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Monday, June 6, 2011

A Foodie's Introduction

So really, I am no food critic...but I can cook! I have a lot to say about food and I have had a big mouth since I was a kid (or so my mother tells me!). It seems only appropriate that I make use of my gift and use it for the good of food.

Melbourne, Australia is where I call home, and I have been here for some time now. I work in the city and live in the western suburbs about 30 kms out (not that far really!!). While Melbourne has its fair share of celebrity chef’s restaurants, I am definitely not one of those who are well financed enough to dine regularly at these establishments. Instead, I look for good value for money and above all “taste explosions” in my food. I fully appreciate the top notch fine dining establishments and have only really eaten at a few. I recognise the journey taken by the chefs to craft their works of art on a plate and the freshness and quality of the ingredients. If my budget allowed I would be having some more of that - for sure! 
For me satisfaction on a plate can come in many forms – piping hot noodles that make you salivate while you wait for them to cool down before you can dive in; a fiery curry that makes your eyes water; a hearty serve of lamb shank stew on a bed of cous-cous or a really "special" fried rice.

I am a family man with young children and nothing motivates me more than gathering around the dining table over a meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner just wouldn't be the same without family and/or friends. I regard that time most special because in everyone's busy lives, young or old, this meeting over a meal is a regular occasion that we can all be at the same place, at the same time, doing the same thing - brought together by food.

I don't know when it was that I took to cooking and I am not even sure when the inclination ignited into a true passion. I have been quite frustratingly meticulous when it comes to cooking. Whether it be researching different cooking techniques and trying my hand at worldly cuisines, to following the guidance of another or creating my own piece of culinary art; I do it all with the utmost respect to the food in it's every state. This blog explores many of these areas of my newly acquired repertoire and I can quite confidently say that I am an accomplished “home cook”. 
Those that have sampled my creations – recipe or self invented – have had good things to say (unless they were just being nice!!). I think the biggest critic to my food is me and I will not shy away from declaring when something that I have created has failed to hit the mark. So it must pass the first test -ME- but I still maintain that I am no food critic. 

So this here blog will be mainly about me cooking and eating in and around Melbourne. I will give my own take on some pretty delicious recipes ranging from everyday stuff to the exquisite. I will also give my 2 cents worth and review some of the places that serve up some great food (and some that may not!). I plan on making this a good critique for the everyday person’s dining budget – from $1.50 char siew pork buns (yum!) to the most exquisite delectable pastry that I dare indulge in, but it's not a full blown review. Rather, it is a recollection of my foodie adventures. After all, if I was to review the whole restaurant, I would probably have to sample more than one or two dishes an besides, I am no food critic. I hope you find something new to try to cook in your own kitchen or even a great eatery to visit on my recommendation. Leave me a comment too, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

- Neil

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