Sunday, 14 July 2013

Brunch & Co Event #19 - Australia Brunch!

I have not previously thought of myself as a sucker for punishment but the description did cross my mind a few times last week as we prepared for back to back brunch sessions scheduled for this weekend just past. What was I thinking when I came up with this crazy idea??!! We've only previously done one brunch per month and here I was agreeing to host two consecutive brunches!!??  

Well, thinking back, my reasoning at the time was that I knew we would have just returned from an amazing trip to the brunch meccas of Melbourne & Sydney and that I would be bursting to share everything that we had experienced with our lovely guests! We also had a huge number of requests for seats when we launched this brunch event a month or so ago (sorry to those that missed out, despite our efforts) so, not wanting to disappoint our excited guests we (I) decided to hold two brunches - one on Saturday & another session on Sunday. Well... it sounded reasonable at the time!

Thankfully both events went wonderfully well - lovely guests, happy tummies filled with Aussie inspired recipes & specially purchased & hand carried back ingredients, lots of catching up chatter & laughter with existing friends & blossomings of new friendships forming - everything that makes us happy doing what we do at Brunch & Co - YAY!

For starters, we served up Mark's all time favourite breakfast dish - a decadently creamy vanilla bean infused rice pudding with a rhubarb compote à la Matt Wilkinson from Pope Joan cafe in Melbourne.  

Our main course was inspired by a dish I had for brunch last Saturday at a great cafe in Sydney called "The Grounds of Alexandria".  This place is amazing - not just a cafe, but perfectly described elsewhere as "a sprawling paradise for people who love brunch". On the day we went, there was a small farmers market in full swing as well as an animal petting enclosure for the kiddies (including a little piggy called "Kevin Bacon"), a DJ pumping out cool music and a huge foodstore selling all sorts of amazing ingredients & tasty treats (including oozy grilled raclette cheese sandwiches...YUM!). After a one hour wait for our table, the dish I chose (after seeing someone else's order) was called the "Well-Being Breakfast" which I absolutely loved.  Hopefully our Brunch & Co recreation did the original dish proud!  It consisted of slices of smoked salmon, gribiche free range Aussie eggs (hand carried back from Sydney's Eveleigh farmers market - plus a few wedges of New Zealand free range eggs for comparison), a fennel, bean & grilled zucchini salad, homemade pickled beetroot & a dill Crème fraîche.  A dish full of complimenting flavours to tantalize the taste buds!

We served this with delicious toasty bread slathered with another Aussie treat - Pepe Saya handcrafted butter which we picked up at a farmers market in Sydney - this stuff is how butter should really taste!

After a nice tummy break we served up our palate cleanser - a pink grapefruit sorbet along with cute souvenir spoons I picked up at Camberwell Market (the best carboot/flea market in the world!!).

For the finale of our Australia brunch, we made a fig & almond tart and served it with a homemade salted caramel ice cream - this turned out to be a big favourite especially for the Sunday group!

So this weekend we also launched our fun little "Brunch & Co Corner Store" - showcasing a few of our favourite foodie ingredients brought back from Australia and a small selection of Brunch & Co made items to share with our lovely guests.  It was fun!

Thanks again to my amazing hubby Mark for all his support both in and out of the kitchen, and, thanks to our amazingly wonderful guests who have all embraced the art of proper brunching to their hearts.

Until next time!

Louise & Mark xx

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