13 September 2012

Local Treats

Italy is know for its pizza and pasta, England for its bangers ‘n’ mash, America for the Apple Pie, France for their pastries well now its Australia’s time to shine and showoff out national treasures.

Moreton Bay Mud Crabs

Queensland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and known as the Sunshine State. A local delicacy from the Moreton Bay region is about to be discovered the Moreton Bay Mud Crabs.  

They inhabit tropical to warm temperate waters which is mostly along the eastern coast. They are quite easy to catch though tying them up is the most important so they don’t escape. They are best enjoyed fresh just simply boiled until the shell turns red with a little lemon. However, there are amply recipes to enjoy these local treat.

Due to such high demand for the Moreton Bay mud crabs it is required in Queensland to hold a permit when holding female crabs.

Morton Bay Mud Crab, Queensland
Morton Bay Mud Crab, Queensland

Harry’s Café de Wheels.

If you want an authentic Australian pie and you are in Sydney then there is no better place than at Harry’s Café de Wheels. Their signature pie is the ‘tiger’ which is a stack consisting of a chunk beef pie, mash, mushy peas and gravy.  They are perfect for anytime time of the day where for lunch or a midnight snack these pies definitely will not disappoint.

With a long history initiating from the man himself Harry Edwards his amazing business idea has lasted the test of time. Now classified as a ‘quintessential Sydney icon’ in December 2004 by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and is included on its register. It has received the thumbs up from multiple celebrities who visited over the years including Frank Sinatra, Sir Richard Branson and Elton John.

'Tiger'  signature pie at Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Sydney
'Tiger'  signature pie at Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Sydney

Original spot of Harry's Cafe de Wheels at Woolloomooloo, Sydney
Original spot of Harry's Cafe de Wheels at Woolloomooloo, Sydney

Melbourne Coffee

Melbourne is known for its small alley ways covered in graffiti, boutique shops, food, arts and culture. Coffee is also one to add to the list as their signature drinks with the aroma filling the streets. It hosts annual exhibitions and competitions all in the art of coffee including Detpak Australian Barista Championships and Melbourne International Coffee Expo. Coffee art is a must and some of the most talented and internationally recognised artists are located right in Melbourne. 

Coffee is imbedded everywhere in the cities culture with guided tours showcasing the best places, explaining the history and brewing process. It intiated on Bourke Hill when the Melbournians were challenged to develop “cupping skills” inciting the craze of coffee.

For the Melbourne weather which has a mind of its own, there is no better comforter than a freshly brewed coffee. With 400 street cafes, there is definitely one which will fit your tastebuds in a heartening atmosphere.  

Amazing coffee art, Melbourne
Amazing coffee art, Melbourne

Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley region is located in South Australia and is a landmark region known as Australia’s most famous wine region. Home to internationally regarded wine writers, judges, retailer, consumers and producers as well as 5-star food and dining.

This region is the longest unbroken lineage of winemaking and grape-growing families with some entering their seventh generation. In a response to the pressure from the European wine industry to develop an internationally recognised system and name the Barossa Valley was born.  It has 160 years of European cultural traditions embedded into the methodology and production it has been labelled as an old New World wine region.

Over time it has developed its own unique varietal style, the Barossa Shiraz. Including their most expensive and sought after embodiments, Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace. 

Barossa Valley Region vineyards, South Australia
Barossa Valley Region vineyards, South Australia

Little Creature Beer

Australians are perceived as a laid back country with a stubby in one hand and a pie in the other. There are heaps of established beer brand in Australia and around the world but now there is a new one Little Creatures which is taking Australia by storm. Located in Western Australia, Fremantle this locally brewed beer is certainly one to try. There signature beers are the Pale Ale and Bright Ale which is their take on purely Australian style ale.

Developed by a group of friends who have a love for great beer and it was a life long dream to develop a beer which they wanted to drink, a hop driven pale ale. Inspiration was taken from pilgrimages through the US and turned into reality of establishing a brewery.

Little Creatures Brewery’s are open everyday except Christmas and happily give customers a tour of the building, the whole production process with of course some essential taste testing.  There is a restaurant onsite to enjoy your ale with some local food.

Little Creatures Brewery at Fremantle, Western Australia
Little Creatures Brewery at Fremantle, Western Australia

Crocodile Meat

For a taste of unique Australian cuisine which is very popular and now even catching on overseas is crocodile meat. It is a succulent white meat with a texture of fish but a taste similar to chicken. There are so many delicious recipes and ways to try this unique meat to suit your tastebuds. Native to the Northern Territory,  this something that you have to try when visitng.

It is a great source of nutrients as it is high in protein and best when cooked in the same manner as lean pork or chicken. 

Crocodile Skewers, Northern Territory
Crocodile Skewers, Northern Territory

Tasmania Salmon

Tasmania is truly a seafood lover’s haven place. There are multiple competitions and exhibitions for enthusiast to showcase and try Tasmania’s foods including the Hobart Fine Food Awards. Surrounded by ocean it produces the high quality Tasmania Salmon. Rich in omega-3 and countless other health benefits this delicacy is one healthy local treat.

It can be served raw, slightly salted, smoked and of course cooked to your taste.  It is used highly in sushi and other Asian cuisine. There is the option of both saltwater or seawater depends on preference. Another delicacy is the Tasmanian caviar which highly regarded around the world. 

Tasmanian Salmon, Tasmania
Tasmanian Salmon, Tasmania

1 September 2012

Spring and Summer Festival Guide

For a fun filled cultural Spring and Summer you definitely need to check out the festivals happening around the country.

Brisbane Festival

The Brisbane Festival 2012 will be filled with ample amounts of arts and cultural activities, shows and concerts running from September 8-29. It includes free outdoor events, galleries, productions scattered all over the city in parks and public places.

It is an annual event initiated to enthuse and foster people about the arts in Brisbane. Now it is one of the most highly respected and acclaimed international arts festivals.

With many genres covered such as classical music, opera, orchestras, original compositions, dance and comedy there is definitely something for everyone’s taste and perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

The Courier Mail Spiegeltent at the Brisbane Festival
The Courier Mail Spiegeltent at the Brisbane Festival

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

From March 27- April 21, Melbourne will be in full festive swing hosting the 27th annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Already with an internationally acclaimed title it is classed as one of the three largest comedy festivals in the world, alongside Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival. Over 500,000 people attend every year making it the biggest festival in Australia.  

Located in Australia’s comedy capital Melbourne, it has an enormous program of stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, street performance, film, television, radio and visual arts. It attracts both international and Australian performers.

Launched in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook it aims to discover, develop and showcase great talent to inspire and entertain the broad based audience. It holds a variety of open microphone comedy competitions including RAW Comedy, Class Clowns aimed for secondary school children and Deadly Funny which creates a whole career path for indigenous comedians.

 It runs for three and half weeks and definitely something not to be missed. 

The Festive Club at Melbournes International Comedy Festival
The Festive Club at Melbournes International Comedy Festival

Sydney Festival

Every January running from 5-28, Sydney Festival transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration by showcasing the highest quality art and unique ideas from both national and international artists.

Festival First Night is the unique opening show for this free event which attracts over 200,000 people which is the perfect curtain raiser to this three week ticketed and free program drawing in crowds of over 650,000. The following Saturday also present free concerts held in the famous Domain Park. 

The program is quite diverse with burlesque circus performances to New York raps to Russian theatre whilst also incorporating contemporary dance, family programs and traditional Indigenous arts. There are 300 performances, around 100 events performed by 1,000 artists in at least 20 venues each year. The events are held throughout Sydney’s CBD including Hyde Park, Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park Barracks. 

Main Stage at Sydney Festival
Main Stage at Sydney Festival

Falls Music & Arts Festival

For the music goers who want to enter the New Year jam packed with fine tunes, fun in the sun, camping and arts then Falls Music & Arts Festival is definitely something to check out. It is held from the 29 December -1 January simultaneously in Lorne, Victoria and Marion Bay, Tasmania.

There is a smorgasbord of activities and entertainment over the few days. Boogie Nights is a night to dance your problems away along to music from all over the globe. The Village is a party and festival within a festival filled with weird and wonderful things to discover such as circus workshops, morning yoga and samba classes. Other events include the APRA Peoples’ Stage, Falls Films, Fiesta & Art Camp and UTAS which the students of the University of Tasmania put on a show discovering the ‘art of sounds’.

It originated from a small family catch-up around the campfire with friends and their guitars to an annual event which involves the whole community recognising the importance of the arts. 

Attendees have the option of onsite or offsite accommodation of either an earthy camping experience or more civil cabins. 

Fiesta & Art Camp at Falls Music & Arts Festival
Fiesta & Art Camp at Falls Music & Arts Festival

Perth International Arts Festival

The Perth International Arts Festival is held annually during 8 February - 2 March. Entering over 50 years it offers some of the world’s best theatre, music, film, street arts, visual arts, literature and free community events. It is about giving local performers a platform and opportunity to showcase their talent and for attendees to enjoy. It raises the profile of local artists to an international portfolio and context. Informing the masses of the cultural and environmental context of Western Australia including Indigenous heritage is an important part of the festival.

Attracting more than 300,000 patrons the festival grows bigger and better every year.

Performance at Perth INternational Arts Festival

Adelaide Fringe

The Adelaide Fringe takes over Adelaide creating a buzzing atmosphere full of culture, music and art. During 15 February – 17 March Adelaide opens its doors to all artists who want that opportunity to display their talents to a massive live audience for some whom it may be the first time.

Spanning for 4 weeks it includes home-grown talent along-side artists of cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, theatre, puppetry, music, visual art and design. Situated in pop up venues as well as theatres, hotels, art galleries, cafes and town halls it hosts over 900 events. 

The uniqueness of the Adelaide Fringe is that it does not run venues itself rather supports, encourages and facilitates the registered artists with marketing, ticketing, programming, scheduling and designating participants a venue. 

Opening Night at Adelaide Fringe
Opening Night at Adelaide Fringe

Canberra Festival

In 2013 Canberra with be celebrating its 100th birthday and would be the perfect time to attend the Canberra Festival. Held during the 2-18 March this 17 day event highlights the cities talent and unique qualities through exhibitions, displays, sports, music, film, dance and theatre. 

It comprises several minor events all emphasizing different art forms. Enlighten features Australia’s famous attractions which hosts performances, exhibitions, tours and exclusive dining experiences. Others include Lights! Canberra! Action! a short film competition, The Balloon Spectacular displays some amazing hot air balloons, Symphony in the Park and Telstra Ballet in the Park celebrate 50 years of Australian Ballet.

Balloons Spectacular at Canberra Festival
Balloons Spectacular at Canberra Festival