Category Archives: Uncategorized

A freezer stocking frenzy


I’ve been stocking up the freezer. I’ve amassed quite an edible stash. There are 35 double portions of hand-made meals in plastic containers, plus 10 single portions of random things. That’s 80 individual meals, frozen in time.

There’s a good reason for this bizarre hoarding. We have just embarked on a back-of-house extension and kitchen renovation, which will render us kitchen-less for about eight weeks. The fridge-freezer and microwave have been redeployed to the dining room: we’ll be eating defrost/reheat-style for several months. Continue reading


Filed under Food Issues, Reflections, Uncategorized

Are farmers’ markets an over-priced, middle class minority interest? Answer of the week.

The Food Sage Question of the Week: Have farmers’ markets become an over-priced, middle class, minority interest? sparked an interesting discussion on the blo,  Twitter and LinkedIn. Even Stephanie Alexander wanted to have her say. Continue reading


Filed under Produce, Question of the week, Uncategorized

Question of the week: Would you still tip if you knew restaurateurs, rather than wait staff, pocketed your goodwill?

You’ve had a lovely meal at a restaurant. Everything went swimmingly: the food was fabulous, the ambience spot-on, the waiter/ess was courteous, knowledgeable, efficient, and endearing. So you leave a decent tip. But would you have done so if you knew the restaurateur was pocketing your goodwill, not the individual/s who served you?  The Age had has shone a spotlight on the “big tip swindle”. But is it a swindle? And do restaurateurs have a legitimate right to divert tips into the cash register?


Filed under Food Issues, Question of the week, Uncategorized

Becasse liquidation fire sale underway

From restaurant empire to fire sale; the Becasse liquidation sell-off is underway.

Liquidators Ferrier Hodgson have cleaned out the fine diner’s wine cellar, unplugged the appliances and emptied the pantry. Everything — from Krug Champagne to packs of cheap plastic glasses — is being auctioned on GraysOnline.

When the virtual hammer falls at 9pm tonight the amount raised will make only a small dent in the $4.3 million that the North’s businesses — owned by celebrity chef Justin North and his wife Georgia – owed to over 200 creditors and 180 staff when they were placed into liquidation in July.

A bottle of Krug Clos-du-Mensil Blanc de Blancs (1998) and a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1er Cru (2003) are currently vying for the top liquor sales spot having each attracted a bid of $709. They have attracted 61 bids and 100 bids respectively.

Other wine ‘lots’ in the bargain basement sell-off have attracted bids under $10. There are around 300 wine and Champagne ‘lots’ up for grabs.

A Fagor stainless steel commercial drinks fridge has so far attracted the highest bid of $869. Other catering equipment, including electric blenders to skillets and cake rings, cartons of Riedel glasses, assorted cookbooks and collections of gourmet produce are also being auctioned off.

A spokesman for Ferrier Hodgson said the liquidators were playing a “minor role” at this stage.  “It’s some residual plant and equipment, it isn’t anything extensive in that online sale.”  Read the full report here.


Filed under Uncategorized

Australia’s French bistro revolution

Damien Pignolet knows French food. In 1981 the fourth-generation Australian of French descent took over Claude’s restaurant in Woollahra, which epitomised French cuisine in Australia. Later he introduced possibly the first Parisian-style bistro to Sydney with Bistro Moncur.

When asked about traditional French food in Australia, Pignolet waxes lyrical about a fricassee of chicken at the original Bécasse, which opened a decade ago in Surry Hills. Read the full story here.


Filed under Gastronomic Travels, Uncategorized