Saturday, May 18, 2013
The coffee well was dry in the Brisbane southside suburb of Wellers Hill until locals Malcolm and Danielle Watts partnered with long-time friend, Australian Rugby Union Wallaby Scott Higginbotham to open Leaf Espresso Bar six months ago.
So locals are no longer driving out of the area for their morning coffee, instead they are pulling up a seat at Leaf Espresso and enjoying Two Seasons coffee.
Chef Craig Benton (ex Customs House) has created a breakfast menu of traditional favourites (Farm eggs on ciabatta, $8.90) and some delicious surprises (Mexican bean breakfast burrito, $14.90).
Lunch options at the fully licensed restaurant are made on site each day and include focaccias, paninis and wraps served fresh from the espresso bar cabinet, where customers also find a selection of cakes and cookies.
Every second Thursday night, Leaf is transformed into a relaxed live music venue with new menu options and ambiance enriched by the café’s recycled timber dining tables, full height windows and the centrepiece of the room - a giant branch repurposed from the owners’ backyard, adorned with tea lights and hung from the ceiling.
“Form and function has played a role in the fit-out but what drew me to the site was the big tree out the front,” says Malcolm, whose love of timber influenced décor items including a dining table fashioned from recycled wood.
I particularly liked the cute table decorations, so much I want to take one home. Check out those little animals inside!
Leaf Espresso is open daily for breakfast and lunch, with live music and dinner every second Thursday night.
Leaf Espresso, 8 Denham Tce, Wellers Hill.
Friday, May 17, 2013
On ya Jamie!
Jamie Oliver is calling for Australians to join his global crusade and celebrate real food on Food Revolution Day today, Friday, May 17.
Food Revolution Day is all about working to keep cooking skills alive, improving our food knowledge and sharing it with others.
“Knowing what we eat, where food comes from and how it affects our bodies has never been more important. Food Revolution Day is all about people power," Jamie says. "We want as many people as possible to get involved and show others how important cooking skills and food knowledge are.”
Food Revolution Day aims to raise awareness and ultimately funds, for Jamie’s Foundation’s with Jamie’s Ministry of Food being the focus in Australia. Jamie believes cooking skills used be passed down from generation to generation, and now this chain has been broken with millions of people lacking even the most basic skills. As a result it is costing millions of lives and costing billions of dollars to cope with the increase in diet-related diseases. His Ministry of Food aims to empower people with knowledge and confidence to cook from fresh ingredients and to make better choices about what they feed themselves and their families.
So that’s why I’ve got a huge box of fabulously fresh seasonal veggies and fruit from Aussie Farmers Direct sitting on my kitchen bench.
The idea is that I’m going to create a wonderful ‘bloggers challenge’ soup from this mystery box of ingredients for my family’s dinner.
- Quick Food – Soups are quick and easy to prepare, especially if you’ve got a blender or a food processor.
- Eating seasonally – soups can cater for any season. Try using vegetables that are in season, as it will not only taste good, but will save you money too.
- Practical – most soups are easy to freeze so you can just warm them through quickly when you need them.
- Nutrition – soup makes a really nutritious meal, as you can load them with vegetables.
- Thrifty - Soup is a great way to use up veggies when they’re just on the turn.
- Restorative – there’s nothing quite like a delicious, warm and spicy soup to keep the cold out on a winter’s day.
So what am I going to cook? Well, unfortunately, my box arrived later than planned so I can only dream about what I might have done.
Inspired by Jamie’s cook books, here’s my wish list of soups that I could have created from the box -
- Tomato soup with some extra chunky croutons, some torn basil leaves and a sprinkle of parmesan (using the tomatoes, basil, onion)
- Pumpkin Laksa (using the golden nugget pumpkin, garlic, ginger, onion)
- Carrot & orange soup (carrot, orange and onion, plus a bit of ginger)
- Minestrone – love this soup because just about anything goes.
You can follow the soup action on Twitter with #FRD2013 or @FoodRev, or check the Food Revolution Community Facebook page.
To inspire everyday Australians to take up the challenge Aussie Farmers Direct is offering new customers the opportunity to get a seasonal fruit and vegetable box delivered to their doors for just $13.
Top soup tips
- Don’t throw away that roast chicken carcass – make stock from the bones and use it as a delicious base for your soups.
- You can also use root vegetables, rice, pasta or even stale bread to bulk up a soup, making it a complete meal on its own.
- Tear in soft fresh herbs like basil, parsley and mint or try bashing up soft fresh herbs like basil and parsley and mixing them with some olive oil and lemon juice.
- Fun – Try Toasting seeds or nuts and sprinkling over soups to create some different textures.
- For special occasions to pimp up your soup, all sorts of cheeses can be crumbled and grated over or try a nice dollop of natural yoghurt.