news and tidbits

Meet a #Canberra Foodie: Anna Johnston (@AnnaJ31 aka ShenANNAagans.com)

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Anna Profile

Did you know there’s a world-famous foodie in Canberra with an amazingly popular blog and about 13,000 followers on twitter? Don’t feel embarrassed because until I started this blog a few months ago neither did I! What really shocked me though was that I knew her. Anna Johnston is the friendly face that many people in Canberra who attend big events at the Australian National Press Club know and love as their awesome Events Manager. I’ve recently had the good fortune to get to know Anna even better after I started subscribing to her blog AND after having the pleasure of her company at a few Canberra Human Brochure events over recent weeks.

For those of you who may not know Anna (where have you been?) here are a few of her social media details. I strongly advise that you follow them all. As well as being a very entertaining writer she has a real eye for great photos and tells a great yarn!

Blog: www.shenannagans.com
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/annajohnston31/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AnnaJ31
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AnnaJohnston31
Instagram: http://instagram.com/annaj31
Google+: google.com/+AnnaJohnston31
SnapChat: shenannagans31

Hey Anna, who are you?  Events Architect – Yogi – Beer Connoisseur – Coffee Tester – Chef – Boozy Foodie – Blogger

My chefing career started at the National Convention Centre where I trained as an apprentice & fell in love with function work. The thrill of running multiple events at the same time & working in big teams to bring everything in on time is, without a doubt a total buzz!

Working with a huge team of burley Chefs who managed to describe most mouth-watering, taste tantalising and exquisite dishes prefixed by a four-letter word or two was a little challenging, but loads of fun & an experience I’ll treasure forever, I think my time in the kitchens kicked the Princess right out of me & taught me all about food.

After a decade in the kitchen & a bit more study, I packed away my cheffies & followed the sweet lure of Hotel & Event Management. Cooking professionally was a great experience & it certainly opened the door to lots of fun working holidays abroad but I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it was to dress like a girl again, my love affair with hospitality & function work cranked up to the next level.

Now, as the Events Manager at the National Press Club of Australia, if I’m not spending time with clients designing their dream wedding, live broadcast or gala event, you’ll find me hanging out ‘behind the scenes’ creating stories for my website – http://www.shenannagans.com

Age?  32

Where do you live?  I am a Kambah-ran… #SouthSidePride

How long have you been blogging?  This time around I’ve been blogging for 4 months, but on my old site The Hospitality Guru, a site that was very much food centric, about 3 years. With shenANNAgans I decided to move away from the strong focus on food and share more of my passions in the events arena. It is my brag book, my journal, my (occasional) ranting space and my creative corner of the interwebs.

Other hobbies?  Bikram Yoga

Apple or Android?  Apple

Car/bus/bike?  Car – I own a mini, super fun and zippy.

Favourite TV show?  Mood pending – How I met your Mother, Sons of Anarchy, Chicago Fire, Pretty Little Liars, Smash, Suits, Gilmore Girls, Sex in the City…. The list goes on. Currently I’m watching Vampire Diaries.

Favourite devices?  IPhone & MacBook Air

Can we take a peek at your home screen?

Anna Johnston Home Screen

Most-used app?  Facebook & YouTube & Instagram & SnapChat & lately Twitter

Favourite social media?  Facebook & Instagram

What’s the first thing online you check each morning?  I have this weird ritual, in this order I check my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Email & then watch my fav YouTubers to kick off my day.

What do you worry about at night?  I often think about what I’m going to wear or eat, or who I might meet tomorrow, or great blog post ideas. For the most part I’m not really big on worrying, I figure the problem will still be there tomorrow, so might as well get a good nights rest and deal with any issues with fresh eyes.

Most exciting recent news?  So much awesome-ness happening in my world at the moment! Work wise, we won Best Event/Conference Venue at the ClubsACT Awards, and we are up for Best Wedding Venue at the Restaurant & Catering Awards on Monday.

I am one of the lucky locals to participate in the Human Brochure, I’ve been named as a ‘Champion’ for the St Vincent de Paul Community Sleep Out, and I’ve booked an amazing month long holiday abroad over the Christmas / New Year period. Life’s Good!

Sleep Out Champion

Ideal career?  Right now, I am working in it, I am involved in some pretty spectacular events, it is seriously the coolest job. Just last week I met both John Howard and Bob Hawke, I’ve assisted in planning massive gigs like the Bill Gates Press Club Address, had a cup of tea with Ita Buttrose, I get to eat some of the most amazing foods, try wines from all over the globe and work with the best team. Not only am I spoilt with all that, I get to meet great people like you. <She is sooo nice! 🙂 >

Recent book you recommend?  Haven’t read a book in yonks, but one that has stuck in my mind, Born to Run. It’s about a small group of the world’s top ultra-runners (and the awe-inspiring author) who make the treacherous journey into the canyons to try to learn about the secrets of the mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, and then take them over a course 50 miles long.

Recent online video you laughed at?  Dear Kitten – Adorable and funny too.

Favourite Food?  Whhhaaaatttt??? How the heck do I answer that question…. I love food! 

A stand out meal this week was the La Ionica chicken breast with cauliflower puree, seared Hervey Bay scallops, sugar cured speck and fermented black garlic. Followed by a Saffron Brulee, citrus segments, Aperol (A blood orange Aperitif) sorbet. Spectacular! The Chefs at the Press Club are some of the most talented and clever cooks I have ever met, every meal served is a culinary masterpiece, I am utterly spoilt, they often make an extra plate for me so I know exactly what I am selling. Brilliant right?!

Food

She’s cool and she’s one of many wonderful Canberra foodies. Follow her now 🙂

Blog: www.shenannagans.com
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/annajohnston31/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AnnaJ31
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AnnaJohnston31
Instagram: http://instagram.com/annaj31
Google+: google.com/+AnnaJohnston31
SnapChat: shenannagans31

Also, Anna forgot to mention an important upcoming event at the national Press Club, BUT I WON’T … attention foodies!

National Press Club Annual Wine and Food Spectacular!

Meet the makers, sample the wares and order direct!

Friday 11 July 2014  5.30pm – 9.00pm

Our famous Wine and Food Spectacular returns on FRIDAY JULY 11, 2014! 20 plus stalls of fabulous beverages and fine foods for you to sample, and you can order direct! Meet the merchants, sample their wares and order some for home.

Just $15.00 for members and $25.00 for your guests.

More info here

easy Chicken Adobo recipe via Housh Fallah (@Housh45)

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If you like food from the Phillipines (who doesn’t?!) you will appreciate this quick and easy recipe for Chicken Adobo from Canberra Foodie Housh Fallah.

Chicken Adobo.

Social Media tips via @TweetCanberra

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Great social media advice from Kylie Ofiu on the TweetCanberra website.

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Worth a listen if you’re interested in blogging, business and social media. http://thesocialmediarevolution.com/episode-1/

 

A funny news.com yarn about “Food and Politics in Canberra”

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Anyone who pretends food and politics have nothing to do with each other, please pay more attention!

I was a bit offended by sloppy Joe’s fictitious claim today that there’s “only a few restaurants in Canberra” to choose from. But no-one has more right to be offended by sloppy Joe than Clive palmer after Joe claimed Clive is having several dinners each night! That’s below the belt Joe!

Joe said “But it doesn’t surprise me, in Canberra you bump into each other at restaurants. I mean, there are only a few restaurants in Canberra.”

And in a jibe at Mr Palmer he said: “Well, obviously Clive might have more than one meal a night so it’s quite possible you’ll bump into him in a restaurant.”

The article goes on: “But the taunts soon were turning on Mr Hockey, with Bill Shorten going food mad over the mere mention of a banana split just before lunchtime today.

While addressing reporters about Mr Palmer’s rendezvous, the Opposition Leader picked out repeated cliches from the political cookbook. While he didn’t know what the meeting was about last night, Mr Shorten was sure about a few things.

“What I do know is that Malcolm Turnbull was eating Peking duck last night, Joe Hockey’s left looking like a goose this morning and we’ve got a lame-duck Treasurer,” he said.

Mr Shorten was certainly interested in the “late night meal”, despite insisting he had no idea what was on the “menu”.

When asked whether there was anything wrong with Secretary Parkinson dining with Mr Turnbull and Mr Palmer, he said the issue wasn’t about him being a public servant.

“The issue is that clearly Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have wheeled Malcolm Turnbull out of the freezer where they keep him.”

Clive and Malcolm

//

Queen Victoria Markets Melbourne (@VicMarkets)

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will have to update this post later with some more links and tips… but for now…This morning I had a brief visit to the wonderful Queen Victoria markets in Melbourne. I’ve been many times before but it was still a delightful way to start a day.

During my brief sojourn through the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of what is arguably Australia’s most interesting food market I took a few pictures but nothing can match the experience itself . Don’t get me wrong I still love shopping at Jabal Kippax and Belconnen Markets, and Flemington in Sydney is impressive too, but Melbourne has something to be very proud of here. There is too much food to even try and sample in one day, let alone a week or two.

One of the first things which impresses about the QVM is the compact variety and diversity of food. This is a pretty lousy photo but it (sort of) shows a French, German and Polish deli-style outlet within a few feet of each other. This mix of smell aand sights (and tastes) is wonderful.

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I’ll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves now and add some more comments and links at a future date. Should just mention that sample box below only cost $12, so you can eat well without spending too much! 🙂

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I should also mention the market was full of happy and friendly people. The family running the deli above were happy for me to chat with them and take photos and were very proud of the quality and variety of their delicacies. The guy below didn’t mind having his photo taken as he walked and hollarred about the discount meat available at his butcher’s window.

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The donut van above seemed quieter than I remembered it during my last visit when I took this photo. I though for a few minutes that maybe I wasn’t the only one on a diet at the markets today. But I saw it again later and the line stretched for a few metres down the path!

During my trip I saw a few of these bike racks around the Melbourne CBD. I’d be interested to find out how successful they’ve been and wonder if they would work in Canberra?

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Here’s some old and beautiful public art. Melbourne is full of it!

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p.s. If you want to visit these markets and want a tip about somewhere to stay, I’ll suggest the Jasper Hotel on Elizabeth Street. I’ve stayed there a few times. If you book through wotif you can occasionally pick up a room for about $100. And, best of all, its only about 50m away from the markets and within easy walking distance of many Melbourne attractions as well as numerous tramlines that can take you all over the city with ease.

Want a cheap dinner in Civic? Sorted (Mondays and Tuesdays anyways)

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If you’re looking for a cheap meal on a Monday evening or a Tuesday evening in Civic or just can’t be bothered cooking at home before or after some shopping on the way home from the office, here’s a couple of options:

1) Monday nights: $4 Burgers at the Uni Pub. Pretty hard to beat. Particularly if you live the life I lived while I was studying engineering at uni… i.e. spending most Monday nights at the Uni Pub (different uni though 🙂

uni pub 4 dollar burgers

Anyways, I tried one of their burgers a while back (check it out here) and it was quite ok. Beer was cold too!

uni pub

2) Tuesday nights: $7.90 Chicken Schnitty (with chips & salad) OR Battered Fish & Chips (with salad) at the City Labor Club. They might charge you a bit extra for sauce but you’ll walk away full and satisfied. They also have a Movie Meal Deal with Dendy that includes a main meal and a movie ticket at the nearby cinema for only $15. Bargain!

labor club specials board  city labor club movie deal

Schnitty Post from a quality jernalism blog

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You can probably ascertain from my previous posts here, here and here that I have a soft spot for a good schnitzel.

hot schnitzy

Recently via twitter I saw, read and enjoyed a blog about schnitties on a “jernalism” website so much that I wanted to share it with a few other Canberra schnitty connoisseurs as well as keep it somewhere handy for future reference next time someone in the mainstream media starts sprouting on about their so-called schnitzel expertise…

So here it is: 10 mistakes you make when writing a list about 10 mistakes other people make

I particularly enjoyed this line: “a schnitty served with a healthy covering of thick, rich gravy is one of life’s ultimate pleasures and if you think that’s wrong you really need to reassess yourself you miserable, soulless philistine”.

Apart from the schnitzel and parmy specials at the City Labor Club which I have previously reviewed, there was also this helpful list of Canberra schnitty options from a recent article in the Canberra times.

While you’re here, if you’re a really big schnitty fan, cop a load of this next time you’re in Melbourne. But read the rules carefully and whatever you do, don’t throw up!

AND… if you thought eating 1kg of schnitty in a single sitting was brave… this fine Melbourne establishment challenges you to eat 1.5kg 🙂