Roots at Black Hogg L.A. Times Scouting Report by Jo Stougaard
It’s only September and I’m already shopping for Christmas gifts. Top of my list this year? My friend Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s charming new book, “Make Mine A Martini: 130 cocktails and canapés for fabulous parties.”
It’s filled with gorgeous photos and recipes, home bar basics, historical cocktail facts, AND it’s the perfect size (sturdy and compact) to store on my bar cart! You can look through the book on Amazon here, but I’ve posted a few photos (and notes) below as well.
In the book’s introduction, Kay writes:
“Just the sound of ice being shaken, preferably to a rhythm all of its own, is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. It’s the promise of sweet relief, of good times, good friends and good conversation. Just make mine a Martini.”
About Kay (from Octopus Publishing):
Kay Plunkett-Hogge is a cookery writer and broadcaster based in London. A former model agent in New York and London, and a movie co-ordinator in Bangkok and Los Angeles, Kay is the co-author of the best-selling Bryn’s Kitchen with the award-winning London chef Bryn Williams, LEON: Family & Friends with John Vincent and the new Little Leon series with Henry Dimbleby, Claire Ptak and John Vincent. She is currently working with US chef Chris Bianco on his forthcoming book Rain, Grain & Gratitude (Harper Collins) and with Hollywood actor Stanley Tucci on his second cookbook to be published by Simon & Schuster.
A few snapshots from Make Mine A Martini:
Inspired by Make Mine A Martini: Frico (parmesan crackers) topped with roast beef, horseradish cream and arugula. Kay shares a beautiful filet recipe in the book… I bought thinly sliced roast beef at the deli (but made the frico & horseradish cream)!
Follow Kay on twitter #MakeMineAMartini
‘Kay can cook – but she can shake a damn fine cocktail too’ – Heston Blumenthal
Read Jonathan Gold’s review here, and do go if you’ve never had authentic paella. It’s simply life-changing!
Paella de Llamatol with Patagonia Shrimp, Garlic Lemon Aioli, Bomba
Photo by Jo Stougaard
Read my L.A. Times piece about the Petit Trois opening here.
One of the best things about traveling (in my humble opinion) is discovering the unexpected. Even though I’m one of those ridiculously organized people who plan out each day before departing (my husband hates this), as an avid traveler, I do appreciate the joys of an occasional, itinerary mishap.
A cancelled flight could mean an unplanned excursion to an archeological site in Greece. A wrong turn on a remote Japanese island could lead to a fabulous, hidden izayaka. Even something as simple as an unscheduled, free evening abroad could turn out to be an absolute EPIC experience.
Last September, enroute from Melbourne to Adelaide (start to my Australia trip here), I was informed that after checking into the hotel, I’d be on my own for dinner. I’d had an exhilerating week covering a media preview of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, a non-stop schedule of restaurants, wine events and lectures, so I almost opted to tuck into my hotel bed and catch up on sleep.
Instead, I caffeinated and sent out a tweet to friends on Twitter, “Where should I eat in #Adelaide tonight”?
Social media is a terrific tool for travelers, especially solo travelers. I’ve asked friends online for help with directions, shoe repair suggestions and even reached out when I’ve felt a bit homesick.
After a bit of research, my heart started racing. @PubAndDining aka The Daniel O’Connell, was quite the “nose to tail” restaurant, a la Fergus Henderson’s St. John, which is my favorite spot in London.
“Nose to Tail” is both a menu style and philosophy for us at the Daniel O’Connell. Traditionally it is a term used to describe whole beast dining where both the primary and the secondary cuts of a beast are utilised in the dining experience.
Believing that it is responsible and sustainable for us to use all that is fresh and available at any given time we take a more holistic approach and adopt a “no waste” philosophy to all that we do.
About the chefs via FaceBook:
The Two Chefs
Head Chef, Aaron Gillespie, started off his career in Adelaide pubs, at the age of 16. Now after stints at The Manse, The Science Exchange and Grace the Establishment, Aaron is excited to get behind the stoves of The Daniel O’Connell to continue to build his reputation by creating an iconic dining destination.
Joining him is Sous Chef Phil Whitmarsh, a loveable rogue, who was trained in some of the most notable kitchens of London and Paris, experiencing what it takes to earn Michelin hats. Phil is now home in Adelaide, and after a stint as Head Chef at Lochiel House, he brings his unique blend of global understanding and passion for the local produce available to him to The Daniel O’Connell.
The Daniel O’Connell was first licensed in 1850 as the Commercial Inn. The current building was built in 1881 at the same time as the many of the other buildings that were proudly situated in North Adelaide’s “High Street” by the town planners. The hotel changed its name from the North Adelaide Hotel to the Daniel O’Connell at the time of a refurbishment in the late 1990s and proudly maintains the Irish connection of North Adelaide’s heritage.
PHOTOS: My EPIC Meal at The Daniel O’Connell
Ox Tongue: Fresh, Fermented Kohlrabi & horseradish (additional photo)
The Daniel O’Connell Pub
165 Tynte Street, North Adelaide,
South Australia 5006
Follow the Daniel O’Connell on twitter
Follow Aaron Gillespie on twitter
Follow Phil Whitmarsh on twitter
Fergus Henderson visited the Daniel O’Connel Pub in May 2014. Photo by John Krüger (used with permission).
To be perfectly honest, until my eye-opening visit, I didn’t know much about the culinary scene Down Under.
Lake House (celebrating 30 years!) is about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne, situated on the shores of Lake Daylesford in Victoria’s spa country. From what I’ve seen in these photos, the property (which covers 6 acres) looks spectacular, and it’s now on my travel “bucket list”.
From the restaurant website:
Alla Wolf-Tasker is credited with the establishment and growth of Daylesford and surrounds as a premier food and wine destination. Over three decades of honing Lake House into the mecca for foodie travellers that it is, she has fostered a network of excellent local suppliers and in the process succeeded in putting Daylesford on the culinary map.
Lake House boasts one of Australia’s most highly awarded restaurants and a New York Wine Spectator award winning wine list and cellar of some 10,000 bottles. The menu offers modern Australian cuisine paying homage to the region’s excellent seasonal produce. Local and seasonal may be a marketing mantra nowadays, but the ‘sense of place’ philosophy that imbues all of Lake House has operated here from day one.
In November I was invited by Tourism Australia to attend a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. The theme was “Evenings Afar: Australia” and Chef Alla Wolf-Tasker was center stage. This was my first visit to Beard House, and I was thrilled to be included on the guest list.
My first bite of Chef Alla’s food? Kangaroo tartare of course! The entire meal was stunning and included an exceptional pork dish I still think about today.
Meeting the chef was a thrill as well and we often engage via social media. If you love food AND travel, do follow her at @WolfInKitchen.
Chef Alla Wolf-Tasker at Beard House 11/22/13
Kangaroo Tartar with Pepper Berries and Bush Tomatoes, Beet Crostini before heading upstairs to dinner (the only decent food photo I captured).
We drank heaps of gorgeous wine (listed below), provided by Wine Australia.
At this point, the lights were dimmed for dinner service and there was no way I could adequately capture Chef Alla’s beautiful food with my iPhone camera. To be blunt, my photos were crap. Thankfully the chef’s team sent me some lovely images taken in the bright Beard House kitchen. See complete menu below.
A quick peek in the Beard House kitchen. Tight quarters… check out the floor plan here.
Beard House kitchen equipment… touched by so many world-class chefs, past and present.
Chef Alla Wolf-Tasker’s Beard House Menu
Kangaroo Tartare with Pepper Berries and Bush Tomatoes
Endive with Fresh Curds and Grain–Seed Praline
Wine: NV Plunkett Fowles Stone Dwellers Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir
Freshwater Trout with Buckwheat Vinaigrette and Fennel
Wine: Plunkett Fowles, Ladies Who Shoot their Lunch, Riesling 2012
Smoked Eel with Pancetta, Beet Rémoulade, and Horseradish
Wine: Heggies Chardonnay Eden Valley 2011
Pork Croustillant with Choucroute Garnie
Wine: Giant Steps Pinot Noir 2012
Butter-Poached Pheasant with Foraged Mushrooms and Black Truffles
Wine: D’Arenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache 2009
Brioche French Toast with Goat Cheese and Local Pears
Late Harvest Apples with Caramel, Buttermilk, Honey, and Oatmeal
Wine: Yalumba Museum Reserve Tawny Barossa Dessert Wine
Learn more about Chef Alla Wolf-Tasker:
“How Alla Wolf-Tasker’s Lake House has lasted 30 years in the tough restaurant game” by Michael Bailey
The Lake House Cooking School
How Chefs are invited to cook at Beard House
This is my favorite photo from a recent trip to Scotland.
My niece Kindal and nephew Chace (twins) had never met their grandfather (my dad) OR traveled overseas. He lives in Bridge of Weir, Scotland (near Glasgow) and I’d dreamt about taking them for years. After much saving and planning, we finally made the trip a few weeks ago, right after their high school graduation in Glendora, CA.
The photo was taken at the spectacular Mar Hall, where Dad plays piano every Sunday.
I’m currently editing over 7,500 photos and video from our recent UK trip, but wanted to share this special moment now.
Dreams do come true, and I am so damn grateful.