web site last updated September 20, 2019
copyright © text and images Ann Oliver 2019 unless otherwise stated

being extra virgin

posted September 20, 2019

Myths and truths about extra virgin olive oil, the 2019 season and some personal opinions. Plus a unique opportunity for interested consumers and producers to gain some professional level skills in assessing olive oil at a level that should also interest qualified judges in refreshing their skills. These seminars are available in South Australian and New South Wales…..click here

Bendigo art gallery

Bendigo Art Gallery has developed an international reputation for it’s fashion exhibitions curated by former South Australian Tansy Curtin.

Balenciaga was the acknowledged master of couture  in his time and “Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion” celebrates his love of the feminine form and pattern making skills. With over 100 garments and hats from the 50s to the 60s on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum London this is an exhibition for anyone with a love of fashion, pattern making and sewing….read more

Exhibition closes November 10, 2019


posted August 31, 2019
Elise Daniels with street performers, suit by Balenciaga, Le Marais, Paris, 1948 – © The Richard Avedon Foundation

ann oliver’s picks for sala 2019

We love SALA [South Australian Living Artists] held annually in August in South Australia. We’ve made a list of our top picks for the quirky and the fun and proposed a day/night trip to Port Adelaide where the quirky is in abundance in 2019! Click on the image.
posted August 4, 2019
Image © copyright Tom Moore 2019

lemon semolina syrup cake

Simple and delicious this cake is the celebration of the citrus season and all of the abundance it gives us…click on the image.

updated July 24, 2019


Our Athens benchmark.

Loukoumades are cook and eat…never refrigerate…never freeze…just eat and kiss your darling with your sticky delicious lips!

Click on the image for the recipe.

posted August 6, 2019

chocolate pecan pie

from our friend Mary Sonnier Gabrielle’s New Orleans and two more recipes using pecans to come during the week.

updated July 9, 2019
pictured left…two Louisiana legends, on the left, the late Leah Chase and on the right Mary Sonnier [recipe author], Gabrielle Restaurant New Orleans.


Drying time slightly amended and final instructions for finishing the arancia added….click on the image

updated July 8, 2019

chestnut ice cream

recipe now available click on the image

posted June 20, 2019

Chestnut torte

Worth the effort, our Chestnut Torte, click on the image to go straight to the recipe. Plenty of good information if yo haven’t worked with chestnuts before.

posted June 2, 2019

cabbage rolls

Worth the effort one of our favourite winter dishes…a combined recipe from two friends one Greek and one Serbian…click on the image.

posted June 9, 2019

glacé kumquats

Yes, another complete pain in the butt recipe that takes the patience of a saint, but worth the effort! A three day process but once you’ve got past deseeding the kumquats the rest is pretty painless. Click on the image to go straight to the recipe.

posted June 5, 2019

tweezers can be found at E’Cotel Australia

Even though you’ll be sure that you have perfectly deseeded the kumquats, don’t be surprised at how many seeds you’ll still need to pull out during the preserving process!!!
posted 7 June, 2019

We adore passionfruit and promise a whole raft of our favourite passionfruit recipes are coming shortly.

posted 25 May, 19


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

don’t be afraid!

To take any of our recipes in a 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!