Mistura, did not fall short of the craziness it promised. During the lead up to the famous food festival, almost everyone I met, Peruvians and foreigners alike, had to mention Mistura in our conversations. Continue Reading →
Regular readers will know that I’m uber-passionate about the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival, a super-fun, four day gourmet extravaganza held in a lovely little beach town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. I attended the festival both last year (covering it for this site) and this year. This time, though, I was invited to be a participant. One of the activities I was asked to be part of was the festival’s annual Food Critics Cooking Competition. Continue Reading →
Next week, my wife S, two year old mini-me T and I are heading down under. Last year, as regular readers know, I attended the super-fun Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. Well, we’re going back again this year, but this time, instead of covering the festival, I’m there as a participant. Continue Reading →
As we usher in the year of the snake, the most important event for many of us is the reunion dinner. In Singapore, where families are typically small, most people would be spending their Chinese (or Lunar) New Year’s eve dinner at home with a home-cooked spread. That usually works for me too. But this year, to spare our homemakers from pre and post meal slaving over the kitchen stoves, we have included our extended families to come together for an eight course feast. I believe a bottle of wine ought to be in order.
Last year, my wife S and I attended the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. It was, as we reported, the most laid-back, coolest, happiest food and wine festival we’ve ever had the pleasure of being at. This coming year, I’m very excited because the Festival organizers have invited me to come back as a participant. I’ll be speaking on a panel and taking part in a cooking competition. Continue Reading →
My French family is full of ancestral tradition, and when I visit they always seem to pull out an old recipe that to them seems the epitome of simplicity, and to me seems exquisite and mysterious. The Broyé du Poitou – an old, old recipe for a buttery biscuit coming from the Poitou region of western France – is one such little treasure. Continue Reading →
On 30 August 2012, my wife S and I took part in Diner en Blanc Singapore. Since I had not been invited by the organizer’s former PR company, I was also not on their “un-invite” list. I had registered with some friends and the group of us–despite all the social media buzz and bad press that was being circulated–were quite looking forward to taking part in this gourmet flash mob experience. Or rather, our friends BG & V, P & SM, and I were. S, who is not a fan of sweaty, outdoor activities, was begrudgingly going along to make me happy. As was another friend JR, whose wife PP was as excited as I was. Continue Reading →
You know what they always say; daughters and their fathers have a special bond. Your dad is the first man you love, he’s your hero and will forever be the standard against which all future men must measure up against. Continue Reading →
My greedy, gorgeous wife S and I have been to many food and wine festivals, in many different places, over the last decade and a half. We’ve attended festivals as speakers, as working journalists and as members of the public. Some festivals are rather high-brow. Others try hard to connect with the everyman. Many others fall in between, offering a mix of small, exclusive (which means expensive) dinners coupled with affordable experiences that can accommodate large crowds. This can be a hard formula to get right, and many festivals are still struggling to find the right balance. A few others, however, seem to have discovered the magic formula for food festival success.
A few weeks ago, S and I found ourselves attending such a festival. Not only has the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival (held in the small holiday/retiree town of Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast) perfected the balance between luxury and accessibility, it’s done so with a laid-back sense of humour that is utterly infectious. Before Noosa, I had never attended a food and wine festival in which everyone–the chefs, producers, participants, even the festival staff–seemed to be having so much fun. And for that alone, I would definitely consider going back again and again. Continue Reading →
Photo courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald. Taken by Edwina Pickles.
As mentioned in my previous post, uber-foodie Joanna Savill is Festival Director of the Sydney International Food Festival. Joanna kindly allowed me to pester her with a few questions about this year’s SIFF.
CH: Hi Joanna! We had a great time at the Showcase. Can I start by asking how different is the Festival this year under your direction?
Essentially this is the very first Sydney International Food Festival as it replaces an event called Good Food Month. So it’s new. Having said that, Good Food Month favourite events have continued such as Let’s Do Lunch and Hats Off (set menus in leading restaurants) plus the huger-than-ever Night Noodle Markets. But what we’ve done is broaden the focus to include a strong international visitor component, particularly with the World Chef Showcase (brand new) and also extend into Greater Sydney with community-based festivals and other events. The other big thing is a focus on food issues, with talks and forums on sustainability, food security, GM and more.
Chefs from the Showcase Gala Dinner posing while plating. Photo by Dominic Loneragen of the(sydney)magazine.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of attending quite a number of food festivals in different parts of the world. Most recently, I was in Sydney, Australia, to check out the first-ever Sydney International Food Festival, both as a panel-speaker and also as an invited observer. I was particularly excited to head down under for this particular festival because its director, the amazing Joanna Savill, is an old and very special friend. Joanna is one of the most respected foodies on the planet, let alone Australia. Among her many accomplishments, Joanna is co-editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and co-creator of the landmark TV Series, The Food Lover’s Guide to Australia. My darling wife S and I first met Joanna back in 2001 (of course, we were already fans) and have been friends ever since then.
Joanna has taken what used to be known as the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month and has turned it into a stellar international food festival worth planning your Australia trip around. The Festival is still a month-long, with different programmes and components happening throughout the month of October. Whether a person is more into gritty streetside dining or is a fan of fine dining, the Festival has been truly able to deliver an experience for each and every kind of foodie out there. Joanna’s also smartly sexed up several events, introducing star power to bring in the crowds. For example, the Festival’s opening event was a day of Barbecue Madness. But Joanna didn’t just bring in anyone to lead the barbecue. Oh no… she enlisted the help of Fergus Henderson of St John in London to work with 12 well-known Sydney chefs, turning a simple bbq into a powerhouse gastronomic event!
I had flown down to take part in the World Chef Showcase. This 2 day series of talks and demonstrations featured some really amazing culinary talent. The theme for this year’s Showcase was The Best of Asia, which I thought was fantastic. We don’t even properly celebrate our own region at most of our own festivals. I thought it was inspiring and exciting for the Sydney Festival to be championing the best of Asian cuisine, chefs, food writers, and restaurateurs. The participant list was simply amazing. Superstars like David Thompson, Peter Gordon, Pichet Ong, Jereme Leung, Kylie Kwong, Alvin Leung, Fuchsia Dunlop, Cheong Liew, Rainer Becker, Neil Perry, Chui Lee Luk, Andre Chiang, Yu Bo, Yoshihiro Murata, Mamoru Tatemori, and Tetsuya Wakuda (among others) all took their turns on stage during the weekend of 10-11 October. Each day, there were three consecutive tracks of talks and demos. On the first, Track 1 focused on Thailand and Vietnam; track 2 on China; while track 3 was the “world” track which featured chefs like Sergi Arola and Alexandre Bourdas. The second day, track 1 was Asia; track 2 was titled “Creative”; and track 3 focused on Japan.