Australia’s very best hams

History tells us that across the length and breadth of the Roman Empire the best hams came from Gaul.   In the centuries that followed that same piece of European real estate grew its culinary skills, repertoire and reputation to become what we now acknowledge as French cuisine. Not surprisingly, in France’s everyday meals, ham or … Continue reading

Dietary Kill Joys

Ordinarily I’m pretty OK with the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA). Sure the dietary, whining, do-gooders got in a knot when the NHFA gave McDonalds a tick for SOME of its menu items. But that spleen should have been vented at the subsequent abuse by the Golden Arches when it slapped the Heat Foundation … Continue reading

Food Oscars Glittering Prizes

Almost every industry has an awards scheme. In Australia we see ARIAs and Walkleys and a host of institutional awards plus magazine driven ones. In the food industry there are a few that come and go, or morph according to sponsor commitment, availability and the vagaries of magazine mastheads as well as fly by night … Continue reading

A Taste For The Future

In the quest to have the next new fad, packaged goods manufacturers are forever in search of the silver bullet – the must have – the every-home-should-have-one product. Market research firm Datamonitor has produced its crystal ball findings of likely types that will win favour in shopping trolleys this new decade. And it seems free … Continue reading

Beyond The Fillet

Fergus Henderson was back in Australia last week lording over Nose to Tail dining. Nose to Tail eating is a phrase that has become synonymous with the British chef of London’s St John restaurant. Think Fergus – think Nose to Tail – and you just have to think of the noble and versatile pig from … Continue reading

Pour and prattle festival

Food and wine festivals are becoming as common as hot breakfasts. While each tries to differentiate itself you can always tick the same list of (not) unique selling propositions that will be trotted out: master classes, celebrity chefs, chef Q&A, restaurant signature dish promotions, glass and a dish special, wine sensory sessions… they are all … Continue reading

Repelling the porcine invasion

George Orwell’s Animal Farm inmates mantra: “four legs good two legs bad” has poignant relevance this week. It’s Bacon Week. And it’s all because Aussie pork producers are finding it tough getting their leg in, so to speak, in the domestic ham and bacon stakes. Some 70 per cent of bacon sold in this country … Continue reading

Rules for eating and the business of food

“Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food” pretty well sums up the thinking of Michael Pollan’s 64 simple food rules in his latest book, ‘Food Rules’, an eaters manual. The first rule is to simply ‘eat food’ – that’s food, rather than ‘edible food like substances’ or ‘industrial novelties’, as Pollan calls the … Continue reading

Mad cow panic

Mad Cow (BSE, CJD) has been responsible for the deaths of 166 people in Britain and 44 elsewhere – and the bright sparks in Canberra have declared it’s okay to import beef products from countries that have reported CJD. For the record that is most countries in Europe and North America. Some years ago I … Continue reading

Bourne again wine accolade

Seeing a continual mountain of empty wine bottles neatly stacked outside a gentleman’s pad does not always signify the digs of a dipsomaniac. These mounds were the constant adornment of the grass median strip outside the house of Peter Bourne – aka ‘The Wine Man’ – when he lived opposite my mother’s home a decade … Continue reading