Perth is a funny little town. One minute you’re sitting in a restaurant enjoying some excellent cheese and wine with some friends, and the next you’re chatting to one of the worlds premier food bloggers.
Such was my experience last Wednesday night.
Our dear friends Alex and Linda had invited us to join them at Must Wine Bar, to once and for all time farewell the wonderful Kervella goats cheese (pictured above on the left), which is no longer being produced. Russell Blaikie, head chef at Must, has been an avid supporter of Gabrielle Kervella and her goats since the early days, and saw it only fit to farewell them in style with a week long expose of special dishes featuring the cheeses.
Now I was aware that Clotilde was coming to Perth. I (along with a hundred or so other people) had given her a few recommendations of places to try and things to do. But I should have known that the beauty of Perth being a big country town would come to the fore once again.
Sitting in the restaurant enjoying a fresh goats cheese souffle and a shallot tart tatin with Kervellas famous ‘rondolet’, musing as to whether or not I liked the glass of Marsanne I’d ordered, I turned around and who should be sitting at the table next to us, but the one and only Clotilde.
So after some umm’ing and ahh’ing reminiscent of a pimply teenager plucking up the courage to ask a date to the school ball, I went over and introduced myself. Of course I needn’t have been nervous, Clotilde was perfectly lovely and accommodating. We chatted a little about the meal and her first taste of sparkling Shiraz (which I think was well received). Then made plans to have dinner later next week.
So then on Friday the first events of the Perth Writers Festival were held. Clotilde spoke of life and food in Paris and pursuing your writing dreams, along side Carmen Michael, a writer from Sydney who jumped ship and lived in Rio de Janeiro for 4 years. A great talk and very inspiring to anyone thinking of packing in their day jobs and living the romantic life of a wandering writer.
After the talk I got the chance to get Clotilde to sign her book for me, and attend another session with Lucy Malouf and Stephen Downes about food writing in general, chaired by the magnanimous Verity James. Then it was lunch time. I took the liberty of offering to show Clotilde a little of the city, and she graciously accepted. So off we went down to Fremantle and the effortless cool that is Little Creatures.
Now this place really deserves a post on it’s own. The high ceiling industrial setting of the brewery, mixed with the long bar, funky wait staff, and fantastic beer and food, sets this place apart from the majority of Perth pubs as far as I’m concerned. Clotilde was keen to try some local seafood and of course kangaroo, so we jumped straight into the ordering. Kangaroo skewers with bush tomato chutney, prosciutto wrapped prawns, a spinach, avocado and gruyere salad, and a serve of chilli mussels. Washed down with a pint of Pipsqueak cider. An ambitious amount of food according to our waitress, who asked if we were ‘wagging’ work or something, which I had to explain to Clotilde was Australia’s favourite passtime :)
Little did she know that she was dealing with not one, but two determined food bloggers. One who can quote the entire menu by heart, and the other who has a lot of catching up to do in a new country. So a few short minutes later, and nothing but a sad bowl of chilli sauce with no bread left, it was all over. All seemed to go down well, and then it was off to the next spot.
Ice cream and sorbet at Il Gelato in Fremantle, and then a trek back to the city for a coffee at Tiger, Tiger. Getting back just in time to drop Clotilde at one of the afternoon writers festival sessions, while I snuck back to work for a few hours.
I can’t think of many nicer ways to spend your afternoon. In the company of lovely, down to earth people, who love food, and are happy to explore the finer points of this often overlooked city :)
12 thoughts on “The Serendipity of Perth”
Thanks Matt, I’ve been wondering what happened and how it went and you’ve ended my suspense!
Hey Grendel, that’s just part one mate :)
What a commendable choice to places to visit. Lovely pictures as usual and well done on the title of the post which is especially apt.
I thought he was going to blog about a new-age book shop with that title.
Hey there Mattster! Glad serendipity waved its magic wand at us that night. Glad to share the last tastes of such incredible flavours with you and Sharon. I would love to get a copy of Clotilde’s guide to Paris. Last time we were there, we used a little local knowledge of our friends and were never disappointed. An insiders’ guide to a city is so much better than that of a visitor. Thats where I think local bloggers have an important role to play. Local knowledge for visitors or for locals wanting to try something new.
A brush with blogging celebrity. That’s pretty cool. Wagging work is bascially a necessity in this case.
Lucky you. How was the event? Stephen said she refused to be engaged in french conversation (whcih I guess would have left most of the room out of the conversation).
I missed the event with both Clotilde and Stephen actually. It was sold out before I knew it. The other events were great, not necessarily to tell you how to write, but more to get off your arse and actually do something.
Not sure how speaking French would have helped most of the audience, although I did manage to work a little of my year 10 vocab into a few of our conversations, and can confirm Clotilde now knows how to get to the bank and open the window :)
awww… i can’t believe i missed the writers festival (i thinkg the company i worked for was doing the catering)! fancy that… first true holiday in a year and i miss doing something i might have enjoyed! RATS!
wouldve loved to have met clotilde! lucky you matt!
Shame you missed it, there were a bunch of great events. Although I can’t really talk. I missed mostly everything else I wanted to get to at the rest of the Perth Festival, far too much procrastination I think. But food bloggers get special efforts made of course :)
wot no more Kervella why didnt I know about this and how many more people dont???? yes i’d noticed it wasnt so readily available but i’d put that down to our (Perths best) being exported rather than being marketed to a captive home audience…grumble grumble…
What I find really sad is that I (somewhere deep inside) aspire to photograph and write for a living, and yet I didn’t even know the Perth Writers Festival was on…
Great little anecdote here Matt. Sounds like you had a great few days!