raw red

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One of my favourite, or rather one of the few phrases I am able to say in Italian with great gusto is: “rosso crudo.” It means ‘raw red’ and here at Jamie’s Italian, it refers to finely chopped raw, red tomatoes mixed with fresh herbs, which accompany particular meat dishes…

Why not accompany a curry?

The first friend I made when I moved to Sydney was Bibek. He is someone who is like family and he happens to make the best (and only) Nepalese curry I have ever tasted. We were having a celebratory dinner and as usual I was making a salad. Believe it or not, the rawness and crunchiness of this Italian inspired salad went perfectly well with Bibek’s curry.

Mix of culture, mix of food. Yes please.

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Ingredients:

  • head of Oak Leaf lettuce
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes (or punnet of ‘rainbow nation’ tomatoes)
  • 1 green capsicum
  • handful roasted seeds
  • 1 de-seeded, finely chopped chilli

Wash and place lettuce in a bowl.

Chop the tomatoes into sixths and the capsicum lengthways.

Toss into the leaves and sprinkle over the seeds and chilli.

Squeeze in half a lemon and drizzle over some olive oil. Enjoy!

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Jamie Oliver in Ceire’s Kitchen

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The best tomatoes we specially chose for Jamie to cook with…

So the reason I haven’t posted in a long while is because Jamie Oliver came over and cooked us dinner in my kitchen!

Only joking. That happened in my dream, sadly not in reality… Yet.

But I did meet him (three times) when he was in here in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. It was simply fantastic! I worked as one of his prep chef’s at The Ministry of Food‘s Kitchen Talk with Jamie, a cooking show that was hosted to celebrate the opening of a new Food Centre in the Western Suburbs of NSW, Australia. The Ministry of Food is a brilliant organization that was started by Jamie in the UK and aims to transform the way we think about food, and hopefully inspire us to eat differently: more simply, healthily… (He pretty much copied the idea behind Ceire’s Kitchen – but I’ll give him the credit – who could resist his charming British accent?)

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(Top left) His backstage-ninja-chef’s. (Bottom and right) At Jamie’s Italian, waiting for our big boss to arrive

So, the day after the event – when I met him for the third time – I tried to wear my hair the same way, hoping that he’d recognise me and I could then mention “this cooking show on YouTube that I’d started because of being inspired by you, Jamie.” As I shook his hand in a slightly star struck way I fumbled my words as I over-enthusiastically said – “I’m one of your backstage ninja chef’s from yesterday!!” He replied, slightly confused at first, “Oh darling yes… of course, of course!” He politely accepted by business card and gave me a farewell wink…

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Hand-made tortellini’s – only the best at Jamie’s Italian, Sydney

Another reason I’ve been a bit distant of late is because I’ve been getting some basic chef-training in Jamie’s Kitchen at Jamie’s Italian, Sydney. The dashing young talented chef’s have been incredibly patient with me and generous with their time. Apparently I was a distraction at first as I have an annoying habit of not being able to chop vegetables without singing a Frank Sinatra song, but they’ve been very tolerant, thanks guys.

My work in the kitchen has also been an incredible eye-opener into the intense, stressful and demanding work that chefs do, and the long hours that are required. So really, this post is about giving a big shout out to all the chef’s in the world. Thank you for doing what you do, for feeding us, and for cooking your food with love!

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Having fun in the kitchen with these good-looking fella’s