I could email this. I’m not gonna, because it’s fun to do it in public.
Okay, folks – by now you’re all getting geared up and ready for our tete-a-tete in sunny Queensland. Everybody’s packing their toothbrushes, their jim-jams, and lotsa copies of various manuscripts. Knives are being sharpened… and speaking of knives, herewith is the Tale of the Cook.
I had a good time cooking at the last ROR in Taswegia, and I expect to enjoy myself this time around as well. Of course, prices have risen fairly dramatically since then, so I don’t suppose I’ll be able to replicate the Miracle of Loaves, Fishes, Wine and Pizza quite so effectively — but with a bit of help from the audience, I reckon we’ll come through okay.
Marianne, Rowena, Trent — you lot are proper Briz dwelling Queenslanders. That means bringing a few extra bits of cooking gear won’t terrify the Air Transport Security Mob, the way it would if, say Max or myself were to start lugging chef’s knives in our carry-on. Therefore I feel it falls to you three to help stock the kitchen with usefuls. I’m very much hoping for the following items:
1) A stock-pot. About ten litres size minimum. If you provide me with this, I will make Chinese-style stock, and treat you to the best won-ton soup, the finest chicken-and-sweet-corn soup, and a truly excellent risotto. Stock is just one of those things you really must have if you’re going to cook properly, and commercially available stock does NOT cut it.
2) A whisk. Please?
3) Anybody got one of those whizzer-on-a-stick Bamix kinda things? Blenders are great, but I don’t think we need to get that carried away. But if you can get me a Bamixy stick-whizzer thing, I’ll make you a roast capsicum dip, a mediterranean chickpea spread, a salmon/basil/feta spread that you’d kill for, and maybe even a serious chocolate mousse. If you’re good.
4) A wok would be pretty cool. Aside from stir fries and nasi goreng, a wok allows you to make beautiful, thin, lacy, perfect French crepes.
5) A stone, for sharpening. The place will have knives. They all have knives. But the knives will be grotesquely blunt. I don’t mind putting an edge back on the knives, but I need a stone to do it with.
6) Does anyone have a cleaver? I love cleavers. You can throw away half your knives if you’ve got a good cleaver. Find me a good cleaver, I promise you the most melt-in-your-mouth delectable Chinese-style barbecue pork ribs you’ve ever encountered.
7) I admit I’d like a zester. Pathetic, isn’t it? And yet… a hint of blood orange in a rich, dark chocolate mousse…
Offhand, I think that’s about it. The rest of the kitchen requirements are pretty pedestrian. If they aren’t in place already, I can probably improvise.
While I’m here: I recall that none of you has any serious food allergies or horripilations. But not everyone has the same broad-ranging tastes. Why don’t y’all nominate a few favourite dishes? I’m not saying for sure I’m gonna produce them – but you never know. I’m always looking for new recipes to mess with…