Eat & Drink

The Fat Food Critic & Matters of Taste

When you’re a fat, 36 year old food critic, and a lime green hoon car pulls level with the window of your little, red Honda Jazz, smiling briefly before staring straight ahead and going about the business of turning the corner quickly, is actually a pretty reasonable response. After all, you might take the girl out of Bankstown, but you can’t take Bankstown out of the girl!

When the man, whom I later found to be an officer of the law, asked me why I did not follow his ‘courtesy directive to turn my stereo down’ I considered explaining in terms of fat embodiment why when someone I don’t know says something from a vehicle such as his own, it tends to be best not to listen… but I felt the concept might be alien to him. I settled for saying: “It was a really excellent song.” Who knew this would enrage him to the point of giving me a $150 fine for playing Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance (courtesy of the wonderful Starfuckers DJs) at less than full volume on my factory-issued, small car stereo at 8.45am last Monday morning.

When I first read about the ‘Anti-Hoon’ legislation, I certainly didn’t think about it in the same way I worried about Matthew Evans getting sued for defamation over a bad review of Coco Roco at Sydney’s King Street Wharf. Perhaps I was a little hasty in my analysis? Maybe I was just more interested in tasty foods… but when legislation starts sliding into matters of taste, everyone’s in danger.

Here are a few things that leave a better taste in my mouth:

Velvety Smooth
Take your favourite chocolate on a spiritual journey at Boon Chocolates.  You will be guided in matching aged spirits to Fanny Chan’s exceptional chocolates with the help of Alexx Stuart of Finerpoints. This luxurious tasting adventure includes Boon’s infamous El Galeon hand rolled chocolate cigars, and it will set you back $70/head with options to attend on the 16th, 20th, 23rd and 30th October.

Cheap & Cheesy
Claudia McIntosh is an enthusiastic and accomplished cheese expert. Enjoying her expertise usually comes at a corporate price through her company McIntosh & Bowman. So when I say the cheese and wine tasting on Tuesday 9th November at Helm Bar is cheap, I mean it’s an absolute bargain at $20/head! Dive in and get cheesy!

Free & Breezy
The Ravesi’s Wine Club is back again on the 13th October from 6.30pm with wines from Cloudy Bay Vineyards in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. In the pleasant surrounds of the Drift Cocktail Bar, you’ll pay nothing to be guided through their range with free nibbles, plus an offer to enjoy a 2-course meal in their restaurant afterwards for just $35/head.

Somewhat Squeezy
People like myself flock to the Sydney Food and Wine Fair at Hyde Park North each year because it’s a great event for a great cause. Saturday the 30th October marks the twentieth year of the food and wine industry giving back to the AIDS Trust of Australia. If you need more tangible enticements, stalls this year include Café Sydney, Tempus Two, Flying Fish, Longrain, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar and Quay. Presale tickets help avoid queues, but arrive early to avoid disappointment!

Beery Knowledgeable
If you fancy yourself as a beer connoisseur, Guinness are bravely opening themselves up to criticism by offering you the chance (Australia wide) to tell them when their pints aren’t being poured correctly! Jump on to The Black List and spill your guts about where to find the perfect pint. Beyond furthering the good of dark beer, you can also win yourself prizes like a handcrafted wooden surfboard by Andrew Wells!

Eat the Weekend Away
These tasty treats are just a hint at the varied treasures on offer at the Marrickville Festival on Sunday 24th October. Take a trip to Illawarra Road between 11am and 5pm and you’ll find over 25 stalls spanning Mexican, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, African and Brazilian food.

One day earlier, and perhaps closer to home, is the Double Bay Food and Art Festival on Saturday 23rd October. A special market hall in Guilfoyle Park is the place to be to graze your way through some of the suburb’s finest gourmet offerings. After 2.30pm it will make a miraculous transformation into a pop-up wine bar. Make a weekend of it!