Today: two good meringues, rose-scented creme anglaise made with the remaining pair of yolks, a flourish of leftover pomegranate and some garden mint. Thank you, eggs, for the rando afternoon pavlova.
Part soda factory, part bar, PS40 is one of Sydney’s most remarkable bar openings – a beautiful space punctuated with so much colour. Very #grateful for the opportunity to shoot it! Thank you Livia Lima, Thor Bergquist and Michael Chiem for having me.
Hey guys! Just a quick little update here. With every blogger publishing their utterly original Easter recipes clamouring for Buzzfeed list fame, and after missing out on World Nutella Day earlier last month, I couldn’t stand not posting something of my own! Here’s a wonderful Easter themed brunch recipe to entertain both friends and family on a leisurely Easter Monday morning – Cadbury Creme Egg™ and avocado toast. The internet lives for yolkporn! And the internet lives for recipes involving the Cadbury Creme Egg™. Everybody posts them. Everybody loves Cadbury Creme Eggs™. Cadbury Creme Egg™ brownies, Cadbury Creme Egg™ cupcakes, Cadbury Creme Egg™ cookies, Cadbury Creme Egg™ ice cream, Cadbury Creme Egg™ martinis, Cadbury Creme Egg™ dip, Cadbury Creme Egg™ brioche soldiers. Put the egg on anything, everything. All hail the Mighty Egg. Like a soft yolk moments before oozing and cascading down the brittle crust of artisan bread, I wanna feel the warm embrace of Egg. It’s smashed avo with a holiday twist!!
Cadbury Creme Egg™ and Avocado Toast
8 Cadbury Creme Eggs™
Handful of chives, chopped
Sea salt and pepper
1. Slice four thick slices of rye bread and pop them in the toaster.
2. Cut avocados in half, peel the skin, remove their seeds and slice thinly on the diagonal. Fan them out and divide amongst the bread.
3. Slice Cadbury Creme Eggs™ in half lengthways and nestle four halves per piece of bread in the avocado. To generate #yolkporn, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds!
4. Squeeze over quarter of a lemon lemon, sprinkle over chives, grind course salt and pepper as the final adornment and enjoy!
I’ve spent a long time attempting to write about my experience at Noma – paragraphs of anecdotes and waffling about complex cooking of foraged leaves, essays concerning unruly restaurant expectations of people with TripAdvisor accounts – but I’m struggling. I need to be more succinct lest I sound like a drooling fan.
I could tell you about the new friends I made from Singapore out the front as we aided each other in selfie-by-proxies at the famous restaurant’s front door, I could wax lyrical of its unexpected location, an area undergoing intensive redevelopment, or perhaps mention the intimidation which poured over me as I approached the façade I had seen in so many photos before.
We were the first to walk into the restaurant, and – “hello! Welcome to Noma!”, greeted 30 or so waitstaff and chefs in waves of humility. I was stunned. The bants of the waitstaff are so strong, as are the chefs’ as they introduced the food after introducing themselves, asking how long we were staying in Copenhagen for and about our hometown (“did you pick we were Australian from our horrible accents?”, “well yes, but I also saw the country code of your phone number of your booking”).
The dishes continued to arrive – immaculate, curated nature – they graced the table, not with any flourish, but with a casual cool composure, and I gazed toward this mysterious food, then gazed out the window to a half-constructed bridge toward Nyhavn, then gazed back to my transcendent bowl, and sighed, not a resigned sigh, but an expression of appreciation and wonderment – sedated by an unescorted grilled onion served with a single wooden spoon, and like Kanye West feeling on a typeface, I’d never felt emotions like this.
Black garlic was pressed and shaped into gorgeous flowers, an entire wild duck, shot only the day before, is served whole, then trimmed and returned to the table beside berries and greens soaked in vinegar for one year. An amalgam of esteem, humility, and flavours as stunning as new colours don’t exist anywhere else but here. Bold and kind: that’s Noma.
Dishes pictured: Apples and lemon thyme, Øland wheat and rapeseed oil, cabbage leaves and white currants, grilled onion, grilled baby corn with cured egg yolk, new Danish potatoes and artichoke, sliced raw squid and kelp, monkfish liver, pumpkin, beechnuts and barley, vegetables flower, roasted wild duck, a dessert of Gammel Dansk and hazelnut oil, forest flavours with chocolate and egg liqueur.
The above is an excerpt (with additional photos) from my book Holiday Notes which is available to purchase here.
Taking photos is more than pressing a button on a machine. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree with this sentiment, however there’s certainly an element of problem solving that goes hand in hand with the responsibility of making things look nice. For example: providing images of a restaurant when the restaurant doesn’t exist yet. Aside from the obvious interiors, all of the food, drink, ingredient and people photos below were taken along a wharf on a sunny Sydney day while Salaryman was still under construction. “We want them to look dark and gritty”. “Sure, no problem *tugs collar*“. Not pictured: obnoxious seagull knocking over one of the delicate ramen bowls.
Warning for the sensitive: pig carcass below.
The time has finally come this year to pack away the smarminess and speak with a thread of earnestness.
Throughout September and October I embarked on a little holiday across Hong Kong, Europe and Japan. Naturally my camera accompanied me and as a result I treated the trip somewhat as work, for better or for worse. I took a lot of photos in eight different cities (Sheung Wan, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Cinque Terre, Madrid, Copenhagen, Tokyo).
Instead of posting them on Facebook, or making a 10-part blog post, I designed a 290 page book – and in true Gen Y-ish style I’m turning to Kickstarter for help!
Holiday Notes: Notes From a Holiday is a chronological book: part photo album, part eclectic travel guide, part blog post, part journal. It’s 290 pages of big photography with notes, captions, and the odd essay – a fun one-off publication for those who enjoy food and travel which doesn’t take itself too seriously. These are concise “reviews” (spoiler: I liked everything (almost)) and photo essays of over 70 things I ate and places I visited, with writing ranging from a couple of sentences to a few paragraphs. It’s for people who prefer photo after photo rather than walls and walls of text. From drunk food to fine food, from coffee bars to beer bars, I believe a nice cross-section has been covered. You won’t find the meaning of life here, it won’t provide enlightenment or eternal wisdom, but you will be able to track down the best panna cotta in Manarola. Yes, these are some cities from only one person’s perspective, but this is my point of difference. It’s the personal touch of exalting a neighbourhood restaurant on the other side of the world for offering traditional street food I’d never seen anywhere outside of family meals, how some rotisserie chicken made me feel complete again, or how I lost my shit at the famed Noma in Copenhagen. Needless to say it’s food heavy.
If you’d like to pledge/pre-order a copy of this book, please visit the Kickstarter page where you’ll find far more information concerning this big fat vanity project. I shoot for restaurants and city guides, I write smarmy things here, so making something of my own seemed like a natural progression – self-publishing as a challenging personal project. If I don’t make my goal it will be a shame, but I’m proud of myself nonetheless for seeing a project through from start to finish.
Regardless, I would be really thankful if you had a spare minute to take a look. Thank you so much!!
It’s Fathers Day in Australia and I’ve just returned after a lovely breakfast at my family home. My dad is a good man, his work ethic and hobbyist camera wielding probably have something to do with where I am today (admittedly lying on the floor beside a half chewed pizza), so I cannot help but take offence when comparisons are drawn between him and these Chillidog and Cheesydog Hotdog Stuffed Crust Pizza creations via Pizza Hut’s Facebook page via a Sponsored Post. It’s another postmodern copycat wank, this time taking inspiration from KFC’s Aussies like it HOT!! mentality.
I’d post sentiments accompanied by a retro 80s photo of my dad on instagram which I know he’ll never see over ordering some more first-world slop anyday; but as usual The Blog Life wins and I reluctantly supply my credit card number for home delivery by way of beating my head against the keyboard as I contemplate which emojis represent my father best (camera, soccer ball, dog, smiley face).
When I open the pizza box I am not greeted with luscious waves of gaudy mustard and ketchup as advertised, instead lies a dank pizza with a couple of sauce sachets on the side. Nothing particularly offensive to look at, no vortex to hell, no means to perform a seance around later on. I prise each bloated crust open like a blooming meaty flower and behold the putrid symmetry before me. I’ll sum up the flavour in three words: needs more dog. I’ve never experienced mystery meat quite as mysterious as this. Please don’t try this at home. Or anywhere.
I take photos of this pizza on the very wrapping paper I nestled my gift for my dad in today: my caring, thoughtful, gift, now tainted with the most manchildish of all food. You know when people fall to their knees and weep? In this case you would fall to your knees and shit your pants. Like a baby. A big, stupid baby. This pizza is the equivalent of a mancave. This pizza is the pizza equivalent of shopping for undies on Target’s online store with the search option set to Sort by: Price Low-High. This pizza is the equivalent of a restaurant argument about splitting the bill because somebody in your party ordered an extra Coke. No, not a Coke, something more juvenile; like Mountain Dew, a Pepsi, or creaming soda. In some form of sick metamorphosis the addition of this grotesque pizza has instantly mutated my home into the fabled mancave. The collection of craft beers that hang from the shelves are transformed into tinnies and Crownies and all sense of responsibility for my family dissipates as I enter an hotdog-induced utopia of fake wood, topless waitresses and poorly prepared nachos. Warney is a deadset legend. I’m commissioning a mural with a topless Angelina Jolie. I… I… I’m purchasing a pool table from eBay, a bar fridge, and a neon sign which reads “It’s 5:00 somewhere“. No chickflicks allowed. The toilet seat stays up. MY CAVE, MY RULES.
The Pizza Hut Chilldog Hotdog Stuffed Crust Pizza is 35 years old and still wears Homer Simpson boxer shorts to bed. How coincidental I seem to be left with a pile of limp dicks sprawled on the floor.
Happy Father’s Day, everyone.
Extreme milkshakes. The well-garnished milky beverage game of Sydney has reached peaked virality. Donuts perched upon mason jars, Kit-Kats wedged like an unholy crucifix: doused in chocolate sauce knotted with lashings of whipped cream, a striped straw puncturing everything in its path, impaling every adornment. Heavy handled jars of flavoured milk are spewing from so many cafes in pure copycat style, each establishment attempting to outdo the last, to outplay the originals who rightly hold the claim to fame. Freddo Frogs drowning in salted caramel milk, achingly slow, their faces submerged with that deranged smile like something out of a horror film, ganache is oozing from its enormous lip, pretzels, M&Ms and 100′s and 1000′s tacked on just for show. And the Oreos, my god the Oreos, they’re everywhere, and everyone’s got one, and everyone’s holding one of these extreme milkshakes, gnashing at food for the sake of social media, exchanging calories for notifications, it’s 8 o’clock in the morning and everybody’s drinking them to avoid the hour long lines from the brunching hour onwards to attain the Thing. The cult. The cult of Extreme Milkshakes. It’s here and we’re all trapped in a vortex of milk and Nutella and garnishes the moment we open Instagram.
But, if you can’t beat them, join them. Here are three flavours of my own: S’Mores Chicken, Bacon Burger and Coles Baked Fresh Today Bakery Aisle. Be inspired. Eat marshmallows and chicken. Milkshake flavours are irrelevant now, the duty falls upon whatever lies on top. May God have mercy on us all.