Friday, 19 September 2014

Life ain’t no picnic…or is it?

FBi Radio, Friday 19th September 2014

Now that the weather is playing ball, Sydney is all about getting out there and enjoying our stellar collection of parks, beaches and other public spaces. And what’s better than packing a picnic lunch, a bottle of wine and a rug and getting amongst it with friends or a loved one? If your name isn’t Yogi Bear, there are a couple of handy people and places you can call on who will either pull a picnic together for you, or make it about as easy as it’s going to get to do it yourself:

Sydney Picnic Co.

With a name that kind of says it all, Sydney Picnic Co is the lovechild of real life couple Simon and Natalie, whose combined skill set of food, wine and good design means that their picnics are not only delicious, but purrrdy. There is a host of picnic baskets that’ll please even the fussiest of eaters, but we like the Sydney Picnic:

Australian king prawns with lime & Sichuan salt & pepper
Chorizo, tomatoes, goat’s curd, roast almonds & parsley
Fregola with free range roast chicken, chilli, spring onions, mint, green olives, lemon & toasted pepitas
Le Dauphin served with crackers
Organic Sourdough baguette
Valrhona chocolate brownies with roast almonds & sour cherries

Picnics are made for two, but can be created for groups on request and picnics can either be picked up or delivered to you.

Pop Up Picnic

Channelling all the style of old 50’s school wicker picnic baskets, Pop Up Picnic is not only super cool looking, but completely recyclable and compostable. Each cardboard picnic basket contains everything you need for a good time, including a rug, plates, cutlery, stemless champagne flutes…and did we mention the basket folds out into a nifty table? Picnics can also be delivered direct to your picnic spot for ultimate convenience, but we say this is one picnic basket you’re going to want to tote yourself.

The antipasto basket:

Sonoma bread
Antipasto including charcuterie, cheese and marinated grilled veg
A selection of delicious salads
Sparkling water

Queen Street, Woollahra

Ok, so this is a little more DIY, but if you’ve a basket, a rug and a bottle of wine then all you really need to do is take a stroll along Queen Street in Woollahra and pick up the rest. From epic meatery Victor Churchill, pick up a slice of pork and duck terrine, a selection of immaculately sliced charcuterie, then wander down and pick up a roast chicken from Chargrill Charlie’s, and fresh salads in perfect portion sizes at Queen Street Deli. Top it all off with a few baked goods from Luxe Bakery and you’re golden.

Friday, 12 September 2014

FBi Radio Friday 12 September 2014

Given the fact that 'food' and 'words' are the basis by which I live my life, it would be a bit of an epic fail for me not to give big ups to Food & Words, a festival in its third year, celebrating those two things in equal measure. Spearheaded by Barbara Sweeney, beloved food industry stalwart and a quiet but formidable industry behind some of Sydney's highest profile events (including the Sydney International Food Festival among others), the festival is a celebration for people who are interested in cookbooks, food and writing. The one day festival brings together some heavy hitters in the Australian food and restaurant industry, from Christine Manfield to the legendary (and not to be trifled with) Gay Bilson and a host more. 

From the Food & Words website (

What you get when you buy a ticket is:

o 12 speakers who inspire with short sharp talks on food
The chance to mingle with people who are immersed in and curious about food
Great food from Bistro Mint at morning and afternoon tea
Three-course picnic lunch from Mike McEnearney’s new book, Kitchen By Mike, plus a glass of Lowe Wines wine (additional)
Special tea and coffee taste experiences from the best in town, Grounds of Alexandria and Ovvio Organic
Books by Potts Point Bookshop and Alice McCormick’s Rare Illustrated Books
An arty installation by Julie Paterson (she of clothfabric and Food & Words artwork)
o A (surprise) gift of a book from Murdoch Books and Lantern
A tasting of single-origin chocolates from Bahen & Co

Tickets are $185 for the full monty (all of the above) or $45 for a Kitchen By Mike picnic lunch and a glass of Lowe wine (bargain).

When: September 20, 10am - 4pm
Where: The Mint, Sydney
Tickets are available for purchase here

Friday, 8 August 2014

FBi Radio: The Friday Delicious August 8 2014

Just because I've been in Tasmania doesn't mean I don't know what's going on back in Sin City. There's movement at the station once again and plenty of news on new stuff worth checking out.

1. Cho Cho San 

 The pull to Potts Point continues to grow, with a new Japanese-ish eatery opening just a short while ago in the venue that in a previous life used to be Australian icon chef Christine Manfield's ground breaking Paramount restaurant. Cho Cho San is the kind of love child that makes Australian food so great: The key players involved are a restaurateur best known for rocketing Thai food into Sydney's stratosphere over a decade ago (Longrain's Sam Christie), a Greek Australian chef who's also been known to cook epic Italian cuisine among many other feathers and a Burmese Chinese chef who's cooked Italian at Vini and Ester, Argentine tapas at Bodega and modern Chinese at Billy Kwong. If you're a fan of eclectic, tasty Izakaya-style snacks, Japanese beers and gigantic green tea soft serves, this will be your jam.

73 Macleay Street, Potts Point
(02) 9331 6601

2. Coogee Pavilion 

Coogee Bay can officialy be known for something good when it comes to food, rather than just that unfortunate incident all those years ago (and may we never speak of it again). The Beach Palace Hotel has been reimagined into the kind of beachside hang you'd expect from the guys who brought you Mr Wong, El Loco and...well, everywhere else. Think easygoing, seaside fare and you're on your way - with an obvious seafood focus featuring cold seafood platters and freshly shucked oysters, there are also wood fired pizzas, epic fried chicken sandwiches and cold pressed juices to wash it all down.

169 Dolphin Street, Coogee
(02) 9240 3000

2. LP's Quality Meats 

The experienced in any industry fare well and for obvious reason when it comes to subsequent operations: they've learnt a thing or two and bring a wealth of experience with them. LP stands for Luke Powell, a chef from a fine dining background (Tetsuya's to name but one), who went on to flip burgers at Mary's, is on the eve of opening his very own venture in partnership with some of the guys behind Porteno and Bodega. It'll be about meat (obviously), and it'll be low, slow and influenced by the global traditions of BBQ, smoking and general carnivorous behaviour. Don't freak out, vegetarians, there will be some of those in there too - basically the modus operandi will be simple, primal and honest. Look it up.

12-16 Chippen Street Chippendale

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.