This month I’ve been spending time exploring life’s carnal pleasures…
I took a trip out to Kogarah to ogle Pino Tomini Foresti’s new traditional cooking school, added on to his existing family butchery Pino’s Dolce Vita. It’s a pretty impressive venture, complete with a glass-fronted cool room filled with rows of hanging prosciutto, and a long communal table where students will enjoy the fruits of their labour in true Italian family style. If cooking sounds too much like hard work, you’re also able to ease into a large, comfortable chair and enjoy his salume with a glass of wine. I stocked up on a great Taralga Springs porterhouse and countless sausages from his range (which numbers over one hundred) while I was there. Classes start in April.
I also made my way to La Rosa Bar and Pizza as a guest of PorkStars and Australian Pork (www.australianpork.com.au). It was a wild night of quaffing rosé and feasting upon the pig, alongside a bevy of Sydney’s finest pork fans and chefs. Rubbing shoulders with Alessandro Pavoni, Damien Pignolet, Danny Russo and Darren Robertson, I enjoyed thin delicious slices of pizza bianca with Fontina and renaissance pancette. I found myself sitting to share a 24-hour slow roasted pork shoulder cooked with garlic, fennel and rosemary with young restaurateur Jarryd Faint from Restaurant 22, and Darren Templeman from Restaurant Atelier. Both have some fabulous pork dishes on their menus, with Jarryd introducing Windsor to the whole pig’s head, and Darren murmuring something delicious involving suckling pig. If you’re buying pig, keep your eyes peeled for the distinctive pink Australian PorkMark – it’ll tell you that you’re definitely supporting Aussie pork farmers with your bucks.
My other butcher visit was to Hudson Meats courtesy of a Daily Addict Perk called ‘Breaking Down The Beast’. If you haven’t heard of the website Daily Addict (www.dailyaddict.com.au), it delivers cutting edge cool to your inbox before the hipsters pounce upon it. A range of real-world activities or ‘Perks’ supplement their electronic doses of cool, giving members the chance to enjoy exclusive experiences guaranteed to be envied at your next dinner party. Daily Addict Owner Carrie Kwan thinks, “it’s important to be ahead of the social media curve”. So that’s how I found myself watching one of Colin Holt’s butchers break down a Cowra lamb carcass. It was, like all Hudson meats, hormone and antibiotic free. There’s a good chance all the product you buy there will be pasture-fed too, as Colin’s a fan of raising animals on grass. Insider tip – if you want to eat like a butcher at home, go for the chump chop, and make sure they cut it across the grain (it’ll be more tender). Word.
Madame Fling Flong: (Newtown) After the untimely death of the previous owner, popular Newtown cocktail venue Madame Fling Flong has been refitted and reopened under new proprietor Matt Kennedy. Chef Chris Bell has revamped the menu with a focus on seasonality with dishes like cured salmon with pickled nasturtium buds and onion cream. Cocktails are still the focus with a new list of twenty martini-styled drinks including apple pie, black cherry and Bloody Mary martinis.
Wowcow: (Newtown) If you’re after a sweet treat that’s the perfect combination of naughty and nice, look no further than frozen yoghurt. Wowcow, a popular Darlo brand name, is opening a new store at 280 King Street, Newtown on Saturday 17th March. Visiting the store will also help those in developing countries get their own cow (yes, a real one) as they’re also collecting in store for Oxfam Australia.