Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

13
Aug
2012

Mundaring Truffle Festival 2012

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Another wonderful Truffle season is soon coming to an end. With every smile that accompanies the turn of the seasons from Winter to Spring, there is a corresponding sigh as there is nothing quite so satisfying as being fortified from a cold night outside by hearty food, robust wine, and intoxicating truffles…

The Mundaring Truffle Festival has become a staple event of my winter for quite a few years now, and this years was no different. I trundled up the hill to Mundaring on Saturday morning, expecting to have my ears and nose frozen off like normal, but instead found myself basking in the warm winter sun all day long.

Such a lovely way to spend the day tasting all the goodness on offer from stall after stall packed with truffle goodness.

After being greeted by the charmingly hirsute Earl of Maynooth (He was a character from a Sherlock Holmes novel, and I didn’t really get the connection, but he was a lovely man) we were pointed in the direction of great coffee courtesy of Re from European Foods. Coffee situation sorted we strolled down the boulevard of temptation and sampled their wares. Truffle infused pork dumplings from Jumplings, truffle risotto from Il Paiolo, Rabbit Spring rolls with truffle from Creative Catering, Beef ribs and morcilla from El Asador, a truffled apple tart from The Loose Box, and probably a bunch of others I’ve forgotten.

Perhaps my favourite part of the day however, was heading back into the kitchens for the truffle masterclass run by Guillaume Brahimi, Alain Fabrègues and Emmanuel Mollois. The three French chefs were at their finest on stage. Hamming it up and generally trying to outdo each other in raw Frenchness.

Alain was preparing a scallop entree, Guillaume a beef cheek main, and Emmanuel a tart tartin as you probably don’t know it.
So whilst they were out the front explaining the technique on stage, a small team of chefs were in the kitchens preparing the meals for the packed house of truffle fans.

Led by the head chef of the soon-to-be-open Bistro Guillaume at Burswood, alongside chefs from The Loose Box and Bistro des Artistes it was a formidable line up.

I did my best to stay out of their collective ways while scallops were sauteed rapid style, sauces and purees were blitzed and brought up to heat, and slow cooked meats were taken out of sous vide cocoons and slid onto plates with piping hot jus. Then virtually every plate finished with lashing of freshly shaved truffle.

If i hadn’t eaten earlier I probably would have died in that kitchen. A giant basket of truffles was carted around the pass tables and the smell of each successive truffle being shaved was enough to send my porcine senses into overdrive. I fortunately managed to keep it under control (ok, one or two scallops may have gone missing), and did my best to look respectable as the masters each took a turn of inspecting their respective dishes as they were being plated.

Then a small army of eager faced young wait staff marched dish after dish out to the tables. The flurry of excitement and energy lasting 20 minutes and then subsiding briefly til the next course was due to go out.

Many thanks to the Shire of Mundaring and the organisers for continuing to put on quality events year after year, and I look forward to my seasonal truffle treat next year all the more.

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06
Oct
2010

WABC 2011

Tamper
Photo by Jon Wilson

Once again we find ourselves on the precipice of a barista competition when it feels like no time at all has gone by since the last one.
But yes folks, it is happening again. The finest of Perth’s coffee scene will put their espresso, latte art, and cup tasting skills to the test in another huge weekend of specialty coffee action.

We’ll be running the WA heats of the AASCA Barista, Latte Art, and Cup Tasting Championships.

When: November 6th and 7th
Where: Perth Town Hall, Cnr Hay St & Barrack St, Perth
Why: To show once and for all who has what it takes to be crowned the best barista in WA.

If you’d like to compete then head across to the website now:

Enter Barista Championships

Enter Latte Art

Enter Cup Tasting

30
Sep
2010

Silvana Coffee Cocktails @ 399

1/4 of an Espresso Martini Macca drops the flame

Espresso and Alcohol. Such a tantalising but deadly combination of stimulant and depressant pitted together in a vicious battle for who can do more damage to your sleep patterns. It’s not too often that I feel the limits of either my espresso or alcohol consumption tested (which is not to say I abuse either). But this little event held at 399 bar, an initiative of Silvana coffee, left my head in a state more akin to a Sunday morning after the worlds biggest bender.

Which is not to say that any of it wasn’t delicious, because it definitely was. Macca and Gary from 399 were mixing up espresso martinis, blazers made with 15 year old Glenfiddich whisky and inflused with coffee and cinnamon, and then to finish off, a coconut sorbet with limoncello over the top. Tom Wearne of European Foods Coffee Education Centre was also there behind the espresso machine, pumping out shots of Silvana and reprising his signature drink from the W.A Barista Competition last year, this time with the wonderful addition of chambord, which seemed to make the rest of the drink come alive that little bit more.

There was a who’s that of local food and coffee types around, and along with Mr Cafe Grendel, A slightly tipsy but holding it together Karen Cheng, and myself, a nice contingent of bloggers too.

We were excellently hosted by John Ferrari and Catherine Natale of European Foods who were showing off the new Silvana Exclusive blend of coffee they’ve put together, and food and cocktails flowed freely from the ever cool kids of 399.

A little tip for the casual punter though. If you’re going drink a near endless stream of coffee cocktails, each one with at least a shot of espresso in them. Be prepared to have a fitful sleep and some of the craziest dreams you’ve ever imagined, or perhaps just plan not to sleep for a week and have a couple more.

Reanne from SPICE MagazineTotally prescription glassesEspresso Blazer baseMacca drops the flameThis girl I keep running intoThe line upPost BlazeGazzaNice jugsCocktail contemplationA cautious sipperKaren Cheng !1/4 of an Espresso MartiniNat dishes the sorbetLimoncelloRows of shotsMacca - at your serviceTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso CocktailTom's Baby Espresso Cocktail
17
Aug
2010

Slow Food Perth: Food sovereignty discussion

Slow Food Perth will join with Christ Church Grammar School’s ethics centre to present a forum entitled ‘Food sovereignty: what’s on your plate?’ at the school in Claremont on 24 August 2010 at 7.30pm

The panel will include:
Frank Sheehan – Priest & Christ Church Grammar School chaplain
Anthony Georgeff – Journalist and editor of Spice magazine
Dr. Felicity Newman – Academic, lecturer in food and culture at Murdoch University
Annie Kavanagh – Farmer, from Spencers Brook farm in the Avon Valley
Max Trenorden – Parliamentarian, Nationals leading Member for the Agricultural Region & chairman of the Australian Landcare Council
Kim Chance – Former Labor minister for Agriculture and Food (2001-2008).

Food sovereignty’ – the right of local people to decide what they grow and eat.

A burgeoning interest in knowing where your food comes from – who grows it, is it local, and how it’s grown – together with a heightened awareness of the cost of ‘food miles’ and the effect of genetic modification in staple crops, is encouraging support for local farmers’ markets and prompting questions at the local butcher

Date/Time: Tuesday 24th August 7.30pm- 9pm

Venue: Christ Church Grammar School, Chapel

Costs: Gold coin donation to Anglicare

14
Aug
2010

The trouble with truffles

Truffle risotto arancini

Is that you can never afford to eat enough of them.

The above photo is what became of some left over truffle risotto made at the Slow Food Perth food piazza stand during the 2010 Mundaring Truffle Festival, and comprise perhaps the most expensive arancini (recipe below) the world has ever seen.

The festival was a big weekend. I personally stirred 24 kg of truffle risotto into existence, and have a right arm the size of Popeye to prove it. I would have loved to be posting lots of other photos of amazing truffle goodness from the festival but spending most of my time in the Slow Food Perth tent I didn’t get to annoy as many people with my camera as I have in previous years. Idle hands and all that, it was probably for the best.

It was an interesting event anyway, with a who’s who of local Perthonality chefs bringing their kitchens up to the festival to wow ever growing crowds of gourmet food fans with their wares.

I enjoyed the variety of foods and some of the amazing things people has created (Emmanuelle Mollois’ truffle macaron for one) and it’s always interesting to see the looks on peoples faces when given the opportunity to try truffles for the first time. “So that’s what it tastes like!” is the common theme.

Personally that’s the best thing about the festival for me. Seeing people who would never have had a chance to try truffles presented them in a way that’s affordable and accessible, so they can make up their own minds as to whether they’re worth $3000 per kg or not.

Slow Food Perth did a fantastic job over the weekend. With a tent to educate kids about food (where apples originated, the history of wheat and how to make fresh pasta), and in the food tent Terra Madre delegates were cooking up a storm. Turning out pizza, mushrooms and porchetta from the wood fired oven and truffle risotto, polenta, and Blackwood Valley beef rolls with truffle butter.

Hopefully next years event can keep hold of the organic community roots that made it such a unique event on the Perth food calendar.

...Riso CarnaroliAdam on polentaArm workMushroom girlSlow Food PerthSlow Food Perth stallHermanoWarren of Blackwood Valley BeefPorchettaSecret lives of critics talkTruffle risotto arancini

Truffle Arancini (or regular arancini)

First I should say that you should never make a risotto solely to turn it into arancini, unless you’re a caterer or a sadist (arguably the same thing) it’s just a waste of good risotto. If however, you are already making risotto, just use a little more rice and end up with more than you need, that way you can enjoy your risotto and have a guilt free path to arancini left overs the next day.

So to make truffle risotto arancini above you basically take a whole pile of cold truffle risotto, some small balls of bocconcini or fresh mozzarella, flatten a layer of risotto onto the palm of your hand, place a piece of cheese in the centre, and wrap the risotto around the cheese. Then roll it into a ball, dip it into a beaten egg, and roll it in breadcrumbs.

Shallow fry in olive oil or deep free in vegetable oil til golden brown, then drain onto absorbent paper and leave to rest so you don’t burn your mouth off when you try to eat one.

The result should be a delicious crunchy exterior and a cheesy truffle risotto interior that gently coats your mouth with goodness.