2013 Was A Really, Really Big Year

I know I say it every year, but it just seems to fly by, doesn’t it? But as surely as 2012 followed 2011, we are now at the end of 2013 and what a year it’s been. Here’s a really quick snapshot of what I’ve been doing for the past 12 months.

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I wrote. And then I wrote some more.

I wrote so much this year I literally broke my keyboard. My Wall Street Journal – Scene Asia column, Around the Table, continued to get a great response. A few of my pieces were even in their top food stories for 2013. I wrote a bunch of stuff for The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Food, The Australian and Feast Magazine. I was published in an anthology of feminist literature by Penguin, which was quite unexpected but also very nice.

But the biggest thing I wrote this year was my second book, Asian After Work. I’m immensely proud of it, and thank you so much for all the photos and comments you’ve sent through to me this year. There’s really nothing better as an author seeing a dish go from an idea in your head to becoming a regular fixture on someone’s family dinner table. It’s humbling and I am grateful to you all for giving me that experience.

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Asian After Work has only been in the shops for a couple of months but sales have been fantastic! We’ve sold tens of thousands of copies and my publisher has already ordered a reprint so there’ll be more to come! I’ve also agreed to write a third book, so look out for that later in 2014.

I travelled. A lot.

By my count I’ve stayed in more than 60 hotels this year. That’s more than one a week! There’s been a lot of traveling but it wasn’t without a purpose. I cooked a banquet as a guest of the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, a cooking class for 200 (yes, TWO HUNDRED) in Bali with Jonah Lomu and UB40 (I’m serious), took over from Stephanie Alexander designing the menu for this year’s Rymill Harvest Lunch, as well as going through Thailand, China, Australia and New Zealand. I fulfilled a dream of mine in writing, developing and presenting Destination Flavour: Japan. Travelling the entire length of that wonderful country over three months was an unforgettable experience and it has really affected the way I approach food.

What city am I in again?

What city am I in again?

That the series turned out to be such a success was really the icing on the cake. The response from all of you watching the show has been phenomenal and I really want to thank you for tuning in and supporting a show that we tried to make as intelligent, honest and entertaining as possible. The ratings were GREAT (our last episode of Japan DOUBLED the number of viewers that tuned in to the final episode of the first Destination Flavour season) and SBS has been kind enough to commission a third series. I’m right in the middle of filming that now so stay tuned for more Destination Flavour to come next year!

We connected.

Thank you so much for all the interaction on social media this year. There’s nearly 200,000 of you all across facebook and Twitter and I feel like I’ve heard from almost all of you! I held out for years but finally succumbed to the wiles of Instagram, and much to my surprise I actually love it! (I still don’t use those weird filters, though.) I look forward to sharing more with you and hearing more from you over 2014.

Instagram-Screenshot

I ate. More than I should have.

My computer tells me I’ve created more than 300 new recipes this year, but rather than just the food I made, one of the perks of hosting a food and travel show is that you get to eat a lot of nice stuff that other people make. Here’s a selection of the most memorable things I ate this year.

Family came first.

I feel like I’ve spent a whole year in hospitals. I don’t really need to go into the gory details of it but at one point my grandmother, mother and wife were all in three different hospitals across three different countries and I was flying between them all! It’s been really difficult at times but amazingly, MIRACULOUSLY, not only has everyone pulled through but they’re all in better health than they were before it all went pear-shaped. It’s amazing how these kinds of things can really put things into perspective for you. Beijing-(3-of-6)

It hasn’t all been bad, though. The biggest and best hospital news of the year was the happiest of my life. We welcomed little Christopher Wren Liaw into the world! I know I’m gushing like every new dad does, but he’s probably (easily) the best thing to ever happen to me.

We helped.

This year I was appointed UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Nutrition. Through the Bread for Good campaign and other initiatives from UNICEF, we’ve made a impact on the lives of children around Australia and the world. There’s still more work to be done. If you’d like to help UNICEF and the great work they do, you can donate here.

I hosted Christmas lunch.

I don’t normally mention specific meals, but this year there was a point where it looked like our family was going to be a few people smaller this Christmas. It all turned out for the best and gathering my whole family across 4 generations and 5 continents together at my dining table for a big family Christmas lunch was one of happiest days I’ve ever had. I don’t mind telling you that a few tears were shed, but I am very glad to say they were all tears of joy.

Christmas Lunch 2013 - At home, Sydney

Christmas Lunch 2013 – At home, Sydney

Well, that’s a lot to fit into one little year! Thanks again for all the good times, laughs and support. I really do feel like the luckiest guy on Earth.

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16 Memorable Things I Ate in 2013

Hot orange-glazed turkey with Scarborough Fair stuffing - Christmas Lunch 2013

Hot orange-glazed turkey with Scarborough fair stuffing – Christmas Lunch 2013

It’s time again for my list of memorable dishes from the past year and I must admit this year has been the hardest ever. I try to limit myself to calling out ten dishes a year (with a cheeky extra one to indulge myself – after all it is the holiday season) but this time I’ve upped it to 15 (plus one) for no other reason than that I’ve eaten so much good stuff there was no other option. If you’re interested, last year’s list is here.

This isn’t a list of the best dishes in the world, nor really is it a list of the best things I ate all year (although most of them certainly are). They are just the dishes that stuck in my mind.

There was a dish created specifically for me and my wife by two-Michelin-starred chef Yasunori Okada using ingredients sourced from our respective home towns. There was Hida beef rump rolled in ash, made by grilling Japanese leeks over oak charcoal for two days by Asia’s No. 1 chef, Yoshihiro Narisawa. There was a family Christmas feast hastily thrown together after a series of serious medical emergencies almost crushed us (don’t worry, everyone’s fine now *phew*), and even frog leg porridge cooked with Marmite and loads of fiery chillies (seriously) from Kuala Lumpur.

Eating each one of these dishes was a special moment for me this year. Thanks so much for letting me share them with you.

So here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Grilled Nagoya cochin chicken with yuzu kosho – Toriyoshi, Nagoya
  2. Pumpkin cooked in mead with white rice ice cream – Sixpenny, Sydney
  3. Babi guling – Pak Malen, Bali
  4. Sumi 2009 – Narisawa, Tokyo
  5. 25-year aged kombu stock – Takashi Okuda, Fukui
  6. Cheeseburger and root beer float – Gordie’s, Okinawa
  7. Marmite spicy frog porridge – Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur
  8. Daiginjo sake soufflé and salt soft serve – Ryugin, Tokyo
  9. Hairy crab and sea urchin nori roll with orange ankake – Kappo Okada, Sapporo
  10. Yang rou chuan – Roadside stall, Beijing
  11. Noto beef jibuni – Tsuruko, Ishikawa
  12. Kumara scones – Mavis Suckling, Dargaville, New Zealand
  13. Tea ceremony (Azaleas with their roots in a stone) – Kimura Soshin, Kyoto
  14. XO Sea – Quay, Sydney
  15. Eel spine kara-age – Kawatatsu, Kyoto
  16. 2013 Christmas lunch – At home, Sydney
Babi Guling - Pak Malen (Jimbaran), Bali

Babi Guling – Pak Malen (Jimbaran), Bali

Hairy crab and sea urchin nori roll with orange ankake - Kappo Okada, Hokkaido

Hairy crab and sea urchin nori roll with orange ankake – Kappo Okada, Hokkaido

(L to R) Sumi 2009, Sake souffle, Binchotan-grilled Nagoya cochin with yuzu kosho, White chocolate and strawberry pavlova (Christmas Lunch), Yang rou chuan, 25-year aged kombu stock, XO Sea, Candied pumpkin and rice ice cream.

(L to R) Narisawa’s Sumi 2009, Ryugin’s Daiginjo sake souffle with salt soft serve, Binchotan-grilled Nagoya cochin with yuzu kosho, White chocolate and strawberry pavlova (Christmas Lunch), Yang rou chuan, 25-year aged kombu stock, Quay’s XO Sea, Sixpenny’s  pumpkin in mead and rice ice cream.

Noto beef - Tsuruko, Ishikawa

Noto beef – Tsuruko, Ishikawa

Noto beef jibuni - Tsuruko, Ishikawa

Noto beef jibuni – Tsuruko, Ishikawa

Tempura (including eel spine kara-age) - Kawatatsu, Kyoto

Tempura (including eel spine kara-age) – Kawatatsu, Kyoto

Gin and tonic oysters (Christmas lunch) - At home, Sydney

Gin and tonic oysters (Christmas lunch) – At home, Sydney

Kumura scones - made by Mavis Suckling, Dargaville, North Island of New Zealand

Kumara scones – made by Mavis Suckling, Dargaville, North Island of New Zealand

 

Marmite spicy frog porridge - Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur

Marmite spicy frog porridge – Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur

Azaleas with their roots in a stone - Juko, Kyoto (served at tea ceremony)

Azaleas with their roots in a stone – Juko, Kyoto (served at tea ceremony)

 

Cheeseburger and root beer float - Gordies', Okinawa

Cheeseburger and root beer float – Gordies’, Okinawa

 

Christmas Lunch 2013 - At home, Sydney

Christmas Lunch 2013 – At home, Sydney

 

 

 

DFJ Episode 8: Osaka – Contacts

Sobakiri Masa (Soba Noodles)
A: Sobakiri Masa, Osaka Western Ren Honcho 1-chome, 16-12
T: +81-6-6225-3030

Mizuno Tanrenjo (Swordsmiths and Knifemakers)
A: Sakai District, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture West 1D 1-27
T: +81-72-229-3253
W: http://www.mizunotanrenjo.jp/index_j.html

Arata Chanko Nabe Restaurant (Sumo Cuisine)
A: Yonghe 3-5-20, Higashi Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
T: +81-6-6723-1213
W: http://sumo.goo.ne.jp/ozumo_joho_kyoku/taberu/163.html

Asian After Work is finally here!

AAW Cover Shot Landscape (1 of 1)

 

I’m so pleased to announce that after months of hard work and a lot of love, my new book Asian After Work is finally available in bookstores around Australia.

It’s a book full of real Asian recipes that are simple and easy to make, and which use ingredients you can find at your ordinary local supermarket. It’s the kind of stuff I used to cook for years when I worked an office.

You can read a little more about the book here.

If you’re outside Australia, don’t worry. I’ll update this post with further news of international releases as I find out about them. There may even be a bit of a surprise coming too ;-)

UPDATE (11 October 2013): Asian After Work is now available WORLDWIDE as an ebook through iTunes HERE!

Very shortly I’ll be posting a few sample recipes from the book on this site so please check back soon.

I really want to thank the fantastic team that helped put it together. My publisher Vanessa Radnidge at Hachette, my editor Jacquie Brown, my exceptional stylist Lisa La Barbera, the best home economist in the business Nick Eade, the amazing Steve Brown who photographs all my books, and the design king Reuben Crossman. Most of all though I’d really like to thank my wife, my grandmother and my mother (to whom I’ve dedicated the book). Strong, caring and inspiring women who I am lucky to have in my life.

I hope you enjoy the book. It’s one I’m just so proud to have written.

Happy cooking!

Adam

AAW Cover - Web

 

 

Destination Flavour Japan

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It’s finally here! Tonight is the official launch of Destination Flavour Japan on SBS ONE at 8pm. I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am of this.

Making this series has been a real labour of love for me. I lived in Japan for 7 years and since them I’ve wanted to show what I love about the country and its food to the rest of the world. For Destination Flavour Japan, I wrote and developed the series together with our amazing director, Scott Tompson and Destination Flavour’s creator and Executive Producer, Erik Dwyer from SBS. My wife, Asami, was the senior researcher for the show and found all of the fantastic stories, so many of which are really close to my heart.

There’s episodes with my family, my friends, my favourite restaurants and so many extraordinary people who are part of Japan’s food scene. It’s a series I hope will give you an insight into Japanese food and culture, but also Japanese people and how life rolls by in this magnificent country.

You can watch full episodes online here, and there’s also the extended cut video recipes, written recipes and my weekly Behind-The-Scenes blog. (Sorry, the full episodes are only available in Australia, but if you’re overseas you can catch a sneak peek on Youtube.)

I’ll also be live tweeting most episodes so you can follow me on Twitter @adamliaw, or just use the #DestinationFlavour hashtag while you’re watching.

I really REALLY hope you enjoy the show!

UPDATE (11 October 2013): If you want to download the show from iTunes, you can do that here!

MREs: Anatomy of a Military Meal

Outside US Army base Camp Hansen in Kin Town, Okinawa, the long defunct Club Robin now operates as a military surplus store.

Outside US Army base Camp Hansen in Kin Town, Okinawa, the long defunct Club Robin is now a surplus store.

The huge US military presence in the Japanese islands of Okinawa is accompanied by a cottage industry where locals trade in used or surplus military equipment. In Kin Town, outside the Camp Hansen military base on the main island of Naha, there is a small nightlife district that caters to the personnel from the base. It’s suffered since its heyday of the 1960s and ’70s, and today more than half of the businesses in the area have closed down.

I was in Kin Town to eat Okinawa’s famed taco rice from the popular local eatery, King Tacos. You can read more about that here. The street King Tacos is on is a long strip of mostly abandoned buildings, but in one establishment that was formerly a bar called Club Robin, an Okinawan man operates a military surplus store selling everything from fatigues and camelbacks to medals and military rations, also known as MREs (Meal Ready-to-Eat).

I picked up one of the packs for 500-yen (about US$5) and asked the man if he’d ever tried one. He replied that he ate one for lunch every day. Only later would I discover how terrible an existence that must be.

In choosing an MRE, I wanted something identifiably American, and so among the many options including fajitas, ravioli and noodles, I settled on Menu 17 – the great American Sloppy Joe.

If you’ve never had a Sloppy Joe, it’s essentially a hamburger with low self-esteem. Minced beef is stewed in a tomato-based sauce and served in a toasted hamburger bun. With something so simple, it would be interesting to put the MRE through its paces.

MRE: Sloppy Joe

MRE: Sloppy Joe

Inside the MRE there are all the elements of a full meal. A few snacks, a main course, dessert and both cold and hot beverages. There are also condiments, utensils and even two pieces of after-dinner chewing gum.

Glorious, all-important, after-dinner chewing gum.

MRE (2 of 4)

MRE-Detail-Web-Outline

1. Sloppy Joe filling – Barbecue sauce with beef (320 Calories, 17g fat)
2. MRE Heater
3. Spoon
4. Cheese spread with Jalapenos (180 Calories, 17g fat)
5. Tabasco
6. Iodised salt
7. Wheat snack bread (180 Calories, 6g fat)
8. Nut raisin mix (310 Calories, 25g fat)
9. Fudge brownie (320 Calories, 17g fat)
10. Nescafé Taster’s Choice instant coffee
11. Non-dairy creamer (for coffee)
12. Chewing gum
13. Splenda artificial sweetener
14. Matches
15. Moist towelette
16. Napkins/toilet paper
17. Carbohydrate electrolyte beverage powder, Orange flavour (90 Calories, 0g fat)
18. Hot beverage bag

Total: 1400 Calories, 82g fat.

Main Course: Sloppy Joe with jalapeno cheese spread and orange carbohydrate electrolyte beverage

Main Course: Sloppy Joe with jalapeno cheese spread and orange carbohydrate electrolyte beverage (Not pictured: shame)

Preparing the MRE was a straightforward process. Following the instructions on the packet, I poured a little water into the MRE heater – an iron/magnesium pad that produces flameless heat through an exothermic chemical reaction – and packed it into the cardboard box containing the Sloppy Joe filling.

I’m told that the MRE heaters can be quite effective, but after waiting the recommended 10 minutes there was very little in the way of warmth, and substantially more in the way of unpleasant chemical smells and disappointment.

Thankfully, I was not in the field and so I was able to heat the package in a pot of water on the stove. Minutes later, I was cooking with the fiery latin heat of a young Jimmy Smits.

Waiting for the filling to heat, I opened the package of “wheat snack bread” to discover it had both the appearance and texture of cardboard. If it had once intended to break apart into some kind of bun, it had long since lost the motivation to do so.

The Sloppy Joe filling was one of the most terrifying things I have ever encountered. As I opened the warmed packet and experienced what was inside, I could have sworn I heard a distant scream. The meat that had been touted as minced beef was clearly a kind of paste that had been reconstituted into a uniform, beef mince-like shape (for what ungodly reason is anyone’s guess). The sauce that tried so earnestly to hide the beef’s shame was a cheerful cherry red, with an aroma reminiscent of ‘new car smell’.

Topping the dispirited snack bread with the now-ironic Sloppy Joe “filling”, I prayed that the Cheese spread with Jalapenos would offer some hope, or at the very least a distraction. But as I read the helpful instructions to “knead well before opening” I knew all was lost.

The contents of the well-kneaded packet were an odd yellow-grey paste that resembled a dead man’s tongue, and owed about as much to cheese as it did jalapenos. Which is to say, nothing.

I had naively assumed that the cheese was a topping for the Sloppy Joe (as pictured above), but further reading (Lucky Peach, Issue 6) now informs me that it is in fact intended as a separate element in the meal. Adding it to the Sloppy Joe is a hack developed by soldiers in the field.

Now that’s all well and good, but let’s just pause for a moment to wonder at how the creator of this MRE must live if they consider that eating 42.5g of cheese paste without any accompaniments is a reasonable thing for a person to do. I can only imagine they once observed a tramp rifle through some garbage, emerging to eat a lump of soft cheese straight out of his hand, and it was at that point they had their “lightbulb moment”.

The flavour of the Sloppy Joe was in itself a hate-crime. Notes of canned spaghetti and low-sodium ketchup were confused by the texture of bread that was somehow both mushy and dry-brittle at the same time. Even doused in Tabasco I could only stomach a few mouthfuls before I started to feel a deep sorrow. The artificial-orange electrolyte drink powder that defied dissolution did little to wash away the taste.

Dessert: Fudge brownie, instant coffee, nuts and chewing gum

Dessert: Fudge brownie, instant coffee, nuts and sweet, sweet chewing gum

Moving on to dessert, I took a brief detour to the packet of mixed nuts and fruit. Egged on by a few unsavoury raisins, a gang of peanuts surrounded a clearly terrified almond. I don’t know how you spoil a nut, but they too had a strange chemical taste and were devoid of any nut flavour. The raisins themselves I can only describe as belligerent.

In a small coup for the folks back at MRE headquarters, the fudge brownie had some moisture to it, and its texture of clay was at least ‘wet clay’. A strong-if-artificial chocolate flavour upgraded that to ‘chocolatey wet clay’.

Inevitably, the instant coffee with non-dairy creamer and Splenda was not so much coffee as a beverage designed specifically to mock coffee.

Ending the meal came the sweet release of chewing gum. It wasn’t good chewing gum by any stretch, but it was clean and minty, with a hint of an apology. With each chew I tried to forget what I had just eaten, and after a while I stopped weeping.

Let us never forget what transpired here today, friends, for surely I have experienced the horrors of war.

Japan Travel Diary – North to South

Ice fishing for wakasagi on Lake Akan, Hokkaido.

Ice fishing for wakasagi on Lake Akan, Hokkaido.

Over the past 3 months I’ve been traveling the entire length of Japan, exploring its cuisine from north to south – from the ice and snow in Hokkaido in February, through the riot of the cherry blossom season, and on to the sun and sand (and rain) of Okinawa in May.

It was an amazing trip exploring food and culture, and of course huge thanks must go to the entire support team that saw it through months of pre-production and a lot of travel on just about every form of transport possible.

There are a number of BIG projects coming out of this trip (one of which may be obvious from the photo above), but the first is a weekly Japan Travel Diary I wrote along the way as part of my regular “Around the Table” column for The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia.

Tsurunoyu Onsen

Tsurunoyu Onsen, Akita prefecture

I’ve collected all of the articles together here for you, so if you want to follow my trip from start to finish, just read on!

Hokkaido, Week 1: Off Script in Hokkaido

Tohoku, Week 2: Onsen Dining: Come for the Hot Springs, Stay for the Food

Ishikawa, Week 3: The Secrets of Perfect Sushi

Fukui, Week 4: Understanding Umami Part 1: The Kombu Code and Part 2: Bringing Balance to the MSG Debate

Tokyo, Week 5: Back to School with Ramen

Tokyo II, Week 6: Yakitori and Negative Space

Kyoto, Week 7: Sweet Treats, and Tea, in Kyoto

Osaka, Week 8: When the B-List is Best

Fukuoka, Week 9: Saving Fukuoka’s Street Food

Okinawa, Week 10: Okinawa’s Gourmet Revival

You can stay tuned with the rest of my Around the Table columns for Scene Asia here. And of course, keep in touch for the SBS TV series and much more coming out of my trip over the next few months.

Wagashi traditional sweets. This one's called "Azaleas growning out of a stone".

Wagashi traditional sweets in Kyoto. This one’s called “Azaleas growning out of a stone”.

Hand made Japanese knives in Osaka

Hand made Japanese knives in Osaka

Maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto

Maiko (apprentice geisha) in Kyoto

A Fukuoka yatai stall selling Hakata-style ramen.

A Fukuoka yatai stall selling Hakata-style ramen.

Taco rice from King Tacos, Okinawa.

Taco rice from King Tacos, Okinawa.

2012: Some Stuff That Happened

2012 is nearly done and I have to say it was a big year!

When the end of a year comes around I think our first reaction is to gasp at how quickly it all rushed past; but I think if we spend a few minutes thinking about everything we’ve done, we realise that we actually pack a lot into just 365 little days. Here’s some stuff that whizzed by this year:

Filming for South Africa’s Top Billing in Kruger National Park.

I got to meet a lot of you! It was really fantastic to meet so many people in person who have been so supportive. Thanks to everyone who came along to the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, Johannesburg Good Food and Wine Show, events in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and of course here in Australia. Thanks also to all of you (more than 125,000!) who have connected on facebook and Twitter from Portugal, Finland, The Netherlands, the US, UK and Latin America. (I hope I haven’t missed anyone!)

Riding a boat on a burning river for the Hakui Matsuri, Ishikawa Prefecture.

I ate a lot of good food (and here are some of the highlights.) Maybe a little too much if I’m to be honest. I think an exercise plan is definitely on the cards. Who’s with me?

I’ve written a lot more this year and really enjoyed it. Spending a lot of time on the road it’s great to have something to do while I’m away from home. I wrote for a bunch of magazines and started Around the Table, my regular column for The Wall Street Journal’s Scene Asia. My first book “Two Asian Kitchens” came out in Dutch, and also in paperback here in Australia. Lots more interesting things to come in 2013, and a new book out later in the year as well – watch this space!

Oysters fresh from the water in Freycinet, Tasmania for Destination Flavour.

I came back to TV! I appeared as a guest judge on both MasterChef Malaysia and MasterChef Australia, plus joined SBS co-hosting the first season of Destination Flavour. I had a ball traveling around and getting to know more about where our food comes from. Destination Flavour was really well received so thank you so much for all your support! It ended up being the highest rating food program on SBS for 2012, and I’ve even been nominated for a TV Week Logie for “Best New Male Talent”, so if you want to vote for me you can do so here. (But I’m up against people like Joel Madden and Seal, so let’s not get our hopes up…)

Singing at the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Starry Starry Night ball to raise money for children in violent situations.

I was able to support a lot of organisations that I think are doing really fantastic things in our communities. I played soccer (badly) for UNICEF and got to meet Alessandro Del Piero, played basketball (badly) for the Sydney Kings, and even sang in front of thousands of people for The Alannah and Madeline Foundation! I am very proud to support OzHarvest, Foodbank Victoria, The Cancer Council, The Crows Foundation, Diabetes Australia and many others. If I can ask anything of you for 2013, it would be to spend a little time helping any organisations in your own community that you think are doing good work to help those that need it.

Pulling on the boots for UNICEF.

On the “Year of the Dragon” float in the Sydney Chinese New Year Parade.

It was great being one of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Ambassadors for 2012. Sydney holds the largest Chinese New Year celebrations anywhere in the world outside of mainland China, but best of all I got to ride on a parade float just like Ferris Bueller. I was also an Adelaide Crows ambassador for our great 2012 season (expecting big things for 2013 boys!)

Last but definitely not least, I got married!

2012 was definitely a great year, but 2013 is already looking like a lot of fun. See you next year!

My wedding: Happo-en, Tokyo.

11 Memorable Things I Ate In 2012

King Tacos, Okinawa

I’m not much one for keeping score, but as another year goes by it’s nice to spend a few moments thinking about all the things we’ve done, the places we’ve been, and especially all the delicious things we’ve eaten.

I ate a lot of good stuff this year and here, in no particular order, are a few that stuck in my mind.

  1. No. 2 Burger – Pearl’s Diner, Adelaide
  2. Springbok, corn, pap and apple – The Saxon, Johannesburg
  3. Kuruma-ebi nigiri sushi – Sukiyabashi Jiro, Ginza
  4. Chicago-style deep-dish sausage pizza – made by my sister-in-law who lives in Ohio
  5. Oysters and Succulents – Attica, Ripponlea
  6. Banana leaf – Nirvana, Bangsar
  7. Taco rice cheese yasai – King Tacos, Okinawa
  8. Lantern yakitori – Torishiki, Meguro
  9. King George Whiting usuzukuri – Sokyo, Sydney
  10. Injera and wat – Abyssinia, Indianapolis
  11. Congee with ham, yolk and Earl Grey tea – Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
Any dishes, meals or experiences that stand out in 2012 for you?

No. 2 Burger – Pearl’s Diner, Adelaide (photo: White Wall Photography)

Kuruma-ebi nigiri sushi – Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

Chicago-style deep-dish sausage pizza – made by my sister-in-law

Taco rice cheese yasai – King Tacos, Okinawa

Lantern yakitori – Torishiki, Meguro

Clockwise from top left – Nirvana, Attica, Sokyo, The Saxon and Momfuku Seiobo

Injera and wat – Abyssinia, Indianapolis

 

Thanks for the memories, Jozi!

I’ve just landed back in Australia from another great Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg and just wanted to write a quick note to say thank you to everyone who came along to the show, watched the demonstrations, said hello, or took photos. I had an absolute ball! The picture above is just a selection of photos from Twitter and Facebook that I’ve grabbed.

If you want the recipe for the Sriracha Hot Wings that were part of my demonstration in the Chefs in Action Theatre, you can find that here.

My highlights were working with the wonderful team at the Good Food and Wine Show again (and great talent such as Levi RootsAnjum Anand, Sid Sloane and of course, my old mate George), eating A LOT of fantastic food (particularly a great meal of springbok at The Saxon), and of course meeting all of you.

I didn’t take too many photos myself this time because I was so busy at the show, but if you want to see photos of my 2011 trip to South Africa, you can see them here.