Beef Cheek and Mushroom Stew with Tasmanian Saffron Brown Rice

The comfort food continues with a stovetop-to-crockpot concoction made from beef cheeks and mushrooms, sweet potatoes and onions, red wine and tarragon mustard and a homemade beef stock. I served it with baked brown rice scented with Tasmanian saffron. I used to find brown rice fussy until I found Alton Brown’s technique/recipe for baking it,…

Travel: Foodie Tour of Hobart Curated by Cally Lyons of Rathmore House

Cally Lyons, who I am lucky to count as my second Tasmanian girlfriend, has a lot in common with Greg Ramsay, owner of Ratho Farm, who ‘hired’ me to come and cook pop-up dinners of American Southern Food at Australia’s oldest golf course in February and March. Beyond being charming, well-spoken, and delightfully cheeky, both of them are…

‘Me Oh My Oh’: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy, Jambalaya Edition

Jambalaya is so quintessentially New Orleans that, when menu planning, I considered the rice-sausage-and-seafood casserole to be a no-brainer of a show-stopper main course for our Mardi Gras Dinner. As it turned out, both “no-brainer” and “show-stopper” were painfully apt descriptions, as recounted in this continuation of Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Catering Lessons from Heather and…

‘The Ratho Diet’: Perpetual Golf

About two-thirds of the way through my two-month culinary residency at Ratho Farm in Tasmania, one of my co-workers remarked that I must be on the Ratho Diet, and said I should have taken a ‘before’ picture. He wasn’t the only one who commented on the dramatic physical side effects that came with my newfound addiction for golf. Before…

Recipe: Cornbread or Biscuits? Apricot Bread Pudding with Dewar’s Whisky Sauce

I’m going to take a short break from cataloguing the culinary foibles of my pop-up Mardi Gras Dinner at Ratho Farm to write about something that went mostly right that night, the dessert course, Cornbread or Biscuits? Apricot Bread Pudding with Dewar’s Whisky Sauce. The question of whether cornbread or biscuits was more quintessentially Southern came…

Even Surprise Vegans Get to Eat: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 2/?

Part 1 of this blogpost, ‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate’ introduced Heather Bickford, Ratho Farm’s chef and my catering savior the night of our front-of-the-house triumph and back-of-the-house roller coaster Mardi Gras Dinner. We also went over catering lesson one: An intoxicated guest is one who will overlook or forgive mistakes. 2. Start at LEAST one full…

‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate:’ Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 1/2

It occurs to me that I shouldn’t let even one more blog post go by without introducing you to Heather Bickford, the Chef of Ratho Farm and one of the most delightful and food-knowledgeable people I’ve ever encountered. She’s charming, eccentric, has a beautiful family and has forgotten more about catering than you or I will ever know. Without…

Margaux’s French Apple Tart from the Apple Isle

I’ve been struggling with how to restart this blog, which I all but abandoned while I was living is Tasmania in February and March of 2017 at Ratho Farm, an upscale farm-stay and wedding venue sited on Australia’s Oldest Golf Course. I stopped writing, not because I didn’t find the project interesting anymore, but because I got…

Acute golf addiction and chasing Mardi Gras ingredients

I remember at some point believing that I would find time to house-make andouille sausage for this Saturday’s Mardi Gras event; the garlicky spiced and smoked pork sausages that many Cajun and Creole recipes rely on for flavor. That was almost certainly before I became hopelessly addicted to golf, a lifestyle change that has been molding my body…

Disgusted Cows and Happy Ducks

After breakfast, Greg took me on a tour of his menagerie, and he was particularly anxious to show me how wild the cows were for banana peels. They’ll come running, he said. And he was right that they looked eager. Except on this particular morning the coffee cream was off and had ended up in the compost…