Eventide Oyster Co

With the summer people nowhere to be found, Eventide Oyster Co is back on my weekly rotation. A dozen of oysters is mandatory for each visit, allowing one to share in the amazingness of the Maine coast, and for a taste of New England and Washington State gems.

From there, the comfortable luxuriousness can go as far as you, and your wallet, are willing to go. Crudo, stew, octopus, buns and rolls, sparkling, sake, sherry or cocktails. Eventide has all of your new favorites.

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Grandvewe Cheeses – Hobart

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I really cannot imagine my life without cheese. From a well-aged cheddar to an oozing triple creme, I love them all. Even the stinky ones. And especially the ones made with love and care, from paddock to cheese plate. Grandvewe Cheeses is one such producer, taking the time to nurture the animals who produce the milk, and making it a family affair. Locally produced and loved across Australia, their award winning cheeses are utterly delicious and ewenique. Ryan Hartshorn shares all things cheese in this interview.

Can you tell us a bit about Grandvewe Cheeses? Who you are, what makes your products unique etc?

We are Australia’s only organic sheep milk cheesery. We have won the highest awards for any sheep cheesery in Australia. In 2012 our Blue cheese won Champion cheese against 360 cheeses of Australia at the Sydney Royal Show. We were then ranked in the top six fine food producers of Australia.

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We have our farm cheesery located 40 minutes south of Hobart in a place called Woodbridge. We are open to the public 7 days a week all year round. At our cheesery you can meet The Girls, as the sheep are fondly known, taste up to 15 different cheeses and enjoy our wines while viewing the whole process of cheese making from paddock to palate. We also have a café to enjoy various seasonal dishes and platters on our deck overlooking the spectacular D’Entrecasteaux Channel with a menu that incorporates our famous cheeses and farm grown smallgoods.

Our products are ewenique because we control the entire process from the grass grown for the sheep to eat, milking, manufacturing, packaging, distributing and selling. Having this total control of the entire process we can ensure quality the best quality of product is achieved consistently. We also try to constantly critique our cheeses as well as experimenting with new ones. This mix keeps our range interesting and always changing while still maintaining quality.

Cheese making seems like so much fun! What got you interested in making cheese?

We used to live in Brisbane and about 11 years ago our mother, Diane, travelled to Tasmania for a holiday and fell in love with the place. The land value in Tasmania at the time was also very cheap in comparison to Brisbane and mum was ready for a midlife crisis. So she first thought of planting a vineyard and got thinking about what animal could graze between the vines. Ducks were the first thought, then goats; however they were not appropriate as they would destroy the vines. The last thought was sheep with the hope they would be less likely to eat the vines. Then she had the hard task of convincing her children to move from their city lives in Brisbane to a quiet country town in Tasmania. With a lot of promises and persuasion, my sister Nicole and I made the move.

Mum had always enjoyed making cheese in her kitchen before the move to Tasmania, so this was a small passion of hers, though she had no professional cheese making skills. She then embarked on a cheese making journey around the world and learnt from more than 17 different cheese makers throughout Europe, Jordan, America and Canada. This experience further increased her interest in cheese making.

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Why sheep’s milk cheese?

Sheep milk cheese is the highest quality milk and is the healthiest of all milks. This is a scientific fact that sheep milk has the highest milk solids so it makes a very creamy product. The flavour of the milk is also very sweet so this helps our products appeal to most palates. The health benefits include low allergens, meaning 98% of people with cow milk allergies will not react to sheep milk. The milk contains monounsaturated fats, reduces cholesterol and has triple the calcium of cows milk. All these qualities and health benefits made it the obvious milk choice for us.

Grandvewe has lots of delicious cheeses and specialty items. What are some of your most popular ones? Which is your favourite?

My favourite is the cheese I have eaten the least of at the time. Normally it’s the cheese we have not had for a while, however I always enjoy our popular White Pearl and Sapphire Blue. I like the White Pearl because it is so versatile – a great cheese to simply dip bread into on a platter or spread on bread with some smoke salmon on top. If you want it in a meal then just mix it through a good fresh pasta.

Some really great Australian restaurants are using your cheese. What is a popular way to serve your cheese?

Some of Australia’s top chefs, such as Peter Gilmore of Quay Restaurant, are using our milk to make their own sheep milk gelato on their dessert menu. Others enjoy our Friesland Fresh in dollops through a nice summer salad.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Thanks to everyone who has supported us! We are a small family business who pride ourselves on making honest good quality cheeses without pretention. If you would like to try some of our cheeses please order from our website and we will express post it to your home anywhere in Australia.

Find Grandvewe Cheeses at 59 Devlyns Road, Birchs Bay, Tasmania or on Twitter@GrandveweCheeses

*Originally posted on Neat Eats*

Upper Crust Pies

Nothing says Australia like a good ol’ fashioned meat pie! After cheering on all the Big Swim participants, I stopped in at Upper Crust Pies in Collaroy. Green and Gold beckons me in, as does the savory smell of pastry. Tempting flavors fill the menu board and happy customers, who seem to know exactly what the deal is, stroll out the door looking gleeful.

We opt for a steak, cheese and potato pie and a butter chicken pie. Both were hot, full of flavor and filling. The steak cheese and potato pie had mashed potato as the top ‘crust’ and the saucy steak filling was held in by a solid pastry bottom crust. The butter chicken was really delicious, and a step above the other pie we tried in terms of it’s depth of flavor.

Steak, Cheese and Potato Pie

Steak, Cheese and Potato Pie

 

Butter Chicken Pie

Butter Chicken Pie

 

Upper Crust Pie is worth a visit when passing through the Northern Beaches in Sydney. Hit the beach then hit the Upper Crust!

Upper Crust Pies: Open Daily from 7 am-5 pm, except Christmas
1003 Pittwater Road, Collaroy, NSW, Australia
(02) 9971 5558

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

When mid-afternoon hits, and you’re looking for a little push over the edge to the finish line, what is your go-to snack? For me it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s a healthy craving…and others it is sheer guilty pleasure.

Healthy option of Ryvita cracker with avocado and dukkah

Healthy option of Ryvita cracker with avocado and dukkah

Delicious, but less-than-healthy Murray River Salted Caramel with Macadamias Connoisseur ice cream bar

Delicious, but less-than-healthy Murray River Salted Caramel with Macadamias Connoisseur ice cream bar

Taste of Spain

Spain, how I love the. The flirtatious language, the long lunches and late dinners. Time with family and friends and a focus on the now. And the food. Simple, yet refined. Fresh and full of flavor. Timeless. After spending much of the past 3 months in Spain, I have returned to Sydney craving, longing for, Spanish food. So I started cooking more. Not from my Movida cookbooks, but from my taste memories.  Here’s to leisurely lunches, prepared simply with the best of what’s around.

This recipe is based on my memories of gambas a la plancha from Taberna La Mina in Lavapies in Madrid.

Shrimp and Garlic

Ingredients:

12 raw shell-on shrimp
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbls good quality olive oil, preferably Spanish
seasalt, Maldon used

Method:

Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium high.
Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add shrimp and sauté until they start to turn pink.
Flip over and sauté other side until cooked through.
Garlic will caramelize a bit and be unctuous, in a good way.

Remove from pan and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Serve with a gorgeous Albariño white wine or Valdepeñas red wine, enjoy and taste some flavors of Spain.

 

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Cherry Season

Some people judge the seasons by the weather or special holidays. Growing up in New England, there were seasonal fruits that livened up the change in seasons, like apples in the fall, oranges and grapefruit at Christmas. But really, weather dominated how one judged the seasons. Snow & winter led to mud season…no spring there! Since moving to Sydney, I have started to judge the seasons solely on seasonal fruit and vegetables. And this time of year is my favorite–cherries and mangos! I just can’t stop myself from chowing down on my market share of them!

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Hey, Gelato Messina!

They call themselves the pimps and pushers of gelato. And I am a lover. Every time I have a crazy flavor concoction from Gelato Messina, I can imagine the latenight, possibly drunken, definitely influenced, meeting of flavor creatives at Messina. ‘Mate, let’s fire up the smoker and infuse this Jack Daniels. Got any chocolate?’ Whatever the method, whatever the madness, never check into rehab. I need you to keep the blackboard full of amazing flavor combinations.

Cones, Cones, Cones

Cones, Cones, Cones

 

Gelato, Gelato, Gelato

Gelato, Gelato, Gelato

 

Gelato Messina in Surry Hills

Gelato Messina in Surry Hills

*Disclaimer: Local Sprouts has zero idea of what influences the creativity at Gelato Messina. Maybe they just are that brilliant. Maybe it’s Jesus. No judgement on the source of inspirtation, just keep it coming.

 

 

Pizza Mario

I love going out to dinner with food bloggers. Not only are the ones I know friendly and fun, they also have no fear in getting down to business and ordering the menu. Or at least most of it. I met up with a 4 fabulous friends, who happen to be food bloggers, at Pizza Mario in Surry Hills. Gorgeous handmade pizza cooked in wood fired ovens with simple, yet perfect topping combinations at sensible prices ($11-26). Love it! The setting was modern with a little rustic charm and the service was great. Here’s a feast for your eyes! My favorite pizza was the calabrese (mozzarella, nduja and gaeta olives $22.50) and the gorgonzola radicchio ($21.50) was tops at the table.

Rustic Charm

Rustic Charm

Salad

Pizza! Calabrese, Gorgonzola con Radicchio and Patate

Pizza! Calabrese, Gorgonzola con Radicchio and Patate

Margherita $17.50

Margherita $17.50