Williams-Sonoma is an enchanting cooking and homewares store, an oasis that induces the buyer with a bit of nostalgia for true Americana. It is filled with beautiful displays of Le Creuset pans to think about making pot roast with for dinner, or baking dishes that call out “take me home and fill me with apple pie”.
Quinoa has made its way across the globe. As a Peruvian, I’ve seen it go from basic seed to feed chickens to the gluten-free superpower phenomenon of the Gods. Last year was even the International Year of Quinoa. I, however, have only just tasted my first sip of ingenious: quinoa vodka.
Prawns – Courtesy of Urbane Restaurant
There has been a flourishing in South East Queensland food scene. Gorgeous, bountiful local produce, which there’s never been a shortage of, is making its ways to the creative, able hands of extraordinary chefs, and to the tables of some tremendous restaurants.
The Hunter Valley Wine country is New South Wales’ largest wine region. Its proximity to Sydney, a drive less than two hours away, makes it a perfect escape from the city. One day in the Hunter can pack a lot of activity and ignite the senses without wearing you out as a visitor. It’s an ideal detour from the joys of Sydney’s harbour and beaches.
There’s no shortage of good coffee in Sydney. Quality sourcing of beans and passionate baristas are scattered all around the city. As an avid coffee drinker, I tend to keep an eye out for places that keep pushing the envelope or that want to prove their worth despite the very hefty, worthwhile competition.
French bistros have a certain charm that lets them exist in a league of their own. Perhaps it is the embrace of a local restaurant, the assurance of some classical flavours, the moderate prices, or the use of established techniques that stands the test of time. Great bistros have beautiful pastries, fresh charcuterie, great wine lists. Café Boheme is one such place. It is a Sydney newcomer, but it’s quickly becoming a favourite among locals.
Sydney is going through a restaurant resurgence; there seems to be a refresh and revival in the dining scene. The vibe, one that’s more casual, more relaxed, flexible. Increasingly, more inviting establishments are propelling well-known chefs to take different risks and reinvent themselves. One such place, led by executive chef Martin Boetz (previously from Sydney and Melbourne’s famed Longrain Thai restaurants) alongside head chef Kasper Christensen, is Rushcutters.
Chef Didem Senol has taken Istanbul by storm. The Turkish native who studied in New York at the French Culinary Institute and worked at Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, has returned to her hometown to create a new bistro dining experience. In 2010, she won Time Out Istanbul’s Best Chef Award. Not only has she made a name for herself, but she’s also creating a new path for female chefs in her city. She cooks seasonal and local food with mainly organic produce, her restaurants are inviting, contemporary, and refreshing.