Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Paris to London

After attending the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, Liz travelled on to the UK where she caught up with friends, and on her way home this week, made a visit to the famous Fortnum and Masons store in London. The store is famous for its fine foods, particularly tea, and its fabulous window displays. But after spending so much time admiring fruit cakes in show competitions across South Australia, what really caught her eye was this magnificent display of tinned fruit cakes in the main food emporium.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's a what?

Liz was fortunate enough to be a guest of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists in Great Britain this week, at the last ever Royal Show in England. The annual event held at Stoneleigh Park, near Stratford on Avon, has been running for 160 years but the society has decided to call it quits and hold smaller, more focussed events for the country's farmers instead. The show is quite different to royal shows in Australia - no side shows, no indoor competitions for general classes like cookery, crafts and art, no show bags. The primary focus is livestock, and what an amazing collection of popular and rare breeds were on show at the last event. For Liz, the highlight was undoubtedly discovering the 'woolly' pig - yes, a breed of pig with a thick, curly coat, originally from Hungary. For a collection of photographic highlights visit http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=113128&id=720821758&l=2bae472653

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slow Food experience

During her stay in Paris, Liz caught up with members of Slow Food, the international organisation which encourages people to explore and preserve traditional food cultures. Members of the Bastille Convivium took her to see a community garden they have established in a residential area in the heart of Paris. Volunteers from the energetic group also cook for their own community restaurant, set up at a local food market. Pictured in the community garden are convivium president, Diane Marshall, an Aussie girl, who left Melbourne about 20 years ago to live in France, Marion Desmartin, who is a publisher, and graphic designer, Corrine.

A blue ribbon experience in Paris

The Blue Ribbon Cookbook was named runner-up against more than 50 other finalists in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris on July 1. Author Liz Harfull travelled to France for the event, held in the beautiful home of the famous La Comedie Francaise theatre company. Food and wine book authors from around the world gathered for the stellar occasion which featured a special appearance by Julia Powell, whose blog and memoir about her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's famous book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is about to be released as a feature film starring Merryl Streep and Amy Adams.
The Easy Recipe book category in which Liz's book competed, was won by Spanish author Xabier Guterrez. In announcing the winner, awards organiser Edouard Cointreau (pictured with Liz) pointed out the category was the hardest to win, with more than half the cookbooks sold around the world falling into this sector.
Cointreau, who is from the famous French wine-making family, acted as host and master of ceremonies at the event. Guests were served vintage champagne and cognac, and food prepared by students from the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, which is headed up by his brother, Andre Cointreau.