Explore It – Gladstone

TL;DR – Today, I take a wander around Gladstone and its many surroundings.  

Disclosure – I was not paid to visit any of the locations shown here, and all Queensland Government COVID requirements were followed, including the use of masks.

Exploring Gladstone

In this Covid world, one of the hardest parts has been the isolation from friends and family, I know people have had it worse, but I have had to cancel family get-togethers five times because of surprise lockdowns. To the point that it has become a running joke with my friends every time there is a lockdown. Well, there was a moment of stability (not that there wasn’t a scare the week before that made me think it would all unravel again). So, when you have the chance, you take it, and with that came the exploration of the many faces of Gladstone.

From Brisbane, Gladstone is about a six to ten-hour drive depending on the time of day, whether you get stuck behind a caravan/boat that only gets up to speed in the overtaking lane, and how many stops you can make. For safety, you should be making stops to rest, and our first one was at the town of Tiaro. We stopped here because you can get a mean burger, but also because their butcher is known all up the highway for its bacon, which will become important later. It also has the oddness of having a pedestrian crossing over the main northern highway in Queensland, the Bruce.   

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Chopsticks Or Fork?: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a delightful documentary exploring a world that hits a deep nostalgic note for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I watched this on ABC IView

Chopsticks Or Fork? Image Credit: ABC TV.

Chopsticks Or Fork? Review

Tonight I was looking for something to watch as I ate my dinner, and in a world of streaming where you have so much choice, it is almost paralysing at times just to pick one thing. But as I sat there with all those windows open, there was this moment when a documentary series about rural Chinese restaurants in Australia appeared, and it intrigued me. Now that I have watched every episode, I can tell you that this was the right choice.

So to set the scene, the premise of this show is that presenter Jennifer Wong and the crew, including director Lin Jie Kong, travel to rural towns in Australia to look at the Chinese Restaurants that take up a focal point in these communities. Here we get a show that is a part travel show, part food exploration, and part look at the intersections of culture these restaurants make. We get these stories and more as we meet six different families from restaurants across Australia from The New Bo Wa in Moree, Raymond’s at Malua Bay, Oriental Palace in Hervey Bay, Pagoda Chinese Restaurant in Atherton, Gawler Palace & Happy Garden in Darwin.  

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Romance on the Menu – Movie Review

TL;DR – There are moments when this film comes together. Unfortunately, those moments are few and far between.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Romance on the Menu. Image Credit: Netflix.

Romance on the Menu Review

Do long lost relatives ever give you a call to adventure in their wills, no you neither? Well, it does seem to be a ubiquitous plot point in films. Today we explore a movie that as fate would have it has that very set up, that takes our protagonist from the hustle and bustle of New York to the calm of Australia.

So to set the scene, Caroline (Cindy Busby) works as a professional chef running a kitchen of a fine dining restaurant. The one day she took off they had a food critic come and blast the food, so she spends all her time trying to make up for that. Caroline does not have any time for love because she is too busy. However, out of the blue, Caroline receives a letter from Australia, her late aunt had left Caroline her old café in Lemon Myrtle Cove. When Caroline arrives to look over the café to get it ready to sell, she makes a fool of herself in front of Simon Cook (Tim Ross) who is both her landlord and also the cook of The Seagull Café, and yes our love interest. Well, Caroline’s plan of finishing the sale as quickly as possible is put in jeopardy when no one will renovate the café to let her sell it, so she has to take drastic measures to keep to her timeline.     

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Map-It: Chef’s Table 2020

TL;DR – With Chef’s Table BBQ just being released we take a look back at our map

Chef’s Table: BBQ. Image Credit: Netflix.

Map-It –

If you have been reading my reviews for a long time, then you will undoubtedly know that I have a deep love for David Gelb’s striking food documentary series Chef’s Table on Netflix. It is a world full of beautiful food, fascinating stories, and in-depth exploration into a world that I don’t get to visit. Which is even more of an issue in 2020 because of [waves hands around everywhere]. Well, today the latest season Chef’s Table BBQ came out, and I thought it was an excellent time to jump back in and give the map a refresh.  

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Chef’s Table: BBQ – TV Review

TL;DR – This is a beautiful look at the many factors that make up the world of BBQ.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chef’s Table: BBQ. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are few series on Netflix that have captured my attention more than Chef’s Table. The exploration of food and the journey of those who make it always captures me and brings me into this world. Today we are looking at the next sort of spin-off of the series since Chef’s Table France with a look at the joy that is Barbeque.

One of the exciting things about BBQ is that it means very different things depending on what country you are in. So for this series, their interpretation of BBQ is food cooked under, above, around a fire. As will be mentioned in the series as an Australian, I grew up cooking food over an open flame, and I still try to when I get the chance. This means a series about food cooked on fire is an instant sell for me.

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TV Review – Street Food: Latin America

TL;DR – A fascinating look into Latin American food and culture.  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Street Food: Latin America. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, we got the next evolution in David Gleb’s food documentaries with Street Food Asia. It explored a side of the different countries that you don’t usually see. It delved into everything from food, culture, history, governmental practices and more through the lenses of these street vendors. Today we dive back into this series with a look at its next destination Latin America.   

So to set the scene, we jump across Latin America from Las Chicas de la Tres in Buenos Aires, Argintina, Ré Restaurante, in Salvador, Brazil, Memelas Doña Vale in Oaxaca, Mexico, Al Toke Pez in Lima, Peru, Tolú in Bogotá, Columbia & Rellenos de Doña Emi in La Paz, Bolivia. Every episode takes a glimpse into the cities and the food that drives them.

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TV Review – The Chef Show

TL;DR – Watching this I discovered that Orange Juice goes into ever marinade and there is a peach not-pie that has my name on it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Chef Show. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are many reasons to make a food TV show, maybe you want to explore what drives the top chefs, maybe it is exploring the food that speaks to a place or time, or maybe you create a TV show so you can hang out with a friend and cook stuff across America.

So to set the scene, back in 2014 Jon Favreau wrote and directed a film called Chef about someone who quits his job in a fine dining restaurant to open a food truck. On the film consulting about the food was Chef Roy Choi who had followed a similar story in his real life. I have not seen Chef (though that will likely change in the coming days) it is clear that the two formed a strong friendship which we see all throughout The Chef Show.

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Explore It – Daisy Hill Conservation Park & Koala Centre

TL;DR – Today I explore the beautiful Daisy Hill Conservation Park & Koala Centre a pocket of bushland just south of Brisbane.

Daisy Hill Conservation Park & Koala Centre. Image Credit: Brian MacNamara

Article

This week, month, and year has been a bit stressful, to say the least, so I thought I would take a moment and destress by going to one of the best-kept secrets in South-East Queensland the Daisy Hill Conservation Park & Koala Centre, just south of Brisbane in Logan City.  

Daisy Hill is a pocket of bushland in the hills behind Logan City and a key conversation area for a lot of local species including to koalas. There is a day area on the southern tip with bush walks, grass to run around with, the Koala Centre, and most importantly for me some good old fashioned fire BBQs.

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TV Review – Street Food: Season One

TL;DR – This is a fascinating series exploring the food and people that make up some of the most interesting cities in Asia.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Street Food. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you have read my reviews in the past you could probably tell that I am a sucker for a good food documentary. A documentary that explores the origins of a dish, or the people that make it, or the cultural context it exists in. Well, today we get a show that does all three with Street Food. When you think of street food, what first comes to mind? Well for a long time for me it was that kebab shop that is open to late in the morning or that one chip store I found in Sydney that one time. However, as I have started to travel I have found it is much, much, much more than that, and this is what we will be exploring today.

So to set the scene, today we delve into the street food cultures of eight different cities across Asia. Some of these locations are quite well known like Bangkok, Osaka, Delhi, Seoul, and Singapore, as well as some less well-known places like Chiayi, Yogyakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We see the foods that mark each of these cities and the people that make them. We discover the Fish-head Stew of Chiayi, the Crab Omelette of Bangkok, or the Putu Piring of Singapore. But more than this we explore the cities, their history, their relationship with food, and what it means for the people who make/eat it.   

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Map-It – Worth-It

TL;DR – We map out every restaurant featured on Buzzfeed’s Worth-It

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.

Article

Much to my own frustration, it has been a while since I have been able to fly overseas and explore the world. As a way of at least exploring the world and its food vicariously, I have been rewatching Buzzfeed’s Worth-It for like the fourth time.

In the show, the team of Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj, along with Adam Bianchi and Annie Jeong, explore food from around the world using a very interesting formula. For example, if the theme is Hotdogs they will visit an inexpensive, medium, and expensive restaurant to see which is the most worth it for the given price (hence the title of the show).

Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
There is so much amazing chicken in this show. Image Credit: Buzzfeed.
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