Posts made in March, 2013

Food fit for an Emperor at Black Sesame Kitchen

Food fit for an Emperor at Black Sesame Kitchen

Many years ago I used to be involved in leadership training and we talked about the four stages of learning a new skill and how you progress from “unconscious incompetence” to “conscious incompetence” to “conscious competence” to “unconscious competence” – think of it like learning to drive a car where you reach a point where it becomes second nature. I thought about that today when I...

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Sydney Restaurants Roundup

Sydney Restaurants Roundup

I don’t often write restaurant reviews. I’m happier writing about cooking and how the experience of food helps maintain the connection with my family scattered across three continents. But I’m writing this post on an Air China flight back to Beijing after a memorable week in which Claire and Mike pulled out the stops to create a unique taste of Sydney which would give us some sense of the range of cuisine this fantastic city...

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The patient art of Chinese cooking – Shananigans Chez Bloor

The patient art of Chinese cooking – Shananigans Chez Bloor

When we were in Beijing last week we attended two stir-fry/ wok classes at Hutong Cuisine, apart from the noodle and dumpling classes I wrote about recently. While the format of these standard morning classes is broadly similar, the content varies daily. You learn 3 to 4 dishes, in each session – say 3 Canton and 1 Sichuan or 3 Sichuan and 1 Canton. We were really lucky and had the classes to ourselves on both occasions because other groups...

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Sydney Seaplanes Lunch at Cottage Point Inn

Sydney Seaplanes Lunch at Cottage Point Inn

There’s something very evocative about flying boats and sea planes. I have been fascinated by them since I visited the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, Co. Limerick which recalls the nostalgic era from 1937 to 1945 where Foynes, on the Shannon estuary on the western coast of Ireland, briefly became the centre of the aviation world. That delightful museum is housed in the original terminal building of Foynes airport and features a full size...

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I got it – I think I got it: making jiaozi dumplings from scratch

I got it – I think I got it: making jiaozi dumplings from scratch

I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do another dumpling and noodle class. After all I’d seen a demo by Chef Ricky of China Sichuan at our Taste of China event in Cooks Academy. And then I’d spent Wednesday afternoon making what seemed like hundreds of dumplings with my quin jia (Shan’s MaMa) in the tiny kitchen of Shane and Shan’s apartment. I had watched in awe as she flew through rolling out perfect rounds from a simple flour and...

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