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PIERRICK BOYER’S NEW 70-SEAT CAFÉ PATISSERIE – MELBOURNE

Award-winning, French-born chef Pierrick Boyer, formerly of Le Petit Gateau, has opened his first solo eatery, a self-titled café patisserie, on Izett Street in Prahran.

A celebration of his life’s work, Boyer’s new venture fuses the delicacy of fine French patisseries with the indulgence of a modern-Melburnian brunching destination.

Pastry Chef, Boyer creates his extensive and decadent range of sweet treats all in-house, while Head Chef, Bradley Pearce – who has trained under the watchful eye of George Calombaris – has delivered a savoury menu with a twist on much-loved classics including a brioche-wrapped breakfast burger, chilli and crab scrambled eggs and an indulgent eggs benedict, complete with smoked ham hock.

The sweet menu boasts extensive dine-in and take away options including a GF sponge cake with dark chocolate, blueberry cremeux – a French term for “creamy” – and jelly jam named after Boyers 6-month old daughter, Charlotte Tiffany.

The extravagant range of tarts, croissants and cakes include Boyer’s personal favourite, the PB passionfruit brownie made with a brownie base, crunchy praline, passionfruit custard, chocolate mousse and ganache.

Boyer and Pearce have collectively curated the sweet and savoury menu to include a broad range of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free menu options. Substituting eggs for chickpea water in his vegan sweet treats – a technique called aquafaba – Boyer has carefully mastered creating French delicacies to suit all dietary requirements.

Hospitality venue specialists ZWEI Interiors Architecture designed the interior space, resulting in a minimalist aesthetic with macaroon inspired powder pink accents and timeless gold features, enticing velvet seating, light timber flooring and vibrant greenery.

Pierrick Boyer said this venture is a true embodiment of his years of experience and training under the world’s finest patissiers including 3 Michelin Star Chef, Alain Ducasse, Christophe Michalak (Michalak Paris), Belgium chocolatier Pierre Marcolini and – Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) awarded – chocolatier Stéphane Leroux.

“Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie is an all-encompassing dining experience. The intention was to create a venue for people to escape the hustle and bustle, indulge and relax and I think we have executed that really well,” said Boyer.

“With a comprehensive kitchen for both savoury and sweet, we aim to produce wholesome and exemplary food experiences in a beautiful atmosphere.”

In addition to the 2 kitchens designated for the sweet and savoury menus, Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie also features a 35 square meter educational kitchen for intimate cooking classes hosted by Boyer himself.

Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie is located at 31 Izett Street, Prahran and is open every day, weekdays from 7.30am to 4pm and weekends from 8am to 4pm.

**Information & Images Courtesy of Pierrick Boyer Café Patisserie/Papermill Media – Brittannie Edwards

Pierrick Boyer Cafe Patisserie

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

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IT’S ALL TRUFFLE!

Truffle Celebration Day – Melbourne

Prahran Market will play host to the Ultimate Truffle Celebration Day on Sunday 8 July to celebrate Australia’s Winter Truffle season.

Organised by Australia’s foremost truffle specialists, Friend & Burrell and Prahran Market’s very own Damian ‘The Mushroom Man’ Pike, the event will explore the delights of Tuber Melanosporum – The Black Truffle – through a series of demonstrations by some of Melbourne’s best chefs.

The free event will centre around the Omega and Neil Perry Kitchen, where demonstrations will be held to create a series of exciting dishes to whet guests’ appetites. Experts, including renowned truffle grower Peter Marshall, will be on hand to answer questions about this mysterious, yet surprisingly accessible food.

Chefs include:

  • Steven Nairn – Chef, Scott Pickett Group
  • Nick Woods – Head Chef and Owner, Rambler
  • Andy Harmer – Exec. Chef, QT Melbourne
  • Daniel Giraldo – Head Chef, MahaPrahran Market’s traders will be joining in the celebration by selling truffle based products and dishes created especially for the occasion.Of course, visitors can visit Damian Pike Mushrooms and get some truffles to take home so they can put into practice what they’ve learnt and impress their friends and family with this unique ingredient.

SAVE THE DATE

WHAT: Truffle Celebration Day event
WHEN: Sunday 8 July, 10am – 4pm
WHERE: Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

COST: FREE
WHO: Friend & Burrell and Damian Pike bring together some of Melbourne’s top chefs and experts to demonstrate exciting truffle dishes and answer questions. Traders will offer special truffle based products and dishes.
To celebrate the Australian’s Winter Truffle season and to showcase the best truffles while highlighting their uses and accessibility.

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Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra, 3141 prahranmarket.com.au

**Information & Images Courtesy of Prahran Market – Leanne Baker


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond.com

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Shiloh – Melbourne

Review by Celeste Iuliano

Photographer: Fiona Hamilton

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If you’re on social media, you’ll know that hummus is having a big moment right now. For many, this creamy chickpea, dream dip is the gateway to experiencing the colourful flavours of Israeli cuisine. With such a reputation, it’s no surprise that this spread featured heavily on the menu at Shiloh restaurant’s opening night.

Located on Caulfield’s busy Kooyong Road, Shiloh is serving up Israeli cuisine with a modern twist. Restaurateur Assaf Ben David and business partner Gabi Yitshaki, have responded to a gap in the market for a kosher restaurant specialising in fine dining, but you definitely don’t have to eat kosher to appreciate the dishes on offer.

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Matthew Butcher (R)
Matthew Butcher (R)

Renowned chef Matthew Butcher (ex Morris Jones) is at the helm in the kitchen, putting his spin on comforting classics. Take our beloved hummus for example, which is outstanding served in flaky filo cigars, and given a smokey tang with paprika and black olive ash or paired with charred baby peppers, tahini, and green oil.

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But of course hummus isn’t the only star of such a varied cuisine. The Baba ganoush puffs proved a fast favourite – light as air and filled with moreish eggplant dip, they disappeared almost as quickly as they were brought out. The lamb kofta pops are also a ‘must try’.  Glazed with honey and topped with crispy, puffed wild rice, they offer a surprisingly good combination of flavours.

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The Shilo team (Matthew Butcher centre)
The Shilo team
(Matthew Butcher centre)

If you’re after something a little bigger, Shiloh also serves up plates to share. From Chickpea Spaetzle to Harissa Spiced Poussin, there’s a wealth of inventive dishes showcasing Middle Eastern ingredients. Because this is a kosher restaurant, it goes without saying that there is a wide selection of kosher wines to pair with your meal. For those thirsting after something with a bit of a kick, try the signature cocktail, a refreshing mix of gin and cucumber with a zesty zataar rim.

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A sneak peek at the menu assures us that sweet lovers will be enticed by a selection of tempting desserts including Spiced Pear, olive oil & almond meringue bowl and a Pistachio Cake with orange blossom.

While Shiloh is a large restaurant, it has an intimate atmosphere that lends itself easily to long, relaxed dinners with family and friends. As winter begins to settle in the city, nothing could sound more comforting.

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Shiloh

67 Kooyong Road

Caulfield Melbourne Vic

Phone: 03 8592 4912

Facebook: facebook.com/shilohmelbourne/

*Celeste was a guest of Helen Reizer HRPR/additional images Thomas Bindley & Celeste Iuliano

Photo credit: Thomas Bindley
Photo credit:
Thomas Bindley
Photo credit: Celeste Iuliano
Photo credit:
Celeste Iuliano

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond.com

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag

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More pics from Fiona Hamilton at the fantastic launch of Shiloh…

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MB TRUFFLE DINNER-22

TRUFFLE DINNERS – Saturday June 23 and Tuesday July 10 – MELBOURNE

In celebration of the return of Australia’s truffle season, ST ALi and Mercedes Me will host ‘Truffles with me’, a unique six-course dinner designed to highlight the wonderful complexity of this seasonal ingredient.

Crafted by St Ali x Mercedes Me Head Chef, Garry Dick, the menu will give diners the chance to experience the distinct flavour and texture of Mother Nature’s black gold.

The event will run on Saturday June 23 and Tuesday July 10 at Mercedes Me.

Simon Johnson, the general manager of Mercedes Me, says diners can expect a superb night. “ST. ALi has been running truffle dinners like this for years, and their experience is what sets this event apart as one to attend for truffle lovers and newcomers alike.”

Highlights of the truffle tasting menu include dishes such as duck and truffle consume, salmon and truffle roulade and snow crab and truffle carbonara. Dessert will feature decadent sugar baked parsnip ice cream and warm truffle chocolate mousse.

Head Chef Gary Dick sources truffles from the award-winning producer Stonebarn Truffles. Located near Manjimup, just 300km south of Perth, Stonebarn Truffles are renowned for producing truffles with exceptional quality, taste and aroma.

In honour of their hard work over the season, there will be two special guests in attendance at the first dinner: Two Australian Shepherd ‘truffle dogs’, who have been specially trained to identify and unearth ripe truffles. “They are probably the hardest-working truffle dogs in Victoria,” says Nigel Wood, founder of the annual Truffle Melbourne Festival. “In Victoria, we are probably going to find a tonne of truffles this year, so these dogs are probably going to find half of that.”

In recent years, Australia has become one of the most prolific producers of black truffles in the world. Nigel says that the sudden popularity of the truffle is due to the fact that “it’s seasonal, it’s rare, it’s unusual, it only comes around once a year. “I think Australian chefs are some of the best with truffles. Unlike the French or Italians, where there are centuries of tradition that have also produced a whole lot of rules, Australian chefs are much more creative with the truffle.

Canapes

Pain perdu, honey butter, truffle salt

Duck and truffle consume, smouldered thyme

Truffle Tasting Menu

Salmon and truffle roulade, peated whisky dashi, sea herbs

Snow crab and truffle ‘carbonara’

Quail, smoked corn, celeriac, black truffle oil

Sugar baked parsnip ice cream, warm truffled chocolate mousse

During the Truffle Melbourne Festival, visitors to Mercedes Me will also have the chance to add Stonebarn truffles to the braised wild mushrooms dish currently on the refreshed seasonal menu.

Tickets: $94 or $159 for matched wines + booking fee

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/st-ali-truffles-with-me-tickets-46601829326

**Information & Images Courtesy of ST. ALi & Mercedes Me/Zilla & Brook – Fiona Brook

MB TRUFFLE DINNER-21

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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CHOCOLATE HEROES!      

There’s a new set of heroes in town and they aren’t the typical cape-wearing kind. These heroes wear aprons, are the sweetest kind – they’re the first Australian Callebaut Chocolate Heroes.

Chocolate Heroes is a concept developed by Callebaut – creators of the finest Belgian chocolate – to pay tribute to dedicated pastry chefs and chocolatiers around the world. The perfectionists who work hard at their craft every day, ensuring they delight the taste buds of every guest and customer.

Selecting a truly fitting group of artisans, the Callebaut team are excited to announce Darren Purchese of Purchese Sweet Studio, Jodie Van Der Velden from Josophan’s Fine Chocolate, along with John Ralley and Steve Anderson of Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie as the first Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia.

Known for his exquisite sweet creations, Darren Purchese is the director and founder of Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne. As one of the country’s most respected and in demand pastry chefs, Darren is renowned for his extravagant creations, in which he skillfully balances flavours, textures and modern kitchen techniques to produce revolutionary dessert concepts, making him perfect for the job as a Callebaut Chocolate Hero.

Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis
Darren Purchese @ Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio for Callebaut. Photo © Ari Hatzis

Joining Darren is Jodie Van Der Veldon who is the owner of the truly spectacular chocolate store Josophan’s Fine Chocolates, nestled in the historic village of Leura in the Blue Mountains. Jodie’s story is truly special, in that she is a self-taught chocolatier, whose natural gift for creating fine chocolates is evident throughout her spectacular displays and fine chocolates made using fresh flavour infusions.

Jodie Van Der Velden - owner of Josophan's Fine Chocolates
Jodie Van Der Veldon – owner of Josophan’s Fine Chocolates

Completing the first group of Heroes is John Ralley and Steven Anderson who joined forces to create Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie in Sydney. When it comes to a dynamic duo, these two emulate just that – both successful in their own right with Steve becoming a bread scientist and John forging his way into the international and Australian pastry scene, making the Textbook combination one of the finest in Australia.

John Ralley & Steven Anderson - Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie
John Ralley & Steven Anderson – Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie

Joining an international line-up of Chocolate Heroes from around the world, the Australian Heroes become part of a growing roster of global chocolate chefs who are known to inspire others in the industry through the creation and sharing of incredible chocolate desserts.

Callebaut is extremely excited to announce the very first group of Callebaut Chocolate Heroes in Australia and to celebrate the passion-fuelled artisans who continue to inspire and excite us with their chocolate creations. 

For further information on the Callebaut Chocolate Heroes, visit:

https://www.callebaut.com/en-AU/chocolate-heroes-0

**Information & Images Courtesy of Callebaut/Evil Twin PR

F.Mayer Imports is the Australian importer of Callebaut chocolate, crafted in the heart of Belgium from Bean to Chocolate since 1911. Passed on from generation to generation, Callebauts love for the finest Belgian chocolate has no boundaries. Callebaut chocolate is relied on every day by chefs and chocolatiers around the country and the world to craft truly delicious creations.

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond.com

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

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The Music Gym – Galleria – Melbourne

Galleria is thrilled to announce an all new music hub in the heart of the CBD, The Music Gym.

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Open for business on 14 June, The Music Gym will officially launch on Make Music Day, 21 June. Make Music Day is a worldwide phenomenon observed by hundreds of millions of people in 800 cities across 120 countries. The day brings people of all styles, ages and skill levels together to make and enjoy music, with 2018 the first year Australia is participating, with The Music Gym offering Open Mic Sessions on guitar, keyboard and voice, starting at 10.30am. Following the sessions, a live performance will be held in the food court at Galleria Shopping Plaza for all to enjoy.

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The Music Gym is the brainchild of Catherine Prifti, a music teacher of 21 years. Catherine has been immersed in the world of music for over two decades, working across Australia and Europe with her specialised skill set as a pianist, conductor and teacher.

The concept for a music gym came about after Catherine noticed that while many adults have a strong interest in learning and performing music, expensive instruments and costly private lessons stopped many from realising their passion.

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Enter, The Music Gym: grown-ups only group classes with state-of-the-art instruments provided, at a convenient location where you can fit in a class during a lunch break or before or after work.

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“I am so happy we have been able to realise this concept. There are so many people who will directly benefit from the ability to learn and practice music, whether it’s their dream to perform for a special occasion or just for general enjoyment and mental health,” says Catherine Prifti, founder and director of The Music Gym.

“Our space is like an urban oasis, an escape from the office grind for the busy CBD worker who may not enjoy the gym or any other traditional stress relievers.”

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Music has been credited to be an extremely positive social activity for adults to engage in, particularly amongst office workers and employees. It offers the opportunity to network with others and boost productivity, while singing and listening to music have been proven to reduce stress levels.

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Galleria is a bustling city corner of shops and eateries in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Streets, opposite Bourke St Mall. Galleria Regional Centre Manager Lisa Fleming is proud to launch The Music Gym at their CBD location.

“The Music Gym will be a breath of fresh air for the city workers who frequent Galleria. It’s such a fun addition to our little corner of Melbourne, with a non-stop jam session going right by all the offices,” says Lisa.

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The Music Gym will offer voice, piano and guitar lessons, at affordable casual-session, 10-pack, 3-month, 6-month and 12-month subscription rates.

For more information on The Music Gym visit www.themusicgym.com.au

www.galleria.com.au

**Information & Images Courtesy of The Music Gym/Fuller PR – Keryn O’Donnell

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond.com

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

editorcsl.com

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FREE HOT CHOCOLATE ACROSS SYDNEY – 18 June to 14 July – locations below.

As the chills of winter finally grip Sydney, Callebaut fine Belgian chocolate has teamed up with smoothfm to warm the city up through the delivery of free hot chocolates to locations across the city.

Kicking off from 18 June in Wynyard Park 7.30am, the free hot chocolate cart will make its way across great Sydney, handing out hundreds of hot chocolates to shivering Sydney-siders.

Made from real Callebaut chocolate – not powder – the delicious hot drinks will not only warm recipients up, but will also people a taste of true quality chocolate.

The hot chocolate pop ups will travel the city, stopping at four locations per day, and will run from 18 June through to 14th July inclusive.

LOCATIONS: 

Wynyard Park, 7.30am Monday 18th June

Martin Place, 8.30am Wednesday 20th June

Perryman Square, 8.30am Saturday 23rd June

The Mondo Penrith, 7.30am Monday 25th June

Belmore Park, 7.30am Wednesday 27th June

Rouse Hill Town Centre, 11am Saturday 30th June

Pyrmont Union Square, 8am Tuesday 3rd July

 Centenary Square Parramatta, 7.30am Wednesday 4th July

Sydney Park, 10.30am Saturday 7th July

Hornsby Mall, 7.30am Tuesday 10th July

Rhodes Waterside, 9.00am Thursday 14th July

**Information & Image Courtesy of Callebaut and smoothfm/Evil Twin PR

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Winter is officially here and we’ve sure been hit with an icy blast. Although not everyone loves the cold weather, there is one thing that we can agree on – it’s the perfect season for hot chocolate.
Providing us with some relief from this chilly weather is Master Pastry Chef & Chocolatier, Pascal Javier of Callebaut Chocolate, who has put together the most delicious hot chocolate recipe – ultimately providing us all with a ‘hug in a mug.’
Made using Callebaut’s finest Belgian chocolate, the recipe undertakes a two day process to create a velvety consistency – leaving you with a rich, decadent hot chocolate that sweetens your day with each sip.
Pascal has shared his very special hot chocolate recipe for those at home to create in the warmth of their own home.

The Ultimate Callebaut Hot Chocolate

by Pascal Javier

Day 1 – Prepare the Ganache

GANACHE for HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients

  • 750 gr. Cream                   
  • 75 gr. Inverted sugar    
  • 500 gr. Callebaut Dark Bittersweet Callets 54.5%
  • 100 gr. Callebaut Cocoa Mass Callets

Method

  1. Boil together the cream and inverted sugar.
  2. Pour the hot cream and inverted sugar onto the chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes before stirring.
  3. After 3 minutes begin stirring from the centre, until a vortex starts to form. Once formed, slowly widen the stirring motion.
  4. Let the finished ganache sit out overnight.

Day 2

HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients

  • 1450gr. Cream
  • 1450gr. Whole milk

Method

  1. Boil the cream with the milk.
  2. Add the ganache created on day 1.
  3. Bring to 65C before serving.

Crafted in the heart of Belgium from Bean to Chocolate since 1911. Passed on from generation to generation, Callebaut’s love for the finest Belgian chocolate has no boundaries. Callebaut chocolate is relied on every day by chefs and chocolatiers around the country and the world to craft truly delicious creations.

**Recipe and Title Image Courtesy of Pascal Javier

**Information & Chocolate Images Courtesy of Callebaut Chocolate/Evil Twin PR

Callebaut Chocolate
Callebaut Chocolate

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

editorcsl.com

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Rockpool Dining Group unveils June Producer Series for Melbourne

Rockpool Bar & Grill is popping up at Alfred Place, Spice Temple is sharing the secrets behind its Zodiac cocktails, Rosetta is exploring all things Tuscan, and a former Rockpool chef returns to the fold for a one-night culinary experience as part of the group’s Melbourne Producer Series in June.

Spice Temple Melbourne kicks off the June series on Saturday, 16 June from 3pm to 5pm with a masterclass that will share the magic behind its Zodiac cocktails, which reflect the rich harmony between food and drink, balance and taste. Guests will learn to make two cocktails and enjoy snacks from the yum cha menu. Tickets are $75 per person.

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On Friday, 22 June, Rockpool Bar & Grill will cross the Yarra River and pop up at the Alfred Place events space in the CBD for lunch, from midday. Grab premium Rockpool dishes for around half the price, including a choice of entrees ($19), such as freshly shucked oysters with mignonette; mains from the wood fire oven ($29), including Cape Grim scotch fillet with veal jus and porchetta with aged balsamic, and fish with green olive butter; hand-cut chips and other side dishes ($6) and Rockpool’s legendary passionfruit pavlova ($12). Wines are available by the glass, carafe and bottle.

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Rosetta Ristorante is combining Tuscany’s two great pastimes, food and wine, in a Tuscan dinner on Thursday, 21 June at 6.30pm. Head Chef Angel Fernandez has designed a four-course menu of traditional Tuscan favourites, including smoked swordfish carpaccio, rye maltagliati pasta with quail ragu and braised beef short rib in red wine. Guests will be guided through wine pairings, including famous names such as Antinori “Tignanello” and the much loved wine style, Brunello – by Tuscan born and raised Head Sommelier Lisa Cardelli in the beautiful setting of Rosetta’s private dining room. Tickets are $290 per person.

Rockpool Bar & Grill welcomes back its former chef Robbie Bell, from City Larder, on Tuesday, 26 June. City Larder is home to some of Melbourne’s best hand-crafted terrines, patés, rillettes and charcuterie. This dinner, from 6.30pm, will showcase Robbie’s finest produce alongside Rockpool Bar & Grill Head Chef Zac Nicholson’s signature dishes, paired with exceptional wines. Tickets are $150 per person.

Also on Tuesday, 26 June at 6.30pm is an exclusive omakase menu at Saké Restaurant & Bar Flinders Lane. In Japanese, omakase means ‘leave it up to you’ – the honoured tradition of letting a chef select a menu. Executive Chef Yosuke Hatanaka’s hand-picked selection will hero beautiful, seasonal sushi, as well as a careful balance of ingredients, textures and flavours. Tickets are $125 per person.

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Yosuke Hatanaka - Omakase Dinner
Yosuke Hatanaka – Omakase Dinner

Rockpool Dining Group Culinary Director Neil Perry said the aim of the Producer Series is to hero great produce, great food and wine, and Australia’s great artisanal suppliers.

“This is our DNA: using the best produce, supporting the finest suppliers and delivering exceptional experiences,” Neil said. “The premise behind our June Producer Series is no exception and our teams are rolling up their sleeves in anticipation of the wonderful winter produce they will be working with.”

More information and bookings: The Producer Series.

**Information & Images Courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group/Rachel Lebihan

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@bigpond.com

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag

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‘I AM SASHA’ by Anita Selzer – Book Reading – Jeffreys Books, Melbourne

Review by Sumaiya Rizvi – @melbourne_blog

Images Courtesy of Helen Reizer / HRPR

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Anita Selzer’s latest book ‘I Am Sasha’, recently launched at Jeffreys Bookstore /  jeffreysbooks.com.au in Malvern.

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The book is based on the memoir of the author’s grandmother, who in 1994 said ‘I want the world to know how we survived the war. You are becoming a writer. Promise me you will write our story and have it published,’ recalls Ms. Selzer. This was her Grandmother’s dying request as she handed over the memoir.

During that time the author was completing a Doctorate in Gender and History, and raising her three kids, whilst working on her other books. Securely stored away in a drawer, the memoir sat for years. Drawn to search for it some two decades on, Ms. Selzer was astonished to discover details of her family’s past when reading her grandmother’s memoir for the first time.

The memoir was fragmented, recorded in the style of a journal, but nevertheless held a compelling story about ‘Sasha’, a story waiting to be told. The author researched the history of World War 2 and the Holocaust to fill in the many gaps in her grandmother’s memoir, having to imagine how the main character ‘Sasha’ felt, and his thoughts during this period of wartime history.

Grandmother Larissa, was widowed and lived in Poland with her son ‘Sasha’, aged nine when the war broke out in 1939. A few years later their lives were at risk, with limited chance of survival. As a last ditch attempt to protect her son, Larissa changed his identity and appearance to resemble a girl of his age. She trains him to dress, talk and behave like a girl. It was guaranteed that if he was a girl, the Nazi’s wouldn’t check on circumcision. This was the best chance of survival, and considering she had lost her husband, this resolute mother was determined to keep her son alive.

Anita Selzer is the only surviving child of ‘Sasha’, and believes she has a duty to her Father. A book that took around five years to complete, ’I Am Sasha’ is a profound read – a story that sits close to the author’s heart.

‘I Am Sasha’ is an insightful story of a courageous Holocaust survivor – a beautiful book about a Mother’s love.

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About the Author

Anita Selzer writes non-fiction for children and adults. Her interest is in women and history. She has written about Australian sportswomen who achieved at high levels including the Olympics: athletes, basketballers, golfers, hockey players, netballers and swimmers; girls’ education in Australia; governors’ wives in Australia; and the pastoral pioneers of Como House. 

Before becoming a writer, Anita was a teacher of English and Politics and completed Masters and Doctorate degrees in Education, focusing on gender and history. Anita is married with three children and lives in Melbourne.

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penguin.com.au/authors/anita-selzer

Title: I Am Sasha

Author: Anita Selzer

Genre: Historical Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Published:  2nd April, 2018

Format: Paperback

Pages: 325

Price: $17.99

**Sumaiya was a guest of Helen Reizer / HRPR 

Melbourne writer Sumaiya Rizvi (@melbourne_blog) with author Anita Selzer
Melbourne writer Sumaiya Rizvi (@melbourne_blog) with author Anita Selzer

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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