October 20th, 2010

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Column - November By A Nose

Published in the City Hub and City News.

What to Buy

With the calendar turning quickly toward November, you should already be into the mangos and other gorgeous summer fruit. This month you should see apricots, blueberries, dragon fruit, cherries, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries, pawpaw and passionfruit hitting the stands. In the vegetable department, my local Harris Farm has been a great source of glorious broad beans. They are a bit of de-podding work, but the results are vibrantly green and delicious, especially mashed with garlic and butter under a steak for a summery change from potato. You will also find avocados, peas, silverbeet, spinach, beans, capsicums, cauliflower, corn, watercress, rocket, zucchini, zucchini flowers and chat potatoes popping up now.

Where to Be
Slick and iconic, the Grill’d Airstream is stylish new way to get a great burger this summer. The shiny American bus shell was cleverly stuffed with a state of the art kitchen and it has the ability to be completely self-powered! So start hoping that it’s coming to a festival or an off-the-beaten-track beach somewhere near you! Their first Burger Love Tour hits Bondi Beach on Saturday 23rd October from 12-1.30pm.

Why Haven’t You Been
With visits from big name stars like Dita Von Teese and Kirsten Bauer; and the Best New Restaurant award in the SMH Good Food Guide 2011 going their way; the question you should be asking yourself about Manly Pavilion is: why haven’t you been there yet? Perhaps you were waiting for sun to drench the sofas on their gorgeous marble terrazzo balcony? It’s happening already, so hurry on in to try Chef Jonathan Barthelmess’ outstanding menu.

Which Market Wins
There’s no excuse for trapping yourself in supermarket hell while the sun is shining, especially when markets are bending over backwards to find new ways to win your business. If you head to Eveleigh Market on Saturday 30 October, the guys from Matilda Bay Brewing Company are offering the first two hundred people a tasting range of their best beers matched to tasty bites of seasonal fresh produce – the breakfast of champions! I’m already a convert of Big Helga so it’s their honey wheat brew, Beez Neez that has me intrigued.

With markets popping up left and right, I have yet to check out Sydney Sustainable Markets at Taylor Square. I have no more excuses though, because Tim Wood of Wellington Farm Lamb will be there on Saturday 23rd and 30th October. This is the ethically produced lamb I eat at home, by a producer who is committed to “restoring the ecology” of his beautiful farm “using Holistic practices as practised by people such as Joel Salatin”. (If you don’t know who that is, you better go rent Food Inc.!) Tim doesn’t spray chemicals. He has planted 40,000 Old Man Saltbush plants, which are drought resistant. He’s even created wildlife corridors through his land. All this has lead to him being awarded Landcare Primary Producer of the Year for his region. Normally to enjoy Tim’s excellent product, you have to commit to buying half a lamb that can be a struggle in a tiny Darlinghurst apartment freezer. So you should be leaping with joy when he advises he will “have a full range of lamb cuts with me for markets, all freshly vacuum packed the day before”. You won’t get better lamb in Sydney.

Who to Bet On
Finally if you’re looking to me for a Melbourne Cup Day recommendation, if money were no object, I’d hire a van and make a company picnic of it at the newly hatted Ormeggio at The Spit. Pretty much anything Alessandro Pavoni cooks is amazing, so I have great hope for his four-course menu ($135/head).

For something sophisticated, punt on the ponies to the sultry soundtrack of jazz crooner Charlie Smith at Number One Wine Bar. Four courses including Tony Bilson’s stunning Grilled Breast of Grimaud Duck with Sour Cherries and Spinach Puree are on offer with big screens, prizes and entertainment ($150/head).

If you want to save your coffers for betting, head on down to Lanzafàme Trattoria for two courses of great pizza and more with Martini cocktails. The horses won’t be the only things running on the day – ebullient host John Lanzafàme also promises female TAB runners panting to place your bets. ($35/head).