This is an entry for IndiBlogger's Visit Melbourne contest
I am addicted to food shows. No, not just Masterchef Australia, but shows such as Top Chef, Come Dine with Me and Donna Hay are my staple diet over the weekends. They inspire me, challenge me and make me want to try new flavours. But there’s one show on television that makes me wistful and borderline jealous – Food Safari.
The show explores the melting pot that Australia is. Cuisines such as Syrian, Italian, Greek and Pakistani are described in such a way, that the next thing I know, I am standing in my kitchen, rummaging through my pantry and calling up my vegetable and meat vendors to deliver things I need to start cooking, like right now
That said, there are certain episodes that I keep on my DVR to go back again and again to. The Syrian Food Safari for one, where Chef Ayman Abassi from Café Zum Zum in Melbourne walks you through what a whole Syrian dinner looks like and Amal Malouf from Arabesque then goes on to teach you how to make the perfect Baklava.
And then there’s the episode of French Food Safari where Chef Philippe Mouchel of The French demonstrates the right way of using the knife. And then you see his beautiful restaurant set in the backdrop of the gorgeous city of Melbourne. Oh and I shouldn’t forget the episode of the Italian Safari featuring Chef Guy Grossi that have you visiting his home and learning how to make gnocchi. Aah heaven!
Most often, I end up googling these chefs and their restaurants and staring at them for hours (best way to pass time on a boring day at work, I tell you). I dream of meeting them. Eating with them. Learning from them.
On one such day, when I googled Chef Mouchel, I realized that Gary Calombaris of Masterchef fame’s restaurant The Press Club had partnered with Mouchel. And a new restaurant called PM 24 had emerged. I couldn’t stop staring at the website. I went through their ideologies, memorized their menus and read up anything I could find on the restaurant and ended up making my own version of Rotisserie Chicken.
And then I send emails out to my friends in Australia, asking them whether they’d eaten at PM 24. As they began describing their experiences, I became terribly moody and jealous. All I could wish was to be there, to meet the chef, to experience that meal , to be able to savour that moment. And a voice kept echoing in my head – it’s your time to visit Melbourne now -repeating itself over and over again, like a mantra.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just the food that made me feel this way. It was the way everything was described. The wines, the ambiance, the languid pace of life and even the mood, that made me feel that way. Imagining that if you could, you’d walk into a restaurant, have a great meal and just feel completely content with life.
Oh and I really shouldn’t forget another thing, that made me feel green – it was the balloon flight. The very touristy Melbourne balloon ride (that you can check on http://www.visitmelbourne.com/in) that will show you the city from another level. As terrified as I am of bungee jumping and sky-diving, hot air balloons have always made me skip a beat. They are so romantic, so sweet and so totally Hollywoodesque. Something that I have always wanted to do, all my life.