Guests cuddle up with lambs at Towri Sheep Cheeses

Lunch with the Lambs ELW 2016-1050543.jpg

Jocelyn Garcia@joc_gar

24 Jun 2017, 3:37 p.m.

GUESTS were eating sheep cheeses, drinking local wine and cuddling lambs at an Allenview farm’s Scenic Rim Eat Local Week event.

Towri Sheep Cheese farm owner Carolyn Davidson welcomed more than 50 visitors to her property on Friday to Lunch with the Lambs.

Executive chef Cameron Matthews created several shared courses with Ms Davidson’s sheep cheeses, Kalfresh carrots and Witches Falls wines, to enjoy a taste of the region’s local produce.

Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen welcomed guests, including High Commissioner of Singapore Fook Seng Kwok and Senator James McGrath.

Mr Christensen also presented the special guests with an Eat Local book and a frame of the Scenic Rim before the lunch began.

Ms Davidson said she has been a part of Scenic Rim Local Week since the annual campaign began.

“We are a family of entertainers so we love inviting people into the farm and this is definitely one of our highlights of the year,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase what Scenic Rim has to offer and it’s amazing how big the spectrum is of what there is here, from sheep cheesemaking to camel milk.”

Coming from a Merino wool breeding background, Ms Davidson said it was no surprise she opened her own sheep cheese farm in the Scenic Rim 12 years ago.

“I think sheep might be in our DNA – we can’t get enough of them,” she said.

“It took a while for people to get their heads around sheep cheeses but more and more people now are realising there’s more things out there than cow’s milk.”


Le Chateaubriand, the (near) perfect example of a modern french bistro

Fantastic!!! what more can I say, truly the best example of a “modern” bistro that I have eaten at in my time in Paris, Amazing service, interesting wines and delicious, interesting interpretations of some classics……


warm light and delicious, classic gougeres
veal tempura, horseradish – a really light boudin blanc type filling, perfect tempura, freshly grated horseradish, another great snack to start the meal
Potato gnocchi, Manchego- pure deliciousness and flawless execution
Tuna, sea greens (purslane), peach, pork sauce – great combination of flavours that really worked to deliver a great depth of flavour
beef broth with basil seeds – homeliness in a bowl.
perfectly cooked Turbot, courgette, almonds, faba beans and butter
duck breast and confit leg, red fruits and eggplant
cherry and capers – the only dish that missed, the texture of the caper leaves and the fllavor clashed with the near perfect sorbet – a shame as it was the only miss all night
Tocino de cielo – litterally Heaven’s Little Pig, based on a Spanish dessert, meringue, salted caramel, lightly cured, but sweet egg yolk, chewy, gooey, sticky sweet, what more you as for in a dessert, eaten in one mouthful, sensational!!!


spiced apricots to finish


Septime, Paris

Its taken me a few days to think about this meal, and to actually make up mind as to whether I enjoyed it or not, unfortunately I have come to conclusion, that it just didn’t work for me……although I love what the Septime team have done for sustainable practice throughout the Paris restaurant scene.

SO before I go on – here are the 14 reasons why Septime was awarded the San Pelligrino worlds top 50 restaurant, most sustainable restaurant award……pictures of my meal after!

  1. Sourcing 

Of the produce used at Septime, 99% is grown in France – the exceptions being coffee, sugar, vanilla and certain citrus fruits. The restaurant recently invested in a farm near Paris and also sources from a number of urban farmers within the city.

  1. Seed saving

Like former winner Azurmendi, Septime is into seed preservation – the restaurant works with farmer Christophe Collini and 10 other chefs to save 1,400 seed varieties in a project called Conservatoire du Gout.

  1. Vegetable focus

Veg accounts for 80% of the menu at Septime, with dishes such as roasted cauliflower, pickled pears, bottarga and seaweed butter

  1. Whole animal

When using meat in the restaurant, chef Grébaut buys the entire animal and uses it seasonally, enhancing the more unconventional cuts in terrines and broths or in staff meals.

  1. No beef

Because of the negative environmental impact of beef and the difficulty of finding meat that meets Septime’s high standards (France is more geared towards dairy than beef cow production), the restaurant doesn’t serve beef.

  1. Meat sourcing

Septime uses free-range chicken slaughtered after 150 days – that’s nearly three times the UK minimum of 56 days. Pork is sourced from three natural farms raising native and local breeds: the Basque Kintoa pig, the black Bigorre and the White Western pig – the three breeds are endangered because they’re unsuitable for the intensive farming industry. Lamb, rarely served in the restaurant, comes from Mont Saint-Michel.

  1. Sustainable seafood

Septime only deals with fishermen using 12m or smaller boats focusing on sustainable methods – angling, bottom gillnets, traps and trammels, coastal and dive fishing – which limits the impact on the marine environment. The previous day’s catch determines what goes on the menu. Grébaut also favours a number of less ‘fashionable’ fish, such as sardines, hake, horse mackerel and pouting.

  1. Fair treatment of farmers

The restaurant sources seafood from a supplier who deals directly with small-scale French fishermen and pays 20% more than the market price. In some cases, Septime asks farmers to plant special vegetables and then guarantees to buy all of the produce at the best price.

  1. Natural wine

Septime has its own 2.5-acre vineyard in Saint Emilion, which is being converted to biodynamic production. All the wine served at the restaurant is natural and much of it delivered by barge from the Rhone to Paris. The producers refuse all forms of pesticides, herbicides and other synthetic chemicals often used in winemaking. The restaurant also supports vineyards hit by recurrent poor weather through a scheme called Vendanges Solidaires.

  1. Filtered water

Refusing plastic containers, the restaurant only serves filtered water served in old wine bottles.

  1. Spreading the word

Team Septime actively participates in Mangeons Local, a movement to support local agriculture and the local economy. They are also members of Bon Pour Climat, reducing the carbon footprint of the hospitality sector. In serving their dishes at the restaurant, front-of-house staff make special efforts to detail the contents of each dish and the origins of all ingredients.

  1. Supporting the community

Grébaut and Pourriat are involved in a number of ways to support the local society, including involvement with Farm Africa and an organisation called Ernest, which links restaurants with charities feeding those in need. They offer internships and apprenticeships to locals, and tips are divided equally between all employees, from the maitre d’ and the sous chef to the dish washer.

  1. Gender parity

Septime is fairly unusual in the male-dominated restaurant industry in that it employs 51% women. All staff are paid at least 1.3 times the French minimum wage and with tips, this can rise to twice the minimum wage.


  1. Environmental impact

The team at Septime wasn’t satisfied with the recycling and waste management offered by their local authority in Paris so they started working with a private contractor who helps them measure and monitor waste. Ingredients and cut-offs that would usually be thrown away are instead reused in sauces and dishes, and any surplus is used for staff meals. The restaurant is also working on a to-the-gram correct portioning concept.

The menu

the menu in French, my descriptions may vary for those who can read this one, but my descriptions are of what we ate, there was some variation from this menu to what we were served…..
comte with grissini
Tuna, sea greens, pork sauce
Cucumber soup, cockles, raspberries, tofu and young almonds – for me this dish didn’t work, the raspberries with their high acdidity clashed, without the raspberries it was fantastic, the freshness of the raw cockles was outstanding
miso grilled eggplant, yoghurt, pine needles (which were quite sharp and not really pleasant to eat as they got stuck in your teeth and throat)
Courgette, trout roe, butter – nice dish, but a little boring……..
lobster, fresh peas and mint – another butter rich sauce, once again, dish dish, but……
dessert of apricot, St Georges mushroom and cream – just plain didn’t like this, I have eaten and served desserts containing mushroom before, this one just was way off the mark in my opinion…..
served with two wines, one of which was really mushroomy sake which was just not nice.
fresh berry and gin sorbet, cucumber in tonic, sorbet was nicely flavoured, but let down by the flavour of the tonic in the cucumber.

Would I go back? – yes, I think that the presence of Celebrity Action Bronson, filming and cooking in the restaurant may have cause a hiccup in our dinner and caused the team to lose concentration. Interested to see where this restaurant heads over the next couple of years, one to watch closely.

Chichester College students turn waste food into fabulous meal

Chichester Observer, friday 9th June 2017

Trainee chefs turned food destined for the bin into restaurant-class meals for hungry Chichester people.

World renowned (not so sure about this as a tittle but anyway – CM) chef Cameron Matthews was on hand to mentor catering students at Chichester College in creating a culinary master class from their on-site kitchen and restaurant.

The college students involved with top chef Cameron Matthews and Chichester-based charity UKHarvest. All photos by Derek Martin. DM17527476a.jpg

The college students involved with top chef Cameron Matthews and Chichester-based charity UKHarvest. All photos by Derek Martin.

 Some of the dinner guests enjoying the meals. DM17527526a.jpg

Some of the dinner guests enjoying the meals.

The special pop-up event was organised by UKHarvest – a new national charity based in Chichester which redistributes quality waste food to people who need it.

CEO Yvonne Thomson, from Chichester, said: “It went really, really well.

“To have such an incredible chef as Cameron was a massive coupe and he was so impressed with the young people at the college.

“He led on the menu made from all food that would have ended up as landfill.

Chef Cameron Matthews and student Thomas Daniels, tasting the food. Photo by Derek Martin. DM17527510a.jpg

Chef Cameron Matthews and student Thomas Daniels, tasting the food. Photo by Derek Martin.

“I think the young people were shocked with what can be done with surplus food.”

The event, on Wednesday, June 7, was the first of many planned as part of a new collaboration with the college.

Yvonne said: “I have to say it was an absolute privilege working with Chichester College. It’s the start of a new alliance and the level of support was amazing.

“We are not just about rescuing food but also education, showing people what can be created from waste food and the college got that straight away.”

Brogan Hill, left and Georgie Porter from UK Harvest. Photo by Derek Martin DM17527506a.jpg

Brogan Hill, left and Georgie Porter from UK Harvest. Photo by Derek Martin

Australian chef Cameron – who runs a top restaurant in Brisbane – was at the college’s new £3m Café 19 and 64 Restaurant & Bar most of the day teaching the six students how to create the meal, which was then served to around 35 guests.

UKHarvest launched in March this year from homeless charity Stonepillow’s hostel St Joseph’s in Hunston Road.

The charity redistributes waste food from supermarkets like M&S and Waitrose to those who need it.

It helps Stonepillow feed up to 100 people each day and Yvonne says she’s amazed by its success already.

DM17527532a.jpg Charity UK Harvest hosts a pop up restaurant at Chichester College. Photo by Derek Martin.

Charity UK Harvest hosts a pop up restaurant at Chichester College. Photo by Derek Martin.

DM17527512a.jpg Students Libby Taylor, Thomas Daniels and Charlotte Harding busy creating

Students Libby Taylor, Thomas Daniels and Charlotte Harding busy creating

DM17527486a.jpg College chef Paul Williams and student Charlotte Harding, 17

College chef Paul Williams and student Charlotte Harding, 17


Frenchie for dinner (again!) – this time in Paris!

So as it turned out, Frenchie Paris is just at my doorstep, great planning (except i had no reservation) and although I couldn’t get into the restaurant as such (they have a one month waiting list) the Frenchie bar across the lane was fantastic, the atmosphere & service were just as you want in a packed Parisian bar & the sound was track very cool. The food verdict, equally as good (if not better) than Covent Garden!

just one street from my apartment – and I didn’t even plan it!
the Frenchie Bar kitchen – yes thats all of it…..
Burrata, pesto, apricot, unusal combo in my book, but it really worked, especially with the toasted nuts onto top
Merguez, yoghurt and mustard greens, could have done with more spice in the actual sausage, but was still tasty
roasted cauliflower, smoked eel (as a puree), pomelo
tortellini vertes, mushrooms & peas, with a ricotta filling – the flavour of nettles really shone through in the pasta, great roasting juices as a sauce.
Chicken, fried potato, & chickpeas – cooked as the french do, the table beside me sent theirs back to be to more cooked, but I thought mine was perfect……
rose granita, rose water sherbet, crystalised rose leaves, a freeby because I ate so much! deliciously light and a great finish to a fantastic evening

Frenchie Covent garden

After visiting French earlier in the year (see the dishes from that visit below), I wanted to return to see what a new season had to bring, it didn’t disappoint either, great (simple) food, cooked with passion……..potentially too much much passion judging from the language coming from the kitchen when Chef Marchand arrived, making the ladies on the opposite table to me blush but who am I to speak………I love the food & atmosphere here.

The French Covent Garden team hard at it


Snacks – maple glazed, bacon scones, clotted cream – Falafel, aubergine and preserved lemon – pork crackling with apple & mint
Scallop ceviche, tomatoes, yoghurt
Cornish crab tagloilini, based on a bisque
Haddock, herbs & lemon
strawberries & raspberries, meringues, vanilla cream, passionfruit
apricot tart, herb ice cream, almond frangipane

The dishes from my May 2017 visit

Burrata with fresh artichokes
duck parpadelle
warm chocolate mousse, bacon ice cream

The Clove Club, Shoreditch.

Another awesome lunch, amazed at the amount of Australian talent working here, was served by a waitress from Noosa, a Sommelier from Brisbane and knew one of the chefs in the Kitchen.

Grand entrance, directly into a warm, heartfelt welcome
#26 San Pelligreno top 50 list, but only 1 star michelin? I believe that a second can’t be far away…..


The first of four “snacks” – Frozen Zerbinati melon gazpacho, almond cream
cornish crab tart & brown crab hollandaise
buttermilk fried chicken & pine salt
haggis bun & cider vinegar powder (similar to a Danish appleskiver)
onto first course proper, Hay smoked trout tartare, jersey royal potato soup & crisps, sancho pepper


Scottish langoustine in two servings

butter poached tail with burnt creme and hay ash
claw meat with Shell dashi, watercress & apple
summer herb & smoked herring broth
bread service, the crust was superb
Orkney Scallop
roast Orkeny scallop, courgette, seaweed, brown butter
mint & seaweed jelly
accompanied with hay smoked lamb ribs – the best lamb roast ever!
100 year old madeira……..


the glass then has a Duck, morel & ginger consommé added
what an experience!
Slow roasted Lincolnshire chicken, violet garlic, liquorice & peas – could taste the liquorice, but if the lamb ribs were the best lamb roast ever, then this has to be the best roast chook…
the fried potatoes, extra crisp on the outer, soft and fluffy inside, achieved by sheeting the spuds first then rolling them tightly into a cylinder, all in the name of crunch!
wild fennel granita, ewes milk mousse, strawberries
Loquat sorbet, loquat kernel cream & puffed amaranth


peated barley cake & dundee marmalade cake
Dr Hendersons bon bons & salted caramels chocolates (that mysteriously disappeared before the shot…)

Duck Soup, Soho, Deliciousness!

So after gaining some insider knowledge after a meeting with the Sustainable restaurant Association, last nights dinner was at Duck soup in Soho, Delicious food served shared style in a way too cool basement…….what more could you ask for, oh they also played vinyls…….excuse the pictures, it was only lit by candle light, but need to share the food as is was fantastic.

The first course,  smashed it – it had been a long day – and I didn’t remeber to photograph before it was devoured, but a simple dish of finely sliced yellow courgette, dressed with dill, yoghurt and barley, with a great olive oil and vinegar……..alongside a text book negroni, yes please.

grilled octopus with fennel – great char on the octopus, copious olive oil and juices for the cracking bread
slow cooked lamb with peas & pecorino – mopped up with delicious bread and hand churned butter – could eat this every meal!!!
Skate, cockles, grilled onions, capers and tarragon
Duck Soup, get it if you can!!!!

Amass, Copenhagen

I have been a follower of Amass and Chef Matt Orlando via social media for some years now and it seems some what unreal to have had the privilege to spend time in the kitchen and dine here, it was an awesome experience in not only food but true “hospitality”.  Here what a lunch a this fantastic restaurant looked like!



“At Amass, we believe in a holistic approach to food that not only prioritizes our guests and gastronomy, but also the environment and our future as an industry. Our gold organic certification, which insures that 90% to 100% of our food and beverages are organic and free of pesticides, is only one of the many initiatives we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint. By sourcing nearly 95% of our products locally, minimizing ingredient waste and saving water, we want to go beyond labels and give as much care to how we operate as a restaurant as our farmers and purveyors do with the soil and sea.

Furthermore, we want to prove that both environmental and financial sustainability as well as deliciousness are mutually reinforcing, not mutually exclusive. Food trim and brown cardboard provide compost for our on-site garden. In the kitchen, we are constantly thinking of how to extract the most out of our ingredients without resorting to the waste bin. We use coffee grounds for flatbreads, dehydrate herb stems for seasonings and fry fish bones as snacks.

Everyone, from restaurants to home cooks, can make a difference, but it first requires a will to do so. Many of our ideas are not the most technically advanced, but they do require effort. We hope you are as inspired as we are to make the most of what we have now, so we can protect the food we love for the future.”

taken from the Amass website

crisps made from left overs,


Green asparagus, dried berries, old yeast and herbs from the Amass garden, eaten with the hands, a delicious way to whet the appetite.
Hot smoked Zander, almond milk, black pepper oil, orpine and spring garlic
sour pancakes, yoghurt miso (the yoghurt had been aged for 7 months) radish, herbs
white asparagus, knotweed, 63c yolk, burnt lemon, walnut and walnut garum (made from the spent walnuts from walnut milk inoculated with Koji spores)
salted pork – which was similar to a pan fried rilette –  barley, fresh horseradish, cucumber & sunchoke, wrapped in a fermented  Knotweed leaf brushed with black garlic paste


lamb, red seaweed broth, smoked lamb fat, beach herbs – on that pass the seaweed broth had to spooned in using a special spoon, “acquired” from Per Se especially for it.


The lamb loin was well aged, as all the meats that are used are, upstairs in the specific meat aging rooms.

Anise hyssop, olive oil, green rhubarb caramel – salty, herbacous, sweet, deliciuosness.
Beetroot sherbet, Rhubarb, salted grains, pine – one of my favorite dishes, the favors change as you eat it, so hard to explain, but definatly memerable.
spiced cracker, Chocolate, wild rose – S’mores & coffee, graham crackers and an aqua faba meringue made on chickpea liquor


Sigmund says Hi!
The tunnel, providing leaves & herbs all year round, running aquaponics
the gardens – the main inspiration for the dishes



“The garden at Amass represents the soul of the restaurant. We currently have more than 80 different varietals of plants, including leafy vegetables, berries, herbs and flowers that appear on our menu daily. But our garden is more than ingredients: It’s the inspiration for dishes to come, making each day a work in progress.

Our garden isn’t just for us. We want our garden to be a learning environment and urban oasis for our guests and community. The garden amasses friends, family and neighbors to have a glass of wine next to the sunflowers, a post-dinner coffee by the nightly bonfires, or even a sniff from our lavender patch.

As an educational tool, everyone, from chefs to locals, are welcome to learn from our sustainable agriculture initiatives. We also use the garden as the basis for the Amass Green Kids Program, our farm-to-table initiative for local schoolchildren.

So please come and enjoy our small piece of nature amidst the industrial settings of Refshaleøen.

taken from the Amass website


“Every restaurant has a choice and at Amass we choose to use organic products whenever possible, from beverages to produce to meat and even some of our linens. Because of this commitment to organic sourcing, the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment has given us the Gold Organic Certification, which guarantees that 90-100% of our products and ingredients are organically certified.

The Danish Gold Organic Certification is an assurance to our guests that their food and wine are free from pesticides and the meat on their plates comes from livestock in which animal welfare is paramount. Gastronomically, we depend upon the health of farmland to deliver superior ingredients not only in the present, but also year after year. By relying upon pesticides and chemical fertilizers, we don’t have that guarantee: we will eventually have to pay the price in degraded soil and inferior crops.

For us, organic products are just the beginning of a much larger dedication to ethical procurement. We want to work with vintners and farmers who also believe that organic principles are not simply a series of checks on a spreadsheet. In our kitchen, we respect the product as a whole and by visiting nearly all our purveyors, we can be secure knowing that they treat the land and natural resources with as much consideration as we do with their goods.

We also want to insure the financial health of small farms who produce specialty products. To preserve the forgotten fruit varietals, rare heritage crops and breeds, we collaborate and support those farmers who care more about saving endangered flavors than making profits.

To protect marine health, we carefully research how our seafood is obtained: All of our seafood is wild and caught using non-invasive methods such as line or non-trawler fishing. We also use wild fowl in season and herbs provided by professional hunters and foragers that not only meet but agree with our ethical standards.

We recognize not all goods can be certified organic; however, we would rather adapt our menu than to compromise our sourcing principles.

There are, of course, problems with organic farming, regulations and certification and we realize this. But in promoting organic practices, we hope for an agricultural future not dependent upon chemicals, high yields and minimal environmental protections, but one which has farmers working symbiotically with nature to produce delicious food sustainably.”

taken from the Amass website

even the wine boxes were cool……

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