Aus­tralian chefs serve up a mov­able feast

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

THEY say a change is as good as a hol­i­day, which may go some way to ex­plain­ing why it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to find a chef in his or her own kitchen these days.

Food De­tec­tive is sur­prised do­mes­tic tourism is in the dol­drums, what with the num­ber of food in­dus­try types hop­ping on planes, trains and au­to­mo­biles to make guest ap­pear­ances, take part in culi­nary road­shows or strut their stuff in food pro­grams in re­gions other than their own.

There’s a smor­gas­bord of events in­volv­ing dis­placed chefs in com­ing months.

On July 24, Mark Best of Syd­ney’s award-win­ning Mar­que restau­rant joins Mel­bourne’s Dono­van Cooke, of At­lantic, con­sul­tant chef Paul Wil­son and Bindi wines’ Michael Dhillon at Lake House in Vic­to­ria’s Dayles­ford to present a Win­ter Mas­ter­class in­clud­ing demos, tast­ings, lunch and take-home recipes (lake­house.com.au). From Au­gust 24 to 27, An­thony Mil­roy and Monique Maul from Lochiel House in the NSWBlue Moun­tains are off to Tas­ma­nia to hook up with Luke Burgess of Ho­bart’s Garag­istes and Hugh White­house of Saf­fire on the Fr­eycinet Penin­sula for a three­day food and wine ex­trav­a­ganza (saf­fire-fr­eycinet.com.au). There will also be a steady flow of tal­ent to Queens­land’s Hamil­ton Is­land fol­low­ing last month’s launch of the 2011 Great Bar­rier Feast food and wine se­ries with Peter Gil­more of Syd­ney’s Quay. Frank Camorra of Mel­bourne’s Movida em­pire will be guest chef at Hamil­ton’s Qualia for the sec­ond in the se­ries on July 22-24, while Dan Hunter of The Royal Mail in Dunkeld, Vic­to­ria, will need to break out the sun­screen from De­cem­ber 2 to 4 (hamil­ton­is­land.com.au/feast). They’re even at it in Townsville, with tele­vi­sion chef Ben O’Donoghue from Bris­bane, Matt Stone from Perth’s Green­house and Mel­bourne-based chef Philippa Si­b­ley join­ing South Aus­tralia’s Maggie Beer and Bris­bane’s David Pugh at the Chefs in the North din­ner at Jupiters Townsville on July 28 (aus­tralian­mu­s­ic­cen­tre.com.au).

LIKE chefs, truf­fles seem to be pop­ping up in the strangest of places. Perth-based chef Alain Fabregues re­cently dis­cov­ered the first French Perig­ord truf­fle on his prop­erty in Toodyay, 400km from the state’s main truf­fle pro­duc­tion hub, Man­jimup. Fabregues will ap­pear at the Mun­dar­ing Truf­fle Fes­ti­val on July 30-31, and the lucky win­ner of T&I’s competition to win a trip for two to the event will be an­nounced next week. Mean­while, what is billed as the world’s first pop-up truf­fle shop fea­tur­ing only Aus­tralian pro­duce is open in South Mel­bourne through­out this month. Madame Truf­fles is sell­ing Tas­ma­nian truf­fles from $2.80 a gram, WAtruf­fles from $2.90 a gram and NSWnuggets from $3.30 a gram (madametruf­fles. com.au). In Can­berra, the Cap­i­tal Coun­try Truf­fle Fes­ti­val is on un­til the end of July (truf­fle­fes­ti­val.com.au).

CROWNStreet in Syd­ney’s Surry Hills is one of the most ex­cit­ing food strips in the coun­try, with ev­ery­one from Kylie Kwong

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