Friday, 6 June 2014

tasty cakes

When your friends are exceptional, they deserve an equally exceptional cake for their birthday. Inspired by our very own exceptional friend and Friday Arvos co-host Sweetie, here are three places perfect for purchasing aforementioned birthday deliciousness.

1. Lorraine's Patisserie 

Lorraine Godsmark is a patissier with a pedigree that rivals most. She of Pott's Point's beloved Yellow, of Neil Perry's Perry's and Rockpool and more, one of Sydney's most respected pastry king pins opened a small patisserie in the Ivy complex in 2013. A must stop when in the CBD for her famed marscapone cake, layered with coconut dacquoise and sliced strawberries, her super light New York-style cheesecake, or the one and only, copied-a-million-times date tart.

Shop 5, Palings Lane, 320 George St Sydney NSW 2000
9254 8009

2. Sadhana Kitchen 

Raw. Vegan. Some may baulk at the idea while others obsess (quite frankly, I'm somewhere in the middle). On the up side, Sadhana's cakes (made to order) are an interesting take on indulging, and super pretty and a little virtuous to boot. Just remember that raw vegan food is super nutrient it doesn't necessarily mean you should eat more!

147 Enmore Road Enmore NSW 2024
9516 1334

3. Flour & Stone 

Worth the trip if only for the best lammington you'll ever eat, Flour & Stone makes the kinds of cakes you mother did. Or at least, wish she did. From lemon drizzle to a triple layer sponge cake with cream and raspberry and the chocolate, buttermilk and raspberry we're about to eat live on air, Flour & Stone is old school. In the best way possible.

53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
8068 8818 

Monday, 31 March 2014

How to be....a food magazine editor

Next up in our FBi Starter Series; Melanie Hansche.

Managing editor of Donna Hay Magazine, passionate Bavarian, persistent baker and pork tragic (it goes with the aforementioned Bavarian-ness, apparently). Here are her tips, should you want to follow in her footsteps:

1. Look out for advertised 'editorial coordinator' roles to get your foot in the door at a magazine or publisher. And as a pre-cursor to that, you don’t necessarily have to have studied communications or journalism – an arts degree is fine if you have a flair for writing and communicating and little portfolio you’ve built up writing for your uni newspaper. An internship or work experience in publishing while you were at uni will help, too. Pick the magazines you want to work on, but be flexible and keep an open mind – if a job comes up at a small publisher, take it. It’s at the smaller publishing houses where you invariably be given the widest range of tasks and get the greatest exposure to the entire publishing process (part and parcel of working in small companies to small budgets). The editorial coordinator basically supports the day-to-day operation of the editorial team – it’s more or less and admin role. You’re the point of contact for internal and external enquiries, you process invoices, deal with reader queries and do any admin work to support the editor. The coordinator is usually given a page or two in the magazine to look after, such a product or style or news page to call in product for and write small amounts of copy. The editor will generally start you off on small amounts of writing and subediting, proofing or fact-checking copy. The better and more confident you get, the more writing you will get. Most coordinators are in their jobs for around 18 months to 2 years before they move into other roles at the magazine such as a junior staff writer or a junior subeditor.

 2. Be prepared to work your way through the editorial hierarchy So once you jump into those junior roles, that’s when you start gaining your experience and earning your stripes. The typical trajectory is a couple of years as a writer or subeditor, then a deputy chief-subeditor, then a chief-subeditor, a deputy or features editor and finally a managing editor or editor-in-chief. Once you are in the cycle and in the system, it’s easier to jump around between magazines and between publishers. You can really go down two paths – as a subeditor where you will be checking copy, rewriting, checking facts, as well as fixing grammar and spelling. As a writer you will be pitching stories, writing features and writing sections of the magazines. You may be angling toward becoming a features editor or deputy editor. For food editors the trajectory will be a bit different. You’ll have done a commercial cookery course at TAFE or an apprenticeship or spent a few years in commercial kitchens. You also need a sense of brand and writing recipes for an audience – not everyone who works in a kitchen can write a recipe. You will most likely get your start in a test kitchen as a junior or as an assistant and work your way up from there. Look out for junior test kitchen positions or assisting on shoots.

3. Be a competent cook and know your way around a recipe or you're curtains. I know this sounds really obvious but you’d be surprised by how many people say they want to do this job because they love to eat or go out to restaurants. It’s not enough to be good at eating or to be a glutton – you need to know how to cook in order to edit a recipe and be a good food writer. You need a knack to be able to read the food landscape and see what the trends are, what’s happening in the economy, and how people are eating out in order to form your editorial content strategy. And increasingly to be successful at a food magazine and at any magazine, you have to be digitally savvy – content creation happens across all different mediums. You have to be commercially savvy to attract advertisers and you also need to be good with people to manage and lead a team. Follow Mel Hansche as @melhansche on Instagram.

Friday, 7 March 2014


The Friday Delicious Starter Series

Over the next few weeks, we're going to meet from a number of self starters in the food industry, from pub owners to bars, restaurants and cafes, if you've ever wondered what it's like to crack the market and open your own place, you should tune in. 

We thought we'd kick off the series by sharing with you a few things I've learned about being a food writer and communicator, as I receive a couple of emails every few weeks, asking me if I'd like an intern, or can impart tips on how I managed to end up doing what I do.

On evolving from a blog to a published food writer:

1. Having a blog doesn't make you a food writer. It makes you a person who's smart enough to set up a Blogger/Wordpress account. You are not a publisher, an editor, or a writer. Yet. Instead, think of a blog as an opportunity to practice your writing and editing. As a writer, I can certainly say that I was pretty rubbish when I started. I started writing a blog for a digital ad agency I worked for in order to find out more about the space and how to utilise it in an advertising sense for commercial clients, and because I needed to generate content, I had to do it regularly and consistently. That's a great way to practicing your writing - and the fact that anyone can read it is a great self monitoring mechanism. 

2. Don't expect it to be your full time job. Jobs as food writers are highly coveted, generally don't pay very well and don't come up very often. It's healthy to have ambition, but don't expect that you're becoming a food writer to do it as a full time job - it so rarely becomes that. Find a job and an employer who is flexible enough to understand you have extra curricular interests, and that way, you can freelance until you have a better idea of where you'll fit in the scheme of things. 

3. Listen to your editor. They're full of great advice and feedback, like overusing certain words, expanding your vocabulary and never forgetting who you're writing for (the reader). Take critical feedback with grace and you will learn a helluva lot about being a better writer and a better thinker. 


Keep asking people for help. People are generally really open and generous with you if your intentions are true. Find people who inspire you, or whom you aspire to be like, and get in their grill. 

That's it for now - stay tuned to FBi Radio every Friday at 5pm to hear more on The Starter Series from incredible and inspiring people from the Sydney food scene. 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Down by the water: Sydney 2013/14

While this Sydney weather shows no signs of consistency, one thing is true: the water is warm, the humidity is off the charts, and it's time to head to the beach. Truth be known, beachside eats have never really been Sydney's strongpoint (save Bondi Icebergs and North Bondi Italian, R.I.P the latter), so it's a delight to see beach/adjacent dining lifting its game. Two will open in the coming weeks, so here's a chance to get a waterfront seat on what's happening in Sydney this summer. 

1. Watson's Bay Hotel Beach Bar

It seemed that in 2013, nothing old in Sydney is beyond a bit of a reboot. Not even in the most established of establishment suburbs. The Watson's Bay Hotel has had a bit of a spit and polish of its own, and the beer garden has, in true Sydney form, been rebranded a 'beach club'. Featuring new and fancy typography and a menu that boasts seasonal, fresh coastal food including chilli mud crab for two, substantial salads, grilled seafood and (our favourite) ice cream sundaes, it may not win any awards in the food calibre stakes, but then again, it doesn't really need to. With a location as stunning as this, it's just great to see an establishment realising it shouldn't rest on the view alone, and so lifting its game on the food and bevvy front means that pretty much everything you take in, is a pleasure. Or at least, that's the goal. 

1 Military Road, Watson's Bay, NSW02 9337 5444

Mon – Sat 10am – 12amSundays 10am – 10pmBreakfastMon – Sun 7am – 10amLunch & DinnerMon – Fri 11.30am – lateSat & Sun 11am – 4pm / 5pm – late

2. Papi Chulo (opening NYE 2013)

Across the water and far away (from FBi) lies a golden and magical land named Manly. For those lucky enough to live nearby, or brave the trek to Sydney's Northern Beaches, you're in for a treat, come NYE 2013. Papi Chulo is set to open in the space that once held the much lauded Manly Pavilion where The Apollo chef Johnny Barthelmess once held post. If you're a fan of barbecue (and in this country, it's almost seditious if you are not), then Papi Chulo is for you. Inspired by the deep south of northern America, the cuisine is inspired by pit perfection - think succulent meats, smoked and barbequed into submission, unapologetically bold cocktails and spiced flavours a-go-go. Dishes destined to be favourites include smoked maple black pepper pork belly, prawn and scallop cerviche with chilli, mango and coconut and an epic sandwich menu sure to satisfy. To quote the most bogan American of them all, Guy Fieri, this is flavour town, bitches. 

22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly, NSW

Monday to FridayLunch: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner: 5:30pm - 10.30pmReduced menu available 3:00pm - 5.30pm
Saturday11.30am - 10.30pm
Sunday11:30am – 9.00pm

3. North Bondi Fish

Sadly, the iconic North Bondi Italian is no more (though nobody misses the attitudinal staff and the haphazard service). Certainly countless aspiring restaurant moguls have been salivating over the prospect of getting their hands on one of Sydney's most beautiful locations, but the cards are down and the winner is Matt Moran. North Bondi Fish is precisely what it says it is - it's about free and easy food, obviously seafood driven, and naturally, with a sunset location like this, there's a cocktail list worthy of any blinged out kaftan-wearing blonde. Drop in for a fish burger and an Aperol spritz, or several courses of charcoal-grilled seafood and a cold glass of something crisp and white. North Bondi Italian it ain't. But that's not a bad thing. 

Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi

12- Midnight Tuesday to Sunday from February 3, 2013. 

FBi SMAC Awards 2013: Best Eats

BEST EATS – Presented by Two Thousand

It was a tough call, but here are our FBi SMAC Awards finalists for Best Eats 2013. Today is the last opportunity to vote, so if you love your eats, and your local is a finalist, VOTE NOW

Brickfields BEST EATS (Presented by Two Thousand)BRICKFIELDS

From the crew who brought you Mecca Espresso, Brickfields burst onto the Chippendale foodscape early in 2013, and with it came a sigh of relief from locals in the area. The bakery cafe is a ‘thing’ we’ve seen a bit of this year: part bakery, part cafe, part coffee bar, all good. Featuring excellent bready smells, a menu that makes the most of expertly produced pastries and artisan breads and perfectly roasted coffee, Brickfields is the kind of place you wished you had at the end of your street… and lucky you if that happens to be true in your case. Website

Cafepaci BEST EATS (Presented by Two Thousand)CAFE PACI

Cafe Pacifico: cue drunken flashbacks of too much cheap tequila, cheesy Baha-style Mexican, and well, too much cheap tequila. Flash forward to 2013, Pasi Petanen, the chef’s chef, and one of the most respected quiet achievers in the Australian restaurant industry, takes on the space – doomed to be demolished in the next 18 months or so. Bold move? Certainly. Genius concept? Absolutely. In a sea of restaurants opening and closing like so many nyctinastic flowers, Cafe Paci has the right idea. A compelling dining concept, with a limited lifespan. Transforming the space into a sleek, Scandinavian temple of dining, the experience is at once refined and intelligent, as it is fun, and damned tasty. It’s modern high calibre dining as it should be; artful and creative, but not so serious that it can’t poke a little fun at itself. Website

Ester BEST EATS (Presented by Two Thousand)ESTER RESTAURANT AND BAR

Chippendale. So hot right now. Seriously, with seasoned operators like Ester (brought to you by the guys responsible for 121BC, Berta and Vini) in the neighbourhood, Chippendale’s stocks just jumped a little higher. It may be a newcomer this year, but from the get go, the atmosphere, experience and the food feel like an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. There’s soul. There’s personality. There’s a wood fired oven from which many of the dishes have been cooked, and it is GOOD. Head chef Matt Lindsay has a knack of making food that you want to eat… that may sound like a simple enough concept, but in a land filled with pretenders, foams, soils and skid marks, Ester cranks out the kind of dining experience you want to have again, and again, and again. Website

InTheAnnex BEST EATS (Presented by Two Thousand)IN THE ANNEX

When Lee Tran Lam calls a dish ‘The Ryan Gosling of Desserts’, you owe it to yourself to go and check out what all the fuss is about. Everything about In The Annex tends to surprise and delight: everything is never as it would appear. A side of avo emerges in a bloom of radish petals and arcs of green, seemingly simple menu descriptions appear as works of art on the table… and all this before noon. The chef, Joey Astorga, was last seen plating up latino spiked fare at short lived El Capo in Surry Hills – and there is something to be said about restaurant chefs taking to more casual surrounds. Like Mary’s in Newtown under Luke Powell, In The Annex represents a win for Forest Lodge, and a new bar for cafe eats.

Marys BEST EATS (Presented by Two Thousand)MARY’S

What’s not to like about a dimly lit bordello of fast food indulgence created by some of the best (and most depraved) people in the Sydney restaurant and bar scene? From bottles of Jack Daniels swinging from the ceiling in the form of upcycled light fixtures, to a seriously smart wine list, and fried chicken to cry to your mama about, Mary’s is the perfect amount of “Fuck it, let’s just make it fun” mixed with the kind of attention to detail you only get when people are seriously awesome at what they do. From proper, sloppy American burgers, to mashed potato and gravy that might need to come with a side of ‘defibrillator’, Mary’s is raucous, unapologetic, and most of all, fun.