Our star­ring role con­firmed in the glitzy US movie cap­i­tal

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence - FOOD DE­TEC­TIVE Ju­dith Elen

AUS­TRALIA is top of the menu in Los An­ge­les just now. G’Day USA: Aus­tralia Week (Jan­uary 17-26, a su­per-sized week of 10 days, and linked to a wider month-long pro­mo­tion) was orig­i­nally a spark in the eye of John Olsen, our con­sul-gen­eral in New York, Ian Par­menter tells Food De­tec­tive.

Di­rec­tor of South Aus­tralia’s bi­en­nial food fest Tast­ing Aus­tralia, Par­menter has been in­volved with G’Day USA for the past four years.

Speak­ing from the Re­nais­sance Hol­ly­wood Ho­tel, where he and lead­ing Aus­tralian food and wine man Peter Howard are or­gan­is­ing the cater­ing for a plethora of G’Day USA events, Par­menter tells De­tec­tive the con­sul-gen­eral loves Tast­ing Aus­tralia and thought we should be do­ing some­thing sim­i­lar in LA. Since then the show has grown like Topsy. Last year it spread to New York, and is prob­a­bly the US’s largest an­nual for­eign pro­mo­tion. Or­gan­ised and sup­ported by fed­eral and state gov­ern­ment bod­ies and more than 40 spon­sors, it em­braces such el­e­ments as tourism and fash­ion as well as food and wine.

By the time you read this, Par­menter and Howard will have hov­ered over the hot­plates for an af­ter-party buf­fet for hun­dreds of guests at a film night at Paramount Stu­dios. When De­tec­tive chats with Par­menter be­fore the event, the pair are on an adrenalin high, plan­ning Thai-style prawn sal­ads and Queens­land or­ganic beef dishes, work­ing in a kitchen in LA’s Lit­tle Ethiopia and hop­ing that all the fresh pro­duce ar­rives safely.

All meats, fish and seafood for the events are be­ing flown in from Aus­tralia. Which brings me to Richard Adlem, a fresh food sup­plier via his New Zealand-based com­pany Lee Fish. Adlem ‘‘ de­serves a medal’’, Par­menter says. He sup­plies Aussie seafood to restau­rants across the US, and is fly­ing in bar­ra­mundi, ocean trout, Bal­main bugs, Tassie tuna and more, all on Qan­tas. With fresh sup­plies due to ar­rive the day be­fore they’re served, Par­menter agrees with De­tec­tive that it’s a lit­tle nerver­ack­ing, but Adlem is his hero and Par­menter is his usual up-beat self. None of the seafood, he says, is frozen, and it’s a big hit in the US. There will also be ‘‘ ter­rific lamb from WA’’ and ‘‘ won­der­ful’’ OBE or­ganic beef from Queens­land.

Rock­pool’s Neil Perry is cook­ing with renowned Hol­ly­wood chef Wolf­gang Puck at a black-tie din­ner for about 1400 tonight at the Hol­ly­wood & High­land Ball­room in LA, and on Aus­tralia Day the Aus­tralia.com Gala Din­ner will see Perry and Luke Man­gan labour­ing over dishes for 1000 guests at the Wal­dorf As­to­ria in New York. Vue de Monde’s Shan­non Ben­nett will also be cook­ing at events in New York.

G’DAY USA is linked with a month­long US su­per­mar­ket pro­mo­tion. New York’s fine food pur­veyor Citarella is high­light­ing our prod­ucts in its seven stores across Man­hat­tan and the Hamp­tons. And San Diego’s three-day Win­ter Fancy Food Show, which ran this week and was linked with G’Day USA, fea­tured more than 100 prod­ucts from across the coun­try in an ex­ten­sive Austrade pavil­ion. www.aus­tralia-week.com.

in far north Queens­land last year ( Food De­tec­tive, Novem­ber 10-11), has set up for him­self with part­ner and frontof-house face Reina Tor­ca­sio on the strip at Port Douglas (he will still be con­sult­ing at Ju­laymba).

Har­ri­son’s Restau­rant and Bar, at 41 Macrossan St, opened just be­fore Christ­mas and is for­mally launch­ing it­self with a six-course de­gus­ta­tion din­ner next Thurs­day and an

SHOOT­ING star Spencer Pa­trick, the UK-trained, Miche­lin-starred chef who joined Ju­laymba Restau­rant at Dain­tree Eco Lodge & Spa open­ing party on Jan­uary 29. Tor­ca­sio’s brother Matt Tor­ca­sio, who re­cently re­fined the cock­tail menu at Fog Restau­rant and Bar in Melbourne, is also on the team. Try one of his ly­chee and ginger mar­ti­nis. (07) 4099 6364.

BRUNO Lou­bet, neigh­bour­ing Miche­lin-starred chef at Baguette in Bris­bane’s As­cot (Queens­land is awash with them; there’s also Meyjitte Boughenout at Ab­syn­the on the Gold Coast), has come up with an en­tic­ing idea for Mon­day to Thurs­day evenings this month and next. He is cre­at­ing themed din­ners — French, Span­ish and Moroc­can— with three cour­ses, served on shared plat­ters a la French

Bruno Lou­bet fam­ily style, for $36 a per­son. Next it’s Moroc­can, from Jan­uary 21 to 24. There’s a night off for Valen­tine’s Day, Fe­bru­ary 14, when rus­tic turns ro­man­tic. www.baguette.com.au.

THE fab­u­lously tal­ented Sean Con­nolly is back at the hot­plates on Tues­day, when As­tral re­opens at Syd­ney’s Crown Casino with a scin­til­lat­ing new menu. www.aus­tral­restau­rant.com.au.

GET ready for Yarra Val­ley, Vic­to­ria’s Grape Graz­ing Fes­ti­val, which starts Fe­bru­ary 9. www.grape­graz­ing.com.au.

ZEMA Es­tate in South Aus­tralia’s Coon­awarra is of­fer­ing cool­ing Ever­est gelati along­side its wine tast­ings at the cel­lar door through­out Jan­uary. And there’s a Clooney and Cluny Movie Night com­ing up at the Es­tate Win­ery: Ge­orge Clooney in the Coen Brothers clas­sicO Brother,Whereart Thou? and Zema’s Cluny blend of caber­net sauvi­gnon, mer­lot, mal­bec and caber­net franc. Fe­bru­ary 2 from 8.30pm, $10 a per­son in­cludes com­pli­men­tary pop­corn; wine and re­fresh­ments for sale. www.zema.com.au.

Find of the week: The tiny (10.5cm x 15cm) gem Drink­ingYour Own­Words:ThePsy­chol­o­gy­ofWine by Evan and Brian Mitchell (In­medi­as­re­spress, $14.95). Med­i­ta­tions on wine, how it’s talked about, thought about and drunk. The au­thors, both psy­chol­o­gists, one also a som­me­lier, have a web­site on food, wine and phi­los­o­phy. www.thes­e­cret­worldof.com.

DE­TEC­TIVE loves: LifeStyle Food Chan­nel’s Sig­na­tureDish. Three top Bris­bane chefs share their se­crets in the pre­miere on Thurs­day at 9pm.

DE­TEC­TIVE loathes: The ul­ti­mate ab­sur­dity: in­di­vid­ual la­bels on fruit.

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