foodie

Meet a #Canberra Foodie – Paul Drake

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It’s been a while since I added to the list of awesome Canberra Foodies who have graced this website over the past 12 months. It was a great adventure meeting them all last year so I’m determined to start again and hope to share at least one interview a month.

Today’s entertaining interview is with a rare man who as well as being an amazing husband ((I’m told) and musician, also publicly and proudly embraces a very long-standing passion for food and wine. Sorry ladies he’s already taken! I first met Paul through his lovely better half but unlike her his professional passions lie away from public communications. Paul Drake is the part-owner and Manager of the hidden Gem Plumb on Tennant (which I checked out for lunch last year in this earlier post). I’m not the only one who thinks this place is a hidden gem – check out Tara’s review here.

Paul Drake Plumb on Tennant

So Paul, who are you? I’m a long time Canberra boy who arrived here as a ten pound pom in 1967. My passion has always been food really, and good wine, but I’m a trained carpenter/ builder and can do most things hospitality related. I never really wanted to be anywhere but Canberra but I guess the clincher was when I met my wife Angie and we decided to make our lives here together. We now have two teenage boys and a spotty dog and my first foray into business was finding my business partner Rob and buying our first cafe Plumb on Tennant in Fyshwick back in 2011. Owning a cafe has been an interesting experience. I can’t say that we’ve done everything perfect but we put love and passion into what we do. It’s hard work and I can say that we’ve only just begun in cafe world, with many more ventures ahead of us I’m sure.

Age?  48, but don’t feel a day over 47!

Where do you live?  Fadden

How long have you been blogging?  I don’t. Well perhaps if I did blog, more people would know about our cafe. <That’s OK Paul, we’ll try and let them know!>

Other hobbies?  I love ironing (my wife is editing this for me) I play bass in a band Kartel – probably my other serious passion, we have fun and play a few gigs every month or so.

Here is evidence of Paul’s musical talent!

Paul Drake guitar

Apple or Android?  Apple

Car/bus/bike?  Love to ride my bicycle but I’m petrified of magpies. It’s grown more irrational every year.

<You’re not alone on that front!>

magpie cyclist fear

Favourite TV show?   There are many – Peaky Blinders is prob my fav right now.

Favourite devices?  I’m old fashioned, still on an iPad but it’s the first ever edition so it’s kind of retro now (are they still trendy?)

Can we take a peek at your home screen?

Paul Drake screenshot

Most-used app?  the afl game score app, and Iview

Favourite social media?   Facebook <Paul runs a small business so he is extremely busy, without much time for social media, but you can find Plumb on Tennant on Facebook here>

What’s the first thing online you check each morning?  Facebook

What do you worry about at night?  There is a lot at the moment – have been working on getting mum secured in a new aged care facility so she can be properly looked after and will Hawks win the grand final.

Most exciting recent news?   We went on our first cruise at Christmas!

Paul Drake cruise ship

Ideal career? Something involving early retirement and travelling a lot

Here is a picture of Paul as he is about to dine at la jules vern restaurant in Paris

Paul Drake preferred picture

Recent book you recommend?  The adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

Recent online video you laughed at?  ALS ice bucket challenge by Les Claypool  http://youtu.be/Tjd_hLtaQxA

Favourite food 🙂   Bacon bits (from Pizza Hut of old are the best), grated cheese and thousand island dressing.

Do yourself a favour and try out Plumb on Tennant for breakfast or lunch (or brunch) next time you’re in Fyshwick – you won’t be disappointed!

Paul Drake smaller version of IMG_0983

You can find Plumb on Tennant via their website of via Urban Pantry.

 

YWCA Frugal Feast Stories & Sandwiches

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Had the pleasure of attending the Canberra YWCA Frugal Feast Recipe Book Launch at the ANU Food Co-Op this evening. In attendance were some of the amazing women who keep the wheels of this important womens advocacy group turning, as well as a couple if special guests: ACT Minister Shane Rattenbury and Canberra Times Food Editor Natasha Rudra.

The crowd was also entertained with melodies from lovely Cheeky Violets.

This book and other special YWCA events from 17-24 Nov will raise money & food for their annual Christmas appeal. Contact the YECA for more info of to make a contribution.

*I’m doing this on an iPhone so will return later to add links 🙂

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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!

Meet a #Canberra Foodie – Michele Walton (@MicheleWalton3)

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Michele

I recently met Michele Walton on the local Canberra Foodie circuit. She’s a food professional and unlike me has a great expertise in healthy eating habits. Yet she still manages to sample and enjoy a huge range of food both in Canberra and during her (yes I’m a bit jealous) amazing overseas adventures. A short browse through her food blog Fine Eating makes me wonder how she finds the time and how she maintains such a healthy figure. Well, she explained to me over a lunch we shared at Flavours of India in Woden – “Strategic ordering”, which is basically just ordering what you need and sharing most of your food. It made a lot of sense. I’m now closely studying their on-line menu for my next visit.

flavours of india4

So Michele, who are you?  A Canberra loving foodie dietitian, with a keen appreciation of Canberra’s fine food opportunities, coming back home, after spending half my life working in a small rural town in southwest NSW. ‘Deni’ is a great community for raising kids, famously known for it’s ute muster and but not so much it’s many dining opportunities.

But enjoying life in Canberra, I’ve quickly worked out that it’s hard to eat out often without gaining weight, if I continue to approach the menu thinking restaurant opportunities for ‘fine’ dining are few and far between. And having spent my working life helping people enjoy the food they love but stay healthy, it just seems natural to start looking for ideas that work, writing about them and sharing them.

Age?  50 (which is kind of like being being in your twenties again, but with more money, more sense and more taste).

Where do you live?  In Campbell, where I grew up. I love inner Canberra. It feels so like home to me. And it’s so great to see all the new eateries popping up so close to home.

How long have you been blogging?  My friend Kaye (transformingkidsministry.com) got me into blogging down the coast last new year and I love it. I started with michelesindia.wordpress.com and branched into lovetravelwithfriends.wordpress.com, but it’s fineeating.wordpress.com that has my heart at the moment. It really got going in April this year. So I’m a real newbie on a steep learning curve.

Other hobbies?  Foodie travel in Asia. Especially India. I’m about to go back. It’s my absolute favourite. But I enjoy it even more when I’m taking friends with me. Ten trusting friends came with us last year to Rajasthan, a special 50th birthday trip that was such great fun. And this year there’s eight of us heading to Cambodia and Laos.

Apple or Android?  Apple everything

Car/bus/bike?  Car, an orange Cruise hatch. (It was all that was in stock, but I’m a bit hooked on the colour now).

Favourite TV show?  ‘At the Movies’ at the moment (I did love ‘Rick Stein’s India’ when it was on though… Here’s a sample!

Favourite devices?  i anything. They are amazing! The Apple Store is so helpful – I’m always in there to get new tips.

Can we take a peek at your home screen?

Michele screen shot

Most-used app?  Probably the email app. It’s my filing system as well.

Favourite social media?  Facebook is great for sharing life with friends especially photos but I’ve just discovered Twitter and it’s amazing. I’m hooked!

What’s the first thing online you check each morning?  Online it would be my emails.

What do you worry about at night?  Whatever is my current project, will wake me up about 3am (very annoying). I love planning anything with food and friends – trips, parties, dinners, lunches… but there’s never enough time in the day so it seems to take over the night as well.

Most exciting recent news?  Just recently another four lovely friends told me they’re coming for a foodie trip to Asia later this year, boldy trusting my recommendations.

Ideal career?  I liked the idea of being Quentin Bryce when she was Governor General. Looked like lots of stylish, well resourced travel and hospitality opportunities there. But as that’s no longer an option, a TV host for an Asian Foodie travel show looks great. I’d even settle for Margaret Pomeranz’s job on ‘At the Movies’.

Recent book you recommend?  That would have to be The Penguin Food Guide to India. It’s brilliant and my ‘go to’ book at the moment for planning our foodie itinerary for India.

Recent online video you laughed at?  Bollywood movie clips! You can’t help but feel good when you watch them. One of the best recently for a smile was: http://youtu.be/qL9JmbRZiGI

Favourite food? Even though I love Asian food travel, visually beautifully presented interesting flavours in modern Australian food is my absolute favourite. It is a treat for all the senses. In Canberra I think Courgette does that best. And I can never say no to great ice-cream.

Michele Walton
Blog: fineeating.wordpress.com
Category (e.g. food/eating (especially social eating/dining out) + health/weight management, dining reviews, travel eating, some cooking and recipes):
Twitter: @MicheleWalton3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fine-Eating/309920002505679?ref=hl
Instagram: http://instagram.com/fineeating/
Pinterest: www.pintrest.com/michelewalton
Email: michelewalton@yahoo.com
Other blogs (a bit related): michelesindia.wordpress.com, lovetravelwithfriends.wordpress.com

Lunchtime Laksa at Cafe Bamboo Braddon

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Three Canberra Beanies smaller-beanie smaller-beanie smaller-beanie

After a hot tip from Laksa connoisseur @rachiperera I enjoyed an AMAZING $15 lunch at Café Bamboo on Lonsdale Street Braddon. I was once a regular at this place a few years ago when I worked in Braddon and am familiar with their popular lunchboxes and noodle soups.

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The Laksa was only $12.50  (order and pay at the counter) and there was a wide selection of well-priced drinks from the self-serve fridge. I picked up a tasty aloe vera drink for only $2.50.

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The taste and texture of the Laksa was sensational, with a generous topping of crunchy fried onion, plenty of bean curd, seafood and vegetables as well as a combination of noodles. It was the best Laksa I had ever tasted but was great value at 12.50. Café Bamboo is highly recommended and gets three #Canberra Beanies! 

Cafe Bamboo on Urbanspoon

 

Meet a Canberra Foodie – Natalie (@CapFoodJournal)

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Natalie is an accomplished food blogger who recently moved to Canberra from Perth. Although I’ve been following her on Twitter, Facebook and reading her blog for months, I recently got to know her a little bit better through the Canberra foodie scene, in which she is an active contributor. With a Middle Eastern background, Natalie grew up immersed in the cultural love of food and socialising. Having travelled around the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, she says she is grateful to have enjoyed a range of traditional cuisines in their cultural settings.

Natalie Banana-Cake-w-PFJ1

Who are you Natalie? I grew up on the south coast of NSW and moved to Perth in my teens. While in Perth, I developed an interest in food and wine, mainly those which were local to the area. I started a blog, Perth Food Journal, to document my foodie experiences but recently converted that content to Capital Food Journal, seeing as though I relocated to Canberra in August 2013. I’m now endeavouring to learn all about Canberra produce and the producers.

Age? 27

Where do you live? Downer

How long have you been blogging? 3 years

Other hobbies? Reading and cooking

Apple or Android? Apple

Car/bus/bike? Car

Favourite TV show? At the moment it’s Suburgatory but just found out it’s been axed

Favourite devices? I am in love with my ipad mini. It’s the perfect little device.

Can we take a peek at your home screen?

Natalie home screen image

Most-used app? My gmail app.

Favourite social media? I’m newly addicted to Instagram. I’ve only just started and love how easy it is to create content.

What’s the first thing online you check each morning? My emails.

What do you worry about at night? Nothing. I’m able to easily ‘switch off’.

Most exciting recent news? Hmm… I have a few exciting things currently underway …including being a delegate to the 2014 Eat Drink Blog Conference!

Ideal career? Book editor or publisher.

Recent book you recommend? Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Recent online video you laughed at? It’s not a video but these pics had me giggling like crazy – http://aplus.com/a/dog-texting-messages

Favourite food? Ice cream. Nothing compares…

Natalie’s blog is Capital Food Journey

You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook and she also has a varied collection of food articles in the various media links on her blog.

Here’s a link to one of her recent blog posts which I particularly enjoyed! Natalie and another Canberra Foodie Rachi enjoyed an amazing mushroom burger at the Cupping Room in Civic.

mushroom burger

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