International Mother Earth Day

April 22

“I appeal to all people everywhere to raise their voices. Speak out on behalf of this planet, our only home. Let us care for Mother Earth so she can continue to care for us as she has done for millennia.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Established in 2009 by the United Nations General Assembly and endorsed by more than 50 member states, International Mother Earth Day recognises the necessity to maintain ‘harmony with nature and the Earth.’

This day promotes the view that the Earth sustains all living things and that we all have a shared responsibility to look after it. Every year, people from all over the world help to transform their cities – from cleaning up their communities, planting trees or something as simple as riding their bikes to work, they are doing their bit to forge a sustainable future 

You too can get involved; simply visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/

Book Review: The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing

by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara

“Classic Flavours - Real Food - Simple Recipes”

Circumnavigate Tasmania on a hunter-gatherer journey for sustainable seafood with former chef and food critic Matthew Evans and his two best chef mates Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara in The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing. 

Japanese Uni Don with Urchin Roe and Salmon Roe 

Explore Tasmania’s crystal clear waters and abundance of lesser-known fish species on every page and share in the raw passion and experiences of these three chefs.  The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing demystifies everything from abalone to sea urchin and snapper to octopus. These chefs no longer regard the humble cockle as simply fish bait and would much prefer a bream on the end of their line than the excitement of reeling in a big tuna any day. As they describe each species’ gastronomic potential, enthusiastic commentary jumps out of the pages with the re-telling of small wins and unbridled adventure. With chapters ‘From The Shore’ , ‘Reef and Rockpools’, ‘Rivers, Estuaries and Bays’, ‘The Deep Blue’ and ‘Preserving Seafood’ this book is a celebration of what our ocean and rivers have to offer.

 
Introducing each new section of seafood with a story of diving, waiting for tides to change or the patience of floundering in the night, this book can be used like a guide with its helpful tips on how to enjoy successful hunting, foraging and gathering. A few varying recipes then demonstrate and instruct how to prepare succulent seafood worthy of the most reputable restaurants.

Drawing inspiration from cuisines of Japan to Spain, India to Mexico as well as classic Australian seafood dishes, The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing offers flavoursome meals for the table wherever you are. With this recipe book in hand, picnics by the water are soon to be accompanied by simple seafood creations like classic abalone fritters with fresh lemon and Tabasco sauce or crab rolls with Meyer lemon mayonnaise. Dinner guests will surely be impressed with homemade smoked mackerel pate on toasted rye bread before enjoying a zesty, Asian inspired Thai squid with green papaya and peanut salad or a whole-baked leatherjacket with white wine and herbs.

Riddled with humour throughout, from stripping down to undies and fishing off the wash of breakers to an octopus attack in the dark, this entertaining book of knowledge and recipes is sure to have you untangling fishing rods and dusting off cray pots before the last page is turned. 

Recipes and images from The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing By Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O'Meara,

Published by Murdoch Books. On Sale Now!

By Annabel Rainsford. 

Daylesford: Harvest Week Festival

Saturday 25 April to Sunday 3 May, Daylesford.

Harvest Week Festival, a celebration of the Central Victorian harvest, returns once again for its eighth year. Every autumn, this festival brings locals and visitors together to enjoy food from the region’s growers, providores, chefs, restaurateurs and winemakers.

Famous throughout Australia for its vibrant food culture and high quality produce, the Daylesford and Macedon region will throw open its doors to the public – and guests are encouraged to get their hands dirty.

Enjoy a series of regional tasting plates complemented with local beverages or partake in a class or two, ranging from charcuterie making to urban farming. Tour farmer’s markets and gardens before indulging in some mid-afternoon wine tasting sessions in the area’s wineries – perhaps some pinot noir and shiraz at Passing Clouds Winery, just five minutes from central Daylesford. 

If you’re planning to stay for more than just the day, Daylesford offers a range of accommodation options from cosy bed and breakfasts to the luxurious Lake Daylesford Country House, perfect for romantic getaways. And just in case you haven’t quite had your fill of regional gastronomical delights, Daylesford’s dining scene ensures there is something for everyone from the charming Cliffy’s Emporium, a produce store and café in one, to the sophisticated mod Oz stalwart Mercato @ Daylesford and the elegant Spanish-inspired Sault, both award-winning restaurants. 

For more information about Harvest Week Festival, visit: http://dmproduce.com.au/events/harvest-week-festival-2015/

By Libby Margo. 

A Ripper Southern Highland's Pinot Gris

By David Ellis from vintnews.

On week days you’ll find Katrina Hill running a busy interior design and colour consultancy in Sydney, but come weekends she ditches high fashion for jeans, a tractor, bobcat or slasher and becomes vigneron on her Far Ago Hill vineyard at Canyonleigh, in the Southern Highlands half-way between Sydney and Canberra.

This latter role has rewarded her with a ripper Pinot Gris – a variety for which the Southern Highlands is earning a fast-growing reputation – and whose story began in 2003 after Katrina and then-husband, Ricardo Farago had toured Europe tasting as many Pinot Gris as they could, and coming home to search for the ideal site from which to produce their own that would be equal to the best they’d tasted in Europe.

It was at Canyonleigh they found their perfect combination of soil, climate and the elements, and now Katrina tends it at weekends under advice from consultant Ben Brazenor, and with her wine made by Chris Carpenter at Lark Hill in Bungendore.

Since 2011 Katrina’s Pinot Gris’ been labelled Far Ago Hill, a play on ex-husband Ricardo’s surname Farago and her own maiden name Hill; a current-release 2014 is a great drop of delicate aromatics, lemon-citrus and apple flavours and with a crisp, dry finish – perfect at $30 with seafood. It was served at former NSW State Governor Dame Marie Bashir’s Farewell, and at the 2014 Archibald Prize presentations…

To purchase or for more details: Katrina on 1300 769 217 or www.faragohill.com

One to note: Voyager Estate in Western Australia’s Margaret River has released a 2014 Chenin Blanc whose soft tropical fruit flavours, fresh acidity and a suggestion of sweetness ideally matches with mildly spiced Asian dishes or fresh seafood.

2014 gave Voyager Estate one of its best white wine vintages ever, with fruit that Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture, Steve James says was “absolutely outstanding,” and which came off three separate vineyards. An early-drinking style, this is a beautiful $20 drop to buy and enjoy now.

ANZAC Day

April 25

This Anzac Day, we pay tribute to all Australians who have served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

One of Australia's most important national commemorative occasions, Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers during World War I. On this day in 1915, the Anzac troops landed in Gallipoli, Turkey with the aim to capture Constantinople from the Ottomans, who were World War I allies of Germany. This year will mark the 100th Anniversary of the landing.

Dawn services will be held all over Australia, including one at the Sydney Cenotaph in Martin Place where the first Anzac Day ceremony was said to be held. The services traditionally comprise of an introduction, hymns and prayers, reflections, wreath laying and a minute of silence.

After attending a dawn service, you might like to partake in a ‘gunfire breakfast’ (coffee with a splash of rum), the breakfast of choice for Anzac soldiers before they went to battle. Or if you’re an AFL-loving Melburnian, maybe you were lucky enough to score tickets to the annual Anzac Day clash between traditional rivals Essendon and Collingwood. If you’re feeling very creative, why not give our Anzac biscuit recipe a go before checking out the AGFG What’s On guide for a list of events and specials around your area.  

By Libby Margo. 

The Fergus A Tale of Proud History

By David Ellis from vintnews

 

It’s close to twenty years – nineteen in fact – since Tim Adams and wife Pam Goldsack made their first Tim Adams Fergus, a Grenache-based blend they named after neighbour Fergus Mahon who sold them some Grenache back in 1993 during a desperate shortage in the Clare Valley of Shiraz and Cabernet fruit. 

 

Since that pioneering drop of 85% Grenache and 15% Cabernet in those desperate times, The Fergus has comprised Grenache with various other reds, the latest being the 2012 that’s 35% Grenache from the Mahon’s Fergus Vineyard, 35% Tempranillo from Tim’s Ladera Vineyard, and 30% from his Sheoak Vineyard at Watervale. 

 

This mixture delivers a wonderfully mouth-filling wine with Grenache spiciness to the fore, nice plum and red berry flavours, gentle tannins and beautiful floral aromas, all  combining to achieve Tim’s aim of a corner-stone drop reflecting commitment to quality and traditional Clare Valley wine styles. 

 

Remarkably it’s just $24, and if you can resist the temptation to get into it now (with, we’d suggest, Confit Duck) it’ll reward beautifully over the next decade or more. 

   

One to note: Abounding tropical fruit flavours and a wonderfully crisp acidity are highlights of an Estate Series 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from boutique Shottesbrooke Vineyards in the Adelaide Hills. 

 

Winemaker Hamish Maguire also used fruit from McLaren Vale in this lip-smacker drop that’s got everything in it from those tropical fruits to a grassiness, suggestions of lemon citrus and a refreshing mouth-feel. 

  

Sauvignon Blanc and seafood go hand-in-hand so make your choice from the seafood counter as to what to enjoy it with best, or equally offer it chilled on its own as guests arrive for that seafood lunch or dinner. 

 

Nicely priced at $20. 

Our Top Six Favourite Orange Recipes

It’s that time of year again where producers of the Orange district showcase fine food and gourmet products at the annual F.O.O.D. Week. To show our support here at the Australian Good Food Guide, we have chosen six of our favourite orange coloured recipes! 

1. To get you started try this fruity French Kiss cocktail.

2. Try this delicate, sweet and zesty dessert combination of Lime Poached Persimmons.

3. For a side dish with difference, serve up a Moroccan Salad.

4. Spice up lunch or dinner with Wok Tossed Chilli Crab.

5. A smooth and subtle dish, make your own Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Gnocchi. 

6. Super creamy with a fruity twist, try a decadent Orange Cheesecake.

Barossa Vintage Festival

Wednesday 15 April to Sunday 19 April, Barossa Valley. 

The grapes are crushed and the harvest is done – welcome to the end of the 2015 vintage season! To cap another fantastic year of the grape, the biannual Barossa Vintage Festival is in town from April 15. Popularly known as Australia's original wine tourism event, Barossa Vintage Festival is this region’s biggest celebration of wine, food, music, art, culture and tradition.

The festival will showcase 95 exciting events over five days across various locations in the Barossa Valley region, all conveniently located only an hours drive from Adelaide.

Begin the celebrations by strolling around the historic ziegenmarkt (literally ‘goats market’) where a live auction and petting zoo as well as lively stalls displaying the region’s fresh produce will ensure a fun-filled morning.

Feeling hungry? A series of breakfasts, long lunches and dinners will be held all throughout the festival in addition to the Decadent Feast where old world charm will combine with a mouth-watering buffet feast, seven-piece swing band and dancers for a spectacular evening at Tanunda Showhall. For a great family day out, don’t forget to also check out Barossa Comes Home, an open-house picnic featuring wine tastings, grape treadings, markets and live music.

Of course, Barossa Vintage Festival is all about the wines so be sure to explore the many wineries along the scarecrow trail and immerse yourself in a few cellar tours and talks, including the ‘Old Vines or Old Wines?’ seminars conducted by Gibson Wines.

Finally, be sure to add the Vintage Festival Parade to your itinerary. A tradition since 1948, this lively parade spans from Nuriootpa to Tanunda, making it the longest parade in the Southern Hemisphere. Stake out your spot amongst the parade route as you watch more than 70 floats snake past – don’t forget to pack your esky!

If you’re planning to stay a night or two, the Barossa offers a range of accommodation options including the self-contained apartments surrounded by peaceful bushland in Cockatoo Valley's The Miners Cottage, perfect for quiet getaways.

Likewise, you’ll struggle to go hungry with the region’s wide range of cafés and restaurants showcasing the Barossa’s fresh locally sourced produce; Lyndoch’s The Table Café offers modern brunches in a relaxed, casual space while Casa Carboni Enoteca offers true rustic Italian flavours in the heart of Angaston.

For more information about Barossa Vintage Festival, visit: http://barossavintagefestival.com.au/

By Libby Margo. 

Orange F.O.O.D Week

Friday 10 April to Sunday 19 April, Orange.

Feast on Central NSW's freshest autumn produce and fine food at this year’s Orange F.O.O.D. (Food Of Orange District) Week. Spanning the towns of Orange, Cabonne and Blayney, Orange F.O.O.D. Week is one of NSW’s premier food festivals and offers more than 80 events across ten days.

Celebrate the region’s cool climate produce through farm gate tours, interactive cooking demonstrations and picnics along with plenty of mouth-watering lunches and dinners by local restaurants.

Kick off the festivities with a night at the F.O.O.D. Week Night Market at Robertson Park on opening night. With over 50 stalls bursting with local Orange produce and wines, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

If walking tours are your thing, be sure to check out FORAGE on Saturday 18 April. This pleasant 3.6km frolic will guide visitors through the region’s vineyards and paddocks, with the option of sampling fresh produce along the way.

Another festival highlight is the 100-Mile Dinner, featuring dishes made with ingredients sourced within a 100-mile radius of Orange. Held in Molong’s Village Green on Monday 13 April, this year’s banquet will showcase the collaborative efforts of chefs, cooks and vignerons from Bathurst, Cowra, Molong, Mudgee and Orange – with the spot of dancing underneath the stars to finish!

If you fancy yourself as a wine lover, take a trip down to Highland Heritage Estate for cellar door tastings and lunch overlooking the picturesque vineyard. Curious about sherry? Join ‘The Wine Man’ Peter Bourne to sample a range of sherry matched with fresh autumn-inspired tasting plates at Ferment – The Orange Wine Centre.

If you’re looking to soak up the region’s crisp country air and gorgeous autumn foliage for  more than a day, Orange offers a range of accommodation options from B&Bs to private lodges such as Lakeview Luxury Cabins, overlooking the beautiful waters of Lake Canobolas.

And if you can’t get enough of Orange’s food, there are plenty of restaurants to visit – try communal European-style dining at Emma’s Table or casual mod Oz fare at Zest; and if you prefer hearty old fashioned country-style meals, Bissys Café & Catering is the place for you. 

For more information about Orange F.O.O.D Week, visit: http://www.orangefoodweek.com.au/ 

By Libby Margo. 

Book Review: The Zumbo Files

Live your passion, chase the dream, eat sweet and stay sweet - Adriano Zumbo.

Well, if we were to completely live life full of passion, we’d do it while holding (and devouring) one of Adriano’s Zonuts, a deliciously light, sweet, fluffy and playful croissant-donut creation.

The Zumbo Files certainly doesn’t come across as the younger sibling of Adriano’s cook book collection, as it’s one of Adriano’s most ambitious creations yet. Inviting you into a Willy Wonka world of ideas with an enticing cover of a eucalyptus, thyme, honey and lemon Chouxmaca (choux pastry – macaron hybrid), you know you’re about to embark on a journey you’ll never be able to forget. 

Win a copy of The Zumbo Files!

For a seasoned home chef or baker, The Zumbo Files will be a fun and creative journey, while those looking to amplify their understanding of pastry will be lead down a path of bewilderment, amazement and accomplishment. The Zumbo Files includes a glossary of terms along with a number of basic recipes to build your confidence before tackling a Zumbo master recipe.

Adriano steps you through five elaborately decorated doors of separate master recipes, with photographic step-by-step instructions that lay the base for more complicated and flavoursome recipes to come.  The master recipes are a true highlight to this book and set it apart from the other Celebrity Chef cook books on the shelf it adds a very personal touch to an otherwise disconnected medium - and if this were multimedia it would already be the perfect recipe series for your phone.

Although The Zumbo Files may be a bit daunting to the average home cook, don’t be swayed by the delicate trimmings and glossy photos as the recipes have been tailored for the home baker. With a collection of 50 new recipes, you will be spoilt for choice on where to start as Adriano’s famed recipes are complemented by a chapter of savoury pastries that will round out your pastry repertoire – we suggest trying the Earl Grey and Lemon Sausage Rolls.

If you have always wanted to bake like a master patissier, this is definitely the book for you.

Recipe and images from The Zumbo Files by Adriano Zumbo (Murdoch Books) $49.99 available now in all good bookstores and online. 

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