Orange foodies watching their Manners as an era ends
FOODDetective caught up with NSW food legend Michael Manners this week in the kitchens of his 10-year-old Orange restaurant, Selkirks, which is set to close its doors on June 17. Expecting to have a chat about past glories, Detective instead found herself immersed in exciting news of the next Manners manifestation.
Extracting his hands from the trout gravlax he was preparing for the local farmers’ market, and taking the phone, Manners told Detective about Manners and Borg, the venture he is launching in partnership with his Orange butcher, Michael Borg.
They’re building a shop in Orange, where they’ll produce restaurant-quality heat-andserve meals (moussakas, lasagnes, and more complex dishes, at a range of prices), sauces to go with Borg’s meats (the butcher is an Orange institution) and dressings. Next year, there’ll be a line in gourmet sausages. At least until Christmas, they will produce batches of value-added meals to sell only from the new shop.
If it goes well, Manners says they might look for backing and extend their reach, but he wants everything to be perfect before going down that path, so until then residents of the region will be the winners and a visit to Orange will be well worth the trip. Manners and Borg expects to open mid-July; watch this column for dates.
As for the restaurant, it will be continuing, though Manners can’t yet say with whom; again, watch this space. The last supper at Selkirks, on June 16, will feature dishes from Manners’ manors past: from the late 1960s to now, including garlic brains.
WINTER festivals are under way around the country: McLaren Vale’s 15th annual Sea & Vines Festival is on this weekend. Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the vale will be offering food and wine tastings at 24 wineries (organisers recommend no more than three a day). There will be music of all kinds and lots of activities for the ankle-biters. www.seaandvines.com.
A PRE-FESTIVAL seafood banquet, Seafood by the Stars, will lead in the annual Darwin Seafood Festival to be held on Sunday, June 17. Seafood dishes will be prepared by chefs from Darwin’s Hanuman Restaurant, Char Restaurant @ Admiralty and Roast & Noodle, with desserts and coffees from The Roma Bar. Fisherman’s Wharf will be a promenade of fresh seafood for the festival on the Sunday, professionals offering advice on buying, catching and cooking it. www.travelnt.com; Seafood by the Stars tickets: (08) 8941 1153.
WINE novices and enthusiasts alike will be able to brush up on tasting techniques at McWilliams Wines’ free wine tasting tutorials at Sydney Good Food & Wine Show on June 15, 16 and 17, at the McWilliams stand, bay K36, Sydney Exhibition Centre. McWilliams promises the 45-minute sessions will be great fun and you’ll learn lots. A range of daily times and topics, from bubbles to cellaring; bookings are essential (02 9722 1233; www.mcwilliams.com.au.
DETECTIVE chatted this week with Andrew Skinner, executive chef at the new Bulgari Resort Bali. Skinner, ex the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, Sydney and Amandari (Bali), and Oberoi Mauritius, was in Sydney for the opening of the new Bulgari store in Castlereagh Street, where he created a special menu for launch events. He also cooked a reportedly memorable degustation dinner at FortyOneRestaurant.
In Bali, Skinner says the resort is attracting more and more Australians, recently welcoming a group of Perth VIPs, who must remain unnamed.
He says, while Bulgari Resort sources its highend speciality produce from around the globe, as is the way with resorts — prosciutto from Italy, fish from Tasmania and Paris’s Rungis market— organic farms high in Bali’s volcanic mountain country, Kintamani and Bedugal, are growing herbs, salad vegetables, tomatoes and more and are a fabulous source of dew-drenched local produce for Bulgari. There is even an Italian resident of Bali who is making fresh mozzarella, apparently.
ON the Victorian slopes, Falls Creek’s sexiest new bar, oishii go! (free fives), is designed to suit the refurbished Silverski Lodge: free green tea and dashi soup at 5pm; Kirin beer on tap. The season runs from June 8-October 1.
ONE of Detective’s favourite cookbooks, Arabesque, by Melbourne’s Greg and Lucy Malouf, in its deluxe manifestation designed by Gayna Murphy, has won The Australian Publishers Association Book Design Awards for Best Designed Cookbook of the Year, announced in Sydney last week. Murphy was on a winning roll, having also designed LakeHouse by Alla Wolf-Tasker, which was highly commended in the awards, as was Teague Ezard’s Lotus:Asian Flavours, designed by Ryan Guppy.
RESTAURANT collector Australian Hospitality Group (owners of Liquidity and Sydney Tower’s 360 Bar and Dining) has snaffled one of Sydney’s longest running establishments to add to its collection. La Grillade, mecca for top TV suits, in Sydney’s Crows Nest, has been operated by its original owners for 30 years. The group’s executive chef, Greek-Australian George Diamond, is already working with the restaurant’s head chef Roger Barstow.
The word is that staff will remain in place, but one development will be access to the group’s food sources, including its own Tasmanian oyster lease.
BARISTA Jack Hanna from Sydney, photographed above by Nick Cubbin, was this week named World Latte Art Champion, ahead of 19 coffee artistes, in the championships in Belgium. Hanna puts his win down to the designs he created especially for the day, and to Di Lorenzo coffee (from Jones the Grocer, where Hanna whips up brews for his day job at the Woollahra, Sydney, store). Judging is based on taste, texture, temperature, and aesthetics. Six coffees in eight minutes, each with its exquisite design.
MEANWHILE, Sydneysiders should prepare for a sense of Orange community at Bondi Beach on Sunday, September 17, when NSW country will come to town. With a range of wine and food stalls in the Bondi Pavilion, it promises to be a taste of the very best of country life. Stay tuned to Detective for full details closer to the date.
FIND of the week: Waiwera Infinity Water from New Zealand thermal springs; pristine and in beautiful one-litre bottles ($8.50 for a pack of three, from Mof Mof delicatessen, Shop 17, 8 Greenknowe Ave, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney). www.waiwera.co.nz.
DETECTIVE loves: The quiet emergence of new-wave Italian restaurants in innerSydney: La Sala, Intermezzo, Lo Studio.
DETECTIVE loathes: The pepper-grinder wielding waiter (she’s enlisting in the Chaser’sWar on cracked pepper); what’s wrong with a small grinder on the table?
Best barista: Hanna