Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sustainable prawns, at a price


I’m a prawn junkie. I love those little schoolies salt and spice rubbed and deep-fried to crispy perfection. Or king prawns skewered lengthwise, barbecued in their full body armour, and peeled to reveal plump, pink, almost steamed, flesh. Banana prawns dressed in Panko breadcrumbs, deep-fried and dipped in a chilli-kicked mango mayonnaise make me weak at the knees. I save prawn shells to make stock for tom yam goong (sour & spicy prawn soup) – my favourite Thai dish. But a generous handful of prawns cooked in a thick, rich, Indian butter curry is by far my guiltiest pleasure. Ah, yes, I love a good prawn.

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Filed under Food Issues, Sustainable Seafood Challenge

The World’s Best Street Food: review


Gastronomic travellers, listen up. If you’re looking for inspiration ahead of your next overseas jaunt, The World’s Best Street Food by Lonely Planet should stoke your appetite. It’s compiled by food writers from around the world and has an introduction by British food journalist Tom Parker Bowles who sets the stage for 100 recipes for “the most democratic food in the world”. Continue reading


Filed under Book Reviews

Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables: review


A review copy of Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables cookbook sat on my desk for several weeks before i eventually scooped it up as reading material for a short train ride. Once i started reading it, i damn near missed my stop.

To be honest, i wasn’t inspired to read a book about cooking vegetables. But something about this book – perhaps its solid cardboard, stark white cover with contrasting bright green snow peas etched on it – drew me, repeatedly, to look at it on my desk. I confess (i’m amongst friends, right?) that I even stroked the cover a few times: felt the black embedded lettering and the solidness of the book beneath my palm.

The time and thought invested in that cover paid off. It’s what lured me in. And like a friend i’ve cruelly mistreated, i’ve been trying to make amends to Mr Wilkinson – or Matt Wilkinson, the chef and owner of Melbourne eatery Pope Joan – ever since. Continue reading


Filed under Book Reviews

Deep freeze cleanse

When i was a child someone broke into my parents’ garage and cleaned out the chest freezer. It was a food heist. I kid you not. The scoundrel took off with the entire contents. We were a family of six, including a hungry bricklaying father, so the freezer was well stocked: legs of lamb, slabs of belly pork (as it was called in the north-east of England in its unfashionable days), sides of bacon, big bags of chicken portions, and a plethora of pork chops. The loss was so great that my parents filed an insurance claim. And someone made a quick quid by selling a stack of defrosted meat off the back of a lorry.  Continue reading


Filed under Reflections