Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Merrywell, Crown

So Tuesday night Sam and I left our humble suburban home and ventured out to the city.

We ended up at crown to meet friends for the newest burger bar in town.... The Merrywell.

It is located on the corner of clarendon street and south bank just opposite the melbourne exhibition centre.

It is Melbourne's latest Gastro pub (a trendy pub that serves high end food and beer without the pretentious atmosphere) it's owned by two great American chefs Sam DeMarco and Grant MacPherson.

As we walked in there was two dining areas upstairs was a stylish dining area with candles and a balcony overlooking the yarra
Then the downstairs area had a funky little bar perfect for after work or pre dinner drinks and a small dining area which was a stylish hamburger bar.

We sat down eyes bigger than our stomachs and ordered a feast from chilli fries to onion rings and hamburgers served in little red baskets just like in the movie Grease.

I had a KISS burger which had onions, cheese, tomato and my favourite pickles!! And for $12 it was the best burger I've had!!!

The selection was great and even had an alcoholic float menu they also serve the classic American cherry cola and root beer!
Over all it was a great night reasonably priced, good sized portions and really trendy atmosphere.
Plus to feed 4 pretty big eaters for under $100 is really good I think

I've now decided that I'm going to give the restaurants i write about a rating out 5 (5 being Excellent, 1 being poor)

The Merrywell gets a total of 3.5

I really recommend it!
Until next time
The Passionate Foody

Sunday, 27 May 2012


This would have to be my favourite topic of all time!
I am so passionate about it that once I get talking about I literally get so excited that I am a bit of laughing entertainment for my family and friends.

I guess the reason I love it so much is it not only is delicious and versatile it was a complete man made accident .

There are many stories about how it first originated but the most common is that originated in the middle east where Arabs would transport or carry milk in sacks which were made from Sheep's stomachs, now the natural rennet from the stomach and the desert heat would cause the milk to curdle and form curds and whey which then found the natural invention of Cheese.
Now when it comes to cheese I believe the smellier the better so bring on the blues, washed rinds and smelly sock cheeses I reckon!
I also believe that it is no question that the French truly know their stuff when it comes to the fine art of cheese making but I do believe we have a wonderful range of fine cheese makers right here in our own back yard.

An example of this is a beautiful little cheesery on the mornington peninsular in Red Hill.

Red Hill Cheese offer a lovely range of blues, washed rinds, feta and Camembert to accompany local wines in the area even naming their cheese after local towns in the area.

They even milk their own goats and get their milk from local farms then once the cheese making has started they use the excess whey as a natural pesticide in local apple and cherry orchids.

To make it better and to save the travel they sell direct from local melbourne farmers markets and some delicatessens or for a nice day out head to their cellar door and try a tasting plate in the beautiful bush land.

I have a really lovely blue cheese recipe that I thought you all may enjoy...

Potato gnocchi with Gorgonzola and roasted walnuts.

Firstly blanch some gnocchi 500 gr you can make your own or purchase some fresh from a local deli.
While that's happening in a pan sauté 1 garlic clove and 1 diced shallots in about 100g of butter.
Now before we go on this dish is almost certainly not good for you.

Then to the butter mixture add a dash of white wine and roughly a cup of cream and season to taste.
Remember Gorgonzola can be quite salty do don't over salt.
One all combined add your cooked gnocchi then crumble over a good Gorgonzola i like to go with less is more in this dish but if u love blue as much as me a bit extra to serve makes a luscious finish.
In a separate pan place some walnuts and toast them up with you guessed it a tsp of butter.
Serve up your gnocchi and garnish with the toasted walnuts and and fresh thyme sprigs

Saturday, 12 May 2012


So in light of mothers day I thought it would be fun to make a batch of Macarons.

Simple enough I thought...
a French confectionery made from meringue almond meal and granulated sugar the filled with a buttercream, ganache or jam centre.
Let's just say I'm defiantly no pastry chef!

Macarons have been around for centuries, some have traced it back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici (wife of Henry II of France in 1533.
They were traditionally served with port and wine as a petit fore.

Today Macarons have become a trend because of famous Australian patissier Adriano Zumbo and shows like Masterchef.

They are a challenging part of the culinary industry but when they are mastered they are delicious.

My advice would be to fold the almonds into the whisked eggs ensuring not to knock the air out of your meringue giving you the end result of a light crisp shell and to be creative with flavors anything can be done from chocolate to Vegemite.

Even places like McDonald's in Paris sell Macarons in McCafe stalls even with one resembling a hamburger.

After my third attempt I had lemon meringue pie flavored Macarons but they look a bit less than appealing, think I will leave it to Zumbo.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


So last night I had the privilege of seeing Heston Blumenthial live in Melbourne.

I have got to say that he is one of the most amazing inspiring person to have entered the culinary world!
He not only has two amazing michelin star restaurant ( The Fat Duck and Dinner) which produce some almost unbelievable scientific dishes, but his personal achievement List is incredible including chef of the year for 2010 and 2011, an Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen and his cookbook "The Big Fat Duck" has recently been announced the best cookbook of the year worldwide.

He has truly inspired me as a Chef by putting his scientific spin on some already fabulous classic French dishes and yet he still makes them somewhat better than the originals.

His show last night was really to quote Heston " falling down a rabbit hole into wonderland" he made the audience feel like a child again enjoying every moment and seeing food with all our Senses.

As you can probably tell I am almost truly in love with this mans work and talent that by the time I reach my prime of my career if I am a fraction of the chef that he is I will consider myself a very luck woman.

Monday, 7 May 2012

My First Post

Ok so it is 6.45 pm and I have decided to start a blog!
For those who knows me, would understand that this makes me feel completely out of my comfort zone being on display for constant judgement but here I am.
My life so far consists of this...
I currently live in Melbourne and am married to by best friend Sam.
I have been a chef for 6 years and am still completely in love with food (especially cheese) and I have a goal to open a business.
I have a cute little French inspired wine and cheese bar in mind showcasing local wines and produce.
I am a dreamer and I have a million ideas in my head so no doubt my mind will change again, but for now that is the plan.
I think the plan for my blog will be to attempt to inspire people to get back in the kitchen, cook for and with family and friends and to help support local small businesses promote thier produce, Then maybe if anyone ends up reading this you can help me further my food knowledge and help me find new places to eat and shop!

Let's see how it goes....