Some new poised work on marble (!!) for the excellent Bouche on Bridge and The Cellar here in Sydney.
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.
How do you successfully post a collection of images which are essentially B-Sides? Do I have the audacity to upload a wall, an assault, of decent photos which were never good enough for a book?
I never raved about it too much here, but I once or twice mentioned my Kickstarter project to print a self-published book Holiday Notes – a travel book and purely personal exercise. It reached its goal, it was printed, 98% of the books have been sold, and Broadsheet even wrote a nice thing. That’s first world success.
The opportunity to print was terrifying phenomenal, however my arrogant large-photos-are-essential! book design allowed space for very little photos per venue. What to do with all the off cuts, that aren’t even that terrible, they just didn’t suit this particular format? Throw them here. This disregards the entire purpose of the book, a tangible collection, but today I am a hypocrite and I just bloody love sharing content.
The below is linear, with omissions – basically these are the photos that made me upset to cut from the book. I hope they still make sense as some sort of photo essay around Hong Kong, Europe and Tokyo. And if you’re after more food photos and recommendations… buy the book.
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!!