Geoff has been a staple of food on television since 1992. He also runs a farm and cooking classes in Bowral. As we were talking about Bowral in our last post and reviewed Biota Dining not so long ago, I though it would be appropriate to talk about Geoff and his first appearance at the Everleigh Markets.
He is a very affable person and we had a great chat. I also got a taste of his mushroom soup: delicious!
But Geoff primarily makes preserves of chillies, tomato relish and capsicum jam and run cooking classes at the farm and is hoping to open a restaurant one day...In the meantime, he is preparing for a Culinary Tour in Morroco in November 2015 - click here for details and become a "gastronaute"!
SMH Pyrmont Growers Market
The stallholders population is quite stable at the SMH Growers Market in Pyrmont, so it is always a treat when we find some new people taking on the adventure of selling direct to the public.
Effendy's Restaurant in Balmain is featuring a range of Turkish sauces and dishes to tempt you to visit their already very well attended restaurant.
Pappardelle Pantry is a new venture of established restaurant Pappardelle, and proposes "authentic, organic and gluten free" Italian products online: Cook Italy, Eat Italy, Love Italy is their motto!
To quote Dan Stock from the Telegraph: Colin Fassnidge, "the rakishly dishevelled Irishman - whose tongue is as sharp as his knives - loves nose-to-tail eating, hard work and home truths"
Well, this morning performance at the Pyrmont Growers Market had all the ingredients above plus the presence of the real man doing what he does best: cooking, talking and telling stories.
In the process of watching cook his own version of "moules marinières", I picked up a few tricks that would certainly enhance my own cooking and discovered the other end of the parsley, as the leafs are only the tip of this particular iceberg. I think the most interesting bit was the addition of grated apple on top of the mussels to bring the flavour of the cider back from being lost in the stock making process.
I usually put white wine in my mussels - call me old fashioned if you like - so I will have to learn how to grate grapes...just kidding. I will have to be adventurous and try to use cider instead!
Colin was just back from Paris and I had followed his travails there via our Facebook connection. It was interesting to get a hint of his slight discomfort with the idiosyncrasies of the French and the Capital...
For those of you who might not be familiar with Colin, he was born in Dublin four decades ago, trained with Raymond Blanc, worked at the long defunct but memorable Banc in Sydney, had a stint at La Grande Bouffe in Rozelle where he met my friend Karl Geissler of Maitre Karl fame and started Four in Hand in Paddington in 2005 and more recently took over the space of Le Pain Quotidien in Surry Hills to open 4 Fourteen - I was one of their very early customers - which has been a resounding success also.
Salt Meats Cheese - Alexandria
I have recently discovered this new food emporium in the course of my work wanderings and spend good money on their cured meats and cheeses. So I was thrilled to see them wandering out of their shop with three stalls at the monthly Pyrmont Growers Market. The star of the show were the marinated olives, and I could not resist buying a big bucket of mixed green and black olives marinated with chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes and middle eastern spices - I think I identified sumac, or maybe smoked paprika - certainly delicious! On being told that I should buy the big bucket because they could last six months, I killed myself laughing thinking they might not last 6 days! Amazing taste and value for 10$!
Feather and Bone
Feather and Bone have made a name for themselves finding the best poultry and meat producers in the four corners of Australia - this might be an Mediteranean exaggeration, but you get the gist of it...
In actual fact, most of their current suppliers are in NSW, so they are as local as they can be.
Citing their website: "Who is the producer? How do they grow, harvest and transport their produce? Does its journey to your plate enhance sustainability and genetic diversity as well as your taste buds? Answering these questions for the benefit of growers and consumers alike is what is at the heart of Feather and Bone".
Pigs, lambs, chickens, turkeys and eggs are their prime products.
My best pork recipe
Ocello - Cheese Specialist
Carmelo and Sogna Ocello have been sourcing cheese from Australia, and more recently from Italy and France since 2001 and have been primarily selling them via the markets at Pyrmont, Fox Studios and North Sydney.
They sell now more than 200 cheeses and it is the first time that they selling their Chevre cheeses from Poitou at the Pyront market. The "Petit Sainte Maure" centre - at the front of the photo is my favourite - maybe because I was born near by and was fed goat milk as a baby, as I was allergic to cow milk - I have been cured since, at least in the cheese format...
The cheeses are airfreighted weekly to ensure perfect ripeness, and this one was absolutely perfect. They also import French Emmenthal, my son's favourite, so I was fairly broke when I left their stand, but got a standing ovation back home!
I have been visiting their shop in Surry Hills for coffee, which was one of very best i had in Sydney for a long time. It is weird though to sip coffee with the pungent smell of cheese! Not for the faint hearted, but..
I bought more Emmenthal and a perfect Reblochon, a very smelly but sweet tasting alpine cheese
The Birthday Girl
July is a busy month for me, as my wife, my sister, my late grandmother and one of my sons have their birthday in July!
So today is my "special girl's" birthday, and we start the day early by going to the Pyrmont Growers Market for breakfast. A quick visit to Zav's stand for zucchini flowers, and to Willowbrae Cheese to have a chat with David and buy some of his goat cheese. Being a gentleman, he offers one to my wife as a birthday present and I buy a tomato fresh curd, my daughter's favorite. Then Tricia hunts for a table in the sun (David mentioned it was -5 degrees Celsius at the farm when they left this morning...so it might be 7 or 8 degrees now here...) and I queue for the goodies, snail and egg and smoked salmon roll, and later for coffee. Then, off for a stroll around and a visit to a new supplier: Lowes Mount Truffles showing the first harvest of the season, amazing! Everybody was haggling for a - small - piece of these marvels...At 2000$/kg, you can probably afford a sample, and it would be enough for a few omelets...
During all that time, we were regaled by Armando Percuoco of Buon Ricordo fame, teaching us how to make the perfect risotto...a bit of an overdose after George's masterclass on MasterChef last night, but an interesting twist on a classic altogether...
Then, off to the Fish Market to buy scallops, and on to Ultimo Wine Centre for a lovely couple of bottles:
Chablis, Domaine Laroche Saint Martin 2007, one of our favourite French Chardonnay. Tricia did the "vendanges" there a little while ago...(http://www.larochewines.com) and Chartreuse de Bonpas Reserve 2007, a lovely Cotes-du-Rhone, blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (www.louis-bernard.com)
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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