Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Monday, September 11, 2006

Regional Food Australia,

Photo: Gourmet cooking class, Chapel Hill Gourmet Retreat

Two years I went to a BBQ put on by the NSW National Party in support of Country Week, an annual promotion designed to sell the virtues to Sydney dwellers of Regional NSW for life, work and play.

It was without a doubt the greatest BBQ I have ever been to. The venue - an upstairs garden area at Parliament House overlooking Macquarie Street - was superb. But what was far better was the food and wine carefully selected by each National Party member to showcase their electorate. I had no idea of the standard and variety on show.

Since then I have been monitoring Australian regional food. In this context, I am pleased to report that Regional Food Australia should soon be back in regular publication. The magazine together with its associated blog are on my personal favourite list.

It's never easy doing something new. Fred Harden, Jan O'Connell and Mark Kelly have struggled to bring out a publication that will properly showcase the enormous variety in food offered by Regional Australia. Well, they are getting there!

In my post on McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula I mentioned as an introduction that I was in loco parentis to two elderly cats whose UK owners, Alison and Geoff, had decided to migrate to McLaren Vale in South Australia. This provided an excuse for a story on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Alison and Geoff have now been in Australia for a week. Their overwhelming first impression, one that pleases me enormously, is the friendliness of the people they have met. This has made their initial adjustment to a new country very easy.

Now there is a link between Alison and Geoff, food in Regional Australia and the Fleurieu Peninsular.

In the story on McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula I mentioned moves to develop food and cooking on the Peninsula to compliment the wine. Following my latest visit to the Regional Food Australia web site I can now report that Pip Forrester, one of the heroines of Australian regional food, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2006 Restaurant and Catering South Australia Annual Awards for Excellence.

Pip Forrester is presently managing the beautiful Chapel Hill Gourmet Retreat. This provides a variety of experiences including cooking classes (photo). Why go to Tuscany when you can experience Australia's equivalent?

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