Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tapping out a future in food writing

Future_food _writing

The future of food writing is technology driven and exciting (iStockphoto)

When a friend sent me the article Advice for Future Food Writers by Amanda Hesser I read it, thanked her for passing on the website link, then went to stick my head in the oven.

Okay, that last bit isn’t true. The oven is electric (gas stove top, thankfully). And it’s not as if Hesser’s argument – that it’s virtually impossible to make a living as a food writer and only going to get worse – was any great revelation. Continue reading


Filed under Reflections

From the mouths of food writers

Should food writers and recipe developers inform readers about sustainable food choices and ethical eating practices in the hope of fostering responsible consumerism? It’s a question I ask myself every time I see a celebrity chef spruiking a recipe for swordfish or a food critic salivating over a yellowfin tuna number they’ve encountered on the menu of a trendy eatery.

Should recipe writers guide readers towards more sustainable options, discuss alternative species, and help the reader make a more informed choice? Should food critics wax lyrical about exceptional dishes they have encountered if ingredients are unsustainable or unethically sourced, or bite their tongue? Continue reading


Filed under Food Issues

Balla’s star performance


Salumi at Balla, by Anson Smart

If there’s one thing i’d like to squeeze out of Gabriele Taddeucci, head chef at Stefano Manfredi’s Balla at Sydney’s The Star casino, it’s how to make the ‘nduja that he serves on wood-fired ciabatta with a dollop of rich, soft goats cheese.

For the uninitiated ‘nduja (pronounced en-doo-ya) is a traditional Southern Italian salami that is – wait for it … spreadable. That’s right folks. Forget the meat slicer, this oozy-schmoozy salami can be spread on bread, licked off fingers and – here’s something to lose sleep over – melted into soups and pasta sauces to give them a chilli smack not to be messed with.

I’ve dined at Balla a number of times – it’s one of the benefits of working across the road at Fairfax – but ‘nduja has proved a perennial sticking point. Since the first time i selected from the antipasti menu the charming trio, of which it is a member, i haven’t been able to resist it.

“Outrageous” is how my most recent dining partner described it. Outrageous it surely is.  Continue reading


Filed under Restaurant Reviews

Memorable holiday food moment: ping paa


Ping paa left and far right and various ping (grilled) meat centre

Ping paa – whole fish, stuffed with knotted stems of lemongrass, clamped between a bamboo device and grilled over hot coals at the night food market in Luang Prabang, Laos. Lemony, meltingly soft flesh – that we picked clean from the bones with plastic chopsticks – and crisp-thin, lightly charcoaled skin made this fish lip-smackingly scoffable. The stray cats that nudged our ankles and shared our spoils agreed.

What’s your most memorable holiday food moment?

Read more about Laotian food at Laos: a culinary trail.


Filed under Gastronomic Travels

French Ties: a review

Imagine, living in a restored chateau in the French countryside and indulging in daily rituals that revolve around food: collecting blackberries, bicycling to the bay tree in the grounds to collect leafy twigs and stockpiling the bike’s basket with cherries from the nearby tree. Or restoring the walled ‘potager’, or kitchen garden, and escaping to a market to gather supplies from the fromagerie, artisan baker and other producers, then returning with brimful baskets to enjoy a long Sunday lunch. Welcome to Jane Webster’s life, at least for part of the year. Continue reading


Filed under Book Reviews