ATFT Photography Workshop @ MUMU Grill, Crows Nest

It’s been almost a year now since I’ve started using a DSLR for my photography and although it’s been a steep learning curve, I still have a long long way to go to get my photos looking as good as I’d like. I can only dream that one day my photography will be as awesome as Billy’s from A Table for Two but in the mean time there is much to learn. And who better to learn from than Billy himself at his ATFT food photography workshops held at MUMU Grill.

Olive selection and Cherry tomato and feta salad

18 month Jamon Serrano and Catalan bread

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Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

When winter strikes, I get lazy. I crave warm sticky puddings for dessert, and piping hot stews with mashed potatoes for dinner. And the less effort involved, the better… so I can go back to being snuggled up next to my heater.

One thing I particularly love is braised meat. I love how you can take tough, sinewy cuts of meat and chuck them in a pot – fast forward a few hours and you’re rewarded with tender, gelatinous chunks of meat that fall apart with the poke of a fork. Since seeing Julie and Julia I’ve always wanted to try making the infamous Beef Bourguignon that Julie Powell burns in the oven since she falls asleep and doesn’t hear the timer. It’s not surprising that she did fall asleep because when I made it the first time it took nearly the whole day to make! I don’t know if it was because I was slow or that it did actually require that much time but it was definitely time-consuming (but the flavour was fantastic!).

So when I decided to revisit Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon, I thought about what shortcuts I could take. Some of you are probably thinking that it is sacrilege to be changing Julia Child’s original recipe, but seriously it saved me a lot of time and effort and the end result was just as tasty. The best thing about it is that it appeals to my lazy winter self – after the prep work all you have to do is leave it simmering away on the stove for a few hours, then reduce the liquid and skim off the fat and it’s done! It’s the lazy person’s version of Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon.

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Red Spoon Thai Restaurant, Castle Hill

You may have noticed that given the large number of Thai restaurants in Sydney, I have yet to review any of them on my blog. This is because I don’t really like Thai food – granted, I’m not all that familiar with Thai food and my knowledge about it is very limited, but I do know that there are certain flavours used in Thai cooking which don’t appeal to me. Namely coriander and kaffir lime. Bleh! (It also doesn’t help that I can’t take a lot of chilli)

As a result I don’t really choose to go to Thai restaurants, but on this night we were dining with family friends and the parentals had chosen to go to Red Spoon in Castle Hill. I always think that if I keep trying foods then maybe one day I will grow to like them, so I went along with this attitude hoping that my tastebuds will have magically grown to like these Thai flavours.

Well, I can’t confirm that this happened, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed most of the food that we ordered. Maybe because I tried to steer away from the dishes that I knew would be very strong on the coriander or kaffir lime leaf taste, but nevertheless it made me think that I should go out and try more Thai food before being so quick to strike off a cuisine completely.

Curry puff (4 pcs) – $6.90

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