It can be easy to forget how to switch on your oven these days — you know, that boxy looking thing that gives off heat and cooks food from scratch? — given that the Brisbane restaurant scene has every whim, craving and foodie desire of ours just about covered. There are more restaurants and cafes than you can snap your chopsticks at, so the drive to cook ones own food in — horror of horrors — your own kitchen, can be an exercise lacking in enthusiasm. And we're as guilty as anyone.
So when we heard James Street announce they would again be hosting their annual James Street Food and Wine Trail (on this July 31st to August 3rd!), our interest was piqued.
Each year the Food and Wine Trail puts on fantastic cooking events; DIY classes, tasting sessions and exclusive dinners, plus you can meet the aprons behind some of your favourite dishes! Ben Williamson of Gerard's Bistro, PJ McMillan from Harveys, and Shaun Malone at Bucci among others— we're feeling inspired already!
In preparation for the feasts they are shortly to be unleashed on New Farm at this year's festival, we were lucky enough to get our mits on some top secret recipes from a few of the top chefs on the street, to bring a little James Street dining into our humble kitchens.
Just imagine being able to re-create your favourite dish from a few of your favourite James Street restaurants, in the luxury of your own home — that's got to be worth a crack, right?
Gerard's Bistro | Shirin Polow
Given Mr Williams' extraordinary background and affinity for Middle Eastern cooking, and the amount of times we've groaned, 'what's IN this?' with mouths full of his mind-bogglingly delicious fare, you can imagine our excitement when he let us in on the tricks behind one of our favourite dishes: Shirin Polow — or sweet rice — is a staple favourite in Iranian cooking, consisting of fluffy rice, berries, nuts and spices, and it soon will be yours, too.
Harveys | Heirloom Tomato Salad
If you think this is just another tomato salad, you're mistaken (and haven't tried Harveys yet)! Head Chef, PJ McMillan does what he does best: takes a staple — and dare we say, a bit of a boring staple at that— flips it on its head and peppers it with personality! One to show off at your next dinner party, this side dish will impress. Fact!
Bucci | Panforte
Though traditionally a dessert to indulge in at Christmas time, Panforte is the perfect classic Italian dessert to scoff any time of year (Christmas in July, anyone)? Executive Chef, Shaun shares his decadent chocolate-y version with dried figs and apricots. It is so addictive you'll be stock piling slices at your desk!