WILSON & MARKET TO HOST PORK & PINOT NIGHT 27 JUNE AND POP-UP GIN ALLEY 9 JUNE

MELBOURNE – PORK & PINOT NIGHT  Wilson & Market is teaming up with Yarra Valley winery Santolin to host a special Pork & Pinot night on Wednesday 27 June. Set to certainly warm up a winter’s night, guests can expect a menu created by acclaimed chef Paul Wilson using gold medal winning Berkshire pork, paired … Read more

PRAHRAN MARKET GETS ITS JUST DESSERTS – SUNDAY 6 MAY

FESTIVAL COMING UP – MELBOURNE’S PRAHRAN MARKET  The annual Wicked Festival is now not only about chocolate! Get your dessert forks ready! Prahran Market will be celebrating all things sweet with its Wicked Dessert Festival on Sunday 6th May. Showcasing the very best in the industry, the Festival will host a demonstration kitchen and pop-up … Read more

BBQ CHEF CHARLIE MCKENNA SERVES UP THE ‘TASTE OF THE DEEP SOUTH’ AT FANCY HANKS

Southern BBQ Chef Pop-up at Fancy Hanks Last Month

Words & Images by Kelly Sargent

‘Finger lickin’ goodness’ with Lillie’s Q BBQ Chef, Charlie McKenna, in Melbourne for the first time!

Prime Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Collard Greens, Southern Style Coleslaw
Prime Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Collard Greens, Southern Style Coleslaw

There’s nothing quite like the taste of melt-in-your-mouth meat,  and that’s what renowned BBQ Chef Charlie Mckenna bought to Melbourne recently, at an authentic Southern American Barbecue pop-up at CBD restaurant Fancy Hanks. 

Owner of famous BBQ restaurant Lillie Q’s in Chicago, Mckenna is a two-time World Pulled Pork Champion, and credits his passion for Southern Cuisine to spending a lot of his childhood learning to cook with his Grandmother Lillie. Bought up in Southern Carolina, the ‘Q’ of Lillie Q’s is a credit to his Father Quito.  

Globally renowned BBQ Chef Charlie McKenna Photo supplied
Globally renowned
BBQ Chef Charlie McKenna
Photo supplied

Mckenna opened the first Lillie Q’s restaurant 8 years ago and has since opened four more across America. 

As a BBQ nation ourselves, I’ll admit the snags on the barbie do not even scratch the flavoursome, smokey taste of the deep south of America.

Fancy Hanks hosted Mckenna for a couple nights, where the Chicago chef served up the best in barbecue fare, complete with his entire range of popular Lillie Q’s Sauces. Chicken, pork and beef were severed alongside crunchy tasty slaw (a simple yet delicious carrot and cabbage mix with Lillie Q’s ‘ranch’ dressing), grilled greens and blue cheese chicken – all the flavours and textures worked. They just worked. 

Lillie's Q Sauces
Lillie’s Q Sauces

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The night offered a flavour explosion of the deep south of America. Although we are a proud BBQ nation ourselves, let’s keep Mckenna away from Bunnings on a Saturday! Proud as we are of our ‘hardware store sizzle’, stand down Aussies – the real BBQ deal hit when McKenna arrived in town enroute to the Meatstock competition.

IMG_9036Lillie’s Q award-winning BBQ rubs and sauces are sold in over 100 stores across the country and 6,000 around the world – think slow smoked pork shoulder, baby back ribs and chicken wings like no other.

With 100% natural and gluten free ingredients, Lillie’s Q sauces and rubs make for an unforgettable addition to any BBQ – meats, tofu, veggies, whatever your preference the tantalizing taste will have you reaching for more!

https://productdistribution.com.au/collections/lillies-q.

**Melbourne based journalist, Kelly Sargent, was a guest of Charlie McKenna – Lillie’s Q/Evil Twin PR

**Additional Information and Images Courtesy of Charlie McKenna – Lillie’s Q/Evil Twin PR

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits
Pimiento Cheese Biscuits

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag

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STRETCHING THE IMAGINATION FOR PIZZA TOPPINGS – NEW COBURG PIZZERIA

NEW PIZZERIA – Coburg Melbourne Want a pizza that is un-pho-gettable? Or hankering to bring some burger to your pizza toppings? With wacky names and unique ingredients to match, the new Stretched Pizza in Coburg is delivering an entirely new experience to pizza lovers. Stretched Pizza is the new culinary venture from husband and wife … Read more

BAR SARACEN OPENS IN MELBOURNE’S PUNCH LANE

A Taste of the Middle East – Bar Saracen Opens in Melbourne CBD

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Bar Saracen is the creation of Joseph Abboud, who owns and runs Lygon street institution Rumi, and Moor’s Head restaurants, together with Front of House pro, Ari Vlassopoulous. They have recruited Tom Sarafian to head the kitchen. Tom has been working with Joseph at Rumi for the past three years and his CV includes Mo Mo in Melbourne and St Johns and Moro in London, amongst others.

Saracen is a word, initially meaning anyone from the Middle East, but then during the Crusades it came to mean an Arab from the Middle East. Ironically, the Arabs didn’t know they were being called Saracen.

With Joseph’s heritage from Lebanon and Ari’s from Greece, they both liked the word and its meaning, and settled on this as the name of their first joint venture.

For the menu, Joseph and Tom began dabbling in more refined Middle Eastern dishes at Rumi and will evolve these ideas at Bar Saracen, including a range of mezze, barbecue and larger dishes, and sweets. In time there will be a tasting menu available.

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In creating their new restaurant and transforming the space that was once Rosa’s Kitchen, Joseph and Ari have been busy knocking down walls – Joe is good with a hammer while Ari is better with a brush, painting the place with whatever was in his parent’s garage.

Bar Saracen is now a fifty-odd seat restaurant with banquettes, a private table, a bar that can seat eight, and window tables with stools to watch the passing parade.

A couple of beers on tap, others in in bottles and cans; wine is a short list of Australian and imported wines, with the imported varieties coming from wherever Arabs have been: Spain, Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and more, with a few pleasant surprises thrown in.

Bar Saracen opens Tuesday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and Saturday for dinner only.

Joseph and Ari suggest people drop in for a drink and a snack, a quick meal before the theatre, or stay for the tasting menu or more if they want.

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Bar Saracen

22 Punch Lane

Melbourne 3000

Phone: 03 8639 0265

Web: barsaracen.com.au

Instagram @barsaracen

Information and Images Courtesy of Bar SaracenJoseph Abboud

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

connie.lambeth@theaustraliatimes.com.au

Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag/

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The World’s Best BBQ Chef Brings Lillie’s Q to Fancy Hanks 13th to 15th March

The World’s Best BBQ Chef – Charlie McKenna – will be arriving in Melbourne for the first time next week. Direct from Chicago, Charlie is bringing his award-winning restaurant Lillie’s Q to the heart of Melbourne. For just three days, Australians will have their first chance ever to try his award winning, meat-sweat inducing BBQ … Read more

CATCH THE APOLLO BAY SEAFOOD FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND 16-18 FEBRUARY

Apollo Bay – Victoria The Apollo Bay Seafood Festival has changed hands for 2018, now expanding to 3 days with a bigger focus on local, sustainable seafood. There’s some great talent lined up, including Frank Camorra (Movida), Jerry Mai (Annam and Pho Nom), as well as some great music acts, including Jade Imagine, Dan Kelly, … Read more

Truly, Madly, Deeply Melbourne – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Truly, Madly, Deeply Melbourne – Part Three at The Plaza Ballroom Melbourne Food and Wine Festival    On Tuesday 20 March, The Plaza Ballroom will once again host an indulgent night of degustation and entertainment not to be missed, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  With the previous two years quickly selling … Read more

MEKONG RETURNS WITH SELL-OUT CRAFT BEER AND CURRY SERIES

BREWS AND CHEWS ‘PART TIW’ –

MEKONG ON KENSINGTON STREET – SYDNEY

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It’s a classic combo like no other: rich and fragrant curries paired with the crisp, hoppy goodness of a cold beer. After the sell-out success of the first series, Mekong on Kensington Street launches round two of their Craft Beer and Curry Series, featuring Chef Tiw’s award-winning Indochine cuisine and collaborations with Sauce Brewery, Lord Nelson, Willie the Boatman and 4 Pines.

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The events will take place monthly from February to June and consist of five shared courses and five paired beers. Brewers will be on hand on the night to chat through the selected beers, tasting notes and why they’ve been matched.

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Each event will hero a selection of regional culinary delights, from the country’s that border the Mekong River, with cuisine from Cambodia, Vietnam, Northern Thailand and Myanmar. Think unexpected pairings like dark beer and charcoal pudding, spicy dishes with hoppy pale ale.

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“Indian curries have long been paired with Indian Pale Ale due to the hoppy nature of the beer,” Chef Tiw said. “But the reality is, there are so many beer styles that can complement a curry and we want to highlight some of best in this Craft Beer and Curry Series.”

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Tickets are on sale now at $95 per person. Book your ticket online before they sell-out: https://tickets.myguestlist.com/v25a57f7992ba51/craft-/beer-curry-part-2-brew-tiw/

What: Craft Beer and Curry Series

Where: Mekong on Kensington Street, 2/14 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

When: Thursday 22 February, 22 March, 24 May and 21 June 2018 at 6:30pm

Tickets: $95

https://tickets.myguestlist.com/v25a57f7992ba51/craft-beer-curry-part-2-brew-tiw/

Website: https://www.mekong-restaurant.com.au

**Information & Images Courtesy of Mekong/Cardinal Spin – Matt Fraser

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Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

theaustraliatimes.com/news

literallyconnie@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/tatgourmetmag

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Discover Gippsland with Alejandro Saravia: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2018

Saturday 17th March – Fish Creek, Gippsland Pastuso’s Alejandra Saravia will once again celebrate the heart of Gippsland and its world class produce with a series of special events in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2018. Renascence Gippsland will be held on Saturday 17 March at Biran Biran Gippsland Natural Beef Farm … Read more