Monthly Archives: February 2019

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Frank Fawkner takes the 2018 Food Fight crownFood Bites

Hunter chefs continue Food Fight winning streak | Food Bites Food Fight 2018. Picture: Dominique Cherry
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Food Fight 2018. Picture: Dominique Cherry

Frank Fawkner’s winning scampi dish. Food Fight 2018. Picture: Dominique Cherry

Nagisa at Honeysuckle.

Nagisa at Honeysuckle.

Nagisa at Honeysuckle.

Andrew Thomas.

Alex O’Hara.

TweetFacebookA class actIt’s hard to believe that Nagisa is now in its 15th year of trading. Time flies. The Honeysuckle restauranthas just released a new seasonal menu courtesy of head chef Chris Schofield who has added exciting new dishesand revisited some old favourites. Highlights include the Beniaka lamb which is marinated in Japanese craft beer and miso paste;the pork belly Kakuni featuring braised, skinless pork belly on a bed of green tea soba noodles; andthe Tako Karaage: deep-fried baby octopus pieces coated in savoury batter.

As for dessert, newcomers include the Tea and Coffee: a fusion of espresso, miso caramel jelly, black sesame sponge, sencha tea and basil-infused cream; and the Matcha Lime Cheesecake: green tea and lime combined with azuki red beans, white chocolate and berry compote.

Manager and wine expertYohei Nambahas curated a wine list that won two glasses at theGourmet Traveller Magazine awards for 2017 and can be paired with every dish on the menu.

On the moveThe Anchoragehas a new food and beverage manager inAlex O’Hara. His face might be familiar –that’s because he owned and ran Cazador in Newcastle’s Hunter Street Mall for several years before selling it in March 2017.

FRESH FACE: The Anchorage’s Alex O’Hara. Picture: Supplied

In more recent times he has managed The Anchorage’s two on-site restaurants: The Wild Herring and The Galley Kitchen.

“It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” O’Hara said. “Having worked for myself for the past few years, it’s probably one of the very few roles that I’d actually take on. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Woman vs wasteDon’t forget,Food Fighterhas its final Newcastle screening tonight, 7pm,at Tower Cinemas. The documentary tells the story of OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn and is followed by a Q&A with restaurateur Neil Slater.

Know your wineBecome a wine judge for the day this Saturday, June 23, when winemaker Andrew Thomas guides you through a tasting of Australia’s iconic wine Penfold’s 2011 Grange against Brokenwood’s Graveyard, Thomas’ Kiss and Peppertree’s Limited Release Shiraz.

Andrew Thomas.

Thommo, as he is known, is originally from McLaren Vale but has called the Hunter Valley home for the past 20 years, 13 of which have been spent as a winemaker at Tyrrell’s. In 1997 he started Thomas Wines with a view to making single vineyard semillon and shiraz that would rival the Hunter greats. In 2008 and 2014 he was named Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year. Tickets to Saturday’s masterclass at Pokolbin’s Small Winemakers Centre cost $84 per person and includetastings at the cellar door for no extra charge. Bookings essential atsmallwinemakers南京夜网419论坛

Made By MikeMike De Iuliis is kicking off a series of wine events under a new “Made By Mike” mantra.

A Cork & Pork Wine and Butchery Workshop will be held at Branxton Quality Meats on July 7 and 8, 2pm to 4pm. Limited to just 15 people, the hands-on workshop will teach you how to break down a pork shoulder, brine a ham hock for smoking and make sausages.You’ll be able to take home your creations, too. Tickets cost$150 per person; book at dewine南京夜网419论坛

And on Saturday, August 4, De Iuliis Winery will host aCork & Pork Wine and Butchery Lunch from 11am to 4.30pm. The festival-style event will feature salumi, share plates, live music, butchery workshops and, of course, wine. Tickets $150 per person (children under 12 just $25).Watch this space for details of a Sydney version of both events in October.

Mawson opensA new cafe/restaurant is opening in Caves Beach tonight. Mawson, at 5/3 Mawson Close, Caves Beach, is named after theoriginal Mawson Hotel. It will offer, its website says, a “casual fine dining experience”.

Meghan cried over dad missing wedding

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, cried when she was told her dad would not be attending her wedding.The Duchess of Sussex’s father says his daughter cried when he confessed he would not be attending her wedding to Prince Harry.
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Thomas Markle said he had broken the news to Meghan in an emotional phone call just days before she was due to walk down the aisle in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.

The 73-year-old watched the wedding from California, where he was recovering from heart surgery.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Thomas said: “They were disappointed.

“Meghan cried, I’m sure, and they both said ‘Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you’.

He added: “I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.”

Adding that he was recovering well from his surgery, which saw him have three stents fitted, Thomas said he was “honoured” that the Prince of Wales took on the job of walking Meghan down the aisle instead.

“I can’t think of a better replacement than someone like Prince Charles,” he told the program.

Thomas’ operation came shortly after allegations surfaced that he had staged photographs with the paparazzi.

He told GMB he had apologised to Harry and Meghan, adding: “I realised it was a serious mistake. It’s hard to take it back.”

The retired TV lighting director confessed he had cried as he watched the royal ceremony on TV, describing his daughter as “beautiful”.

“It was incredible watching her,” he said.

“I was very proud. I was very upset that it wasn’t me (walking her down the aisle) but the whole world was watching my daughter. I was very happy about that.”

Australian Associated Press

NZ PM’s stand-in takes centre stage

NZ’s deputy PM Winston Peters has taken the reins as PM Jacinda Ardern awaits her baby.With New Zealand’s heavily pregnant prime minster now out of the capital and past her due date, one of the country’s most enigmatic political veterans has slipped into her shoes.
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Jacinda Ardern is in Auckland awaiting the arrival of her first child and Deputy Prime Minster Winston Peters – although still not officially acting prime minister – was running the show in Wellington on Monday.

“Well, you could say it’s a bit of a curtain raiser, couldn’t you?” the 73-year-old gleefully told reporters as he held the PM’s weekly press conference, foreshadowing his soon to-be six-week stint at the top.

The half-hour the followed was a sampler of the traits that have served the former lawyer through his four-decades in the house.

Seamlessly transitioning from quick retorts and tongue lashings to his cheeky, knowing smile, Mr Peters fended off questions about a lawsuit he launched last week against a government department, his criticism of a boss of NZ’s biggest company – and, of course, the government’s business.

While Ms Ardern is notable for her cheery disposition with the press, Mr Peters has no qualms about pulling out criticisms and taking on a grumpier posture.

“I’m not going to come down here to a press conference and start talking about a private conversation,” he bluntly interrupted as a reporter asked about his communications with the prime minister.

And then with an abrupt, Elvis-like “thank you very much” he left the stage – before stopping in the aisles for one last exchange with a reporters still shouting questions.

“Look, I’ve answered all those questions. I’ll see you next time … I’m answering up there (the stage), not over here,” he answered across the room.

Sometimes described as a populist, the leader of the minority NZ First Party – a part of the coalition government – is the most experienced hand in the country’s political landscape, albeit a polarising one.

He’s formed coalition governments with both the centre-left and centre-right (earning resentment from some for his role as “kingmaker”), and since entering parliament in 1979 has held numerous senior cabinet posts, including deputy PM in the 1990s.

“Winston could have been prime minister, but for want of himself,” former prime minister Jenny Shipley told the 9th Floor documentary series.

“His complexity often got ahead of his capability… but on a good day he was brilliant.”

Australian Associated Press

Knights dynamo Kalyn Ponga will make his State of Origin debut for Queensland … but how will they use him?

MASTER AND APPRENTICE: Cameron Smith tackles Kalyn Ponga.THE chosen one has arrived on the State of Origin stage.
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Now Queensland have to decide how to best deploy Kalyn Ponga, as they desperately try to beat NSW at ANZ Stadium on Sunday and keep the series alive.

The 20-year-old Knights dynamo was named on the bench for his Origin debut in game two.Queensland coach Kevin Walters was confident veteran Billy Slater will overcome a lingering hamstring problemto take his place at fullback.

If Slater plays, that leaves the Maroons facing the dilemma of how to get Ponga into the game.

In his brief NRL career, he has played three times on the wing and 21 games as the last line of defence.

He also played occasionally as five-eighth in North Queensland’s under-20s.

The most likely scenario would appear to be that Walters will switch Ben Hunt from halfback to hooker at some point in the match, allowing Ponga to enter proceedings with a roving role.

That option would provide Queensland with extra threat in attack but also mean that Ponga has to defend in the front line. Whatever tacticsWalters has devised, he clearly has no intention of revealing them in the lead-up to a do-or-die encounter.

“We’ve got some plans around how we want to use Kalyn,” Walterssaid.

“We’re very grateful we’ve got him into the side this time around … I think we’ve proven in the past with Queensland teams how we can use our utilities in certain ways.”

Walters said Ponga has “been a standout” in the NRL this season, and statistics support that opinion.

The fleet-footed No.1 has made the most tackle breaks (116), most kick-return metres (871) and most line-break assists (13) in the competition, as well as scoring five tries himself.

“The best thing for us is that Kalyn has got some ability… and it’s time for him to get his opportunity and show what he can do,” Walters said.

Knights coach Nathan Brown had no doubt Ponga would have an impact and handle whatever job he was assigned.

“I’m sure that Queensland will have some sort of plan to use him and use him well, as they seem to have done very well over the past 10 or 15 years,” Brown said.

“They seem to have a utility player on the bench, and a lot of us New South Welshmen think: ‘Why did they pick that bloke on the bench, and how are they going to use him?’

“Then they generally put them out there and they generally do well. I just hope he backs himself and I’m sure he will.”

Queensland’s chairman of selectors Gene Miles said Ponga had been “very level-headed” when he joined the Maroons in camp before Origin I and was ready to take the next step.

“His time has come,” Miles said.

“It would be nice [if he could break the game open]. The expectations on the poor kid are great … if he can weave a bit of magic, great.

“But don’t be overawed by it. Get in, get a touch of the ball, get hit a couple of times and welcome to State of Origin footy.”

Walters said that“everyone here has seen how good he’s been for the Knights”, which augured well for a successful Origin career.

“We understand he’s going to be a long-term player for Queensland,” Walters said.“I think he’s earned the right to put on the Maroons jumper.”

Ponga will become only Newcastle’s seventh Queensland Origin representative, following Michael Hagan, Mike McLean, Adrian Brunker, Robbie O’Davis, Darius Boyd and Dane Gagai.

Over the corresponding period, Newcastle have produced 23 NSW representatives.

He will be the youngest Origin rookie since former Canterbury centre Jamal Idris debuted for NSW as a 19-year-old in 2010.

He also joins a select group to appear at Origin level before their 21stbirthdays, which includes Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Cameron Smith, Slater, Greg Inglis, Laurie Daley, Brad Clyde, Brad Fittler, Israel Folau and Ben Ikin.

Vandals in the velodrome

Vandals in the velodrome COUNTING THE COST: Newcastle Velodrome Trust chairman Neil Robinson says vandalism at the Adamstown track was spoiling a ‘great facility’. Picture: Marina Neil
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COUNTING THE COST: Where a solar panel used to stand. Picture: Marina Neil

COUNTING THE COST: The broken security fence. Picture: Marina Neil

COUNTING THE COST: The cinder block used to break the fence. Picture: Marina Neil

COUNTING THE COST: Inside the canteen. Picture: Marina Neil

COUNTING THE COST: Newcastle Velodrome Trust chairman Neil Robinson. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookWe’ve got this great facility here … but it just attracts this vandalism

Newcastle Velodrome Trust chairman Neil Robinson

The trust has given up on removing graffiti.

“We’ve got this great facility here, and it is a great facility, but it just attracts this vandalism,” Mr Robinson said.

Neil Robinson inside the canteen. Picture: Marina Neil

“Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve just been hit and hit. They are a determined little bunch; they come in here to destroythe place. It’s almost like it’s payback for putting the fence up.”

Mr Robinson estimated that damage to the venue was more than $25,000.

He said that the trust could not afford to maintain security services at the facility as it was reliant on government funding.

Both the fence and patrols were funded through grant programs.

“For a while we had been successful [in being awarded funding]. Not anymore,” Mr Robinson said.

The trust hopes that drawing attention to the velodrome’s plight will put pressure on government departments to restore funding.

Trust treasurer Craig Chapman said the facility was popular enough to be a worthy recipient of funding.

“The facility has become a hub for people young and old to come and train and ride it should be done in a safe environment,” Mr Chapman said.

“We are hoping to raise awareness to our cause in an attempt to inform our users and government departments of our situation.”