It has been a really long time between writing blog posts so I shall give you a brief run down on the previous year as you can see it has been really quite busy which is great. I will be writing posts about some of the different experiences I have had. Some of which will be coming up as blog posts over the next few months.
I had a couple of consulting gigs last year where I helped cafe owners install systems, recipes, dishes, new menus and workflows, to either help their business run more effectively or implement brand new procedures into brand new cafes opening acting as their head chef until we were able to train someone up to fill the role, it has been rewarding educating and helping these owners get more out of their businesses. I got a great write up by broadsheet in regards to my food, especially the bacon and egg roll that broadsheet dubbed the best in Sydney (I think they like my bacon...and the combination of flavours) unfortunately there was a typo when describing the sauce but we'll forgive them. We are now serving, an upgraded variation at Espressory downstairs in the hunter connection great response and we usually sell out on so get in early...
To help see in the New Year, I helped put a lamb on a spit and make a slurry, to baste the lamb whilst it cooks, for our good friends & foodies, Soufi and Dan (Musician / Keys / Writer / Producer from east of eli) these guys love quality things in life so we had a few whiskeys this night. This seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition as it was the second time I helped.
Last year seemed to be the year of the lamb on the spit for me, I think I cooked 4 for different occasions, functions and celebrations, from wedding day feasts at the Kangaroo Valley for our good friends James and Nikki to a smorgasbord of delights for an Australia day feast for Alex Olsson. I will go into more detail in a specific blog post, where I will include my slurry recipe and talk about the steps involved.
My darling Jess, got me a extra special present for my birthday, she organised a big party for me with my nearest and dearest in Australia. On top of this she organised an inspiring trip to Vietnam, think resort lifestyle!! The food and experiences there were amazing, we saw their 300-year-old organic gardening techniques, had a cooking lesson with Helen, went to the fresh food markets and ate some delicious food and dodged thousands of scooters playing frogger on the road and footpath. We have introduced a lot of these influences into our meals since we have been home.
If you have been following my social media you will notice our good friends Deborah and Theo (their instagram is sustainablevitality), have been a huge influence and inspiration to both Jess and I, with their amazing outlook on life and eating very passionate people, with 90% of their food either being grown in their amazing garden, hunted, fished, speared or foraged whether they are fermenting, pickling or preserving their garden veggies or getting honey from their bees they are mindful, sustainable and organic. We have been butchering the venison that Theo has shot, curing it into bacon, making stews, meat sauces and BBQ the cuts. They have introduced and shared skills with us that now mean we have our own kitchen garden with veggies growing, this has given Jess and I a stronger connection to where are food is coming from and these guys will be popping up regularly throughout the site in either recipes or blog posts.
We were also lucky enough to have my parents over for a month, we got to spend lots of time together eating great food, drinking some of the local beers, fishing, seeing some of the sights, camping with Sue & Graeme Jess's parents. We went fishing and caught some decent flathead and bream that made it onto the dinner plate. So many memories that will stay with us forever.
There have been many cooking demonstrations representing Australian mushrooms at the royal Sydney Easter show, live paella cooking classes at gift and home wares Taren point and a lamb dish at Parramasala in Paramatta. Cooking classes at Jess’s school celebration cooking. A pop up I have been operating at Espressory at the basement level hunter connection with Peter Chan who makes the best coffee in the CBD and an amazing gift with remembering peoples names, here we showcase the Best bacon and egg roll as voted by broadsheet (same Roll different venue).
AND even with all of this going on I have been able to keep up a fairly regular training regime at all the different Boxing works locations in Sydney. Larry, Ally and Toula are definitely keeping me fighting fit. With Larrys coaching and techniques I took home a couple of golds and a silver in BJJ competitions last year, maybe we should do some more competitions before 2017 is out.