December, 2018

September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
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  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
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May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
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January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Cyclist and fermented-food advocate Patrick Drapac takes veg message to kids

Jane Willson
05 February, 2015

Patrick Drapac is spreading the good word on cultured foods.

Patrick Drapac

In another life, Patrick Drapac was a professional cyclist. Today he is increasingly well known on Melbourne’s farmers’ market circuit as the fermented veg guy. As well, he has a shop selling his organic cultured vegies on Sydney Road in Coburg. His business is called, simply, Pat’s Veg.

Patrick is taking a kids’ raw food class at South Melbourne’s St Ali during the upcoming Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It’s planned as a hands-on experience that broadens young participant’s taste horizons. I quizzed him recently on how it will unfold. And whether he has secret powers for kids who don't do veg – fermented or otherwise.

Q: How, exactly, do you plan to convert the kids?

I don’t think that you need to convince kids to embrace new flavours – I think it’s something they attune themselves to. Having options available encourages (rather than convinces) them to try new things. Mind you, I’m not a parent.

Q: And your experience of kids’ approach to veg?

Sometimes more open-minded than their parents!

Q: What are your own memories of food growing up?

I think I had expensive taste. When I was eight, my favourite food was pickled octopus and snails.

Q: What’s in store for your festival classes?

The kids might just teach me more than I’ll teach them! We’ll be incorporating seasonal produce and learning how to use whole foods – all without cooking. I’m excited to do the class.

Q: How will you win them?

I think I’m going to have to improvise and read the crowd. They’ll see right through my tactics.

Q: What’s your favourite ingredient – and what are you enjoying cooking at the moment?

Lately, I’ve been really getting into cabbage.

Q: Any food discoveries of late?

I’ve been rediscovering my love for brussels sprouts. I’ve also noticed that people are making tasty food with health in mind. There seems to be a shift towards real food and a decline in fast food. Being a coffee lover, I’ve also noticed some wacky coffee concoctions.

Q: What about the synergies between sport and food?

There are many. During my sporting life I was always incredibly passionate about health, food and cooking; it was almost a necessary hobby. I came across fermented foods during a stint riding in America and I had absolutely no idea what they were! Due to my existing passion for food and health, the transition from a career in sport into one in food felt natural.

Q: And Pat’s Veg: how has that evolved?

It began two years ago. We started at farmers’ markets (and we’re still there!) but we’ve also set up our own small retail space and our business has permeated the market into the likes of health food and grocery stores, in addition to cafés. We’d like to think that Pat’s Veg will continue to grow organically. In the facets of taste and effect, we’ve had an amazing response.

We’ve been busy experimenting and constantly trying to broaden the potential of the product [which, essentially, is organic vegetables that have been cultured in natural brine and salt. The fermentation process creates lactic acid bacteria that is thought to be essential for digestive health].

Pat's range

Q: What should we know about fermented foods?

They’ve existed as a rich part of many cultures over time. I think everyone should learn how to make them. It’s not as hard as you think. We should also learn how such foods are able to impact our health [see Pat’s blog for more]. Despite the length of the fermentation process, you’ll find that it’s a truly convenient fast food as it is a staple that can come out of the fridge, and onto the plate.

Q: Where to start for people who want to learn more?

Sandor Katz’s book The Art of Fermentation; it’s the bible for home fermenters.

Patrick Drapac’s raw food class at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival are being held at St Ali, South Melbourne, on 8 March from 11am to 1pm, and cost is $25. Bookings here. His shop is at 105 Sydney Road, Coburg. In addition to retail stockists – including two that sell online – you can buy his products at Flemington, Coburg, and Fairfield farmers’ markets in Melbourne.

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