Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

A weekend in Brisbane for Eat Drink Blog 5

I’m back! Hooray!

It’s been a month since my last blog post, my longest hiatus ever. For this you can blame a killer flu followed by a nuclear-level virus that kept me bedridden for around three weeks. On the upside I read lots of excellent books about food whilst in bed and will share my favourites with you in a future post.

My recent birthday was a complete non-event: I spent it in bed, at the doctor’s surgery and getting a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. I also had to cancel two blog related trips to the Gold Coast (for the ProBlogger conference) and Melbourne (for a vodka dinner ), which was frustrating. But I’m feeling a lot better now. Besides, these are all #firstworldproblems anyway, right?

Now here’s a little recap of what I got up to last weekend in Brisbane, Queensland.

Eat Drink Blog 5

The primary reason for my Brisbane trip was speaking at the 5th Australian Food Bloggers Conference, Eat Drink Blog 5.

Held at newish, multi-purpose food business venue, Wandering Cooks, the annual, national conference covered a range of topics and activities designed to inspire delegates and stimulate discussion.

eat drink blog 5

Speakers included Nat from Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow, who spoke on the Singapore blogging scene, and Australian organic food pioneer Brenda Fawdon, who shared her food philosophy on ethical eating, sustainable food and food wastage – the full program of the day is here.

One of the most interesting sessions of the day was Melbourne Gastronome’s session on the ACCC guidelines with regards to bloggers, using excellent hypothetical — *cough* — scenarios of blogger disclosure of commercial arrangements, sponsorship and gifted products and services. It’s an area that all bloggers must get their heads around. As a general rule, if you blog be 100% transparent about anything that could be seen to influence what you post on your blog or social media accounts. Check out the official ACCC guidelines here.

I’ve been to four Eat Drink Blogs now — Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane — and it’s always a great way to catch up with old blogging friends and to make new ones.

eat drink blog 5

I was the last speaker of the day: I did a talk called Blogging for Fun and Profit. Here I am wondering how I’m going to get through 38 slides in 40 minutes.

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Instagram by @The OrgasmicChef
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Instagram by @eatdrinkblogAU

I hope that delegates took away some useful ideas from my talk. As I was only able to scratch the surface of an enormous subject in my allotted time I am currently writing an e-book about creating opportunities from blogging that will go into much more detail. If you’re interested in learning more, please email me at info{at}hungryaustralian.com to go on the wait list – I’ll send out details when it’s available.

Thanks to the Brisbane committee members for inviting me to speak and for all their hard work — I know from personal experience that organising Eat Drink Blog is a massive job —  and all of this year’s sponsors for supporting the conference.

While not at Eat Drink Blog events my friend Erin and I had a great time getting to know Brisbane. We wandered around the CBD, Southbank, Paddington and Fortitude Valley, shopping and sampling some great food and wine. These are some of my favourite pics from the weekend and I’ve also included a mini address book below.

GOMA & GOMA Cafe & Bistro

GOMA food exhibition

Travelling with Erin was awesome. She booked our accomodation, researched flights, what to do and where to eat, and had a photographic memory of maps – all I had to do was tag along!

We were lucky to catch the final days of Harvest, a celebration of food in art at GOMA, the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (or QAGOMA in full.) I came away so inspired.

After the exhibition we were peckish. We had a look at the award-winning GOMA restaurant but decided to eat outside at the GOMA Cafe Bistro so we could enjoy the lovely Brisbane sunshine.

brisbane goma cafe bistroduck salad, goma bistro cafe

I had the juniper cured duck salad with radiccio, snowpeas, caramelised onion and pomegranate ($18) served with shoestring fries and aioli ($8). Both were simple and straightforward dishes but nicely executed.

Shouk Cafe, Paddington

shouk cafeDSC_6923breakfast shouk cafe

Shouk Cafe was recommended by a number of local food bloggers and I can see why: this place does great modern Middle Eastern inspired food, the fit out is simple but stylish and the service is excellent.

To avoid a queue on the weekend, we were advised to arrive before 8:30am. 8:30am! That was never going to happen so we arrived late, left our mobile number and happily checked out the nearby design, gardening, books and fashion shops while we waited twenty minutes or so for our table. Food + shopping is always a good start to the day, right?

Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley

Winn Lane

Whilst walking around Fortitude Valley, we stumbled across the very appealing Winn Lane, home to some great shops — including Künstler, the cutest magazine shop — and a popular burger outlet.

Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley

gerard's bistroheirloom tomato salad, gerard's bistrocauilflower salad, gerard's bistrodessert, gerard's bistro

We arrived at Gerard’s Bistro for a late lunch in that quiet mid-afternoon period just before the kitchen was about to switch to a bar menu before the evening dinner service.

I really like the fit-out at Gerard’s – it’s been put together so well. You can see everybody and everything and it’s comfortably luxurious while hitting that sweet spot between modern and timeless style.

The food at Gerard’s — inspired by Middle Eastern, Southern European and Northern African cuisine — was elegant and subtle, revealing the quiet confidence of a chef who knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.

Dishes are designed to be shared: we tried the heirloom tomatoes, zucchini flower, buttermilk, walnuts and date molasses ($16), the smoked new potatoes, tahini yoghurt, sumac and pork floss ($14), the fried cauliflower, tahini, ras el hanout, smoked almonds and pomegranate ($14) and the free range duck breast, caramelised pumpkin, quince, sour golden raisin and oat ($32).

Not one dish was fussy or overly-complicated: even the most complex dish in terms of components, flavours and textures — the pistachio financier, halva, and textured rooftop honey ($16) that we shared for dessert — was a harmonious and well balanced pleasure.

All in all, it was a lovely meal to finish a great weekend away. Brisbane: I will be back.

Brisbane Address Book


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