Valrhona Dulcey launch at Establishment

Dulcey blondeNew Valrhona chocolate: Dulcey, a “blonde” chocolate (32%)

Valrhona is a name I grew up hearing about, as my hometown Romans-sur-Isère was not far from their headquarters in Tain l’Hermitage (Drôme), an area better known for their Syrah wines, made by Chapoutier, Jaboulet et al. I knew at the time it was supposed to be a fine chocolate, but I wasn’t aware of their international reputation, which is pretty much that of being one of the best chocolates in the world.

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Pinot Noir tasting at the Sydney Wine Centre – Annandale

Maya & MilesMiles and Maya in that famous scene from “Sideways”

Maya: “Why are you so into Pinot?”

Miles Raymond: “Uh, I don’t know, I don’t know. Um, it’s a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It’s uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.”

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“The Pastry Battlers” documentary

Team dinnerTeam Pastry Australia at Le Cordon Bleu, Ryde, March 2013

Hello there!

Some of you might know that my partner and I have been following the Australian Pastry Team for two years in order to document their journey to Singapore for the Asian Pastry Cup, and then France for the World Pastry Cup.

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Interview with native ingredients pioneers Jennice & Raymond Kersh

Bonjour guys,

Hope you are well! Today I’m republishing an article I wrote for my local paper, the South Sydney Herald, initially published on May 7th. I was honoured to meet Jennice & Raymond Kersh at Tapeo Cafe in Redfern for this interview, as I had heard of them ever since I arrived in Australia: they are real legends! They were the first to bring indigenous ingredients to the public in their (now closed) restaurant “Edna’s Table” in Sydney CBD.

Enjoy!

Jennice & Raymond KershJennice & Raymond Kersh at Tapeo Cafe, Redfern – Photo: Sandra Beeston

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Interview with Ludovic Geyer, Chef at Bistro Papillon

Ludovic_Geyer

A few months ago, as I was researching an article for the beautiful website Eat Love, I had the opportunity to meet with Ludovic Geyer, a French Chef who runs with partner Xavier Huitorel the popular Bistro Papillon, located in Sydney CBD.

Ludovic generously gave me his time to answer my questions about his experience of food as a French man who has been living in Australia for 8 years now.

Here are his answers… (translated into English by myself)

A French winter

FRAAANCE !!!

ImageBrrrrrr…..

Aaaah, France in winter…. the snow, the cold, the icy wind, the trains blocked by frozen-up rails, running 1, 2, 3 hours late!  The beautiful puddles of melted snow sludge mixed with dog sh.t… The constant sneezing, runny nose, everyone being sick around you, the daily trips to the chemist…. Nope, really I don’t think I’ll ever say I miss French winters again!

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Team Pastry Australia: The Film – Pozible Campaign

The Australian team wins Gold at the Asia Pastry Cup 2012, Singapore
©Matthew Venables 2012

Dear Readers,

You might have seen in the Sydney Morning Herald of this week an article about the Australia Pastry Team, who is going to compete next week in the most prestigious international pastry event, the World Pastry Cup, taking place at the end of the month in Lyon, France.

As some of you might already know, my partner and I have filming these talented pastry chefs for more than two years now, and it has been a great experience to watch them work and train like madmen and create beautiful chocolate, sugar and ice sculptures. It has also been a privilege and a great pleasure to see them win Gold at the Asian Pastry Cup last year in Singapore!

Paris, nous voilà! May 2012

À nous la capitale!

ParisAaaaah…. Paris.

Tour MontparnasseMontparnasse Tower

Paris PanoramaPanorama Paris, view from Tour Montparnasse ©M.Venables

Following our little misfortunes in Lyon, we had almost a whole week in Paris to live the dream. We had rented a little studio in the 11th Arrondissement, with a “kitchenette”, which allowed us to cook a few meals, coffee and breakfast.

Our place was near the Goncourt metro station, which was ideally close to Canal St-Martin, République, as well as the cool Oberkampf area.

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Transit in Lyon (or Gastroville) – May 2012

Lyon PanoramaLyon Panorama, view from Notre Dame de Fourvière
©M.Venables

During our brief stop in Lyon, we first stayed at our friends’ house in the Croix Rousse, a hilly area in the old part of town, which used to be working class, home of Lyon’s silk workers, and is now quite trendy. Well my friends and I used to live there, so the hipsters followed… naturally 😉 Just joking!

Crepe party

They had organised a little crêpe party for us, thanks to their awesome mini-crêpe machine, which allows everyone at the table to make their own crêpes and the hosts to enjoy themselves, instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

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France snapshots – Romans – May 2012

The Visitor

Soooo…. bonjour guys!

It’s been a while indeed! Please forgive my snail pace with regards to writing this blog: this year has been a busy one. But hopefully it will be rewarding with exciting stuff, so stay tuned!

To resume on my French adventures a few months back, after a perfect few days in Marseille, we took the TGV back to my parents’, who live in a little town in the Drôme department. We were pampered and fed lots of good stuff, so much so that I couldn’t face any cheese for a while after that!

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