Monday, 19 October 2009

Stephanie Alexander triumphs!

A lovely time was had by all at Moorilla at the Stephanie Alexander lunch today, and particularly by your correspondent Rita.

The service was spot-on – thanks to Andy, Justin and the team. The food was fabulous – thanks to everyone in the kitchen. Even the wine was faultless – thanks again to my faithful friend Andy!

(above - nettle and buckwheat crepe with smoked salmon, salmon roe and creme fraiche)

Now to cut to the chase – to Stephanie, and her book. I have no problem admitting I have in the past never warmed to Stephanie. I have seen her on TV on countless occasions over many years, and found her, despite her being so obviously knowledgeable and competent, quite charmless and uneffusive (if there is such a word). Today I saw a totally different person. A person I really liked, and respected. A person who spoke of things close to my heart. A person with passion about her subject. A person who actually goes ahead and does something about inconsistencies and faults in the world, rather than just observing them and lamenting them.

The book is, as I said here the other day, a great book. I bought a copy ($99.99) for my Nellie for her 40th birthday, and had Stephanie inscribe it to Nellie. I gave it to Nellie tonight, and I think even my hard-arse Nellie could see what a great and inspired gift that made for her, possessed as she is about her cooking, her family’s nutrition, and her garden!

I had the added bonus of meeting the previously mythical Roger McShane and Sue Dyson – the gurus of restaurant reviewing – which was a great privilege. I have often wondered about these two people, who have always been there in my shadowy background of hospitality, and most especially over the last few years since I’ve been blogging. It turned out they actually knew who Rita was too, and from comments they made, it also appeared they’d read my blog! Who’d have thought it? Certainly not me!

So – all in all, a most enjoyable event. My extreme thanks and gratitude to Kate at Dymocks, and Sue, her mum. The food was alternate drops, and Sue (who sat next to me) generously insisted I try her food too, so I could write about it more knowledgeably.

I am really looking forward to the Maeve lunch now. Bring it on!

(below - Apple and bacon salad with quail eggs and hazelnuts)

Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

I agree Rita. I was there too and enjoyed the day.

Nellie said...

Thanks for the book Mum. And thanks for dropping the price into it. And thanks for letting the world know I'm about to turn 40. Gah.
Popping outside now to reassess the kitchen garden and pull a few weeds (gotta love that sunshine Hobartians).

Anonymous said...

I thought Justin had left? Or did I misread that somewhere. The last I heard was Tetsuya was coming? Have they got a new chef?

Rita said...

Justin HAS left Anon 3.46. The Tetsuya thing didn't come off. Thye are currently recruiting interstate, so I am led to believe....
Nellie - the price is common knowledge, and for the benefit of my other readers I needed to say what it was, much as I realised that you would read it and know how much your present cost! I'm sorry about that.
But - as to the turning 40 - how do you think I feel knowing that it was 40 years ago that you were born? That time has just whizzed past so fast, and it really does seem like just 10 years ago, and definitely not 40!

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the comment'my hard-arse Nellie' would have been worth a shot as well Nellie!

Rita said...

Not if she is indeed an undisputable hard-arse, Anon!

Anonymous said...

Well it might be a better description than soft arse I guess, so three cheers to all the hard arses around!