talkeatdrink – Will Studd

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-08-2009

Simon Johnson have a regular schedule of chefs and food celebrities over the course of the year called talkeatdrink.  Last year and even earlier this year Will Studd presented but it always seemed like fate was conspiring against me and I wasn’t able to attend.  Finally in March I secured a seat for the presentation on August 22. I have been waiting 6 months for yesterday’s class! 

Risking a parking fine (there are only maximum of two hour parking meters close to Simon Johnson), I arrived eager and early.  We were able to potter around the store and stare longingly at the Cheese Room while we waited for the class to start. 

All the yummy cheeses Will brought

All the yummy cheeses Will brought

 

The 6 month wait was worth it as soon as I saw the cheeses all displayed and of course Maitre Fromager Will Studd. 

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The two hours flew as Will took us through the classes of cheese from fresh cheese to blues.  We were able to sample some amazing cheeses including: 

  • Buffalo Mozzarella – both Italian and Australian
  • Barrel aged Feta – totally different to any feta I had tasted before
  • Haloumi from Cyprus – also so different to rubbery examples we get at Supermarkets
  • Brie de Meaux – oozing on the plate
  • Brillat Savarin – scooped from the box and oh so yummy
  • Normandy Camembert – not raw milk of course (sadly)
  • Chabichou du Poitou – a goats milk cheese that uses the Geotrichum mould which gives cheeses that wavy white mould exterior
  • Alpage Gruyere – difficult to get as it made in a traditional way between July and September and only 200 cheeses a year
  • Spoonable Gorgonzola – so much oozier and gooey than regular Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort
  • cave ripened Taleggio
Cave ripened Taleggio

Cave ripened Taleggio

The key thing I took with me from the talk was the importance of preserving cheese making traditions. With fewer and fewer cheese makers using age old recipes and methods we run the risk of losing cheeses that have been made for hundreds and even some thousands of years.

Support artisan cheese (worldwide) even though it might seem more expensive. It’s worth every mouthful!

Will Studd & me

Will Studd & me

Something sweet…

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 24-05-2009

Today I met up with a bunch of other Sydney food bloggers at Adriano Zumbo to sample his new collection of cakes.  Yummo! They set out for us essentially four of each delicacy for us to purchase and try. Just looking at the dazzling array gave you a sugar rush.

Lots of cakes for everyone!

Lots of cakes for everyone!

Chocolate cheesecake... I will return for you!

Chocolate cheesecake... I will return for you!

In  keeping with my obsession with cheese I should have selected the amazing looking chocolate cheesecake but I couldn’t resist the cola can shaped cake. It was filled with a slurpable cherry cola jelly.

Cherry Cola

That little baby had to come home with me!

I also couldn’t resist these two cakes as well. I have brought them all safely home and plan to consume them tomorrow. I just can’t fit any more in today!

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In totally gluttony I also bought some of his chocolates. The one I am keen to try is Raspberry and Parmesan (yup back to cheese 🙂 !)

Brazilian style cheese?

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-05-2009

Last weekend my friends and I went to Churrasco in Coogee. It is a Brazilian style BBQ restaurant.

All you can eat meat.

Which for us turned out not to be too much! We had stuffed ourselves silly within half an hour.

Note to others thinking of going…. go early. We were there at 6:30pm and had lots and lots of choices served really quickly. The people who came later into the sitting had long waits and often watched food go by and come back past them again empty.

The food was great. Tasty and flavourful and lots of choices. Beef, chicken, Chorizo, sausages, lamb, pork, ham and even chicken hearts.  Another favourite, which my friend swears will ensure no ill effects from eating your body weight in meat, is the grilled pineapple.  The pineapple is dusted in cinnamon and grilled until caramelised. Yum! I could eat my body weight in that except my tongue started to get shredded. 🙁

But of course the one choice that had to be made was the barbecued bocconcini balls. Luckily small and “wafer thin”, they could easily be squeezed in with all the meat.

Herbed Bocconcini

Herbed Bocconcini

Tales of the Quick Trip to Paris (TQTP) – Day 1

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-05-2009

I arrived in Paris early on Saturday morning.  I was picked up from the airport and then immediately tagged along on the weekly shop to the markets. Pontoise is a little village at the edge of Paris (really a suburb) and it has a fresh market every Saturday in the square and parking lot in front of the town hall.

Although there were a couple of stalls selling cheese I was determined to visit the Fromagerie proper. As soon as we had the normal weekly shop done I dragged them to the cheese shop ready to buy the lot (especially raw cheeses!).

I made sure I bought a Camembert and Brie de Meaux for my little test but I also bought my friend’s favourite Saint Nectaire and a raw ewes milk called Cant’Auriol (I think).

That night, as one does in France, when we had dinner we had cheese before dessert and tried the cheeses I had bought. (Well I tried and they enjoyed again. For them it’s no big deal!)

The verdict on Camembert versus Brie:

OMG they are totally different cheeses!!! True raw milk Camembert is very strong and almost meaty. Brie de Meaux is creamy and mushroomy.  I liken them to a pampered Siamese cat and feral cat – both are cats but their temperaments are totally different!

Cant’Auriol (Bergerie de Cazes-Haut):

This was beautiful cheese. Strong with a hint of lanolin often in sheep milk cheeses. It was so runny. As it came to room temperature it melted like the Wicked Witch of the West, leaving a pool of goo and the paper label. Yum – I would eat this cheese again.

Saint Nectaire:

A new favourite to add to the very long list of favourite cheeses. How does one choose just one cheese to pronounce favourite? I just can’t do it.

Day 1 got off to a great cheesy start!

TQTP – A nibble of Day 1

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-05-2009

A quick trip to Paris

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 05-05-2009

One of my best friends (I was going to say oldest but I didn’t think she’d appreciate it! And I am actually older than her by a year) turned 40 this year. Her dream was to celebrate her 40th in the Champagne region in France with her friends. Unable to be there for the actually day in Champagne, we compromised and I met her in Paris the week before her birthday.

When we planned this I was unsure what I would be doing at my day job and not able to commit to much more than a week. So I flew from Sydney, Australia to Paris, France for a 7 day trip. The jet lag was killer!

Being the cheese fiend that I am I was determined that I would use this trip to my best cheese advantage. I was determined to haunt the village fromagerie to try all the beautiful raw milk cheeses banned from Australia.

I spent hours on the internet looking for cheese tours. Bugged friends and fellow cheese comrades for cheese stores to visit. I carefully logged it into a google map and printed it out ready for my trip.
I was prepared!

Another cheese related goal for the trip was to answer the question that burns in the mind of most Australians (OK maybe not most but at least a couple!) – are Camembert and Brie really different. I am sure the more experienced cheese readers are gasping at this question but here in Australia, with the cheeses the average person has access to, this is a legitimate question!

It was going to be tight but I was sure I could manage it all and see my friend. It was a plan, a good plan.
Stay tuned dear reader for the tales of the Quick Trip to Paris….

Australian Buffalo Mozzarella

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-03-2009

Friday I attended the first Taste of Sydney, a food and wine event that provides a chance to sample small dishes from some of the best restaurants in Sydney. As well as stands from Sydney restaurants there were stalls from food and wine vendors from all over the country.
Of course for me the highlight was the chance to see and try new cheeses.

The three most exciting cheeses there were:

  • Tasmanian Heritage Camembert. This cheese won Champion Camembert in the 2008 Wisconsin World Cheese Awards.
  • Yarra Valley Dairy marinated Persian Fetta. This cheese won 2001 Best In the World – Marinated Fetta at the World Cheese Awards in London
  • Vannella Cheese Factory Bufalina. Although this cheese hasn’t won any international awards it has won several Australian awards.

Go Aussie cheese!

It’s the Vannella Bufalina that stands out in my mind. There are very few sources of buffalo milk in Australia and until Friday I assumed they were all in Victoria. Vannella Cheese Factory is located in Cairns, Queensland and gets it’s buffalo milk from a dairy nearby. The family that runs the cheese factory moved from Italy to Australia to set up operations in Cairns.

The Bufalina that I tasted was a perfect example of what fresh mozzarella should taste like. It was fresh and delicate with a subtle clean milky flavour. It broke gently into pieces with beautiful angel hairs clinging to each side.

Cheese is such an amazing food because it can range from strong to gentle flavours. I admire so much the work of the affineur to age to perfection cheese for months and even years. At the same time I can’t help but admire the cheesemaker that produces fresh cheese. The delicate and deceptively simple perfection of fresh cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta are simply amazing.

Finally… I can add images

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2009

I can’t tell you how distressing it has been not to be able to work this out. I was really concerned because I am part of the IT industry, these things come easy to me! I was somewhat molified when I googled and realised I wasn’t the only having trouble with images and WordPress.

Hooray!

I can’t wait to add all the posts that are so much better when they have the pictures to go with it.

Phew!

OMG! I think I finally added an image to a post!

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2009

Fort Denison  Australian Cheese appreciation

Fort Denison Australian Cheese appreciation

At last I found a link to the news article I just loved…

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Posted by Nibbler | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2009

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-01-15-voa19.cfm

“Italy Rescues Traditional Cheese, as Nations Bailout Banks and Companies”

I think it is so amusing that while the US is bailing out banks and car companies and Australia is giving out money for Christmas to spend out of the crisis, Italy deals with crisis with cheese.