oysters

Ellie’s Seafood Everyday Cookbook Photoshoot & Taste Testing

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Yes Ellie & I did it again – another sunrise breakfast at the Tessellated Pavement, but more on that later.

What do you say when your chef friend asks you to come & cook, wash up & taste the food for her 2 day photo shoot for her Seafood Everyday Cookbook – YES PLEASE! (And as a bonus I actually got paid to do it too!! I told Ellie I would have done it for free because it was so much fun, not to mention absolutely delicious!)

Day 1: Sunday 1st May – Job 1 purchase some ingredients on the way down to Ellie’s place at Eaglehawk Neck. When I woke up bright & early there was the most amazing sunrise & then as I started to drive into the city I heard thunder, saw lightning & then it bucketed down with rain! I was hoping the light would still be ok for Ellie’s photos today. I had nothing to fear as when I arrived at Ellie’s at about 9.30am she had already started some of the prep – her dining table was covered with lots of crockery, cloths & cutlery. She had a table by the window set up with backgrounds reflectors & her camera on the tripod. She had already cooked a crayfish for a couple of the recipes later on in the day. I was asked to make & prep some of the recipes so Elli’e could just finish them off before taking her photos for the book & then I got to taste them all!! I was so busy trying to cook, eat & wash up (she doesn’t have a dishwasher) that I didn’t get a chance to take many of my own photos – I did get some quick shots on my iPhone before I consumed them, so I could use them on our designated instagram breaks throughout the day, to make all my friends super jealous!!

On the first day we completed 19 recipes – which included about 6 different styles of oysters YUM! I was in my element because I could use Ellie’s 2 Thermomix for certain elements of the recipes too. I learnt so many tips and ideas form Ellie over the 2 days. You won’t believe the first dish I had to prep was risotto (or otherwise know as “Hot Wet Rice” & yes we showed the Katering show video of the two Kate’s making risotto to Ellie’s hubby at the end of day 2 & we all had a good laugh).

I used the Thermomix for fresh pasta dough  & left it to rest, Ellie had already made the bread dough in the Thermie before I arrived & then I learnt how to shape it for a cob loaf & 2 baguettes – we let it proof again & then baked in the oven. It’ s a bit of a blur but I will try to remember everything the best I can – octopus salad with peas & feta was amazing! I also had another salad with fish, risotto & feta balls with octopus, salmon & bacon pancakes – so good!! I made Ellie’s awesome potato & sweet potato surprise bake. (I’m drooling in my mouth as i remember tasting all these amazing dishes). A cauliflower puree was another element for one of the dishes that was easy to make in the Thermomix, as well as onion jam & beetroot relish – Ellie wanted a grated texture for the beetroot relish & took great delight in the fact I had to use a grater to hand grate the beetroot by hand instead of using the Thermomix. I also made pastry in the Thermomix too.

Dish of the day was hard to choose but I have to say the crayfish topped with Thermomix hollandaise was so special, plus it looked amazing too!

Guess what we had for dinner that night? Yes leftovers!! I couldn’t believe I could fit anything in!! After dinner we looked at the days photos & they looked amazing they even made me hungry looking at them!! I rolled out the pasta dough & cooked it ready for 4 different pasta dishes we would shoot tomorrow. I also made the steamed Dill & Feta Omelette with Smoked Salmon recipe we were taking to the Tessellated Pavement in the morning for Ellie to get the cover photo for her cookbook. We had learnt a lot form our previous breakfast at the Tessellated Pavement, to take a little with us as possible. So we packed 1 picnic basket of things & worked out how we were going to style it. We had an early night so we would be fresh in the morning for our big photo shoot.

Day 2: Monday 2nd May, after I woke up multiple times in the early morning it was time to officially wake up at 5.45am. We had a quick cuppa & grabbed our food, Tasmanian sparkling wine & picnic basket of props to arrive at the Tessellated Pavement about 6.30, after setting up in one spot we moved to another spot so we could get more of the pavement into the shot. We got so many amazing photos, Ellie was quick to post a picture to instagram of our sunrise breakfast picnic hoping she could get over 100 likes. Check out Ellie’s Instagram account to have a look. We had the whole place to ourselves & after a few adjustments we had it just right to shoot away for about 1/2 an hour or so. It was so exciting, relaxing & peaceful. I could not wipe the smile off my face.

After packing up, I had to drink the wine in the glasses, because we couldn’t waste such good quality Tasmanian sparkling wine & Ellie couldn’t drink because she had to have her A game on for the rest of the days big photo shoot. Anyway just as I was downing the last of the wine in the glass a lady & her dog walked past, she smiled asking if we were celebrating?! After all it was only just after 7am on a Monday morning!! Too funny!

A very quick look at the mornings photos on the computer & Ellie confirmed she had got her cover photo – It looks amazing!!

Anyway back to work, first things first, more breakfast!! We hadn’t eaten the omelette we took to the morning shoot & had brought it back home with us so take some more photos with the most amazing breakfast you will ever have – Salmon rashers with French toast & maple syrup, so amazing!!

After breakfast was photographed & then eaten it was time to get onto the 13 more recipes for the day including all the mussel recipes. We also had Ellie’s 2 youngest children helping us today so I added child entertainer to my list of jobs, it was so much fun & we all wore our special aprons too! Yes I had the job of making sure the bottle of sparkling wine didn’t get wasted & so I had a matching wine to my seafood tasting today until just after lunchtime 🙂 I got to make a spicy seafood laksa & we made another crayfish recipe too, oh & some yummy squid pasta, just to mention a few of the days recipes.

The cooking, eating, washing up & photos continued for the rest of the day & we finished about 4pm. We had multiple instagram checking breaks as we saw Ellie’s likes for her photo sky rocket through the day. Then we all went for a walk to the beach which was just what we needed after 2 epic days.

I stayed for dinner to help Ellie & her family eat some of the days delicious leftovers – we had another mini leftover degustation for dinner as the fridge was very full!! I don’t think I will ever need to eat again – well maybe not till breakfast anyway!

Oh wow, I thought I was in heaven, having a 2 day seafood degustation with a total of 34 dishes, I feel so grateful to have been given this amazing experience. I loved hearing stories Ellie shared with me about her restaurant days where she was the chef & owner at the Mussel Boys in Tarana, quite a few of the recipes from her restaurant are in the cookbook too.  Also Ellie’s Instagram photo from the morning was shared by “Australia” on Instagram on got over 46,000 likes!!

Even if I had not had this awesome experience I would still be rushing out to buy this cookbook the recipes are amazing & the photos look sensational – much better than these ones I took on my iPhone 🙂 The Seafood Everyday Cookbook will hopefully be available to purchase in Dec 2016. Congrats Ellie on an outstandingly awesome job! I love your work! (I think I am still in a food coma)

 

 

Prep Prop Style Shoot Weekend – The Sequel

Pretty Model 5 Thermomix :-)

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 🙂

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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!!

Tomato soup

 

Pumpkin soup

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!!

octopus salad

Octopus Salad

 

Vegan Tomato Tart

 

hands on flowers

 

lunch

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?

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balls

HoneycombWe 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.

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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!!

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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.

Picnic

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!

Endeavour Tea

 

 

 

Thermofest 2016 in Sydney

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!

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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

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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!!

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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!!

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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.

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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??

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed

We just had to stop at the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed on our way to the Koonya Garlic Festival. We ordered some oysters, a coffee for Charlie the driver & I had to get a glass of sparkling wine for the photo of course!! We introduced ourselves to the new Chef Josh & then went outside to take in the awesome view. Our Oysters & drinks arrived, so we just soaked up the atmosphere. The oysters were amazing & so was the wine. Josh even came out & chatted with us as we finished off. We left full & very happy ready for the rest of our day 🙂

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Exhibition 2015

We had to choose 2 of our photos to exhibit as part of our unit – realise a creative project. So here are mine. I even learned how to mount the pictures for the exhibit.

Let them eat cake

I made the Devil of a Cookbook sponge cake recipe. I also made raspberry, rosewater & rhubarb jam to go with it. I took it into TAFE for a studio shoot. None of the other students or teacher minded helping me eat it after I had taken a lot of different shots!

Cake

Taste of the sea

I took this photo on our Prep Prop Style Shoot workshop in August.

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