Cooking up a festival

October is when Sydneysiders come out of winter wardrobes and begin to look for that bright, hot sun announcing summer is near.

There is a different buzz in the air. Like we collective hold our breath during the first part of spring, followed by a collective rush of vitamin D euphoria when the sun first burns the tip of our noses (sunscreen-covered noses, of course). And we begin to stay out late in flimsy singlets, strappy dresses and flippy thongs.

This is also the month of Sydney’s food festival. To celebrate the food festival my way, I invited a few friends to dinner, with a menu that brought together curious, and/or little known, recipes I have collected over the past two months.

Before we start, here is a small part of the menu. For months, I have been entranced by the photo of Vietnamese peasants display their wares at fresh food markets, in Luke Nuyen’s book, Indochine. This photo is my homage.


my mini artichoke tower

And onto the dinner menu.


Lemon thyme olives with home made goat “ricotta” cheese


Cult Sicilian farsumagru, garlic and parsley braised artichokes, slow-roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes

Luxe sourdough boule


Triple-decadence ice cream: Baileys, bananas and rum

Whole pineapple bathed in vanilla and rum

Creamy goat “ricotta” cheese with thyme

We ate all the food! And I had such fun playing host. No photos because it was a private dinner, but, the next few posts will describe the dishes that were the highlight of the evening.  On y va!

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