Friday, 13 February 2009

A big thank you

It's been a funny old week, hey. I haven't written anything on the blog despite having quite a backlog of places to write about because, much like other Melbourne food bloggers, the thought of prattling on about fancy food when the bushfires are causing so much destruction so close to home made me very uncomfortable. (And to be honest I'm getting cross about the way the media coverage of the bushfires is relentlessly wallowing in tragedy - the tone of it is starting to feel like exploitative "grief porn"... but I can't get enough of the koala photos!).

My work has been really great about facilitating our donations to the bushfires appeals as pre-tax salary sacrifices, and organising for us volunteer lawyers to provide pro bono legal assistance to bushfire victims. For those of you who (like me) are fans of First Dog on the Moon's cartoons, Crikey is offering one of three (personally signed!) FDOTM cartoons for $25, with all proceeds split between the Red Cross and Wildlife Victoria bushfires appeals - or for a premium donation of $100 you can request any cartoon from the FDOTM back catalogue. For my donation I've chosen one of my favourites, a cartoon entitled "The Death of Capitalism", in which the role of Capitalism is played by Kevin Rudd's cat. :)

Fledgling Herb Garden

I'm spending the weekend in NSW so the restaurant review backlog will have to wait a little while longer. In the meantime I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the lovely lovely lovely Melbourne Gastronome reader at Penguin who, after reading my pleas for guidance re my fledgling herb garden, sent me this fantastic book about herb gardening!!!! It arrived today and is written by Jekka McVicar, six times Chelsea gold medal winner and respected organic herb gardener and, according to the front cover, Jamie Oliver reckons "Jekka is amazing ... she is the queen of herbs!"

So once again thank you to you F, you're a complete legend for giving me this present and I look forward to implementing some of what I will learn within its pages. I'll keep you posted on my progress! :)

Finally, what do we think of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival program this year, apart from the fact that most of it is very very very expensive?

"Global Financial Crisis? What Global Financial Crisis?! Let them eat Pierre Hermé cake!", etc etc.

But, yeah. I'll be having one of the Restaurant Express lunches with the Ladies Who Lunch at Bistro Vue (it'll be my first Bistro Vue visit!), I'm shouting Dad and me an Oysters Tasting Class at Cumulus Inc and b-f-K and I are going to the Spanish Sparkling Sunday at Council House 2. Despite my infamous dinner at Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons, I was thinking of dipping my toes back into GAS by also attending the Roman Block Party on closing night - is anyone else thinking of attending?

And of course my dream event at the festival would be the Degustation of the Decade, Teage Ezard's ten course degustation celebrating the ten years of ezard, revisiting his old and new best dishes. He's my all-time favourite chef and the dinner sounds AMAZING but with tickets at $275 a head even I find that ridiculously, obscenely, prohibitively expensive!


Michael said...

The other thing I was thinking about checking out was the World's Longest Lunch. I don't think I would eat, but it might be a good chance to take some photos.

Mathew said...

I agree; a very expensive selection this year, which seems to be targeted at not-your-average punter.

I have heard some discussion amongst friends who are considering redirecting money that may have been spent dining out to fundraising efforts to support those affected by bushfires.

I hope you enjoy Bistro Vue more than my second, and last effort to dine there for a recent birthday. Where a considerable number of dishes from the dinner menu items were unavailable as they had "run out at lunch".

I have recently returned home from a fabulous French lunch at Hotel Max in South Yarra. Highly recommended, especially for its delicious charcuterie and cassoulet.

bunchesmcginty said...

Oh, I wish.

Reading this post makes me wish I had employment again.

Speaking of which, our house is having a party coming up, themed "The Global Financial Crisis."

claire said...

Hi Michael - I've never been along to a World's Longest Lunch, but my aunty goes every year. But would they let you loiter taking photos if you weren't eating?

Hi Mathew - agreed that the giddy decadence of the food festival certainly does seem out of place at the moment in our bushfire-stricken state. Similar to what your friends were considering, I thought long and hard about the $275 price tag of the ezard degustation that I would dearly love to attend, and then donated that amount to the Red Cross appeal. :)
I'll report back on Bistro Vue soon, and keep Hotel Max in mind for next time I'm jonesing for French...

Aw, Bunches! So how will the GFC theme be expressed at the party? I thought of your party when I read this on McSweeneys...