Stepping over bags as I entered Boon Chocolates in Darlinghurst struck me as a little odd until proprietor Alex Chan explained they were donations for the disaster-struck Philippines: “Without the country, there is no culture and without culture there would be no us. Boon Chocolates would not exist.” To that end, Alex says: “Our business is leverage for our social commitment to Philippines and its people and not the other way around.” With approximately two million people affected and over four hundred thousand homes lost in the Philippines, a lot of help is needed. Alex has thus far organised four forty-foot shipping containers, but from the queue in the Ynares Elem School pictured above, it’s obvious that more help is still needed.
Using sexy 1920s French prohibition imagery, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur was recently celebrated with a Harvest Party in The Establishment Gin Garden. Waistcoats, pearls and flapper dresses aside, the belle of the ball was the delicate liqueur, served up best just over ice. If you prefer complexity, it also lends itself to a range of cocktails; my hit prediction for summer is in a fragrant white wine spritzer. While it is imported from France, it’s also a hand-picked, artisanal product. You can purchase it from the chains, but I prefer to buy from discerning independent retailers like Bottle O Taylor Square who offer an elegant (numbered) 750ml bottle for $59.99.
With beach-side bathing rapidly approaching, the introduction of South Cape Reduced Fat Brie and Camembert appears quite timely. I don’t usually devote precious column inches to diet products, but these cheeses actually taste good; they’re smooth and creamy enough to earn their place on an Australian cheese platter, allowing everyone at the table to indulge in a daily dose of dairy. National Food’s Senior Nutritionist, Katrina Strazdins explains: “One serve contains just 3.5g of fat which represents only 5% of your daily fat intake. It’s a sensational treat for someone watching their weight.” While it is available at the chains, happy hips hop to a local independent supermarket.