General Stuff

Wow new beginnings

I have gone back to school and am studying to be a Pastry Chef , Im so excited about it . Course started in the beginning of October 2007 and will go for 1 year then i hope to go on to a higher level and do another years worth of study.

I have been very slack in posting so hope to rectify that over the school holidays.

I have so much to write about , so much to catch up on so bear with me as it will all steadily be updated.

I am in a very international college , the students are mainly from china but also from afew other countries as well . In my class I was the granny of the class:O)

we did a restaurant project where in groups we had to design a restaurant from the ground up, which was a lot of hard work but it was really challenging , I will be talking about that in depth further down the track.

Next semester our practical classes start which Im really looking forward to doing , I will be changing classes to the mornings from the afternoons and will have to get to know a whole new class

General Stuff

Christmas cakes for Christmas 2007

This year I have made 17 christmas cakes for people for christmas. I have been doing cake decorating for a hobby now for about a year now , and just loving it

So here are some of my gifts , im still learning this amazing art , some are good and some not bad but each one was made with love

All of these cakes were deep rich fruit cake with plenty of brandy and then covered in marzipan and fondant icing , everything on the cakes is edible

here is a link to the photos

General Stuff

Well its been a while

Im now in a new place of employment and loving it. Im a Dessert chef for a busy buffet restaurant.

India and Singapore were amazing , lots of mixed reactions on the food front especially in India… Their definition of hot and my definition of hot were like the north and south pole, totally polar opposites.

But we muddled along mostly , on the days that we needed Comfort food , Macdonalds was a good option, isnt that terrible. But we knew that the place was clean and the food was safe and it tasted a bit like home in general.

There were so many things we were careful about , we didnt have much of anything from street vendors in India , it was a bit too risky and there wasnt alot of fresh fruit and veges we felt we could eat safely except for things we could peel like bananas and oranges.

By the time we got to Chennai(four weeks in to the trip) we were so hanging out for fresh fruit and fresh veges, we found a western style supermarket in a great air conditioned mall and bought some fresh fruit there. Things like figs, melon, guavas and persimons , we took them back to the Hotel and sterilised them in vodka for about 10 minutes then washed with mineral water and it was just wonderful.

This was the first time I had ever tried Persimons …… oh my goodness they were exquisite , they were so worth getting red dyed fingers and lips for. The Guavas were different tasting from what we have here and they were not ripe so didnt enjoy them as much as we would have liked.

By the time we came home there were 3 things that I absolutly craved beyond belief , they were in this order Lettuce, tap water , and beef. We only saw one leaf of lettuce all t he time we were away and that was as a garnish. Lettuce has now become one of my favourite favourite veges, i cant get enough of the stuff.

With India being a mainly Hindu country it was illegal to kill Beef, and being on the safe side of food we tended to eat mainly vegetarian while we were there, so having some Beef when we got home was a real treat.

Anyway enough idle chatter , I will be back soon …. much sooner than last time :o) and I will be talking to you about my new wonderful hobby Sugarart ….. doing all kinds of interesting things with sugar, cakes, cupcakes and decorated biscuits/cookies.

Take care now and look forward to hearing from you soon


Restaurant Reviews

Malabar Licensed Cafe

We went to this Cafe/Restaurant last night and OMG it was amazing.The cafe has only been open for about 6 weeks , and runs from around 7 am to varying times during the week from late afternoon to evening service and from 7.30 am till late on the weekends. With different menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner they cater for everybodies gastronomic needs.

We were greeted by a lovely waitress, freindly and efficient and made us feel very welcome.

The dinner menu gave a real variety of goodies to choose from , it wasn’t a huge selection which was great as you didnt get overwhelmed by choice, they had about 8 entrees, 2 choices of platters of starters to share and 5 main course choices with about 6 wonderful sounding side dishes .Things like rosemary potatoes, asian greens, chargrilled veges, rocket and parmesan salad and taro chips.

For our starters we chose the mezze platter on the menu it stated that it could serve 2-4 and wow it was a very generous serving, complete with super fresh slices of french bread and crisp grissinis. It had a wondeful creamy fetta, Telegraph hill lemon infused olives, a great mix of char grilled veges and fabulous Dolmades with some tasty hummus and tzatziki on the side……. just sublime.

For our mains we both had the same meal which was just exquisite. Lapschoung smoked scotch fillet served with currant and juniper berry jus and we had the rosemary potatoes and chargrilled veges on the side. The meat is all sourced locally and it is also organic. I have to say this was the very best piece of steak I have had in a very long time. it was cooked to absolute perfection and just melted on the tongue. The plates were decorated with some Balsamic drizzle which just complemented the meal really well and the garnish was fresh herbs , a little mint,dill, basil and parsley . I happened to grab a piece of chargrilled eggplant with some fresh mint on my fork and there was an orgasimc taste explosion in my mouth with that combination. The chef Matthew Heath really does know his stuff and he knows how to cook the most perfect rare steak.

They had quite a comprehensive beverage list for you to choose from and their dessert menu had my mouth watering but I was so full if I had eaten anything else I probably would have exploded. On their blackboard menu they had a banana and nougat filo which gave me an instant drool thought so maybe I can try that another time.

This is a family run cafe with the owners sons working front of house and in the kitchen and its a good combination.They pay great attention to detail and make you feel very welcome and relaxed with the atmosphere , good music and totally awesome food with tasty coffee and great service.

You can find them at 2/135 Main Highway,Ellerslie Auckland

phone 09 525 1303

The Rating of this Restaurant/cafe would be

5 chefs

Well done Boys keep up the great work

Restaurant Reviews

The Spicy House

This is a great little Szechuan Chinese Restaurant based in Dominion Road Auckland.

We have been there a few times now and the food is consistantly great for a very reasonable price. Its authentic and always popular with Young East Asians. The food has a bit of a kick to it in that it is spicy but you can have it mild or much hotter if you prefer.

Each time we have been we have had a choice of 3 different dishes from their extensive menu along with steamed rice and as much green tea as you can drink. We have not had the same dish twice .The food is amazing using lots of fresh ingrediants and good generous servings. My favourite things so far have been the chicken curry which had chunks of lebanese cucumber through it which was a surprise but oh so very tasty and the kong shang tai which was vibrant green water spinach that was mixed with lots of crushed garlic and it seemed to be boiled and slightly salty .Absolutly incredible, I still have the taste in my mouth just thinking about it.

They are open fairly late with a constant stream of patrons through the door at any one time. It is a very relaxed , freindly and clean establishment with awesome food
and I would highly reccomend them

other foodie sites and bits and bobs

A Chocolate Fantasy Dessert

A few weeks ago I entered my first professional chef competition in over 20 yrs .This competition is run by the Culinare Institute , its a competing arena for the hospitality industry. I didn’t win anything but I gained so much experience and insight in to what was expected and what I need to do in the future. I entered A Chocolate Fantasy Dessert and the dessert that I entered was A Chocolate Turkish Delight Brownie it was a rich dark rose flavoured chocolate brownie layered with soft decadent turkish delight and then it had rose sugar syrup drizzled over the top and served with a rich truffle of chocolate ganash on top and roasted pistachios and toffee shards as decoration.

Iwill upload the recipe and a picture fairly soon,

I am teaching myself some new skills as a result of this competition, things like sugar art and chocolate sculpture and art and also brushing up on some old skills that haven’t been used in a while