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?!
Well first I think chocolate & then I think buns – Easter buns that is 🙂 I used to make the normal fruit buns, and they are so awesome when you make them yourself, but as my son says “that’s too main stream”. So here is my current list of hot cross bun flavours for you to try. I have done away with the boring flavourless crosses too & replace them with much more delicious versions!
Owners Yasuko & Ken were so generous with their time & knowledge. This is the 3rd class we have run with them, but the first one in their new location in Battery Point. We first met Yasuko when she bought her first Thermomix, she loved it so much that she kept taking it back & forward to the restaurant & then decided they had to buy one another one for the restaurant.
Arwen, Yasuko & Charlie
I just love how passionate Three Japanese are about sourcing quality ingredients – even the crockery is sourced from their hometown Saga in Japan.
The story behind Three Japanese Ken (Norikazu Hirai) and Yasuko (Yasuko Hayashi) first met at high school in Japan in 1997 whilst playing soccer. After graduating from high school, Ken started working in a kitchen in Japan, where he learned a variety of cooking styles, he arrived in Hobart in 2012 on a working (surfing) holiday. Yasuko moved to Osaka to go to university and her first visit to Hobart was through the exchange Uni program. She then took every opportunity to be in Hobart (8 visits!!) until she finally moved here in 2009. Ken and Yasuko remained good friends throughout this time because of their love of great food! In 2014, they realised their dream when they had an opportunity to start a restaurant together with Yasuko’s partner Yuya who had been a baker in Japan & then graduated from Drysdale, he was working as a chef at the Source Restaurant (MONA). This is why they called the restaurant – ‘Three Japanese’. They love fresh, real food, and use only real Japanese ingredients and freshest local veggies, fish and meat to make delicious authentic Japanese food.
We set the tables ready for our class, everyone was provided with a recipe booklet to take home & emailed a copy in an eBook format.
Our Menu for the Evening
Japanese Green Tea on arrival
Chawanmushi – Savoury Custard (including the recipe for dashi stock)
The Three Japanese Tasting Plate: Miso Soup: Karaage Chicken: Rice: Tsukudani (preserved seaweed & bonito fish)
(It was so much fun recipe testing: here are the photos of all the dishes I tested. After I showed Yasuko these pictures she told me I had the Japanese spice containers upside down!! I had studied Japanese in high school & didn’t notice the writing upside down!! I even used one the images in the recipe booklet!! When we told our guests & they thought it was very funny too !!)
Chawanmushi had been specially requested & put onto the menu for the night. It is not currently on the menu because they don’t have a commercial steamer at their new venue so we had to bring as many Thermomix as we could to the restaurant as we could to steam approx 20 savoury custards.
We had 6 Thermomix in the kitchen & one set up in the dinning room to demonstrate through the class. It was well worth it though our guests loved tasting the dish & learning how to cook it. I showed our guests how to make the dashi stock using shaved dried bontio fish flakes & kombu (seaweed). Dashi is the base for a lot of Japanese dishes so it is important as usual to use the best quality ingredients you can get. You can buy powdered dashi but you won’t have that quality & depth of flavour.
We also used the dashi to make the traditional miso soup demonstrated by Yasuko. The kombu & bonito are not thrown out after making the dashi stock you can then use them with mirin to make tsukuduni a delicious preserve served with rice. Ken our chef came out & demonstrated the tsukudani to the class & showed us his awesome knives. We also showed guests how to make the karaage chicken it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu and very easy to prepare at home. The chicken is marinated for approx 1 hr & lightly coated in potato flour & deep fried. We also came up with some other ways of using the same marinade, either steaming, baking or grilling the chicken.
Then Charlie showed guests how to make the sesame pudding & we learned how to make the Japanese brown sugar sauce. The brown sugar is sourced from Okinawa in Japan. Yasuko also showed us how to make matcha green tea – this is the tea that is traditionally used at Japanese ceremonies.
Our guests left full of delicious food & inspiration to cook some of the dishes at home, they could even purchase some ingredients to take home with them. We are so grateful to have the the opportunity to work with Three Japanese again, their passion for their food is infectious.
Do you like a creamy mash? Oh hello!! This is so indulgent but it is so worth the calories!! Winner, winner salmon dinner! Plus it is super easy!!
So this might be a silly question but how do you get your mash so creamy? Add cream to it of course!! Oh & use a Thermomix!! If I want to be super decadent I replace the milk with cream in the guided recipe for mashed potato. (if you choose this option you can sometimes get a slight coating on the base of the Thermomix bowl which will need a bit of a scrub but it is so worth it!) My favourite cream to use is Tasmanian Ashgrove cream. I am lucky that they sell large 2 litre containers of this close to where I live, perfect for making butter in the Thermomix too.
Feel free to use any veggies you like for the mash or steamed veggies here are my top suggestions.
My favourite mash or puree’ veggies are either just a single one of these veggies or mix a couple together. Try floury potatoes or sweet potatoes (I don’t even bother peeling them) Or cauliflower, pumpkin or parsnip.
Eat your greens – try any or all of the following:
Frozen peas – you can even blitz these to make into mushy peas instead of serving the mash if you want.
Try zucchinis, broccoli, broccolini, boc choy or asparagus.
Now last but not least the salmon – I love fresh dill & salt & pepper but you can add garlic, lemon zest, chives or capers.
I hope you have fun mixing it up – trying different combos depending on what is in season or you have available to you at the time.
You can use any veggies you like – pictured here is my home grown zucchini & frozen peas with creamy sweet potato mash and steamed salmon with fresh dill.
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!