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Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

Sometimes when travelling for work this is close as I get to the city I’m in;

the view from the hotel window…

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Last week was a great week. How often do you get to meet your literary and culinary heroes in the space of seven days?

On Sunday March 6 I finally met author Armistead Maupin, creator of the Tales of the City series. I own all of his books and have been lucky enough to interview him twice. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Armistead when he visited Perth in 2007 due to being overseas, so the chance to hear him speak at the Perth Writers Festival about his latest book Mary Ann in Autumn was not to be missed.

Nor was the chance to have a book (or two) signed – and a photo.

 

Meeting Armistead Maupin

 

I’m re-reading the original Tales of the City book for book club this month. It has been a long time  – close to 20 years, since I first became acquainted with Mary Ann Singleton, Michael Tolliver and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, so I look forward to renewing their acquaintance.

In my dream world, I’d get to see the musical of version of Tales that opens in San Francisco in May.

On Saturday March 12, I got to meet Nigella Lawson, whose cooking I adore. While some may focus on the fluttering eyelashes, sultry looks and flicking of the hair, all I really care about is Nigella Lawson’s food.

How to be a Domestic Goddess is probably my most used cook book. Nigella’s blueberry muffins, jam doughnut muffins, Victoria sponge, dense chocolate loaf are all favourites that never fail to appeal and to impress friends, family, kids and colleagues. Simply delicious.

Although I may have been able to organise an interview with Nigella through her pay-TV connections, the weekend trip to see her Masterclass with the supremely funny muso turned celebrity chef Anna Gare was pure pleasure. A chance to head to Melbourne for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and for a short while forget about TV.

 

Meeting the domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson

Meeting the domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson

 

My husband wasn’t entirely thrilled to be attending the Masterclass (tickets were hard to come by so when I managed to get through back in October I snapped up two) but he quite enjoyed himself.

He reckons he may even cook Anna’s Persian fillet of beef. I said I’d do the scallop ceviche, upside down potato salad and trip of tarts to go with it.

It has been a great month for foodies, with March featuring both #eatdrinkperth and #mfwf (I’m so used to those hashtags) and plenty of opportunities to eat.

I’ll soon, hopefully, get round to posting a few pix from the places we ate in Melbourne including Movida Next Door, Cumulus Inc, Bistro Vue and Circa The Prince. I may not have made it to many official #mfwf events but I did my best to eat in as many Age hatted restaurants as I could.  And we walked just about everywhere so that helped keep the extra kilos at bay!

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There’s no point having a blog if you don’t update it regularly so on my recent track record, I should be thinking about closing this site down.

Working full-time, watching preview DVDs at night, doing interviews as early as 6am and raising a family leaves me with little time to update this but I am going to have another crack.

There’s also the issue of public versus private. How much do I reveal here now my face is in the paper most days of the week? Do I even need this as an outlet?

For starters I am going to post a few links to stories that have been in The West.

Last week I chatted to Dr Andrew Rochford for The 7pm Project’s special report on the state of mental health funding.

I also recently chatted to Bondi Vet and all round nice guy Dr Chris Brown

Chaser performer and writer Chris Taylor took time out from shooting to talk about The Chaser’s new series Yes We Canberra! although my byline seems to have fallen off this one.

All in all it has been a busy couple of months, with a flying set visit to Melbourne in June that allowed me the opportunity to squeeze in a meal at Grossi Florentino.

Over the coming months this blog is likely to become more food focussed as I leave my TV commentary to the newspaper and Twitter.

So, having just backed up my iPhone, let’s start with a few foodie pics.

Inspired by MasterChef and my sweet tooth I have been trying macarons from just about everywhere, though I am still hanging out to get to Sydney to visit Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie.

Here are some recent purchases, top to bottom, from Jean-Pierre Sancho in Perth and Cafe Vue in Melbourne. I can’t seem to find any photos of macarons from Choux so will add them later. And I was about to upload one of Rochelle Adonis’ chocolate macarons when it disappeared.

Photos backed up from my iPhone seem to be appearing in totally random order, not by date taken. Frustrating!

Macaron Madness - macarons from Jean Paul Sancho, Perth

Macaron Madness - macarons from Jean-Pierre Sancho, Perth

Macarons from Cafe Vue, Melbourne

Macarons from Cafe Vue, Melbourne

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Seven has just announced another new light entertainment show for 2010.

The White Room will be a new comedy game show “that celebrates everything Australians love about television” (hmmm – very broad statement that is!)

It’s an original format developed by Seven and will feature ” two teams of well-loved TV faces, established comedians and some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talents”. Let’s hope they are not the same dozen or so we see on the Ten panel shows…

Contestants will be quizzed, challenged, poked and prodded about TV shows and TV stars. Hey, that’s my forte. I wish I was a celebrity, then I could enter :-)

It will be hosted by comedians and broadcasters Tony Moclair and Julian Schiller. Who?

Tony and Julian have according to the Seven news release “worked together for over 15 years on television and were the force behind radio programs The Crud Show and Restoring The Balance”. Oh yes, those show. Huh?

The release continues “Julian is currently the host of the number 1 FM breakfast show in Adelaide, on Nova 919, and Tony is appearing on the Hot Breakfast team on Triple M in Melbourne.”

Actually, I do know Julian – he has been one of the better regulars on Ten’s 7pm Project. Not for much longer I suspect.

Anyone else think this sounds a wee bit like Talkin’ About Your Gen?

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The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse, 100 St Georges Tce

While on a roll, I thought it would be timely to upload a couple of snaps of one of Perth’s newest and most innovative cafes.

The Greenhouse finally gives people a reason to visit St Georges Tce after working hours.

No point trying to explain the concept in its entirety here when you can go to the Greenhouse website. In a nutshell, the sustainable cafe idea started in Melbourne and has been reconstructed at 100 st Georges Tce outside the new Enex 100 shopping  complex.

I mistakenly thought the cafe was on the roof of Enex 100, which it isn’t. Strangely there’s not even a sign in the Enex arcades pointing to it.

To find the Grenhouse from Hay Street, make sure to go down to the Woolworths level and exit onto st Georges Tce. Then you won’t be able to miss it – or the lush green walls made from strawberry plants in terracotta pots (hmm, will passersby pinch the berries as they ripen, one wonders?)

The food menu seems geared toward the grazing/tapas style being favoured by small bars and I look forward to getting back to try the lamb koftas one afternoon or evening.

Although the cafe is smack in the middle of the Terrace, it is also family friendly – we visited on a Saturday afternoon with kids in tow. There was a baby in a pram at an adjacent table and I spotted a bright red high chair.

Having just tried the yum cha in the upmarket food court at Enex, we were only up for coffee and sweets. We ordered the meringue and coconut and pineapple tart, at $8 and $8.50.

Meringue and fruit

Meringue

 

The meringue was served on a thick passionfruit curd with a custard-like texture, with cream tucked inside the crisp shell.

Fresh pieces of kiwifruit, strawberry and mango were served in a jam jar on the side…hence my description of deconstructed pavlova. It was the perfect mix of sweet and tart flavours and soft and crunchy textures. It was also better value than the coconut and pineapple tart which was served warm and didn’t seem like much more than a caramelised pineapple ring on puff pastry.

After leaving I realised there was an outside staircase and what appeared to be speakers on the upper garden deck, which I imagine may open in the evenings when things are busier – in addition to providing the kitchen with fresh herbs.

We’ll be back to check out the breakfast menu – how can you resist taking kids to a cafe that offers free range, organic Margaret River eggs with soldiers?

The Greenhouse is open Monday to Saturday from 7am.

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