2008 WA Web Awards Dinner

* Beef fillet with wilted greens, pancetta wrapped asparagus and potato gratin stack

Excuse the break in the custard like flow of posts about Europe for this little bit of news from the home front.

I was recently fortunate enough to be nominated as a finalist in the WA Web Awards, and funnily enough actually came away with the winning entry in the blog category for this year. Yay blogs ! This explains the new little piece of bling on the sidebar of the site, and the new found skip in my step (that my real work is slowly trying to crush out of me).

The awards night was a rather lavish affair held at the UWA Club, on the grounds of my lovely former university, where I spent far too long doing very little, and rarely anything that could be even remotely considered good eating (unless you have a penchant for mock chicken pies in dubious creamy sauces).

Nothing quite so horrid on display at this event though. I started in style arriving by limo with many salubrious members of the Perth web and twitter community. Getting things going with some tasty and some not so tasty sparkly bubbles.

Table top goodness

Then on to the event to be greeted with two of my favourite things. Complimentary wine, and classic table top arcade games with endless credits ! After a brief smackdown with the ever dexterous Luis, I realised I had met my match at Galaga, but still reigned supreme at Miss Pacman (You can draw your own conclusions as to what that means).

On to the events. Before we’d even had a bite to eat the first categories were drawn. The student prize and then the blog category. A slight sense of dread coming over me as I heard my name called out, realising that I had no speech prepared whatsoever. Fortunately a few glasses of champagne and a general ability to talk crap on command served me right, and after thanking my designer Teresa, and pondering that I never thought I’d win an award for being a bad dinner guest… It was back to the business of eating.

Tomato soup

The soup course was fairly bland to be honest. The two choices of pumpkin soup and tomato soup were fairly safe, but I guess you’d call them sure fire classics. Once I’d added a fair dose of salt and pepper to my pumpkin soup it was quite tasty. Though a vaguely unsettling creamy concoction constantly threatened to settle on the top if I left it alone for too long. The tomato soup I tried was a little more robust, which what tasted like actual tomatoes in it (always a good sign a large catered events).

A few more awards and lots of claps and LOL’s. The 5 Senses crew taking out both categories they were finalists in. An excellent effort for Jordan their web developer and the rest of the crew responsible for feeding the info through on the site.

Mains were then served, and although I’m not sure I actually got a choice in the matter, ended up with the steak. Now cooking at large functions is hard. Cooking well at large functions is even harder. Cooking steak well at large functions is nigh on impossible, and in my brief career as an awards night attendee has never actually happened. Until this night.

Beef fillet with wilted greens, pancetta wrapped asparagus and potato gratin stack

Imagine my joy when after being presented with the next available dish by an overworked wait staff, I cut in to reveal a perfectly cooked medium rare piece of beef fillet. It was served with some pancetta wrapped asparagus that had both bite and flavour, and a little stack of potato gratin, that made a lovely cheesy accompaniment. The other option for the night was a salmon fillet, which I didn’t get to try, but the ones next to me looked great too. The vegetarian option looked good too, and not the standard vegetarian lasagne mess that so often discerning vegos are forced to choke down.

Mini Pavlova dessert

Finally, dessert was a stack of mini pavlovas with a berry couli and a little chocolate stick. Light airy, and with a casual mashmallowy texture. Everything a good pavlova should be, without the dreaded moisture sapping dryness that can so often afflict this classic dish loved by Kiwis and Aussies alike (though we all know who came up with it :) ).

The night didn’t end there of course. A round of 5 Senses brewed coffee and as much more wine as could be haggled from the staff who had probably had enough of a few hundred rowdy nerds by that point, and it was time to hit the town. Sated by what can only be described as a marvellous achievement in large scale dining.

So thanks for everyone who continues to come back to this site, despite my complete inability to stick to any kind of schedule, and I hope I can continue to produce things that you all like to read, however badly worded and inappropriately punctuated they, may be… :)

A few things of note

Just a little note on a few things that are happening in the food blogosphere.

  1. A Menu For Hope – This is popping up on virtually every food website in the world, and so just to be different, here it is on mine too. It’s an idea created by Pim of Chez Pim to raise money for the United Nations – World Food Programme, by raffling off prizes donated by food bloggers the world over and giving the proceeds to the programme. Last year $17,000 was raised, and this year looks to be much bigger. Check out Helen’s site for full details of how people in Australia can participate.
  2. The Food Blog Awards have been announced over at the Well Fed Network. I may or may not be in the running for one of the categories, but if anyone should deign my little excuse for a blog as worthy of another, then feel free to drop my name.
  3. Spam – an unfortunate part of life online is spam… and just lately I’ve been getting slammed by it. Over 3000 spam comments in the space of a few hours almost brought my site down for a while, and there doesn’t seem to be much let up. To try and combat that I’ve installed a few extra wordpress plugins, and upped the level on all my spam detection radars, so if you’re having trouble posting comments or viewing the site in general, please let me know by email and I’ll try and sort it out. On a completely unrelated note, if anyone needs some all natural hoodia or cialis, I may know where you can find some…