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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Food Safari Book Launch


Tetsuya Wakuda

Two book launches, both alike in dignity. In fair Sydney where we lay our scene.

On Tuesday night it was the launch of Food Safari, the companion book to the popular SBS cooking series hosted by Maeve O'Meara, at Spice I Am Restaurant in Darlinghurst.


Food Safari by Maeve O'Meara

On Thursday night it was a smaller launch at the Global Gallery in Paddington for fellow Sydney food blogger Jennifer Lam's self-published book, I Ate My Way Through.


I Ate My Through Singapore & Vietnam by Jennifer Lam

Always dreamed of a book deal? Those who are gutsy enough, fund their own. A photographic memoir of her travels through Singapore and Vietnam, Jennifer launched her book for friends, bloggers and media, with Vietnamese canapes and wine donated by sponsors Saigon Saigon restaurant and Aja Wines.


Maeva O'Meara with Tetsuya Wakuda

At the Food Safari launch, guests included Tetsuya Wakuda, Chui Lee Luk, Guy Grossi, Kimitaka Azuma, Greg Malouf, Charmaine Solomon, Peter Kuravita and Angie Hong.


Guy Grossi introduces Maeve O'Meara


Maeve O'Meara


Chicken balls

Canapes were dispensed from the open kitchen at Spice I Am. After spotting Billy, Karen and I on tiptoes trying to snap food photos, the staff kindly let us into the kitchen for a much better vantage point.


The kitchen


The canapes


Steaming fresh rice noodles for canapes


Rice noodles rolled with pork mince and vegetables

The blue tinge from these freshly steamed rice noodles come from the butterfly pea flower, the blue flower that is also used to colour the Malaysian sticky rice dessert kuih tekan in streaks of blue.


Tapioca balls stuffed with pork and water chestnuts

I loved the chewy starchy exterior of these tapioca balls, especially with the crunch of water chestnuts inside.


Fried prawn canapes


Prawns in spring roll sheets with chilli sauce and fresh pineapple

A prawn spring roll never looked so good. These prawns were fresh and sweet, wrapped up in spring roll sheets and then deep-fried. The accompanying slices of pineapple gave some tart refreshment for the palate.


Prawns rolled in shredded coconut and deep-fried

Even more decadent were the prawns blanketed with shreded coconut and then deep-fried until golden. A basting of chilli sauce gave a hint of bite, the coconut sweet and almost caramelised against the juicy prawns.

Two books. Both by women. Both with heart.


The Food Safari cookbook retails for $55 and is available from Dymocks and the SBS shop.

I Ate My Way Through Singapore and Vietnam retails for $50 and is available from Ampersand Cafe Bookstore
or from I Ate My Way Through. Ten per cent of net proceeds will be donated to KOTO International, a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program for street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.


Spice I Am Restaurant
296-300 Victoria St, Darlinghurst
Tel: +61 (02) 9332 2445

Lunch: Thursday-Sunday 11.30am-3.00pm
Dinner: 7 days 6.00pm-10.30pm

~~~~

FREEBIE FRIDAY WINNERS

Congratulations to Jo, The Ninja, Divemummy, Carmen and WC who have each won double passes to see The Boys Are Back. Enjoy the movie!

Congratulations also to KFC So Good who has won a copy of Luke Nguyen's latest book, The Songs of Sapa. There was an amazing collection of entries detailing readers' school day lunches. Read them all here.

Don't forget to enter the Freebie Friday competitions currently on offer. Enter now to win a Scanpan Classic Roaster, Great, Grand & Famous Chefs and Lyndey Milan: The Best Collection.

15 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/15/2009 08:55:00 pm


15 Comments:

  • At 11/15/2009 10:10 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    Whoa, those are some nice looking photos & canapes. Would totally demolish several of those coconut prawns!

    Love it when behind-the-scenes access is granted. Often, so much more interesting to see what's going on in the kitchen than in the dining area.

     
  • At 11/15/2009 10:25 pm, Blogger Ellie said…

    Heaven for prawn lovers! Absolutely mouth-watering canapes and amazing photos as always.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 12:22 am, Anonymous Erin said…

    Thanks for letting us know about I Ate My Way Through. Singapore is hands-down my favourite city in the world (outside Perth!), and I'm visiting Vietnam in 2010, so this book will provide a good, timely read. I know what I'm buying myself for Christmas!

     
  • At 11/16/2009 8:18 am, Blogger joey@FoodiePop said…

    Love the final lines "Two books. Both by women. Both with heart". How very apt.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 9:09 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Maeve and Tetsuya and Jen - so much awesome in this post! :) That was really nice of them to let you come into the kitchen to take photos!

     
  • At 11/16/2009 9:10 am, Anonymous The Extra said…

    A pox on both your launches!
    (No, only kidding. Just continuing the literary allusion).
    I have a love/hate relationship with prawns. Love to cook them, love to eat them, hate to prepare them.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 9:45 am, Anonymous The Ninja said…

    Let us hope neither be star cross'd although I doubt that's going to be the case.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 11:17 am, Blogger Forager said…

    Two excellent mouth watering books! And that blue rice noodle is really interesting - I've never even heard of that flower. Does it impart an interesting flavour too?

     
  • At 11/16/2009 11:22 am, Anonymous Leona said…

    Great pix helen. Maeve, Jen and Tetsuya now thats a great combo <3 <3.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 12:02 pm, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    oh those coconut prawns... so good... I wondering I can ask them for some of those flowers so I can make pulut tekan! :P

    So my shout to Jen's for her determination and her book! Truly deserved so plug.

     
  • At 11/16/2009 12:46 pm, Blogger Karen @ Citrus and Candy said…

    Ummm coconut prawns were soooo good! And that fresh pineapple with the spring roll prawn! *drool*

    Congrats Jen for her amazing accomplishments!

     
  • At 11/16/2009 1:18 pm, Blogger A cupcake or two said…

    I missed out on Jen's book launch. Nice shot of Tetsuya. I met him at the World Chef Showcase and got a little star struck. EHEHEHE

     
  • At 11/16/2009 7:35 pm, Blogger Yas @ hungry.digital.elf. said…

    Man great looking food!
    Hmm now I want to go back to Spice I am soooon!

     
  • At 11/16/2009 9:57 pm, Anonymous Adrian @ Food Rehab said…

    oooh- those prawns look too good. Deep fried goodness.

    Food Safari is my fav cooking show in Aus. Always manages to make me salivate..

     
  • At 11/17/2009 12:21 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - The coconut prawns were my favourite, and yes, it was very kind of the kitchen staff to accommodate us. We didn't stay long - the kitchen, like most, is pretty cosy!

    Hi Ellie - The canapes were all beautifully presented and freshly prepared. And thank you :)

    Hi Erin - As you know, I've only just been to Singapore so I can understand your enthusiasm! Vietnam is an amazing country too.

    Hi Joey - I think a love and appreciation of good food is always a great sign of character :)

    Hi Stephcookie - It's always quite awe-inspiring seeing noted food personalities in the flesh. The kitchen staff were lovely - and later we positioned ourselves so we got first dibs on the canapes too :)

    Hi Extra - lol. By prepare you mean de-vein? Cook them in the shell I say and let your guests deal with it! You can't beat freshly cooked prawns!

    Hi The Ninja - Haha, somehow I doubt it too.

    Hi Forager - I couldn't really taste anything but I had always wondered why the Malaysian kuih had that strange-looking blue sticky rice! Always struck me as odd - now I know!

    Hi Leona - lol. Plenty of stellar company!

    Hi Billy - I'm sure there's no harm in trying :) And yes, Jen deserves all our best wishes with her entrepreneurial endeavours!

    Hi Karen - The fresh pineapple was so refreshing, and coconut prawns, I can't imagine how difficult they were to control heat-wise with the oil. And yes, Jen's done very well!

    Hi A Cupcake or Two - I always get awestruck around Tetsuya. My eyes just widen and then I'm rendered somewhat speechless. lol.

    Hi Yas - The food was tasty. Have yet to sample the sit-down food at the Restaurant but who knows, maybe soon? :)

    Hi Adrian - The prawns were amazing. Food Safari is so much fun - love how it celebrates Australia's cultural diversity.

     

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