While driving home from our Food Styling Photography course, we were talking about the sunrise on the Tessellated Pavements & Ellie said it was one of the most iconic & photographed spots in Tassie. I said, why don’t we do a food shoot there?! And we decided to run with it big time. With only a couple of weeks left of sunrise capturing available at the Tessellated Pavements we needed to get cracking! I couldn’t help it, I wanted to change the words to the song “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to Breakfast at Tessellated. So we had our theme tune sorted now lots of other things to organise.
Our mission: To set up a beautiful delicious breakfast using Tasmanian produce, in time to capture the sunrise reflection on the tessellated pavement – Food photography for “posh ladies” – table for 4.
Props: I had seen the perfect trestle table that I just had to have but it wouldn’t fit in my small car! I wanted to take my wooden dining chairs too. We had a carafe, my Nana’s tea cups & saucers, napkins, table runner, vase & foliage, glasses & champagne flutes, candles & candelabra.
Sunday early evening scout out: We realised that it was a fair 5 min walk to the Tessellated Pavement from the carpark & it included stairs. So we needed to take a little as possible to make a maximum of 2 trips each. There was a perfect spot with a log up out of the way & this would make perfect seats for us so no chairs needed. Ellie had some old fence palings & I brought my husband’s workshop wooden horses to act as the legs for our portable table. We styled it up the night before at Ellie’s house (thankfully she leaves only 5 mins drive away).
I set the alarm for 5.30am but woke up at 4, we had packed everything the night before & only had a couple of last min things to prepare before we left. Lucky we remembered the torch!! We had 1 person that did 2 trips & everyone else did 1. We got to work setting up our camera’s Taking photos while setting up the table & styling the food. Our photography teacher from TAFE even showed up!
Well we thought it was well worth the effort, I have learnt a lot, (what to do & what not to do), an amazing few hours enjoying the sunrise & serenity not to mention the awesome company, delicious local food & drinks. How on earth will we be able to top this?!
I had only been looking forward to this weekend for about 5 months (because it was rescheduled from Nov15) After my busy week at Thermofest I was quite exhausted but still excited to be heading with my camera & iPhone to a fun weekend food styling, with self taught expert stylist & photographer JJ from 84th & 3rd, while eating Ellie‘s delicious food. I stopped at Salamanca Market on the way down to Highcroft to collect a couple of bunches of Lisa Kingston Flowers gorgeous arrangements (My wonderful friend Ulla from Dragonfly Farm grows the proteas for her) Also collected some cucumbers for our special smoothie & a stopped at one of my favourite places Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed for a bottle of their amazing sparkling wine, some fresh oysters & shucking knife – I also grabbed a sneaky coffee 🙂
I arrived at the new location it had ended up being a 1 hour drive from Hobart, from the outside I wondered if I had made a mistake & gone to the wrong address? I later found out was a rustic CWA hall with amazing old tables & retro chairs gorgeous natural light flooding in through the windows, in other words a dream come true. There were 7 of us on the first including Ellie & JJ. Oh and did I mention Ellie brought her Thermomix too!!
So there was a big table set up with lots of props & cloths. A little taste of Ellie’s collection & JJ had brought a few things too. So our first mission; can you make canned soup look good? Answer YES!! We had pumpkin soup, tomato soup & cream of asparagus soup. And Ellie had some fresh baguettes she had made (dough made in the Thermomix of course). We had been all given some Olsson’s Salt in our goodie bags too, so great practice for product placement 😉
I was instantly drawn to the tomato soup & this is what happened!!
This is one of my favourite shots!!
Now it’s time for LUNCH!! (no we didn’t eat the soup!!) When I say time for lunch it means that after about 1/2 of taking lots of pics on our cameras & phones from every angle & every dish we can eat!! Ellie made my favourite octopus salad YUM!!
Vegan Tomato Tart
After lunch we moved onto balls – yes round things that are so popular in so many different flavours but it is hard to make them look good or is it?
We have had this honeycomb for a while so decided to get a last few shots before we ate it 🙂
Now we haven’t eaten for at least an hour or so lets set up for dinner outside with fairy lights – this was a dream of Elli’s for the last workshop in August 15 but alas the weather stopped us, but not today it was just perfect! We brought the table & chairs outside & set the table. Then got ready for the fresh oysters, Ellie shucked then quickly in front of us & cracked opened the sparkling wine from Bangor Oyster Shed.
What an absolutely awesome feast we had potato & hot smoked salmon salad, fennel & pepper berry beef with goats cheese, roast beetroot and hazelnut salad and a marinated shark on an Asian style salad. Check out Ellie’s blog for her photos & recipes!
Day 2: Breakfast & then picnic lunch in a pear orchard, how dreamy!!
I made JJ’s smoothie recipe in the Thermomix – yes I carried the Thermomix on my lap on the way in the car too!! JJ will post her recipe soon for me to share but you get a hint when you look in the bowl!!
JJ made her delicious baked apples & Ellie made my new favourite breakfast French Toast with Salmon rashers & maple syrup – AMAZING!!
And now it’s time to picnic – a short drive away & we are in a magic place, a local pear orchard.
Another delicious scene to shoot, eat & drink 🙂 Feeling so lucky & had such a great time too!
Here is a snapshot of images taken on my iPhone & some behind the scenes shots too!
Thermofest is a reward trip for Thermomix consultants that have been successful (In this case it was July – Nov 2015) I only just made it in to qualify on the last day of November! This year it was also a celebration of Thermomix in Australia’s 15th birthday! What better place to celebrate than Sydney!!
Day 1 Monday 7th March
Everyone arrives from their various states & even some people came from NZ. Our flight from Hobart was delayed so we were the last to arrive at 4.30pm. We were collected at the airport & driven to our Hotel – The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. We collected our goodie bags & checked into our rooms, with just enough time to get ready for our masquerade ball.
Saying Hi to Grace Mazur – Managing Director of Thermomix in Australia
Surprise – Dani Valent is here too!!
So excited to finally meet my bestie from the Marketing department -Krystle, she was also my personal photographer 🙂 I can’t wait to see the photos she took!
All our 12 Tassie girls all wore the same mask a red one & we all wore black dresses. We were dropped off & had to walk towards the Opera House, where they had a marquee set up right on the water front in front of the Opera House. We were starving so luckily there was lots of food including my 2 favourites – the prawns & freshly shucked oysters – shucked right in front of you & you could choose if you wanted lemon or tabasco or natural YUM!! The even served Janz – Tasmanian sparkling wine so we were in heaven. I loved meeting new people & catching up with friends I had made on the Emerald Class Trip to Paris in September 2015. We also had entertainment, music & dancing!!
(Thanks to Sam for letting me share some of her photos in this post)
Day 2 – Full day seminar
We got to find out about some new Thermomix news, including new products like the gorgeous Thermomix aprons we are modeling – available in May for Mother’s Day. There was Thermomix branded Lindt chocolate too! We all got a copy of Dr Igor Tabrizian’s new book Staying Healthy. We had David Koch do a mentoring session & The Futurist, Rose Herceg – so insightful, thought provoking & inspirational!
But my favourite parts were the cooking segments from top Chef Mark Best with Dani Valent who was announcing the launch of her new cooking video site Dani Valent Cooking – I have signed up already but it is due to be launched in May – So exciting!! Mark Best’s orange ice cream with orange sherbet recipe will be on the recipe community soon.
Donato Toce from Gelato Messina did a presentation & cooking demo for us too, it’s great to see how passionate he is about creating the best quality & everything made from scratch, we all got to try one of his creations too – So awesome!! I love hearing how chefs use the Thermomix & being inspired to try new things. Gelato Messina also run cooking classes using the Thermomix – I would so love to go to one of those.
Then there were awards & recognition, so many high achievers in the room & they certainly deserved to be thanked for all their hard work & effort.
Harbour Dinner Cruise – Nautical theme, I instantly thought Pirate because I love pirates & Johnny Depp (I was born on his birthday!) And I think because everyone was dressed up we had even more fun with some crazy dance moves coming out!! Belinda even did the splits!!
Day 3: We had a free day due to having to cancel a breakfast event, so after 3 of us missing the Manly ferry we decided to go to Watsons Bay for a relaxing lunch. Another Ferry ride out to the Star Casino to sample some Gelato Messina, and stop into Zumbo’s.
Sam, Arwen & Rebecca we found our letters!!
Then it was the Gala Dinner!! Some ladies had spent all day getting their hair & make up done!!
It started with a laser show, there was a photo booth but every time we got close to the start of the line we had to go back in for more presentations & awards. When we finally got to go into the booth – they were having technical difficulties so we had to take our own photo!! We had a yummy 3 course sit down dinner but due to the lighting you couldn’t get any good food pictures! The top awards for all of Australia were presented – congrats to everyone’s massive achievements! Then it was time for one last night of dancing, we had Frankie J Holden & Kate Ceberano to entertain us & then our awesome DJ & singer from the cruise again.
What a fantastic Thermofest, so great to meet so many inspiring consultants, group leaders, managers & special guests, to reconnect with friends & have a great time. I’m so grateful to have been on board for this Thermofest. Thank you Thermomix in Australia for organising this awesome event! I wonder where the next Thermofest will be??
I was lucky enough to visit the Nutpatch again & John was kind enough to let me take some photos of his amazing chocolates before they opened the doors to their customers. – warning drooling may occur!! As you can see the chocolate here not only taste amazing but are pieces of art!! No words required if you speak the language of chocolART!! 🙂
AnsdAnd I had to buy some to take home of course, for Easter 🙂 Here is how I styled them up at home!!
I know which eggs I’d rather see in my egg basket
Marbled Easter egg – so amazingly awesome!!
Happy Easter everyone!! Indulge – enjoy!!
Oh and how could I forget the signature item at Nutpatch is the nougat!! So amazing!! – This one is chocolate & almond!!
Yes I love the Thermomix!! Yes I have 3 (no I don’t need 3) Yes they have names!! And they have eyes!! This is my kitchen, I don’t have a built in cooktop, just a single plug in one – It will be the kitchen of the future 🙂
Yes I am a Therrmomix consultant (have been for over 4 years now)
So why do I love the Thermomix?!
It’s a moveable kitchen.
You can make so many things from scratch so quickly & easily. So of course the food has amazing flavour!!
It gets used multiple times every day.
Yes I love cooking but it suits people who love to cook or people that want to spend less time in the kitchen and people who are time poor & want dinner in a flash.
My favourite functions are milling whole spices; you heat them up first in the Thermomix & then mill them. It’s perfect for curries & dips. I always mill cinnamon sticks too. I love how it cooks & stirs for you while you do something else. I love the kneading function & the steaming function. I even love the latest feature for the model 5 – the guided recipes, which is perfect for those times when you can’t be bothered thinking!! (Admit it we all have times like that?!)
I’m not selling them to make money, I may have called myself the crazy Thermomix lady because it is a passion & I truly believe every household should have one! (we can sell a Thermomix to anyone in Australia – so watch out!) I have seen so many people change the way they cook & eat. People that have never cooked that are now cooking with a Thermomix. People using more fresh ingredients, trying new recipes, I’ve seen people falling in love with their Thermomix! Sometimes I am even lucky enough to be a part of someone’s joy at getting a Thermomix as a surprise for a birthday or wedding gift. I have even seen people win a Thermomix from a raffle! There are lots of Chefs that use them in restaurants & cafes all over the world too!
(This post is not quite finished & will be updated with even more amazing Thermolove soon!!)
This is my review I put on the Fat Duck facebook page 5 Stars – “The best foodie experience of my life, I feel so lucky to have dined here twice, it was so awesome I cried multiple times, absolutely a feast for the senses – the only thing that could have made it better, would have been to meet Heston himself. The service was outstanding, with such genuine care & attention to detail, we felt so spoilt & privileged to spend these fun, magical hours with such wonderful friends xx.”
Yes Suzie & I were back again at the Fat Duck just about 1 month before they move back to the UK & revamp the space into Dinner by Heston. Some people may ask why would you go twice? We would say why wouldn’t you? The universe had given us 2 tickets to The Fat Duck & who were we to argue? (See the post on our previous visit here) Our other 2 friends who put into the ballot had decided to go once each so this time we had our 2 Fat Duck virgin friends with us Charlie & Rosey. We have all been so excited for months & the day had finally arrived.
(Also FYI – note be careful when texting Fat Duck as the predictive text can do some funny things!!)
Keeping up with tradition – we needed to have a photo in the foyer of our hotel at The Crowne Metropole before heading over to The Fat Duck.
We were greeted at the entrance by Rachel & she remembered Suzie & I and welcomed us back, it was fun watching the newbies entering the ramp toward the restaurant we didn’t say anything to spoil the surprise but one of the girls bag’s accidentally touched the screen & the door opened quite quickly! We noticed that there were so many more puzzle pieces on the wall since our last visit. Suzie & I couldn’t tell if we were more excited about everything this time because we knew what was coming & we could watch our friends experiencing things for the first time.
We were given the massive book with all the wines & options we all decided on matching wines except Suzie, who having learnt from last time decided to stick with gin or bubbles. We had around 6.5 hours of 16 courses & drinks ahead of us. A tough job but someone’s gotta do it hey?
We were served our first course aerated beetroot with horseradish cream, amazing texture & flavour, just perfect for preparing us for what was to come.
I almost wet myself with excitement seeing the liquid nitrogen cart make its way toward us, so great watching our waiter Calum make our aperitif you could choose which flavour you like vodka and lime sour, gin tonic or grapefruit and tequila. First hesiphoned the mixture onto a spoon & then kept it moving in the liquid nitrogen bath. There was also a candle so the chosen flavour citrus zest was lit with candle to help infuse the flavour.
Nitro Poached Aperitifs
Each of us chose our flavour & we watched the reaction of Rosey & Charlie especially. This time I had a different flavour to last time trying the tequila & grapefruit.
We were instructed to put the whole thing in your mouth and then the cold “smoke” from the dry ice would come out your nostrils, it literally melted in your mouth. What a great way to awaken all the senses early on. This time around we noticed more things & asked different questions to last time appreciating everything just that little bit more.
Mustard ice cream with red cabbage soup was our next course, this looks like something achievable we could make at home, did I mention that they have 8 Thermomix in the kitchen?
Next our trio of “icy poles” I really loved the chicken liver pate one that looked like a golden Gaytime and the smoked salmon and the horseradish swirl and of course there was the one that look like the rocket ship that was the flavour of A waldorf salad.
We told the girls about our fun last time, one of our waiters Cameron (he was given the nickname Cambo by Suzie) gave us our “lollipops” and explained that you could either lick or suck them and of course we burst out laughing making him blush! So not only were we experiencing the amazing food all over again but also enjoying the reactions of our friends but we also were remembering our last time at The Fat Duck only a couple of months ago. Suzie & I seemed to take extra care to eat each thing really slowly & really soak up the flavours & atmosphere.
Oh goodie gum drops our “Fat duck films” arrived on a bed of moss – Suzie & I looked at each other going OMG we are soooo excited but we didn’t spoil the surprise for the others. Next our plates arrives & I noticed they were slightly different than our previous time, served on a board. It has a truffle toast & marron cream. We were instructed to put the film into our mouth as our waiter poured a tea pot of water on to the moss container to make the cold smoke come out all over the table to us all, a true theatrical genius. I think I may be slightly addicted to liquid nitrogen & dry ice – WOW factor. The girls really enjoyed it too. The expression “savour the flavour” springs to mind.
Smokey, crusty sourdough bread with butter & salt YUM!! And bonus the waiters came over with their table scrapers to clean up all the crumbs. And you could have extra bread & butter if you wanted it too!!
Snail porridge – was emotional as I watched Charlie taking her first tastes of the dish & tears welling up & she explained to me she had had a similar snail dish with her Dad. I’m a sympathetic cryer at the best of times – let’s just say it was a special memory created from Charlie’s memory as we savoured this vibrant green snail porridge dish with amazing flavour & texture.
Our next delicious course was Roast Marron with Shitake, Confit Kombu & Sea Lettuce, served with sake – so good!!
The Mad Hatters Tea Party is just so much fun! And our favourite waiter from last time Cambo just started his shift too 🙂 This time (no pun intended) I noticed you could hear the watches ticking in the case!! We were served our Mock Turtle Soup, Pocket Watch & Toast Sandwich (which included more truffles!!) So delicious & so much effort & thought put into every part of the dish.
My favourite dish was The Sound of the Sea, because of the memories I have of the sea, I just love being near the ocean & I love all the elements of this dish especially the seashells with iPods inside that play the sound of the ocean. This is such a magic part of the dish, it created a quiet calm space to experience the dish. As a child I used to love holding up a shell to my ear to hear the sound of the ocean. I have always felt most alive when at the beach or in or on the ocean 🙂 I felt so grateful to experience this dish for the 2nd time – I ate every piece slower than before, watching the smiles on my friend’s faces, we enjoyed the serenity that the sound of the sea brings. It was an absolute pleasure to have all the senses evoked in one dish, yes tears of joy welled in my eyes, as I remembered the last time I ate the dish with my friends too. (See my poem at the end of the post)
Salmon Poached in a Liquorice Gel: Endive, Vanilla Mayonnaise & Golden Trout Roe – The 2 Fat Duck Virgins got this delicious dish……..
And as a surprise for Suzie & I, we were served something different from last time Roast John Dory; Mushroom Carpaccio, Mussels, Jelly of Verjus.
Our last savoury dish was THE DUCK a new dish to the menu too – last time we had a lamb dish – this was a fun delicious dish with a few intriguing elements.
The Duck – Blood Pudding, Chicory & Green Coffee
Duck Crackling (I think)
Hot & Iced Tea, this really messes with your mind 🙂
Surprise!! Another special dish for Suzie & I because it was our 2nd visit so we got the golden nest & “egg”- It’s proper name on the menu was Eggs in Verjus (c.1726), Verjus in Egg (c.2013). It really looked like an egg, but you could eat the whole thing!! It was a coconut panna cotta, a verjus egg yolk, and a multi-layered chocolate egg shell, we were so blown away & later saw the dish as a pressure test on MasterChef in 2016.
Our friends got the Boytrytis Cinerea dish that was the pressure test Billie won on MasterChef 2015. We had no idea just how difficult the dish was to prepare when we ate it! (nicknamed by Suzie the celebration of the balls – see the post for our previous visit)
It had started to get dark & we were about to tuck into The Not So Full English Breakfast – it started with Heston Cereal, including a puzzle piece for the puzzle mural on the wall behind us. The cereal was dried carrot & parsnip & was served with parsnip milk. Then Cambo came over again with the nitro “scrambled egg” ice cream station, they had filled eggs or made their own fat duck eggs with a magical custard filling & “cooked” it in front of us, it was served on brioche & topped with crispy pancetta. We also had an earl grey marmalade with a white chocolate lid YUM! Because we had run out of time for a tour of the kitchen 🙁 Cambo took my phone into the kitchen to get us some photos & selfies with the others. Notice the 2 Thermomix on the bench 🙂
There was a special order to eat the whisky wine gums. I won’t say who it was but someone dropped one of the gums while trying to eat it & then they couldn’t find where it went until we were finalising our bill at the end, it had stuck onto their clothing!! 🙂
No the last dish was here!! We didn’t want it to end, because we were having so much fun. The dish was called “Like a Kid in a Sweet Shop” featuring eatable playing card & a couple of other chocolates. It also included a sealed copy of the menu.
Apparently there were a few people that got to attend the Fat Duck Melbourne pop up twice & only 1 person that went 3 times.
Yes we were the last to leave again before the dinner service & saw the waiting staff ironing the tablecloths & resetting the tables. We said goodbye to our waiters & waitresses, it was like saying goodbye to friends. Another wonderful dream was over & it is something I will never forget, I just love how Heston delights in using people’s childhood memories to enhance a dish & now we will leave with our own special memories of delicious food enhanced by amazing friends. We call ourselves the Fat Duckers- don’t get those letters mixed up please! In one word it was AWESOME!!
(We had to write our version of a Gilbert & George piece for our TAFE Art History class & I chose to write mine on the Sound of The Sea Experience at the Fat Duck)
May I describe to you with
words a special moment which began
on a Tuesday in
May of 2015 I had just been served
a beautiful delicious plate of art
accompanied by headphones coming
out of a shell, the calming sound of waves
brought a stillness that heightened all the senses