web site last updated 19 May, 19
copyright © text and images Ann Oliver 2019 unless otherwise stated

A short drive to the Adelaide Hills and, located in the most picturesque setting, you will find Willabrand Figs . Pick you own starts Monday February 18 and is a great way of accessing quality figs at a good price and enjoying being out in their beautiful terraced orchards.

Of course, it is ‘slip, slop, slap and bring a hat’!

Refer to their web site for location details and times.

There are a lot of blackberries on the roadside but do not be tempted to pick as local councils are very active spraying them as they are regarded as a noxious weed and snakes have been very active this year.

Sunday February 10….our best fig recipes!

Fig recipes and more to come this week

Oven baked pancetta wrapped figs filled with Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola cream sauce click here

Fig salad with battered anchovies click here

And, don’t forget Anchoyade so delicious on toasted ciabatta and a great way of using over ripe figs click here

Olive’s Tomato Sauce and don’t forget to give our preserving bible a good read. There is nothing more disheartening than putting all the effort in to see preserves needing to be thrown out because proper preserving methods haven’t been followed.

We’ll be buying our tomatoes from Patlin Gardens. Traditionally grown outside, picked ripe, they are just the best…there will be a few but end of February is when the best start coming through. Keep out your local farmers’ market.

posted Wednesday February 6, 19

The recipe index is building and the best way to find what you are looking for is to use the search facility just under the main navigation.

The Bianco Rosa is the queen of the eggplant family and one of our favourite growers Patlin Gardens has an abundance this season [unlike last year!!] so make the most of it. Their silken flesh makes the most exquisite  babaganoush and eggplant parmangiana..so this week our favourite eggplant recipes. Be warned we use charcoal not gas to char our eggplants!

we like!

We really love John’s new book. It is erudite without being stuffy, has fantastic historical research and references without succumbing to being a list. Great Christmas gift for anyone with an interest in the development of the Australian food culture!
AO December 7, 2018

it’s the south australian crayfish season

strawberry ice cream

More ice creams and sorbets click here to go to our old web site…mango sorbet is particularly perfect for the season and the moment…and, while cooking one or Pearl’s mango daquiri’s never goes astray! Try something really KISKIF [keep it simple keep it fresh] with a great cherry and strawberry dessert click here


updated Wednesday 2 January, 2019
click on the images to go to the recipes 

green almonds and crayfish

posted Sunday October 21. 2018

click on the image left for Green Almond Ice Cream recipe

Green almonds are mysterious in modern Australian cuisine because there are so few culinary references. They also hold a special fascination because they have such a very brief season…..read more

Below our best green almond dish in years of experimentation…….click on the image below

posted Friday October 19, 2018


We adore Melbourne for its vibrant food and art scene and unique shopping especially vintage shopping…….just one revisit and six new restaurant reviews….. click here

This is constantly updated stay tuned for more next week with two new standout restaurants! ..click on the image to go to
Kaaren Palmer’s guide on where to drink Champagne in Melbourne!

the perfect
roast pork belly

click here to go straight to the recipe

oops running behind!

Haven’t made you pudding you can fudge it if you make in the next couple of days double the flour and, the minute it has cooled chuck it straight into your freezer….click here

don’t be afraid!

To take any of our recipes ina different direction. Snow peas may still be good to go, but asparagus and broad beans have long since gone; variegated sorrel is still in my garden …instead try snow peas, spring onions, quickly blanched cos or iceberg refreshed in ice and water.

Above, proof that vegan food doesn’t need to be tasteless muck. Beware two of us nearly ate what was intended for four. Inspired by reading a recent Australian Gourmet Traveller daily email I knew immediately the recipe   idea could be taken in a different direction. It is super delicious warm or at room temperature but the fridge would kill it! click here

Cherry Ripple Buns are super easy and a reminder of what a bun is supposed to be. Try and find low gluten flour [sometimes called ‘cake flour’ and often found in Chinese grocers] click here

news from New Zealand

Kissy! Kissy! 

is that so cute or what? Follow Michael Voumard and Little Owl BD Farm on Instagram click here and show him how much we are all waiting to be able to stay on the farm.
from the left Michael Voumard and the late Ali Cribb in the RockfordWines Stonewall kitchen circa 2008

Our friend farmer and chef Michael Voumard is now living and working in New Zealand and finally connected with the rest of the world.

It has to be said, if I was asked to name in my long life time my five most memorable meals Michael Voumard and his partner, the late Ali Cribb when they shared cheffing and gardening at the Rockford Stonewall Dining Room would be close to the top. I have only been once to Adelaide’s Golden Boy but to walk over the gorgeous brass inlaid words ‘Botanic Dining Room’ filled me with incredible sadness. Especially so because the ’round eye Thai’ served at Golden Boy was just another reminder of the authentic Thai served by the Voumards when they ran the Botanic Dining Room in the same space. Voumard brought to the table not just his travels but years working with the legendary David Thompson, a chef who continues to hold the crown of Thai food in the entire world.

The Voumard’s passion for travel and growing food, and their steadfast loyalty to their craft, not just of cooking but growing an the purity of their food. Amazing dishes like  a tiny dish of what looked like pebbles that turned out to be different types of potatoes, gently pulled from the growing plants…to be fair this is just the start of the enjoyment their stupendous cooking gave us.

Why we love induction

This is just this is just start as we have realised a much more in-depth article is required, especially explaining the advances in induction cooktops….click here Our rec ommendations are based on first hand experience using induction hotplates in our own kitchen with items that we have purchased and, other kitchens both domestic and commercial where we have had the opportunity to have a play or talk to chefs who use them on a daily basis.
posted May, 2018

We finally have the time to look at

Two amazing books purchased last year…Torrablanca 2 and Ramon Morato’s Chocolate, so much to try…so much to learn!

This week I’m going to have a go at their inside out puff pastry.

Buyer beware

We all buy on-line, but how often do you take the time to read the terms and conditions? Well a recent experience we have had trying to return a domestic sous-vide appliance while still under warranty started with a demand for a $24 payment for return postage, followed by a list of fairly unacceptable terms and conditions that may have cost as much as we could buy a new one. It led us to take a look at the terms and conditions of similar equipment to discover vastly different warranty options. Still working on this one as it has turned into a much more complicated piece than expected. Add to that we don’t have the benefit of a legal team and need to make sure our facts are absolutely right.
July 2018

you can never have too many books


Why aren’t the French fat?

The very first thing you notice in France today is the lack of overweight residents. Then you notice the abundance of excellent bread, still baked twice daily; this is followed by exquisite melt in the mouth pastries, that eaten in excess would surely lead to obesity. The French still take weekends and free time seriously and the shopping/market day is Saturday. They patiently queue at the best butchers, the fromagerie, the poultry shop…well they queue everywhere good produce it to be found.

a work in progress!