I’ve been working on this for the last few months with the State Library of Victoria and the City of Melbourne .

Look Stop Taste, which runs from August 18th to September 16th, is a self-guided trail around the city of Melbourne running in conjunction with the Gusto! exhibition – the culinary history of Victoria.

Look at the map to select a participating venue, then stop off and taste a dish and beverage that express Melbourne’s abundance of produce and creativity!

Here’s the map – enjoy!

Look Stop Taste Gusto Map

If you had one chance to say one sentence to one person, about how to eat better, seasonal, less-processed food, what would that sentence be?

I’d love to hear suggestions, answers, directives.

I’d love to hear your ideas to help us all put better food on the table.


Thanks to all of you who listened to my chat with Myf Warhurst today on ABC local radio. We talked about leftovers and sustainable fish – it was alot of fun.

I’m here to write down some leftover recipes for ham and turkey, when it comes to waste,the best thing we can do is share ideas on what to do with leftovers to prevent the enormous amount of waste each year that comes along at Christmas time with the presents, the indulgence and the difficult relatives.

If you love leftovers, seek out http://foodwise.com.au, this is a wonderful idea and great cause!


 – quesadillas or flat bread filled with thinly sliced ham, jalapeno peppers and Mahon or Manchego cheese and grill or cook in a sandwich toaster.

– heat oven to 180C; dice fontina cheese and mix with diced ham, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Spoon onto a square of puff pastry and fold over, brush with melted butter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

– make a dip of cannellini beans (it’s ok to use tinned) and mixed with lemon zest, garlic, chopped basil and tarragon, salt and pepper and shredded ham. Serve as a dip with toasted pita bread or smear over good quality bread and finish with beetroot, lettuce, tomato and sprouts for a great sandwich.

– baked eggs – heat oven to 180C. Line a ramekin or another small dish with thin slices of ham. Sautee some chopped cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and put in the ramekin. Crack an egg in and place the filled ramekin in the oven for 8 minutes, cook for longer is you like a hard yolk, just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t dry out too badly – say, no longer than 13 minutes.


– a play on a Waldorf salad. Chop up turkey flesh and mix with finely sliced celery,some pinenuts, chopped green apple, chopped parsley and garlic chives and bind together with mayonnaise( if you can make your own its worth it and a great way of using up leftover eggs). Just before serving squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top of the salad and give it one more stir through. A touch of salt and pepper now will do the trick for seasoning.

– a summer salad of turkey, sliced mango, coriander leaves, red onion, avocado, lime juice, chilli, ginger, sesame oil (just a small touch) and the same of soy sauce.

– a retro quiche – heat oven to 180C  line a greased cake or quiche tin with puff pastry then brush the base of the pastry with leftover cranberry sauce. Combine 6 eggs, salt, pepper, one cup of cream, half a cup of grated cheddar and half a cup of grated parmesan with chopped turkey meat, chopped coriander, basil and parsley. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and cook for 40 minutes but give it a check after 25 minutes just to make sure it’s cooking evenly and well.

Let me know if you’d like to read some more leftover recipes – I have plenty!

email me at hilary@foodwiththought.com.au

I look forward to hearing from you,


Pork, in all its forms, is so readily available that it can be a surprise to hear a pig farmer say, ‘One of the hardest obstacles we have faced is to get people to understand what pork should really taste like,’ but that has been the case for Bronwyn and Michael Cowan who own and operate Gypsy Pig on their property in Darnum, West Gippsland in Victoria.


The Cowans breed what are termed rare breed pigs; Large Blacks, Tamworths and Wessex Saddlebacks. Rare breed pigs are animals that are not currently used in commercial pork production and because of this their populations are under threat.

As the Cowans continue to breed these pigs, they create a demand for them which means the consumer can have a direct hand in saving these species by buying the pork produced from them.

Piglets at the Gypsy Pig farm drink only their mother’s milk for the first two weeks, then gradually eat more solids as the milk supply naturally decreases. By the time they are weaned at 8-12 weeks they are eating the same food as their mother. All the pigs are fed a daily ration of milled grain mix which contains grains such as wheat, barley, sorghum and maize and produces a meat with a distinct earthiness, slight sweetness and a fleshy, delicious texture.

The pigs on Cowan’s farm live in social groups: a breeding group of a male and several females; a sow with her litter, or groups of the same sex and similar age.  Each group has their own 2 acre paddock with a shed for shelter and each paddock is defined by electric tape.


The male pigs are used for fresh meat at 6-8 months old and the females for their bacon at 10-12 months old. Bronwyn explains, ‘Generally the Tamworths are leaner than the Large Blacks due to their temperaments, Large Blacks are placid, the Tamworths very active.  Being free range for their whole life means the muscles develop naturally and the meat in both breeds is darker in colour than commercial pork.’

With a farm staff of just one (Bronwyn) and Michael looking after the marketing side of  things, Gypsy Pig is growing slowly but surely and the Cowans certainly want to spread the word that free-range pork is worth eating. ‘People have had bad experiences with pork,’ explains Bronwyn, ‘they have been buying anonymous meat from supermarkets, which can be dry and tasteless and have become reluctant to buy pork again.’

Far from resigning to these difficulties, the Cowans believe time and education are the key, ‘Once people try our pork, they often come back and buy again…and again.’

If you choose to eat pork  try to purchase your pork from a producer and seller of rare breeds. Look to farmers markets in your local area. It may sound odd, but if you choose to eat these rare breeds, you are also allowing the species to exist and grow as you are creating demand for their quality meat and thus, their existence.


03 5627 8201

The Gypsy Pig is at Cardinia Ranges Farmers’ Market 2nd Saturday of each month, 8am – 12pm, Pakenham Racecourse; Gasworks Farmers’ Market, 3rd Saturday of each month, 8.30am – 1pm, Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park; Slow Food Farmers’ Market, 4th Saturday of each month, 8am – 1pm, Abbotsford Convent, St Helliers St, Abbotsford


Also have a look at http://www.rbta.org/ the website for the rare breeds trust of Australia

It’s been nearly a year that I’ve been on Radio Marinara on radio 3RRR here in Melbourne once a month since Guide to Fish was first published.

This Sunday John Ford is back from seven weeks away travelling through Cambodia, Vietnam and East Timor – he has spectacular stories of fish farms techniques and diving adventures but I get to talk flavours with him and we’ll be exploring ingredients like red chillies, fresh lime, pungent coriander and luscious coconut milk and mixing them with sustainable Australian fish species.

Consider a Vietnamese ling curry, a barbecued snapper doused in black pepper, lime and fresh ginger or grilled squid, marinated in fish sauce and coconut cream.

I wonder if there’ll be time for wine and beer matches…

Radio Marinara this Sunday 9am-10am 3RRR


Guide to Fish now has its own group on facebook.

So, if you’re on Facebook, simply search for Guide to Fish


and let’s get the message of sustainable seafood and the pleasures of eating and drinking well out into Facebook-land!












Elizabeth Craig wrote this page (see picture) in her book Cooking with Elizabeth Craig – she was a British cookery writer who’s career lasted more than 50 years. She started writing after World War 1 and continued through the Second World War. She often wrote when product was scarce and rationing was in place. She adapted her writing and recipes as times changed through the 50s, 60s and 70s – she passed away in 1980.




In the context of the times we live in now, the ethos of Elizabeth Craig comes in handy. When times are good we can all indulge but when times slow down and perspective changes it’s good to rethink how we live – how we eat and still celebrate the everyday and beauty of life.

 It’s time to give our food some thought with love and pleasure. After all, this page I have photographed here finishes with the words:

‘…I think a cookery book that ignores the party spirit is as incomplete as champagne without the sparkle.’

Here’s to the sparkle!


So to those who like to cook,

This year in foodwiththought, it’s not about focusing on global crises or downturns, it’s about thinking about things differently without sacrificing flavour and enjoyment. Foodwiththought won’t just be about fish, the fish will still feature greatly but so will meat, vegetables, fruit, wine, champagne, beer, menus, producers, stories, life.


Here’s to 2009 and a deliciously thoughtful year ahead,