonding with their food and getting back to the old days when food was easy but amazing. i get everything is fast and driven by measurements but it doesn’t have to be the rule. why can’t we have some food that requires less but tastes awesome.
this is where i come in…if you use fresh and simple ingredients, you don’t need very much to play with. you already have the fun on the plate….another example
celery and cheddar puddle with cheddar rye and celery salt
in a pot boil gently for 30 minutes, 2 cups of cut celery and 2 cups of good vegetable stock. at the end add 1 cup of cheddar cheese. melt and transfer to the blender. blend until creamy. do not season.
using a great rye loaf, cut into 1 inch slabs and toast on one side and sprinkle the other side with cheddar and toast until bubbling. serve the soup with the toast not top with some batons of celery. sprinkle with celery salt and cracked pepper.
ok…its really easy to keep adding flavour to dishes but its really hard to pair back. this is my philosophy. dig into taste and texture and it won’t change the base of what you are eating. playing with combinations is the fun here. another example.
beer and brown sugar ribs with melted tomatoes and burnt onions
soak 1 full set ribs in enough beer that it just melts 2 cups of brown sugar into a paste. rub onto a set of pork ribs and sit for 2 hours. bake on high until brown qat 250C. at the same time place face down 2 cut up spanish onions. they should burn around the edges but also caramelise as well. in a pot just warm and melt 1 cup of halved baby tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and some thyme twigs.
serve the ribs with onions and tomatoes and a fork. some aoli would be sexy here too. should serve two depending on appetite. my animal of a son would eat all of this so double or triple as you go. my son eats these with his hands and wields a fork around at the same time. white bread with onions and tomatoes and mayonnaise is extremely awesome.
lastly something sweet. again, nothing complicated but just flavour and texture playing on cold, sweet and crunch….
candied almonds, strawberries and cinnamon cream, and mint
wash and chill 5 strawberries each person. toss 1 cup of almonds in 1 cup brown sugar that has been melted with a drop or two of red food colouring. single them out and . bake in an oven on greaseproof paper till crusty. whisk 1 carton of cream till stiff adding a drop of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of icing sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. serve in a glass with the strawberries on the bottom, then the cream with the almonds and some extra strawberries on the top. chill the whole thing down. top with a sprig of mint.
Baccamotto Osteria is my favourite dining of choice in sydney. i don’t normally do reviews but i am going to have to with this one.i have been here many times now, lunch and dinner and it is still amazing. i am travelling and working at the moment and i miss my children and i miss this restaurant. well mainly the children…but anyway…..
owned by mauro marcucci and michael stevens, chef valerio boncompagni and designed by chris connell it has everything i need in an italian restaurant. made in house is the key here. gorgeous cannelloni, pickled onions, flat bread, liver puree, homemade foccaccia. plus the food is remarkably simple but cooked incredibly well. octopus tentacle has been tickled and teased so that is this single taste sensation nestled into a warm nest of potato. try giving any one anything of this dish. i have stolen most of everyone’s tart but gorgeously sweet baby onions with garlic rubbed toasts, and hoarded the proscuitto with flat bread. significantly though, i am obsessed with the pork chop with white beans. every time, and failsafe. a modest but cranking pork chop rubbed in coriander seeds, crisped up and served on warm simple beans. oh…my…god. a smart raddichhio, orange and olive salad sprayed with good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and I’m done. others have had the salmon, the lamb etc but the main stealing goes to the cannelloni with fresh ricotta and nettles. if i wasn’t so obsessed with the pork chop i would have the cannelloni but I’m too loyal and my breath quickens as it comes to the table. there was a remarkable custard tart to finish which we gave the baker a standing ovation for and my favourite, a simple washed rind goats cheese which we fought over viciously.
it is a small menu, which i love, the pasta is always perfect (the risotto with gamberi, ricotta and orange was a mind blast), they don’t serve too much bread, which i love, and it is not overcrowded and noisy, which i love. oh and the wine list is perfect, and it wasn’t expensive, ($60 per head for main, wine and cheese), which i love. Perfect dining
HOT TIP: have an aperol with prosceco and green olive to start. you will be the life of the party. i promise.
212 riley street Darlinghurst. ring to book. +612 92155140. great with big tables, drinks with the girls, or an intimate dinner. streamlined, busy, gorgeous. feels a bit new york but gorgeous dining in Sydney…..and i love that……
i do write a lot of menus. on planes mainly. i have the space to dream and make stuff up. its all simple food. when you look at the ideas they mean just elements mixed up a bitty. when i cook for clients i use them to refer to. i have journals full of them. this menu was originally called ….”t_xtre…”… however I’m going to turn this one into a book. “wild with garnish – uncut”. ill do it soon. I’m in the process of converting my journals into books….anyone out there.???
i like the idea of my travels evolving into menus and flavours that snatch and grab and mix it up. there are no rules. i just like to eat fresh and what feels great.
i wrote this gorgeous menu once based on pure fresh food and texture. it was the beginning of this whole world i have entered into…just flavour, fresh ingredients and fragrance…..nothing else……and love….always love
let me know if you want any of the recipes…..ill also cook them for you
Txtre – the menu