MasterChef Live 2010

What a whirlwind of a day! Some major highlights included:

  • Bring surrounded by loads of stalls ranging from chocolate truffles, to gelato, to olive oil and ginger beer, I had heaps of fun sampling foods from many different stalls and most of the time I would end up purchasing something. How can you say no to deliciousness. My granny trolley which I had brought along came in handy with helping the boyfriend, his sister and my best friend tow around all our goodies. Best investment ever! It may not be that stylish, but it saves you from lugging around your purchases.
  • Seeing Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Adam Liaw, Marion Grasby and Donna Hay! Matt Preston has lost a lot of weight. Well done!
  • Sitting next to Adriano Zumbo while he demonstrated how to pipe. He was like 30cm away from me! *swoon* I got a photo with him as well. He’s so nice and down to earth.
  • Bumping into Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella). I saw her from afar but was initially too shy to say hello, it took some discussion with the boyfriend, his sister and my best friend to see whether or not I had seen the wrong person to finally convince myself to go and say hi. To say I was like a giddy little school girl is to say the least. Side note: Lorraine, I’m sorry if I seemed weird in any way at all.

I had so much fun today. I’m always so happy when surrounded by food. Even though it was hot and muggy, the food made up for it. Normally I would’ve been complaining about the weather, but the food just makes up for it all. MasterChef Live is on until this Sunday, if you have a chance to go you should.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

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MasterChef LIVE Australia

Hi Everyone!

MasterChef LIVE Australia is coming to Sydney in December. Over 3 days there will be live theatre shows, cooking demonstrations, heaps of stalls and a stack of celebrity chefs. Currently, taste.com.au have an offer on. 2 for 1 tickets to MasterChef LIVE! This offer is available for Gold and Silver tickets for the Friday and Sunday. So that’s $70 for 2 Gold tickets, how cheap is that? There are many sessions per day that you can choose from. This offer ends next week, so if you were planning to go then buy your tickets soon. I just bought 4 tickets and I got pretty good seating. I assume this will be like the Good Food and Wine show but better. I’m excited to be going. I hope to bag heaps of goodies!

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Lunch on Lawson’s – Sydney

Hi Everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for Lunch on Lawson’s in Sydney. Basically, all you had to do was sign up to the free lunches you wanted to attend, print off the confirmation email and head to that restaurant on the day to pick up your free sandwich. So I spent the next 2 weeks driving around Sydney getting free sandwiches. Some places even gave out free loaves of bread. Yum! So here is my collection of lunches that I had during that fortnight.

Vivolicious

Stone Mill Wholemeal bread, spread with homemade semi dried tomato relish and filled with baby rocket, sliced roasted pumpkin chargrilled pesto chicken and brie.

Cheeky’s Spanish Lawson Lamb

Original White bread spread with roasted garlic mayonnaise and filled with lime and peppered marinated lamb backstrap, grilled onion and capsicum with smoked paprika, XVOO, rocket and Roma tomatoes.

Pannino Blu

Settlers’ Grain bread spread with Italian home made mayonnaise and filled with San Marino prosciutto, provolone cheese, wild rocket and semi sundried tomatoes.

Alaskan King Crab and Wild Lime

Original White bread, thinly spread with shipped mayonnaise and filled with wild lime pearl, pea tendrils, Alaskan snow crab, flying-fish roe (tobiko) and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Settlers King Prawn Furikaki

Settlers’ Grain bread, thinly spread with lemon aspen mayonnaise and filled with red oak lettuce, tomato, smoked crispy bacon rasher and cooked king prawn salad sprinkled with Furikaki seasoning. The lettuce, tomato and prawns have been dipped in herbal active powder.

Mumu Pulled Pork Sandwich

Homestead Seed & Grain bread lightly spread with whole egg mayo and filled with apple coleslaw and pulled pork.

All the sandwiches were delicious. It was made even more so due the fact that they were all free. Unfortunately, none of the sandwiches looked like the ones photographed in the ‘Good Sandwich Guide’ booklet. My photos don’t do them justice. However, every time you go get a sandwich, they give you a ‘Good Sandwich Guide’ booklet with all the sandwiches they gave out all around Australia. This is good as it encourages people to try and make their own tasty sandwiches as all the ingredients are listed.

Although they say this is a one off event, I hope they do this again in the future. It’s good marketing for Lawson’s. But they didn’t need to try and convert me. I buy Lawson’s bread all the time as the boyfriend loves it.

Thanks to these groups for the free lunches:

  • Lawson’s bread
  • Vivo Cafe
  • Cheeky Food Group
  • Il Locale Blu
  • Mumu Grill
  • Eleven Kitchen and Cellar
  • Ice Cube

But for now, everyone should sign up for the Chef’s Armoury FREE event. Hope to see some of you guys there.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

La Renaissance Café Patisserie – The Rocks, Sydney

Just a quick update before I get stuck into my assessments. I’ve been wanting to update but haven’t had time. So now that I have a spare moment I can tell you where Lemon and I went last Tuesday.

Lemon had been telling me about La Renaissance for some time now. He had worked there for a bit when he was at Hotel School. He was drooling over the pies when he was telling me so we decided to make a lunch date out of it.

La Renaissance conveniently enough is situated right next to the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe. It has a small shopfront which led me to not notice it on my last adventure to The Rocks. When you walk in, you’re met with rows and rows of macarons, cakes, pastries and baguettes. Everything just looked so delectable. I’m such a sucker for food with a bright light shining on it.

Look at the macarons! *drool*

But we were there for lunch. Unfortunately, dessert had to wait. Lemon had a pie, of course, since he had been raving on about it since forever. I chose a baguette since I’m not really one for pies.

There are a total of 8 baguettes to choose from.

Poulet Chasseur: Traditional French hunters recipe of diced chicken, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and white wine. $8

With a side of salad. $11

Lemon loved his pie. From taste and observation, I could tell it was quite a nice pie. The crust was very flaky, signs of a good pie pastry. The filling was quite saucy, which I quite liked as well. I like my meals to be quite saucy as I don’t like foods being dry. All in all it was a very nice self-saucing pie. Lemon was so into it, he even wanted another one after polishing off his plate. I told him to save his stomach for dessert.

Baguette Rôti De Boeuf: Rare roast beef, with mixed salad, caramelised onions and Dijon mustard mayonnaise. $9

My baguette was alright. It reminded me of Delifrance from when I was young. I chomped it down even though the baguette was quite thick so I had a bit of trouble biting it. There wasn’t anything really special about the baguette, it was just very filling. I think I’ll try a pie next time around.

After buying your food, you can walk through to the back there there is a small courtyard. It makes you feel like you’re eating in a garden of sorts. Very chique sort of atmosphere created.

After lunch, we decided to go for a little walk before having dessert as we were so full. We went to the Baroque Bistro, Bar & Patisserie to have a little gander. Baroque is an off-shoot from La Renaissance. I believe that the macarons sold in La Patisserie are made in the Baroque Patisserie. We had a little look but left when we got bad customer service from the waitress.

We then made our way to Ken Duncan’s gallery where Lemon bought a couple of books for his friends who were getting baptised. After doing all that exercise, we decided to head back to La Renaissance to have some dessert.

There’s always so many people in the patisserie, it’s so hard to get photos of different cakes and the shop when there are business people wanting to be served. I’m quite easy with the choice of dessert so I let Lemon choose. The only thing I don’t like if berries, but luckily Lemon didn’t choose any. We bought our desserts and made our way to the Overseas Passenger Terminal where we sat and ate our goodies. We saved $1 per dessert for getting take away.

Our trio of delicious desserts.

Passion de Pierre: A light creamy passionfruit mousse, with a layer of raspberry jelly, encased in joconde and decorated with fresh seasonal fruit. $6

Joconde is a mixture of eggs, ground almonds, icing sugar and a little flour, made into sponge-like sheets. I quite liked the slight sourness and tanginess of the passionfruit. It was very light indeed. The small chocolate balls on top reminded me of black and white pepper which I giggled at while I was eating it.

Mousse Picasso: Layers of white and dark chocolate mousse, wrapped in folds of Valrhona “Jivara” milk chocolate. $6

Unfortunately the top of the chocolate box cracked in the box, but it was still all good. I personally didn’t like the outside because I found it too creamy and sweet. I gave part of my half to Lemon. But the inside was surprisingly quite light. The white chocolate mousse wasn’t very sweet and it worked well with the dark chocolate mousse. I didn’t really feel like I was eating chocolate at all.

Chocolate Eclair: Traditional choux pastry filled with chocolate pastry cream and topped with chocolate fondant. $4.50

Eclairs aren’t my favourite dessert in the world but Lemon wanted one so we got one. I gave him the bigger half though. It was nice for what it was. But my bias towards eclairs doesn’t allow me to have a neutral judgement. I though it was alright, enough said.

Tada! How yummy does it all look?

Lemon and I polished off all three desserts, it left us wanting more. But we were too full. As I was eating the eclair, a seagull was eyeing us. It was getting closer and closer. I don’t do well with animals, and I’ve had bad experiences with seagulls at the beach. They can get quite aggressive.

Look how evil it looks!

I made Lemon walk upstairs to the Overseas Passenger Terminal so we could take some photos. Enjoy the photos of Circular Quay.

Opera House

Ferry

Circular Quay Wharf

Guest appearance from my best friend Lemon

I then made Lemon walk all the way back to Baroque because I wanted to buy some macarons. But that’s for the next post. Visit La Renaissance someday and try their desserts, they’re worth it.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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