Thursday, May 22

Beer They Drink In Heaven


It was a real joy to attend the To Øl degustation event at The Earl of Leicester Hotel in Parkside last Thursday. I was lucky enough to interview Denmark's famous "gypsy brewer" Tobias Jensen and, of course, enjoy some of his sensational creations, such as the Hop Love Pilsner, Cloud 9 Wit Ale and Mochaccino Messiah ABA. But what really impressed was the Sur Maelk Sour Milk Stout, which was simply glorious and bursting with all kinds of delicious flavours. It was like slurping down a whole Christmas Pudding. Jensen was an entertaining speaker and the story of To Øl, a beer business without a brewery and an advertising budget, is pretty inspirational. Founded in 2010 by Jensen and his college chum Tore Gynther, the company now exports its hand-crafted beers to over 30 countries, including Australia. Given their globe-trotting lifestyle and the high cost of their ingredients neither man is exactly rolling in cash, but Jensen says that making full-flavoured, session beers is its own reward. "I go to festivals, breweries and events all over the world," he says. "That's my job. I think it's a great job." Please, please, please go out and try one of their beers today. This very moment, if you can. Lastly a huge thank you to the Earl's head honcho Nathan Carter for organising the event which was a triumph. Head chef Mitch Carter and his team in the kitchen did an amazing job, demonstrating once again that pub grub can be as gender-bending and interesting at the strangest Danish craft beer. Loved every dish, but that Paroo kangaroo fillet with beets, blueberries, nasturtium and chocolate balsamic was a triumph.  When is the next beer degustation guys?

Thursday, May 1

Adventures in Suburbia

Food is about people and hospitality. Sometimes the greatest food experiences take place in the most unlikely of circumstances. Earlier this week I found myself on a gourmet bus tour of  Campbelltown South Australia. Somewhere between the city and the Adelaide Hills is a treasure trove of small producers, back street restaurants, wine merchants and even South American pastry chefs. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Standouts were the amazing Mercato continental deli, the Kumars at No 20 (more of them later), Elbio patisserie, Salta in Bocca and Java Lifestyle Coffee and Tea for authentic Italian coffee – owner Mario Gabrielli's father brought the first espresso machine to South Australia in the 1960s. I even discovered a new Italian beer called Dolomiti Pils. Hats off to the local council which has grasped the importance of food and tourism to the local economy and funded an award-winning food trail. You can tackle this solo or join an organised small group tour. Either way, when you are visiting Adelaide next put it at the top of your must-do list. Deliciously delicious. To find out more please visit