The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

HERE’S an ini­tia­tive that could put a per­son right off their din­ner. Vin Santo restau­rant in Mit­tagong, NSW, has launched a 12-week competition to find the best mu­si­cal en­ter­tainer in the south­ern high­lands. De­scribed as a ‘‘mix of High­lands Idol, South­ern High­lands’ Got Tal­ent and San­to­vi­sion, with de­li­cious Ital­ian food’’, the Mon­day night spec­tac­u­lar will in­volve mu­si­cians and singers tak­ing to the stage and din­ers vot­ing for the best act (if they can tear their at­ten­tion away from the all-you-can-eat buf­fet). More: vin­san­ to Bill Granger and Mark Best en­sconced there, and all man­ner of hole-in-the-wall eater­ies, cafes and bars pop­ping up in re­cent years. It was hardly sur­pris­ing to see a cook­book fo­cus­ing on the peo­ple be­hind this busy in­ner-city precinct hit the shelves, but Crown Street Cooks is so much more than just an­other paean to the celebrity chef. The com­pi­la­tion is the brain­child of the Crown Street Pub­lic School and recipes have been con­trib­uted not just by those be­hind the pop­u­lar din­ing spots and other busi­nesses on the strip, but by school can­teen cooks, par­ents, rel­a­tives and teach­ers. Ex­pect the school’s gar­den club br­uschetta along­side vanilla cup­cakes from the much-lauded Sparkle Cup­cak­ery, or an In­dian beef curry from Bistrode’s Jane and Jeremy Strode along­side an East African onion salad from a school fam­ily.

De­tec­tive loves this sort of com­mu­nity spirit and en­ter­prise, and would be in­ter­ested to hear of other ex­am­ples from across the coun­try. More:


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