About Me

Me

So I guess it’s time I updated this page for the first time in 5 years. My name is still Matt, though now I’m officially 30 something. A fact that hopefully bodes well for my ability to be taken seriously, and doesn’t just lump me in the annoying middle aged guy category. I still live in Perth, Western Australia (though now I live in the cultural hub that is Northbridge).

We in Perth still have the dubious honour of being the most isolated capital city in the world. But I’m beginning to care about that less and less as I carve a niche out of the parts of the city that appeal to me.

I’m still a born and bred New Zealander who moved to Australia as a child, but less and less people can guess that I was ever from anywhere else. I grew up in a big Irish family where Sunday roasts were a foregone conclusion, and where you could always find homemade biscuits if you knew where the secret stash was (in the Indian tin on the top shelf of the pantry in case you were wondering).

So… Abstract Gourmet is my view of the world as seen through a greasy window. I cook, I eat out, I take photos, I complain about things that most people probably don’t care about, and then I try and pull together some words that sound vaguely coherent at the end of it all. It currently consists of recipes that I’ve pulled together, restaurant reviews for local places that may be useful to the general food loving community of Perth, and the odd dramatic reenactment of events that happen in my life.

I hope you find something worthwhile, and if you’d like to leave me comments you might very well make my day.

If you like to use any of my photos or videos or related information then please get in touch with me and I’ll let you know if thats ok. My photos and text are all copyright to myself unless otherwise indicated, and can not be used unless with my express permission, especially if you’re going to use them to make fun of me…

You can contact me outside of the blog comments at this email address: matt AT abstractgourmet DOT com

Thanks for tuning in.
Matt

104 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. G’day Matt

    When are we going to see some more cafe/coffee reviews from you?

    I’m having really bad withdrawal symptoms and there’s only so many times I can reread your archived reviews (not that I don’t enjoy them, but I have another ~50 odd years to live, so I think a bit of moderation is called for :) )

    Your Biggest Fan

    Mister Black

  2. Hey MisterBlack… good question… I can tell you I still go to a lot of cafes, but the impetus to review every place I go to is waning of late. I’ll try and remember to bring the camera along next time though… Or perhaps do a round up of current favourites soon.

    Cheers for the input :)

  3. Hey Brad, I’m not sure I like to talk about ‘best’ places anymore. There’s a lot of good places, but whether I could say that a particular cafe is the best in the country is pretty hard, esp when I haven’t been to them all.

    Since judging in the barista competitions, I’ve had to take a step back, put aside any preconceived ideas about who is good and who isn’t, and just judge the coffee based on the quality of the beans, the skill of the barista, and the taste in the cup.

    Obviously some places put more effort in than others, and some are just really good at generating hype.

    Single Origin are definitely up there,
    as is Mecca, Campos, St Ali, 7 Grams, Brother Baba Budan… but places like Velvet, Spring, Tiger Tiger, and Zekka in Perth are making sure we’re not missing out on much over here :)

  4. Hey Matt, I really love the way you took photo :D
    I’m a very amateur photographer though, and really curious bout what is good lens to use to take photo?
    Right now i’m only using the original one 18-55mm, i’m using canon 400d :D
    If you can advise me what other lens i should buy, it just would be very great !

    Anyway, keep take the food photo, it feel so live makes me hungry ;-)

    All the best !

    regards,

    Ivan F.

  5. Congrats on winning the WA 08 Web Award for best blog!

    Well deserved IMO, now lets see some more blogging … you’re getting slack :)

  6. Hi Matt, heading across to Perth this month and I’ve put a (very small) call out on my blog for “must-eats” (or drinks) in Perth. Any ideas? Would love to hear from you. Judging from your blog and all the other WAers it might be hard to come up with only a few!

  7. Really nice blog! Glad to have found it tonight during one of my long after-work nightly sessions serching for food related gold mines out there on the net.
    Especially good to read some stuff from the opposite side of the world – must say that here in Rome, where I live at the moment, information and gossip about all things australian are rare!
    Looking forward to read more interesting stuff on this blog!

    Regards from a euro-blogger!

  8. Hey Sarah, cheers for that, though I know pretty much everyone on that list :) I love checking out blogs of all kinds, but these days tend to be focusing on those a little closer to home. I like the fact that blogs can have quite a profound effect locally, when they talk about things that traditional media outlets don’t.

    As for MasterChef, it was always going to be a can of worms and I’m loving every bit of it :)

  9. Completely agree. We were having a discussion at work yesterday about how the Good Food Guide tends is far too overrated and you don’t get to hear about the awesome-ness of some local eateries tucked away in areas people don’t know about. Really enjoy reading your blog, even if it’s Perth based :P (Syd for me I’m afriad!).

  10. Wow! What a great site. Your photos are brilliant. No wonder you won the WA web award. Now where’s that recipe for vegan, raw, cheese-less cheese you said you adored…

    Oh and the name and location of that little grocer in Northbridge you mentioned? Sorry, I have the memory of a sieve.

  11. Hi Matt, I have finally gotten around to posting about some of the recommendations you gave when I was visiting Perth. Hope you get a chance to have a look.

  12. Hi Matt
    Never thought I would end up on bom.gov.au when discussing poaching eggs. Good cooking is a bit of alchemy, now with physics thrown in, and of course, heart and soul. Must subscribe to this refreshing foodie site. Cheers.

  13. From one foodie to many others who visit your site — it’s great. Like you, I love good food and wine but more importantly, I much prefer it when it’s either homemade or hand-made OR shared in the home. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a ‘good meal’ in a restaurant but begrudge paying good money for poor quality and oversalted, fatty, or preservative filled foods. Many of my friends make relishes, olive oils, vinegars, homestyle meals etc, hence I started http://www.homemadefood.com.au. It’s a work in progress and I look forward to any feedback you can offer re WA growers and providores.

  14. hey!! i’m another fiori fan and i MUST advise you to come to the Millpoint Caffe Bookshop and have a Long Macc! i work there but the coffee is fab.. (fiori of course!)

    hope you drop by sometime
    ayesha

  15. Hey!

    I’ve just found your blog and I’m really enjoying going through your old posts – I found you because I was looking for a review of Sayers Food in Leederville.

    Thanks for all the info and the great photographs!

    1. Alex: Kind sentiments my friend :)

      Lauren: Glad you found the site, and more glad you’re enjoying discovering my other ramblings. I still love the food at Sayers and eat there often when I’m in Leederville.

  16. Matt, You didn’t waste any time! Thank you for all your hard work today shaving truffles and being a general factotum. Love your blog. See you tomorrow.

  17. Matt, great site! Was just in Perth and tried Pata Negra based on your post and also recommendation of Anthony (from Spice). Next time I’m in town, I’m calling you up for a meal!

  18. Hi Matt,
    I love your photos and your food..
    What came first the photography or the interest in food/wine/coffee?
    Have a great day :)
    Jane

  19. Hi Matt,

    I’m Irish and I live in London but I am moving to Melbourne with my wife in 3 weeks which I’m really excited about. Random question, but do you know of any really good food blogs for Melbourne? I’ve seen a few but they weren’t the best. Do you have any favourites?

    Cheers for your help,
    Dave

  20. Hey!! I do love your lattes!!! Please, tell me, how long have you teached it.. would love to know that. I am from Czech republic and I have seen some pics on youtube! Awesome! Thank you for showing me, that IT IS POSSIBLE :o) Have a nice day! Marketa
    http://www.malenovice.com/ that is, where i work.

  21. Hi, hope you are having a fabulous day! I want to tell you about FashionFoodFatale.com, a new website which unites fashion and food. The perfect combination!!

    If you could check it out that would be great!

    Feel free to email your thoughts! Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes,

    Rachelle

  22. Hi Matt

    This is a little bit of a stab in the dark, but here goes…

    I work for Leo Burnett advertising agency in London and we are working on a big client meeting, and would very much like to include one of your images that you shot when in London.

    Trouble is I need it higher res than it appears on Flickr. Would you be able to get in touch with me about this asap…we have the meeting first thing Monday morning.

    Apologies to bother you on the weekend!

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind R’s

    Maxine.

    1. In response to your comment about Jamon Serrano in Perth, you can buy a whole leg of it from
      Spanish Flavours in Wembley. There is an article about them on my blog, but they don’t have a website
      yet.

      http://abstractgourmet.com/2009/09/spanish-flavours-wembley/

      But go in and ask Rosa and she can sell you one. Tho do note that because of import regulations,
      it’s not possible to import hams with the bone in. So all legs of jamon we get in Australia come with the bone removed.

      Spanish Flavours Wembley
      Shop 17/ 350 Cambridge St
      Wembley
      (08) 9284 1313

  23. Hi – great blog. From one Northbridge punter to another, check out The Bird on William St if you haven’t already. It’s an interesting alternative to the new small bars opening up around the place. A welcome addition.

  24. Hey Martin,

    I have heard that The Bird is the word of late, but haven’t been in yet. Do you know what the deal is with their license ? I still get the impression it’s on an invite only basis for most gigs, but it’s hard to tell. Can you just go in for a drink whenever ?

  25. Matt

    I read about the bar in the local ‘Commuity Voice’ paper and understand they had trouble securing their license initially. I think they were running gigs without selling alcohol and were covering costs on the door charge. Lisa Scaffidi got behind them apparently and they’re open for business now, with a 12am licence. We called in for a few drinks on Saturday night and assume you would just pay entry to any gig you want to see. I think they are a venue for the WAMI gigs this month.

  26. Hi Matt,

    I like your site! A very dear friend of mine is the sous chef at Gingerboy in Melbourne – your photos looked great!

    I originally wrote the comment below on a blog that was bagging you out (I guess one get’s used to that!)

    It has been my personal opinion for a while now that more than a few of the restaurants in Perth are having an identity crisis of sorts… Not to be too cliche, but more often than not it is the simple things that most people appreciate- and if the simple things are done uncommonly well – people are generally very pleased with the result… Particularly in our little corner of the world.

    It is with greater frequency that famous Modern Australian restaurants turn to molecular food on the menus, and although I appreciate the creative aspect and indeed the skill level – one can’t help but draw the conclusion that the wank-factor has taken such a simple pleasure as food too far.

    What is wrong with a meal consisting of say a premium quality scotch fillet – perfectly seasoned,cooked and rested served with a perfectly executed Royal Blue mash, some crisp green beans and finished with a well balanced bearnaise sauce?

    Most would say nothing.

    I operate a dinner party business which takes me into the homes of people from a wide range of backgrounds. These people are generally honest foody types who love the idea of having a chef cook them dinner instead of frequenting another wanky restaurant. They typically comment on restaurants like Star Anise and Jacksons (2 restaurants I have always admired) commenting with disapointment about the attitude of the elitist service staff and the fact the food looks “complicated to eat”. People have pride – and eating that kind of food can often cause them discomfort and anxiety – because they feel stupid not knowing what it is exactly they are looking at!

    I once worked with a chef called Bruce Chapman (Star Bistro/Lawless and Chapman) as a young apprentice, and he made a profound – but utterly simple comment that has stayed with me ever since….

    “The food should always speak for itself. We don’t need chervil!”

    Enough said.

    Ryan John
    Private Chef
    http://www.ryanjohn.com.au

  27. Hey stranger,
    Was just thinking of cooking risotto tonight and remember you said you had a good recipe or three. Anyway, hope you are well.
    Love Kimmy

  28. Hello Matt,

    We are wanting to post you an invite to a coffee event- can you please provide me with your postal address?

    thanks
    Claire

    1. Thanks Linda :) I’ve been seeing increasingly more people arrive via iPhones and the like, so I figured I’d try and make life a little easier for them. Cheers !

  29. Hi Matt, love your blog and photos. I just moved to Perth from Melbourne, so I’m on the lookout for great places to eat and drink. Look forward to future posts!

  30. I just met two great people from Australia, Matt and Marcela. I had a nice time in White House cafeteria, in Kandy chatting with you. Hope to see you again and welcome to Finland someday! Enjoy your time in Sri Lanka.

  31. OMG Matt!
    I love food, cooking and photography! your page combines it all, great work! keep going, I will follow :)
    my housemate and I have our own foodblog but have been slack lately….. this makes me wanna write again.

    what camera(s) do you use?
    awesome photos!
    Mimi

  32. I am so glad I found your blog. I love it! I too am a blogger currently living in the desert called. Dubai, we will be relocating permanently to Perth in December 2012. I hope there will be opportunities to meet up with you and other bloggers in the Perth area. It’s great that I will be able to check out your blog for great recommendations for eating out. Getting ourselves geared up for the big move in a years time. Very excited. We have visited Perth twice already and really love the place. It has a good feeling about it…..

  33. Hi Matt!

    What an amazing site you have here. Your photos are captivating and you have superior writing skills.

    I just added you to my blogroll for a quick reference because I am sure I will keep coming back. I will definitely look forward to more posts on caffeine. You appear to ahve elevated knowledge on the infamous morning buzz while I still rely on the ones bought from supermarkets.

    More power to your blog.
    Janis

    PS 30 something is not middle age. Just sayin’ :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Janis, though I fear you’ve reached this blog during one of my infamous lulls in post production. Stick around tho, it can’t last forever :)

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