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Meet a #Canberra Foodie: Andrew Barr (@ABarrMLA)

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In a recent post I opined about “what makes a foodie?” and concluded that it is usually someone who has a passion for good food and enjoying life. Foodies can be anyone from students, to food professionals to politicians! One person I have known for a long time through work and who I know to be very passionate about food and wine and entertainment in Canberra is Andrew Barr, who also happens to be the ACT Deputy Chief Minister. As a busy politician Andrew often doesn’t have the time to pursue all his passions and is often served food he hasn’t ordered, but he only ever seems to have good things to say about the food and entertainment scene in and around Canberra.

Here’s a photo of him recently enjoying a guest appearance next to a world-famous Italian Chef at Canberra’s Capital Region Farmer’s Market.

Andrew Barr

So Andrew, unlike previous foodies you probably don’t need to tell me much about yourself. Because you’re the Deputy Chief Minister I think you may be the first Canberra Foodie I have interviewed who has their own Wikipedia page and Personal Website with a very detailed bio!

Age?  41

Where do you live?  Dickson

How long have you been blogging?  7 years of social media addiction

Other hobbies?  travel, movies, sport, wine, music

Apple or Android?  Apple

Car/bus/bike?  Walking!

Favourite TV shows?  Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Alpha House, Looking and Betas

Favourite devices?  iPad and iPhone

Can we take a peek at your home screen?

Andrew Barr screen shot

Most-used app?  Music

Favourite social media?  Facebook

What’s the first thing online you check each morning?  Email and social

I hear you’re a bit of a local wine connoisseur. Which are your favourite Canberra wines?  Helm Riesling, Eden Road Canberra Shiraz, Ravensworth Shiraz Viognier and Mount Majura Riesling.

When you can find time to sample them, which are your favourite Canberra restaurants? Monster, Morks, Taze

I have to ask you a question about music where the answer is NOT The Rolling Stones! What are favourite albums of 2014 (so far)?  Turn Blue – The Black Keys and Built on Glass – Chet Faker

Recent book you recommend?  Barracuda – Christos Tsioklas

Favourite film of 2014 (so far)?  The Grand Budapest Hotel

Favourite food? 🙂 avocado

You can follow Andrew Barr on Twitter and on Facebook and also subscribe to email updates and news at his website

 

Here are some culinary highlights from our Deputy Chief Minister’s twitter feed:

And here is his recent announcement regarding the new “Westside” pop-up project in West basin, which will feature live entertainment, streetfood and pop-up bars. It’s scheduled to kick off at the same time as Floriade in just over a month!

A list of #Canberra food blogs

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After a brief chat with a few other Canberra food bloggers I thought it would be worthwhile complimenting my Twitter list of #Canberra Foodies (i.e. people in Canberra who share food stories on twitter – I’ve identified over 234! see the list here) with a reasonably current Canberra Food Bloggers list.

When I started tweeting from @CBRFoodie last year I noticed (after a little bit of research and googling) there seemed to be hundreds of Canberra-based food blogs, but most seemed to have died a quick death. I’m guessing this is because a lot of people try and then abandon the idea of blogging when they realise it can be time-consuming, has technical challenges and it involves occasionally interacting with some very strongly opinionated people. (So perhaps a background in politics may help? 🙂

Anyway – back to the topic at hand. Here’s a short list (only 75 at last count!) of my current favourite Canberra-based food bloggers (in alphabetical order). As you can see I’ve discovered most of these via Twitter or Facebook. More recently I also discovered two relevant facebook groups (which are appropriately moderated to keep the content relevant): Canberra Bloggers Collective and Canberra Food Bloggers. Both are closed groups just for bloggers and both are moderated to keep posts on topic. Even more recently a friend Anna (@eatnik) pointed me in the direction of another ten or so additions to the list which I had missed!

If you know of anyone not on this list please let me know and I’ll update it. After a few iterations I was advised that it would be more sensible to try and keep the list in alphabetical order, so it is alphabetised on the basis of the blog name.

Absolutely Jas @absolutelyjas

Adventures in Winterland by Sharon Trauki @Sharon_inez

A Kitchen Cat Natash (aka A Kitchen Cat) was a contestant on the 2014 Master Chef TV series! here’s a link to the story in the Canberra Times including the cheeky tweet from Rachi Perera which revealed the news 🙂

Andrew and Emelia’s Food Adventures @EVimalasiri

Anything But Toast

The Baking Bureaucrat

Bake Bike Blog @bakebikeblog

You Berra believe it @LindaSoo

Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things @bizzylizzycooks

Blithe Moments @LisaRobey

Brazen’s (mostly) gluten free adventures!

Café Cat @the_cafeCat

Canbearable

Canberra Gastronome @CanGastronome

Canberra Times Food and Wine (Choose your “location=Canberra”) Current and previous Editors: @NatashaRudraCT and @kirstenlawsonCT

Capital Food Journal @capfoodjournal

Capital Gourmand (Tom moved to London last year but his blog is still excellent) @FreeHugsTommy

Cara Phillips @_caraphillips_

CBR Foodie (me! :)) @CBRFoodie

Charinya’s Kitchen @CharinyaR

Dreaming of Almonds (and a nicer world) @Almond_Dreams

Emiko Davies @emikodavies

Feeding the Sonis  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Feeding-The-Sonis/595780520501408

Fine Eating

Food Porn journal https://www.facebook.com/foodpornjournal

Food Wine Travel @ChristineSalins

Freak Biscuit “gluten-free vegequarian”

Exploring the taste of language

Good Food Week @GoodFoodWeek

Green Foodie @greenfoodie

Her Canberra @HerCanberra

In The Taratory @InTheTaratory

The Intolerant Chef (not active on Twitter)

Karin’s Recipes and Random Musings

Kate Freeman Nutrition @KFNutrition

Kiriels Kitchen Medieval and Renaissance cooking

Le Bon Vivant @Rachiperera

Lily and Ouk Eat Food

Love at Every Bite @loveateverybite

Makeitbakeitsnapit @kirsty__young (previously known as ‘In the Kitchen with Kirsty’)

Miss K Licious As Anna (@Eatnik) explained, MissKlicious is Sydney-based but reviews many CBR restaurants and deserves an honourable mention 🙂 she’s on twitter too @missklicious

mnfdblog – maybe about food, maybe not @neildoody

Mouthless Mutters @ezzbez

Mumchic @mum_n_chic

My Canberra Table @girl_who_cooks

My Nutritious Journey @KaseyBateup

Netherleigh @netherleighblog

Nilbarcodefood @nilbarcodefoodNilbarcode

Nutrition In Action @Eucale_Stanes

One Hungry Hen Heidi lives in Cooma, just south of Canberra but spends a lot of time here and blogs and tweets regularly about Canberra food and happenings @onehungryhen

Raving Recipes @ravingrecipes60

shenANNAgans @AnnaJ31

Short and Sweet

Shrinking Single @shrinkingsingle

Sir and M’Lady Dine Out mainly outside of Canberra but they have a Canberra section to their blog and they’re on Instagram http://instagram.com/restaurantfoodpictures#

Susan’s Sumptuous Suppers

Tales of a Confectionist

Taiwanxifu https://twitter.com/Weekendparent

The Bread and Butter Chef https://www.facebook.com/BreadandButterMum

The Canberran @TheCanberran

The Cinnamon Scrolls @cinnamonscribe https://www.facebook.com/thecinnamonscrolls

The Constance Search For Gluten Free https://www.facebook.com/theconstancesearch4glutenfree

The Food Avenue @thefoodavenue

The Food Marshall https://www.facebook.com/Thefoodmarshall

The Girl Has Sparke @girlhassparke

The Martini Whisperer @martiniwhisper1

The Merrymaker sisters @fithealthymade

The Munch and Crunch

The Patient Cook https://www.facebook.com/thepatientcook

The Unicorn Mum

The Wooden Spoons https://www.facebook.com/thewoodenspoonsblog

Travel and beyond @TravelnBeyond

Vegeterannean Editor Charlotte is a well-known journalist, publisher and researcher in Canberra writing circles and active in social media on twitter via @vegeterranean and Editia

Woodkitchen by Lucy feihua.cao@gmail.com

Yummy Lummy @garydlum

Also, I have to mention there are few Canberra people who may not be trying to be food bloggers but who share plenty of food stories and Canberra stories and who follow these sorts of conversations very closely on twitter to the point where I think of them as fellow-Canberra foodies (I’ll explain why in some detail in a future blog).

@RichardTuffin … https://www.facebook.com/atrtphotos

@TweetCanberra (aka @JamesTew) … www.raising3daughters.com

@PaulJurak … www.kayakcameraman.com

@martin_o (aka Martin Ollman) …   techosapien.com  

@gcnelson (aka Greg Nelson) … gcnelson on vimeo

@Honey_Delight (aka Carmen) …honeydelight.com.au

@jaysullivan2 (aka Comedian Jay Sullivan) has a regular blog which I like reading called Dear Weetbix

Nah, It’s Canberra

I’ve also decided to list recently inactive Canberra food blogs (for two reasons, in case I stumble across them and wonder if they’re on my list or not, and also in case they are reactivated and I want to add them again to the master list).

The Canberra Cook Cath hasn’t blogged since 2013 but she’s on twitter at @CathCanCook

Canberra Vegan (last post December 2013)

Fooodgasm (last Canberra-related review January 2013)

Happy Bites (last post November 2013)

Honey and Soy @honeyandsoy (blog inactive since 2013)

Progressive Dinner Party (the last blog entry to this awesome Canberra food blog seems to have been in May 2012 but the author Zoe is still active on twitter at @crazyBrave )

The Papillon Pantry (last post March 2013)

Meet a #Canberra Foodie: Liz Posmyk (@bizzylizzycooks )

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Liz with her library of cookery books

Liz Posmyk, standing proudly in front of her extensive library of cooking and food books.

No one who is interested in food and social media in the Canberra region could say they haven’t been in touch with Liz Posmyk, either through her famous blog http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/ Twitter, Facebook, mainstream media, food event or other channel. Liz has been a prolific poster of “Canberra Foodie” news for many years. When our local journal of record The Canberra Times (which has 74 staff on twitter, I think, here’s my latest list: https://twitter.com/Elias_Hallaj/lists/canberra-times-staff-etc) was looking for local cooks who also blogged they turned to Liz, who promptly gave them the names and details of capable cooks/bloggers to interview http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/food-blogs-finest-20140307-34bgv.html

Let me begin by stating I love Liz’s blog (www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com) . When I started blogging three short months ago I thought “if I do this for ten years I’d be happy to be as half as good as Liz” in terms of content, credibility and sheer aesthetics. If I had more time for food photography I would simply try and copy her best shots. I was surprised to learn recently that she isn’t a Canon or Nikon aficionado (like most professional photographers) but happily snaps away with a Olympus OM-D EM5 (Eileen (@TheFoodAvenue) also uses an Olympus camera for her great photos).

My favourite Bizzy Lizzy posts include: “Canberra Show Postcards and Morsels” http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2014/03/postcards-and-morsels-2014-royal-canberra-show.html and http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2013/02/postcards-and-morsels-2013-royal-canberra-show.html and numerous local festivals and winery celebrations such as this one: http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/2/post/2013/11/postcards-and-morsels-wine-roses-and-all-that-jazz-festival.html\ Liz also has a great synopsis of food and wine festivals across Australia here http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/events.html which of course also links to the great list of local festivals in the Canberra region via the Visit Canberra website here http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/find/event/food-wine .

You can see from Liz’s blog that she understands how to communicate using great pictures and images (supporting the truism that a good picture is worth a thousand words). I also like the fact that Liz’s passionate advocacy for local food and produce extends beyond cuisine and conveys a deeper cultural experience. Perhaps subconsciously sometimes, she highlights the personal passion for food and culture that many Canberrans share and she herself is a great advocate for our sense of community and ability to share and care for each other.

So Liz, who are you? I’m an old school food writer based in Canberra and was part of the committee instrumental in the establishment of the ACT Writers Centre (no apostrophe).

From 1993-2002, I wrote a popular weekly cookery column in a Canberra newspaper. I earned the nickname ‘Bizzy Lizzy’ when I juggled the role of promotions manager of a 30-store produce market with co-ownership of a leading cooking school, and marketing a line of organic foods (I was headhunted for this role). Working my proverbial off, across a decade I managed a hugely successful program of events that welcomed some of the world’s leading cookery writers and celebrity chefs to Canberra. For four years I also featured as the voice behind The Ten Dollar Dinner on 666 ABC radio with James Valentine and Rod Quinn.

My career has included stints in both the Federal and ACT public service, most recently with DesignGov. In 2012, I received an Australia Day Achievement Award for leadership, innovation and service to the Australian Public Service Federal Department of Industry.

In 2013, I was selected as the winner of the Food Narrative Category of the Best Australian Food Blog Food Writing Competition 2013 run by the SA Writer’s Centre Inc/Food Bloggers Australia. Professor Barbara Santich was one of the esteemed judges, so this was quite an honour for me.

In January 2014, I retired from the APS to concentrate on Good Things, my online journal (or blog), which I founded in 2011. This new-found free time gives me the opportunity to cook to my heart’s content and share my favourite recipes and photographs. It also gives Peter and myself the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after a lifetime of working hard; and also to travel and explore Australia and its food regions.

Age? 55 and loving it!

Where do you live? In Harrison with my life partner, Peter. I was born in Canberra and have lived here all of my life.

How long have you been blogging? Blogging since 2011, writing about food and cooking since 1993. Honestly, though, I’ve been a writer since early childhood and creative writing was my favourite subject from grade one in Infants School.

Other hobbies? Photography (love snapping macro shots of bees and flowers); cooking (obviously); travel; meeting like-minded people; reading; going to the cinema; gardening; swimming; walking; oh, and playing Call of Duty 2 (I’m a crack sniper, true!).

Apple or Android? Apple imac (27 inch) which is great for publishing.

Car/bus/bike?   Car to get from A to B, and bicycle for pleasure.

Favourite TV show? There isn’t one in particular, though I do enjoy a variety of documentaries on SBS and the ABC (including cooking and travel shows). I also love dramas produced by the BBC, such as Broadchurch and The Escape Artist (recently), as well as Dr Who, Grand Designs, etc.

Favourite devices? As in phone, plaything? My phone, for making phone calls.

Can we take a peek at your home screen? No, sorry, it’s way too cluttered     : ) … <wow, no one else has said no to any of my questions so far! 🙂 >

Most-used app? On my phone? The keypad for making phone calls : )

Favourite social media? Twitter (I enjoy the networking aspect of it and love connecting with people through food).

What’s the first thing online you check each morning? The IN box on my email account.

What do you worry about at night? That’s a very personal question. When I do worry, it’s about things I’d rather not discuss.

Most exciting recent news? An invitation to attend a MasterClass at Red Lantern with Luke Nguyen ahead of his new series Luke Nguyen’s France!

Ideal career? Full time food, cookery and travel writer and consultant. I’m currently living the dream. : D

Recent book you recommend? Wow, there are several, but how about Horrie the War Dog by Roland Perry (Allen & Unwin). It’s the story of Australia’s most famous dog. Oh, and The Dirty Chef by Matthew Evans, the gourmet farmer (Allen & Unwin); and Rick Stein’s memoir Under a Mackerel Sky (Ebury Press).

Recent online video you laughed at? A clip produced by The Checkout team on the ABC. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/ They’re very clever, and so informative! here is one of the interesting and fun snippets from The Checkout  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1SlTy2RAMw&feature=youtu.be  It’s not what I call hilarious, but it is interesting and humorous

Favourite food? I love a diverse range of foods, including Hungarian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Persian, Greek, Thai, modern Australian and Italian. Among those cuisines, there are lots of favourite dishes that I cook regularly.

If you want learn more about Liz Posmyk, one of Canberra’s very own Award Winning Food Writers

Follow her on Twitter: @bizzylizzycooks

Follow her blog: http://www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com

She’s also on Linkedin: au.linkedin.com/pub/liz-posmyk/58/b23/689

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bizzylizzysgoodthings

Fire in Sydney Building

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Very saddened to hear about the fire in the Sydney Building today.

Lots of photos online via @CanberraTimes and #Canberra peeps on Twitter and Facebook. Early reports say the fire started in the Coo Japanese Restaurant in East Row. Looks like much of the building and opposite shops will be shut down while emergency services mop up and deal with the asbestos in this old building.