Run Forrest

Mezzo Bar + Grill – Olive Harvest Lunch at Chapman Hill – Episode 3 – Foccacia ‘al padella’

EPISODE 3 – Foccacia ‘al padella’ with Chapman Hill olive oil. The crew from Mezzo Bar + Grill, spent a day amongst Chapman Hill’s olive grove in Glenaroua, 90 minutes out of Melbourne (Australia), to celebrate the olive harvest. Enjoy a series of videos on what the boys served up!

Filed under: Food, Mezzo, Product, Restaurant, , , , , , ,

Recipes from Mezzo Bar + Grill at Chapman Hill Olive Grove, ep 2.

EPISODE 2 – Slow cooked then barbequed octopus with rosemary & pecorino. The crew from Mezzo Bar + Grill, spent a day amongst Chapman Hill’s olive grove in Glenaroua, 90 minutes out of Melbourne (Australia), to celebrate the olive harvest. Enjoy a series of videos on what the boys served up!
Download the recipe at:

Filed under: Food, Mezzo, Restaurant, , , , , , , , , ,

Recipes from Mezzo Bar + Grill at Chapman Hill Olive Grove, ep 1.

Paulo’s fried & salted broad beans. The crew from Mezzo Bar + Grill, spent a day amongst Chapman Hill’s olive grove in Glenaroua, 90 minutes out of Melbourne (Australia), to celebrate the olive harvest (and naturally, we tagged along- it was cold, but worth it). Enjoy a series of videos on what the boys served up!
Download the recipe at:

Filed under: Food, Mezzo, Restaurant, , , , , , , ,

Mezzo Bar + Grill’s Pasta Al Giro

Mezzo very first ‘Pasta Al Giro’  is on Monday March 1st 2010 at Mezzo Bar + Grill. See what it’s all about here:

Here is the menu!

Uno | tortelli of ricotta + pumpkin, crushed amaretti biscuit, sage butter sauce Due | giuseppe cocco penne “al forna”, traditional baked sicilian dish with meat, eggplant, peas + egg
Tre  giuseppe cocco spaghettini with fresh tomato, basil + smoked mozzarella Quattro | giuseppe cocco pappardelle with grilled zucchini, zucchini flower + pecorino
Cinque | giuseppe cocco buccatini with mussels, clams + pepperoncino
Sei | ricotta gnocchi with pork + veal sausage ragout
Dolce | Santa Vittoria blood orange Soda sorbet

$45 per person, menu must be taken by whole table.
Bookings: T: (03) 9650 0988

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Menu For Hope winners.

The Menu For Hope winners have just been announced! You can view the full list here.

Here are the winners from the prizes that I’ve provided you:

AP17    Heilala Vanilla valued at $120
Alexandra McAndrew

AP18    Dinner for two, valued at $150 at Mezzo Bar and Grill, Melbourne
Joyce Kwok

AP19    Dinner for two, valued at $150 at Libertine,Melbourne
Prudence Mann

AP20    1 x enthusiast membership Sommeliers Australia, for one year, valued at $100
Steven Wiltshire

AP21    A case of Gembrook Hill’s current release wines valued at $433.50
jung hyun park

AP22    A case of McIvor Estate Wines current release wines valued at $330
Toby Stephens

AP23    1x $100 voucher at Le Madre Bakery valid for 12 months
Melissa Hicks

AP25    A case of The Wanderer’s current release wines valued at $420
deborah bower

Congratulations to all the winners!  Please leave a comment on this post so I can contact you for prize delivery.

Filed under: Menu for Hope, ,

Oyster Little Bourke has now reborn as Mezzo Bar + Grill

Watch the transformation here:

So what’s changed?

The way you eat. Like one big happy Sicilian family, dishes will be served up as smaller bites, medium helpings and grander dishes. Pick and mix and match and enjoy a whole range of complementary tastes from the new menu.

What’s on the menu. The menu is now presented with the above in mind and a whole lot of great new dishes inspired by the south of Italy. The wine list also features more Italian interlopers.

A little bit of a facelift. To create a more casual environment on the inside.

And what’s stayed the same?

They’ve still got those Oysters. And they’ve still got Oyster Hour. Half price daily from 5-6:30pm at the Bar.

They’ve got the same staff. And great service. You know – the kind with lashings of good spirit.

They’re still open Mon to Fri for lunch, and Mon to Sat for dinner.

Mezzo Bar + Grill

35 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne.

T: 03 9650 0988.

Or book online here.

Hook up with them:



Filed under: Mezzo, Restaurant, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Menu For Hope

Here’s the deal, directly lifted from Ed Charles’ blog (who is the Asia Pacific, Australian and New Zealand host for for the second year):

What is Menu for Hope?

Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by Pim of Chez Pim and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world. Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired Pim to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair. For the past three years, Menu for Hope raised nearly a quarter of million dollars in support of the good work of the UN World Food Programme, helping to feed hungry people worldwide.

Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of their choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.

When will this year’s campaign take place?

December 14 through Christmas.

Who is the beneficiary of this year’s campaign?

Once again we’ve chosen to work with the UN World Food Programme. WFP is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good.

This year, we are supporting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation. More on P4P here.

Who collects the money?

Certainly not Pim, nor the other bloggers participating on the campaign. We know our readers trust us, but we also want to be completely transparent in our fundraising. So, we use a very good online fundraising company called First Giving, who has worked with us since the first Menu for Hope years ago.

Donors can make an online donation with a credit card. Firstgiving collects and processes the payments and, at the end of the campaign, transfers the donations in one lump sum to the WFP. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The bloggers never touch the money. The WFP don’t waste overheads on processing mini-donations, the majority of which were between $10-$50, that’s a whole lot of tenners to make up $90K. Firstgiving does all the work and collects a small fee, which include the credit card processing charges.

Last year, Firstgiving gave back 1% of the total amount raised in lieu of a discount on their processing fee. Thank you Firstgiving, we appreciated it very much!

To Donate and Enter the Menu for Hope Raffle

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose a bid item or bid items of your choice from our Menu for Hope main bid item list (or see below for the prizes available from this blog).

2. Go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.

3. Specify which bid item you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and please use the bid item code. Each US$10 (a little of AUD $11) you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a bid item of your choice. For example, a donation of US$50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02 – 2xEU01, 3xEU02.

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match. (This isn’t relevant to Australian bidders)

5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

So, in support of Menu for Hope, we have collected quite a few prizes:

Heilala Vanilla

Prize: 1 x Heilala Vanilla pack [valued at $120]

Prize Code: AP17

Prize includes: Heilala Vanilla Pods (three in glass tube), Extract (100ml jar), Paste (100ml jar), Sugar (335g resealable pouch), apron.

About: Heilala Vanilla began as an aid project when NZ’s John Ross put a dormant block of land to good use in Tonga.  They established a vanilla plantation and now the project has blossomed into a business that not only created a range of premium vanilla products, but provides the local community with an income.

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents only. Prize will be posted to winner.

Sommeliers Australia

Prize: 1 x enthusiast membership valid for one year [valued at $100]

Prize code: AP20

Prize includes: Membership for 12 months includes email news updates, job alerts and invitations to all tastings, no charge for regular tastings ($25 for non-members) and discounted pricing for selected events.

About: Sommeliers Australia conducts a regular program of dynamic wine tastings and events in all five States to further educate not only sommeliers, hospitality and industry personnel but also general wine enthusiasts and consumes who are keen to learn the same insights the professionals do. Visit:

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth or Hobart.

Mezzo Bar & Grill

Prize: 1 x dinner for two [valued at $150].

Prize Code: AP18

About: Luke Stringer and Joseph Vargetto, the duo behind Melbourne’s Oyster Little Bourke will kick off 2010 with a new look space, a new dining philosophy, a very different food and wine focus, and the launch of a whole new restaurant offer that will reignite the fire in the bellies of these two very passionate blokes; and that will be Mezzo. Expect more casual environs. A wine list with a more Italian flavour. A menu with impanate, stuzzichini, a salumi selection, pastas, mains and ala piastra. Shared eating. A palpable energy and a genuine passion. A bigger injection of their respective personalities in the way the place ticks. But due to popular demand (and a guaranteed outcry from the regulars), the beloved oysters, shucked on demand, won’t be leaving the menu just yet… Mezzo Bar & Grill. Serves it up from Friday 8 January 2010. 35 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000. T: 03 9650 0988.


Prize: 1 x dinner for two [valued at $150]

Prize code: AP19

About: Libertine is owned and run by Nick Creswick and Zoë Ladyman, a young couple dedicated to their craft of providing not only a superb meal, but an indulgent service experience. They love classic and traditional French cuisine and remain steadfast in their intentions to bring back an old-fashioned style of respectful and responsive service.  Libertine proudly supports produce suppliers that are quality driven and strive to use the best game, seafood and vegetables available each season.  The wines on offer in the restaurant form a small eclectic collection from around the world, always of exceptional quality at every price point, catering for those just starting their exploration of wine, as well as those wanting a very special or rare bottle. Libertine, 500 Victoria St, North Melbourne, 3051. T: 03 9329 5228.

The Wanderer

Prize: A case of The Wanderer’s current release wines [Valued at $420].

Prize code: AP25

Prize includes: 6 bottles of The Wanderer Lower Yarra Pinot Noir 2008 and 6 bottles of The Wanderer Shiraz 2008

About: Andrew Marks’ label ‘The Wanderer’ enables him to roam about the place searching for small parcels of great fruit to make some special wines. To date, this has centred on the Yarra Valley, working with growers with whom he has known for many years. Emphasis in the vineyard is placed on producing fruit of great intensity. This is achieved by cropping the vineyards at very low levels through hard pruning, rigorous shoot thinning and crop thinning in the case of the shiraz. The result is three vibrant single vineyard wines with great intensity and character.

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents only.

Gembrook Hill

Prize: A case of Gembrook Hill’s current release wines [valued at $433.50]

Prize code:  AP21

Prize includes: 3 bottles each of Gembrook Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Chardonnay 2006, Pinot Noir 2008 and Gembrook Hill ‘Mayer Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2008

About: Ian and June Marks at Gembrook Hill found their vineyard site after a long search for the perfect pocket of land throughout almost every wine region in Victoria. With views of Mt Donna Buang, a backdrop of the Warburton ranges, red soil and a coveted north-easterly aspect, it is the perfect spot for cool climate winemaking. Gembrook Hill led the way as part of the ‘second wave’ of Yarra Valley vignerons, and today is one of the oldest vineyards in the Upper Yarra Valley sub-region. Gembrook’s wines are regarded as some of the most outstanding examples of their variety in Australia and are crafted with an old-world winemaking mindset. Most vine age now over twenty years. Gembrook Hill was one of the pacesetters in the Yarra Valley with its restrained yet complex style of chardonnay. The sauvignon blanc possesses characteristics found in Sancerre, and is more austere than the typical Australian and New Zealand examples. And the pinot noir has the elegance of old world Burgundy.

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents only.

McIvor Estate

Prize: A case of McIvor Estate Wines current release wines [valued at $330]

Prize code: AP 22

Prize includes: 3 bottles each of McIvor Estate Marsanne Roussanne 2009, Cabernet Merlot 2006, Sangiovese 2007 and Shiraz 2006.

About: Located in the coveted south end of Heathcote, Victoria, McIvor Estate‘s vines nestle in the sought-after granitic soil amongst dramatic scenery of large granite boulders, majestic rolling hills and imposing gullies that are framed by the Great Dividing Range. Picture-perfect. The property yields award-winning wines, an olive grove producing oils and fruit, and a small herd of Murray Grey breeding cows to keep an eye on things.

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents only.

La Madre Bakery

Prize:  1x La Madre voucher valid for 12 months [valued at $100]

Prize code: AP23

About: La Madre Bakery is an artisanal bakery run by Anna Spurling and Tez Kemp. They specialise is sourdough, crafted using considered techniques and age-old recipes, and it’s all hand-made with a capital N “No” to preservatives, improvers or any other additives. The full suite of La Madre breads not only features sourdough in all its tin, bun, baguette, roll, cob, fruit-laden and rye-combo forms, but also a ‘traditional’ range, as well as pastries and sweet seasonal treats. They have also recently developed a range of breads utilising an ancient grain that is experiencing a welcome resurgence, spelt. La Madre’s goods can be found at Thomas Dux stores, providores and some pretty fine restaurant tables throughout Victoria.

Prize conditions: valid for Australian residents only. Voucher redeemable only at the La Madre Bakery’s Geelong headquarters.

FOR OTHER AWESOME MENU FOR HOPE PRIZES, head to Ed Charles’ blog for the full list.

Filed under: Menu for Hope, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

La Madre Bakery wins Victorian “Baking Manufacturer of the Year”

Tez Kemp & Anna Spurling of La Madre Bakery in Geelong

On Friday 6th November 2009, La Madre Bakery of Bell Park in Geelong, Victoria took out the top award at the second annual Baking Industry Association of Victoria’s “Excellence in Baking” awards by winning the “2009 Baking Manufacturer of the Year”.

La Madre Bakery is an artisanal bakery run by Anna Spurling and Tez Kemp. The couple (in life and in business) took over operations of the existing bakery three years ago, and since then has put their savvy stamp over the entire operation and offering.

The bakery’s specialisation is sourdough, crafted using considered techniques and age-old recipes, and it’s all hand-made with a capital N “No” to preservatives, improvers or any other additives. The full suite of La Madre breads not only features sourdough in all its tin, bun, baguette, roll, cob, fruit-laden and rye-combo forms, but also a ‘traditional’ range, as well as pastries and sweet seasonal treats. They have also recently developed a range of breads utilising an ancient grain that is experiencing a welcome resurgence, spelt.

Ralph Plarre, Co-owner of the Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse group, a highly regarded industry innovator and baking ambassador (and also the previous year’s winner), was guest speaker at the awards ceremony, and noted: “I’ve been keeping an eye on what’s happening down there in Bell Park for some time, and have been so impressed with the team at La Madre Bakery. They are a truly refreshing, progressive bakery operation. Their commitment to creating an inspiring environment through every aspect of their operations, specifically their enthusiasm and actions in developing a benchmark sustainable business, deserves great applause.”

Garry Higgins, the CEO of the Baking Industry Association of Victoria noted that La Madre Bakery was a standout winner, due to “their innovation with product, their philosophical commitment to sustainable practice, their ability to marry sustainability and profitability, and their success at repositioning themselves in the market.”

Anna and Tez were naturally elated by the win. “We’ve had very clear aspirations for this business from the start. Tez and I were keen to achieve a number of things. Firstly, products with great integrity. Secondly, be actively involved in the needs of our local community. And thirdly, be environmentally respectful. Not just to give the whole ‘eco’ thing a bit of lip-service, but actually implement initiatives across our entire business to create almost a “blue-print”, showing small to medium sized businesses that they can be sustainable if they’re serious about it. We have some pretty strong values and our business has to reflect those, and we’re getting there! This accolade is an important acknowledgement of our efforts thus far,” said Anna.

La Madre Bakery now supplies products to a wide range of restaurants, cafés and gourmet food stores throughout Geelong, Melbourne, the Surf Coast and Country Victoria as well as Farmers’ Markets.

But, as you might expect from this enterprising couple – standby… there’s plenty more action in the works.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Queenslander roasts the opposition at largest coffee roasting competition in the southern hemisphere – the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition

Esh Ediriweera (Sugar Australia’s National Marketing Manager), Golden Bean Winner Anne Cooper, and Phil Di Bella from Di Bella coffee

Queensland master roaster Anne Cooper from Di Bella Coffee took out the top award at the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition held on the weekend in Port Macquarie (NSW), roasting the opposition comprising over 700 entries from some 330 Australian coffee roasters in what is one of the biggest coffee roasting competitions in the world.

This is the fourth year of the competition and Sugar Australia has been a key sponsor of the event from day one. The CSR Sugar brand ensures that the event is well supported and will continue to grow by attracting the crema of the coffee crop.

“It’s been extraordinary to witness the level of skill and passion of these coffee roasters. It’s an incredibly exciting industry and these roasters are at the forefront of pushing the boundaries with bean selection and blending and in turn progressing the palates of consumers,” said Esh Ediriweera, Sugar Australia’s National Marketing Manager.

The competition puts the spotlight on coffee roasters, an integral part of the 8.5 billion dollar coffee industry in Australia. The winners spend months in preparation, researching and sourcing quality beans from all corners of the globe, with innumerable hours spent blending, roasting, and tasting to fine-tune the perfect cup, to submit an original blend. The winners receive gold, silver and bronze medals across seven categories* with the overall winners of the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition derived from the highest score between the milk-based and espresso categories. Coffees are taste-tested over the day-long competition period. Judging this year was overseen by Justin Metcalf, Head Judge for the World Barista Championships and Head Roaster for Daily Roast Coffee in Melbourne. He was joined on the judging panel by other champion baristas (such as Tim Adams – 2009 Australian Champion and David Makin – 2007 Australian Champion) as well as coffee roasters, international green bean brokers and coffee growers.

Anne Cooper was ecstatic about her win. “This is a phenomenal competition. The team at Di Bella uses the competition as a part of our research and development. It demands that we be creative. We go off and find coffee we want to use and create some great blends. Importantly, it is judged by our peers, some of the best and most discerning palates you could hope for. It’s a real chance for us to show off what we’ve got!” noted Anne.

It tops off a great year for Di Bella Coffee. Passionate company principle Phillip Di Bella was on hand to give an inspirational speech to the caffeine-primed audience, and share some of his learnings as head of one of the fastest growing coffee businesses in the country and winner of the BRW Young Businesses People’s Award.

The support of Sugar Australia ensures that a robust programme of keynote speakers and seminars can be conducted, critical to the advancement of the industry. The conference was a major part of the weekend’s activities, and featured educational seminars exploring current industry thinking on marketing insights, green bean procurement and roaster maintenance. The keynote speaker was the passionate Geoff Watts from Intelligentsia, a third wave coffee business based in the US. Geoff took the keen audience through his journey of the new third wave coffee movement looking at the ethical trends within the coffee industry and how roasters can best support the third world coffee growing nations.

KISS Marketing, the event organiser, is looking forward to an even bigger event in 2010.

* CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition Category Winners

Overall Golden Bean:

Anne Cooper, Di Bella Coffee (QLD) – Gold

Vladamir Kazionov/Kailah, Coffee Secret (QLD) – Silver

Bernie Scotford, Arabica Coffee (QLD) – Bronze

Gold Medal Winners:

Category 1: Espresso  – Jack Hanna, Jack And The Bean (NSW)

Category 2: Milk Based – Anne Cooper, Di Bella Coffee (QLD)

Category 3: Australian – Elizabeth Lajos/Bernie Scotford, Prestige Organic Coffee (QLD)

Category 4: Filter – Dan Ainslie, Fiori Coffee (WA)

Category 5: Organic – Susan Castle, Bean Alliance (VIC)

Category 6: Retail – Richard St John, North Coast Coffee Roasters (NSW)

Category 7: Café Chain – Scott Lindsay, Coffee Roasters – Veneziano (VIC)

Filed under: Product, sugar, , , , , , , , , ,

Lollipop Cakes & Cookies open for business

Maria Lantelme of Lollipop Cakes & Cookies with 'Jungle Party'

Candy coloured girls with flowing brown locks and polka-dot red frocks watch on as lions and zebras jump out from the depths of the jungle – this is the fantastical world derived from the imagination of Maria Lantelme. Maria’s new Melbourne-based venture, Lollipop Cakes & Cookies, creates premium, bespoke themed cakes and unique cookies that are brought to life through her exceptional skills that morph fondant into vibrant characters that are fun for the kids and transport adults back to a childhood utopia.

Lollipop Cakes & Cookies is a product of Maria’s extensive training and passion for baking and cake decorating. Maria trained at the renowned South American SugarCraft School, Ballina Institute under the guidance of Director Marta Ballina who has long been internationally recognised for her skills in cake modelling and creativity. Maria then spent three years completing her Certificate in Hospitality before working as a Pastry Chef at various institutes in Argentina and abroad. As she continued to forge her career, a key highlight came when asked to create a birthday cake for the daughter of Carlos “Gato” Dumas – pioneer of the Argentinean cuisine and restaurant scene, which spurred her desire to go out alone.

Maria came to Melbourne in 2002 and has most recently worked as the Pastry Chef at Cacao Fine Chocolates and Patisserie and later at Oyster Little Bourke. Maria still harks to home and channels the vivacious colours of Argentinean culture in her cakes – adorning them with caricatures and the items of interest or passion of the people for whom they are created. Maria enjoys the process of sitting down with each client to explore and agree on a cake that best suits them and the occasion to ensure a highly individual and personalised piece.

Alongside her cakes Maria also produces unique cookies, including the wonderful Alfajores (a cookie indigenous to her homeland) – a shortbread biscuit filled with the delicious toffee ‘Dulce de Leche’ and rolled in coconut. Maria’s decorating also extends to an array of biscuits with designs tailored for marking occasions such as weddings, births or christenings.

Maria is focused on producing items with a visual ‘wow’ factor but is of course also very particular about how they taste. “I always use the best ingredients for my cakes and cookies from the eggs, sugar and flour to the chocolate and toffee. If I put so many hours into creating a cake and it’s decoration looks amazing it would be disappointing to not have a great tasting cake under all of that!”

Filed under: Cakes, Food, , , , , , , , ,

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