• he upside to getting poked and prodded with needles all day (my left arm was covered in cotton ball, medical tape and bandaids) was that the SO was willing to take me anywhere for lunch to boost my sorry spirits. I took advantage of the situation to suggest visiting Chur Burger and didn’t even have to sell him the fact that their burgers are only AUD$10 each.

    Chur Burger in Fortitude Valley

    he upside to getting poked and prodded with needles all day (my left arm was covered in cotton ball, medical tape and bandaids) was that the SO was willing to take me anywhere for lunch to boost my sorry spirits. I took advantage of the situation to suggest visiting Chur Burger and didn’t even have to sell him the fact that their burgers are only AUD$10 each.

  • When a Japanese person recommends a Japanese eatery, you better sit up and pay attention – or at least I certainly did, especially since this was a recommendation for yakitori. And what’s not to love about little skewers of BBQed meats?

    Samurais Paradise on the Gold Coast

    When a Japanese person recommends a Japanese eatery, you better sit up and pay attention – or at least I certainly did, especially since this was a recommendation for yakitori. And what’s not to love about little skewers of BBQed meats?

  • Ribs & Burgers recently hit the James Street scene and hasn't stopped the tongues waggling since. Not to be left out, the SO and I trooped down to check them out for a weekend lunch.

    Ribs & Burgers on James Street

    Ribs & Burgers recently hit the James Street scene and hasn’t stopped the tongues waggling since. Not to be left out, the SO and I trooped down to check them out for a weekend lunch.

  • Malaya Corner has three locations in Brisbane, but we have only ever dropped into their city store - usually for a quick dinner when we have a craving for Asian to tide us over till the next appointment later in the evening.

    Malaya Corner in the city

    Malaya Corner has three locations in Brisbane, but we have only ever dropped into their city store – usually for a quick dinner when we have a craving for Asian to tide us over till the next appointment later in the evening.

  • When Domino’s announced the launch of their new pulled pork range of pizzas, I knew this one is up our alley. What's even better is they come in their chef's best range. Score!

    Domino’s Pulled Pork pizza range

    When Domino’s announced the launch of their new pulled pork range of pizzas, I knew this one is up our alley. What’s even better is they come in their chef’s best range. Score!

  • Saturday morning breakfasts with friends Luke and Amanda are becoming a thing, and on this weekend, we hit up Anouk in Paddington.

    Anouk

    Saturday morning breakfasts with friends Luke and Amanda are becoming a thing, and on this weekend, we hit up Anouk in Paddington.

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Eat Drink Blog 2014

I debated about whether I should write this post, because I am in the unique position to have had a foot in both the organisers’ and attendees’ camp at this year’s Eat Drink Blog conference. I made the very hard decision to pull out of the organising committee after a bout of health issues and was later given the privilege to come as an attendee. It was a very generous gesture on the part of the comm, who all welcomed me with open arms, and it just goes to show what awesome people they are.

But the experience is worth being chronicled and inevitably compared to previous years’, so here goes.

The Venue

Eat Drink Blog 2014

This year’s conference was held at Wandering Cooks, Brisbane’s first incubator for food entrepreneurs, such as market stall holders, caterers and gourmet food vans. While it wasn’t as fancy as EDB Adelaide or as hippy as EDB Perth, Director Angela Hirst has created an amazing space that was perfect for showcasing what can be possible when you pursue your passion at whatever stage in your life.

The committee definitely made the right call to hold it in September – the weather was perfect and we got a touch of delicious warm Queensland sunshine during the breaks. While the Weather Man forecasted showers, the skies only blessed us with the faintest of spits during lunch, so big thumbs up to the comm on that decision.

Eat Drink Blog 2014

My sole gripe was that sitting in the back row meant the passing street traffic made it difficult to hear the presentations if the roller doors weren’t down and the volume of the speakers turned up higher.

 

The Program and Speakers

There were a couple of similarities in the topics between this year’s conference and previous years’.

The highlights for me were the chefs’ panel, which comprised of Philip Johnson (E’cco), Brent Farrell (85 Miskin St), Tony Percuoco (Tartufo) and Josh Okron (Prive 249), Claire Davie of Melbourne Gastonome‘s presentation on ACCC guidelines and Brenda Fawdon (Mondo Organics)’s presentation on Ethical Food.

Then there was the post-lunch activity. All the bloggers were asked to get in a line according to how long they had been blogging – the objective being that everyone would get the opportunity to meet other bloggers who started the same time as you. Anthony the MC gave the arbitrary 10 year blogger as the oldest, but as it turned out, I was the OLDEST blogger at 13 years. The next closest bloggers had been blogging for 11 years.

The Sponsors

Where would the conference be without the sponsors’ generosity? Kudos to the businesses and organisations for taking a chance and working with the committee to bring together some amazing treats for attendees.

My favorites in the goodie bags:

  • Dreamfarm’s Mini Supoon (this product has now become my go-to spoon for getting the last dregs at the bottom of jars.
  • A trio pack from Roza’s Gourmet Sauces: the sweet mustard is divine
  • Go Natural (the bar is still my favourite)

Eat Drink Blog 2014

Eat Drink Blog 2014
Other sponsor favorites:

Eat Drink Blog 2014

Eat Drink Blog 2014

Eat Drink Blog 2014
Unfortunately one of the biggest difficulties for this year’s committee was securing financial sponsorship to help with some of the running costs of the event. Perhaps it was due to the wide range of other food related events happening in Brisbane around the same time or the focus on the G20 in November. Whatever the reason, this has been the first time a committee had to request for donations from attendees. Now the question about whether the conference should become a paid event has never been more pertinent – She Cooks She Gardens has a very succinct blogpost on the issue and these might be some considerations for next year’s committee.

 

The Conference ‘Dinner’

This is the first time I’ve attended an EDB dinner function that 127 Bar and Bistro for a stellar canapé dinner (and apparently mind-blowing dessert surprise, which I missed out on).

 

The Sunday Activity

There were three Sunday activities to choose from, but as I’m off alcohol on doctor’s orders, I only had two options available to me and the comm allocated me to the Bee One Third session at Gerard’s Bistro. Read more about that session here.

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Something big this way comes

Things have been a little quiet on this blog. I won’t apologise for the lack of updates, because we have something huge to announce and have been waiting for everything to settle. But now it’s time to let you in on the secret.

BabyAnnouncement2014

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Bee One Third workshop at Eat Drink Blog 2014

Sponsored: The Bee One Third on James Street was one of three Eat Drink Blog 2014 workshops available through the event sponsors. Attendees were invited to nominate and participate in a workshop for free.

It’s weird that while I’m not a huge fan of sugar, I have a thing for honey. Thick luscious ropes of liquid gold drizzled over pancakes, muesli, slices of simple tea cakes or into a steeping cup of herbal tea is something I’m more than happy to indulge in. But when one talks about bees, there’s often a flash of panic in people’s eyes.

Bee One Third is helping to bring these amazing creatures into Brisbane’s urban environment and it was very heartening to hear that local businesses have been hopping onto the program, and one of the first was the James Street Precinct.

Bee One Third

Our Bee One Third guide Jack spots a mop of harvest gold curls with the matching hipster beard. While all of us donned the unflattering billowy white apiary tops to protect ourselves and our egos from these tiny creatures, the man oozed a touch of Nirvana calm as he led us up onto the rooftop to smoke the hives and show us its inner workings before returning us to the forest floor for scrumptiously sweet morning tea by Gerard’s Bar and sampling a range of honeys collected from various Brisbane districts.

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

Bee One Third

My favorite jar of honey was from the Valley, which had a depth of smokiness I had never imagined possible from honey. Who knew something this amazing could come out of one of the trashiest areas of Brisbane?

Bee One Third

I’m bummed that all my photos of the amazing honey desserts by Gerard’s Bar were blown out, but trust me when I say they were freaking amazing without being overly sweet and I DEFINITELY want to come back to try their menu – particularly their vegan platter. Yes, you heard right – they offer a platter for vegans.

Sponsored: The Bee One Third on James Street was one of three Eat Drink Blog 2014 workshops available through the event sponsors. Attendees were invited to nominate and participate in a workshop for free.

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Good Food and Wine Show kicks off today in Brisbane!

The Good Food and Wine Show kicks off today in Brisbane! I missed it last year due to being in Perth for the Eat Drink Blog conference, but I’ve always had a great time every other time I’ve been.

The Good Food and Wine Show is running October 17-19 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and I get to go Saturday AND Sunday! I think I’m going to need their online timetables to ensure I don’t miss out on anything. Adriano Zumbo is also visiting for the first time (remember my little gush about his V8 cake when I visited Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier at The Star in Sydney two years ago?), so there should be plenty of fun.

Now if the show could bring Yotam Ottolenghi onto our Aussie shores next year, that would be freaking AH-mazing!

What are your plans this weekend?

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Chur Burger in Fortitude Valley

Chur Burger

I normally don’t venture very far from the city centre during the week, but I had to take the day off for a 4-hour hospital appointment and two doctors’ appointments. The upside to getting poked and prodded with needles all day (my left arm was covered in cotton ball, medical tape and bandaids) was that the SO was willing to take me anywhere for lunch to boost my sorry spirits. I took advantage of the situation to suggest visiting Chur Burger and didn’t even have to sell him the fact that their burgers are only AUD$10 each.

Chur Burger

Yuppy and hipster – these were the two adjectives that came to mind as we walked into Chur Burger. The last of the straggling lunch crowd were young executive types with rolled up sleeves, coiffed beards and perfectly tousled bed hair. Music was pumped in overhead (at a louder decibel range that I might normally like) and a psychedelic magnitude of street art covered the walls. The ceiling sparked the same wood panels as the tables, repeated etchings of ‘Chur Burger’ – as if to constantly remind punters of where they are. Perhaps customers do need it, seeing as Chur Burger has a good range of alcoholic beverages available to wash their food down with.

But since I’m off alcohol for awhile (doctor’s orders) and the SO was driving, we turned our attention to the food instead. I went for the beef burger and the SO opted for the pulled pork burger, with sweet potato fries to share.

Chur Burger - Beef, pickle, cheese, tomato jam and Dijon mayonnaise. AUD$10

Beef, pickle, cheese, tomato jam and Dijon mayonnaise. AUD$10

The beef burger came on a crisp toasty brioche bun with pickle (pickled ribbons of zucchini/cucumber), cheese, tomato jam and Dijon mayonnaise. Usually offered as a medium rare, I requested for a medium-well done patty – again, doctor’s orders. With lowered expectations about the condition of the patty, I was very pleasantly surprised with this perfectly presented burger. The patty was fairly thick and didn’t drip any juices, yet the insides were just the tiniest touch pink and still really moist.

Chur Burger - Pulled pork, Chur BBQ sauce, red slaw, fennel mayonnaise. AUD$10

Pulled pork, Chur BBQ sauce, red slaw, fennel mayonnaise. AUD$10

The pulled pork burger was served in the same toasted brioche bun with Chur’s BBQ sauce, red slaw and dressed in a fennel mayonnaise. This burger might be the Chur Burger star. What the pictures and description failed to convey was how drippy a burger this was. To say the pulled pork is juicy would be an understatement – the SO’s plate looked like a flood of meat juices with swirls of mayo drippings. There was no chance of one coming away from that burger with clean hands.

Not pictured were the sweet potato fries, tossed in lime and garlic salt (AUD$5). These were thick hand cut – crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside. These were great for experimenting with the variety of hot sauces at each table. My favorite out of this lot is the Huffman’s Hot Sauce, whereas the SO preferred the Melbourne Hot Sauce in Chiptole & Cayenne.

Chur Burger

The world at large has been spoilt with the idea that ‘bigger is better’ and in recent years, burgers have grown to mammoth proportions. For the ravenous eater, this is a well-loved trend, but do we really need a burger bigger than our faces and loaded with every ingredient bar the kitchen sink? Chur Burger have admittedly slightly smaller burgers than its contemporaries, but they’re not microscopically tiny either and it’s a blessing to see burgers refocused on simple good quality ingredients.

 

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

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