Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Urban Cook’s sustainable challenge


Urban Cook: Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future

While Mark Jensen travelled Australia promoting his cookbook The Urban Cook: Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future some of us were at home putting it to the test.

I was originally drawn to the book by the recipe for leatherjacket oven-roasted with lemongrass and garlic, which subsequently featured in The Food Sage’s Sustainable Seafood Challenge.

Now I’ve cooked from all sections: vegetables; seafood; poultry; pork & lamb; beef & veal – except desserts, and give Urban Cook a sustained thumbs up.  Continue reading


Filed under Book Reviews

Small plates on cue at Coda


Hervey Bay scallop & pearl tapioca (photograph courtesy of Annabelle White)

If you are new in town and are slow to find your dining legs, the best restaurant recommendation you can probably get is from a local chef, restaurateur, or a food-mad front-of-house staff. So it was on a recent jaunt to Melbourne. We were snacking in the elegantly contemporary French restaurant Comme, and asked the restaurant manager’s advice about where to head next. He diligently directed us to Coda. Continue reading

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Filed under Restaurant Reviews

Stuffing squid sustainably


Fresh whole squid (iStockphoto)

If you’re anything like me your preparation of  squid has not far surpassed the ubiquitous salt and pepper, deep-fried variety, or marinated, char-grilled curls served with a wedge of lemon. While squid lends itself to long, slow cooking on a low heat i’d had not ventured beyond the ‘cook it quick, eat it quicker’ mentality that deep frying or barbecuing demands. Continue reading


Filed under Sustainable Seafood Challenge

Death of the degustation

I’m thinking of throwing the towel in. Degustation menus get the better of me every time. I get to the end of say the fourth small course (out of anywhere from six to eleven) and typically feel full.

And then there are all the additional tidbits thrown in for free. An amuse bouche, or selection of canapés to get the ball rolling; a palate cleanser or two to keep things ticking along; then a pre-dessert and petit fours flanking the central dessert course sandwich style. It all adds up to far too much food, frankly. Continue reading


Filed under Reflections

Berowra Waters Inn: a reflection


Berowra Waters Inn (Anson Smart)

There is something a little whimsical about standing on the bank of a river, waiting to be ferried with the love of your life to a waterside restaurant for lunch. So it was one recent Saturday. The clock had just ticked into afternoon, the autumnal sun was shining, and Berowra Waters Inn – on the stunning Hawkesbury River – was beckoning us from somewhere upstream.  Continue reading


Filed under Restaurant Reviews