Tag Archives: Food festival

Festival of jeune cuisine, Omnivore Sydney Masterclass


This weekend seemed to fly past. Even though we had a long weekend, it felt like the hours were rushing by and there was a merry-go-round of things to do. Sydney was host to the naval fleet review to celebrate 150 years of the Australian navy, the Australian Football League (AFL) grand final, we had 2 days in the Blue Mountains with a small group of friends.

And to top it off, I went to the Omnivore festival of young cuisine’s Sydney Masterclass, which opened Good Food Month in October.


Omnivore, according to its website and our MC, started in France ten years ago as a way to showcase young chefs talent. The chefs featured in these festivals are generally running their first restaurant. This year, Omnivore is touring – oh so many cities, including Sydney for the first time.

The idea behind Omnivore Masterclasses is to give us a chance to hear young chefs from different countries talk about their ideas, current menus, how they got started, the restaurant industry and food scene in their cities, and how each dish is put together. During Saturday’s Masterclass, we had chefs from Australia, New Zealand and France. The Omnivore festival also featured a pop up dinner, dinner-collaborations between Australian and international guest chefs, and a closing cocktail party (featuring the chefs’ food) which coincidentally was also a prime viewing platform for the naval fleet review fireworks. Alas, the Blue Mountains beckoned and I didn’t make it to the cocktail party.

I went into the Masterclass with high expectations and was not disappointed. By the end of the day, my notepad was filled with hasty scribbles of ideas for food and flavour combinations, bare lists of ingredients for a new recipe – perfect fodder for my experimental tendencies, and other scribbles indicating new foodstuffs to look for or restaurants to visit. Admittedly, one of those restaurants is in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, so the visit might be a while away, but there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead, oui?


Favourite moments of the day?

– Swooning to Sven Chartier’s French accent. I want to visit his restaurant in Paris (Saturne) for culinary reasons, really!!

– Carla Jones (Four Fourteen) inviting the audience to her 30th birthday party on Sunday – after inspiring the audience with a new-found love of tongue.

– Mitch Orr (121BC) triggering the smoke alarm, and quipping “I’m not paying the fire brigade bill.” (The Maritime Museum made an official announcement asking Museum patrons not to panic. One of the funniest moment of the day.)

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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!