Last Wednesday was a really bad day to venture outside: cold, rainy, windy… all attempts to protect oneself proved futile, as the umbrellas were overturned by big gusts of wind! However I decided to forgo the temptation to go home crash on the couch and watch Masterchef to brave this ridiculous weather and attend the launch of a new literary magazine, Seizure. This new publication was created by some good friends of ours, and my partner happened to have done a fair bit of photography work on it, so I really wanted to come and support, rain, hail or shine!
The 1st edition of this bi-annual publication is dedicated to my favorite topic, FOOD, and it promised to be a great event, even more so when I was told that Black Star Pastry’s Christopher The, who contributed to the magazine, would be catering for the evening! Black Star Pastry, for those who have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, is based in Newtown and is responsible for THE BEST CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIRS EVER! Big call, I know, but so true!
The launch was held at the Paper Mill, an art gallery on Angel Place in the CBD. I had to walk past Felix Restaurant, the new venture of Merivale run by Lauren Murdoch, to get there and I just had a little peep through the window on my way past… it looked amaaazing! It’s now definitely on my list of “must eat there”.
But back to our subject…
Seizure is the brainchild of Alice Grundy and her husband Dave Henley, who wanted to bring a bit of freshness to the literary scene by showcasing new emerging talents in the one magazine. It will be published twice a year with each time a different theme (next will be sci-fi).
The Food Issue is a bit of a wink at traditional gastronomic publications; like them, it contains articles, photos and recipes, but brings its own off-beat / quirky twist to it. One of the stories I have read is about “The Chronic”, the now cult Ramen soup from Gumshara at Eating World in Chinatown, which has foodies, critics and chefs alike raving about it. Chef Dan Hong is one famous fan and is the first who dubbed the Ramen as The Chronic on Twitter: it is a very addictive soup, not for the faint-hearted though, as it is very very rich and porky!
Another contributor is Mark Jensen from Red Lantern in Surry Hills, who included several yummy recipes, as did Cafe Mint‘s chefs Yoni Kalfus and Hugh Foster, as well as Christopher The.
Chris, Buster and Maria had prepared a lot of cute little canapés for all the guests, starting with these little test tubes, filled apple cider granita, champagne and a few flakes of gold, which you could better after agitating the tube, quite fun to drink out of those unusual vessels.
The olives prepared in Dukka were very moreish, could have gobbled up many, but I knew more was to come so I restrained myself.
We listened to a few speeches from Alice, Delia Falconer and Christopher The.
The much anticipated Miracle Berry that makes everything taste sweet!
(beautifully shot by my better half, Matthew Venables)
One of the surprise of the evening was the distribution of a peculiar lolly supplied by the one of Seizure’s sponsors, Miracle Frooties. These lollies have the particularity to make everything you eat afterwards taste sweet! And to support this claim, a big spread of fruits had been prepared: slices of green apple, lime, lemon, grapefruit, as well as spoonfuls of Balsamic Vinegar and other nice concoctions by the Black Star team. We were warned to finish enjoying our wine first, as it would taste sickly sweet afterwards… it would be a pity, considering it was some nice Pinot Noir from Philip Shaw in Orange, and sparkling white wine from Stonehurst in the Hunter Valley.
All the citrus fruit tasted amazing after I had my pill! There seemed to be a consensus about the lime tasting the best with the lolly, but I thought the lemon was just perfect: all the acidity has gone, leaving only the sweet and sour tanginess to taste…
The Beetroot sherbet was in the form of powder at the bottom of a straw that you sucked in…. tasted like sweet beetroot. Of course I had powder all over my face, since I can’t be taken anywhere, just like the balsamic vinegar in the spoon that I poured all over my shirt and camera!
That was really good, the texture of the fresh strawberry and balsamic jelly worked really well together.
Goats curd on pumpernickel (3rd dish from the front)
+ food blogger Angie lives to eat (2nd from the left)
At times it almost felt like a civilized version of a rave party, where people would discuss the effect their drug had on them…: “Have you had yours yet?”, “Yours come on yet?”, “Mine has worn down already…”. I actually felt pretty hyped up, like a kid who had had too much cordial!
One of the big food highlight was the “flambage” of the tarts, which consisted of pouring powdered sugar on the tarts, then spraying some vanilla alcohol, and finally setting them alight with the blowtorch and watching the glorious caramelizing process happening….
I made the mistake of taking my miracle berry before the Guinness & Chocolate Spiders and the Brûlées Tarts were served, so I didn’t even try… I knew it would be too sweet! People were raving about them, especially the Brûlées… aaaaargh!!! My loss…
Lovely hot chestnuts were served, which I found really heart-warming as, to me, it is really a French thing to do, typical of winter… It probably comes from a rosied up memory I have from my childhood in France, but when winter was upon us, my mother would often roast chestnuts in the oven and it was just fabulous :-)
A familiar face from the food blogosphere
& Sunil, the author of “The Chronic” story
Conclusion: a very fun night and some pretty crazy food were had by all! Makes me wonder what they would come up with for the launch of the Sci-Fi edition!
Seizure: The Food Issue
Available in all good book stores.