Tuesday, January 26, 2010

slack slack slack

It was pretty inevitable that I would be pretty hopeless keeping up the ol' blog but at least a decent break means lots of material saved up for one super excellent blog...maybe...

When last we met I'd just had a very lovely birthday and I'm pleased to report the loveliness continued into the following week when I met one of my favorite married couples for a delicious birthday treat. This particular Mr and Mrs are the stylish, savvy, city type so we met at The Italian at 101 Collins Street and while the Mrs regaled us with hilarious tales of her misadventures on a tropical island we enjoyed some really delightful food and wine including beef carpaccio with celeriac remoulade and Reggiano and really, really delicious spaghetti of blue swimmer crab, tomato and chili - mmmmmmmm. Being the wife of a chef I have become very good at being the third, fifth or seventh wheel, but these two make it so easy!

The following days were filled with fleeting visits from international uncles and worrying test results from the doc (being a chef's wife may have it's perks but high cholesterol - my doctor actually used the term "up the creek" - is not one of them!).

Sunday saw us at H's boss's house for a staff party, celebrating Christmas (obviously December is too busy to do it then) and the exciting award they worked so hard to receive last year. This makes the cholesterol kinda worth it...oysters, delicious salads, poached chicken, tender pork belly, wagu rump, pate en crute etc etc etc. The food was amazing and the company even better. They really do operate as a big family and it was quite a privilege to be invited in.

It was so wonderful to hear from my BFF who I spoke to on Monday while half dead from some sort of nasty stomach bug - especially since she was calling from London! It's always so great to speak to her, she makes me laugh and we reminisce about the high jinx we got up to over there! Her husband has put together a brilliant blog called Home Zero Home and I urge you all to check it out at http://homezerohome.com/

So all in all a very successful couple of weeks I must say and now I am off on two weeks delicious leave including a massage and a mini break away with some of my favorite women...stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Year Older...

Birthdays used to be such an event for me. I would let everyone know months in advance, how many sleeps until I'm another year older...that was until I turned 25. After gathering a few friends together for "a few quiet drinks" I proceeded to write myself off and behave so badly that I honestly feel I don't deserve to celebrate the momentous date anymore.

That was two years ago. I turned 27 last Monday, and much like last year it was very quiet, with next to no fanfare. Some people I know will disagree with me here but I'm really not much for being the centre of attention so this suited me just fine.

H decided Sunday was too nice a day to mope so dragged me out for a pre-birthday afternoon drinky poos. We took a short stroll in the sunshine to the Cherry Tree Hotel in Richmond. Situated next to the old Rosella Complex the pub was light and airy and really quiet for an afternoon so suited to kicking back with your bestie and enjoying a few boutique brews. I made quite good friends with the Knappstien Reserve Lager. Not a cheap shout at $10.00 a bottle but thoroughly worth it and my new favourite!

The Cherry Tree put us in a very good mood and we skipped home (still in the sunshine) making garlands from overhanging vines and acting like a couple of tipsy twenty somethings...H has the photos to prove it. We promptly decided the Cherry Tree is our new 'local' and will be spending many a Sunday arvo there - come and join us anytime!

After such a stunning pre-birthday celebration I hardly expected Monday to surpass Sunday, especially(as my fellow Melburnians will confirm) the temperature was set to soar into the mid 40s and I don't do well in the heat. However, much to my surprise and delight halfway through the sweltering workday my mum and little sister (who also work in hospitality - our family business in one of Victoria's top tourist destinations) appeared to whisk me off for a seafood lunch...not too shabby. Not to mention a delivery of my favorite roses from H!

By the time work was over the mercury sat at about 43 degrees and our plans for a quick Vietnamese and a movie were looking pretty grand. H and I headed to Victoria Street in Richmond for a delicious meal - it never disappoints, where else can you eat so much you feel like exploding and walk away having paid less than $50 for two? Codo is our fave, tiny, busy, really really yummy.

So all in all a pretty fab and low key birthday - drinks, seafood, gorgeous flowers, Vietnamese, great movie (The Lovely Bones - THOROUGHLY recommend) OH and a homemade strawberry tart by a word class chef...doesn't get much better!

Check out http://www.thecherrytree.com.au/

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Laziness is a Virtue

Usually, when H is working of an evening, I come home from work, organise something lame for dinner, sit down in front of the TV and stay there for a good three to four hours. Hey, no one's there to tell me not to! I have been pretty set in this routine for the past 12 months - there was some great crappy television in 2009!

However, since starting back at work a few days ago my lovely, lazy nights have become a thing of the past. For the past two nights I've actually done - cue dramatic music - EXERCISE! I have come home from work, eaten a healthy meal lovingly prepared by my hubbie and once that's done with we head out the door for a brisk walk around the gardens...and here's the shocking part...I LOVE IT!

A little exercise makes you feel good! Whoda thunk it??

The best part though is having time to chat with H. We walk around the beautiful park, soaking up our city and reminisce about holidays and great meals we've had while making plans to go back to these great restaurants with like minded pals.

One particularly fond memory is of The Commoner in Fitzroy. We've been a few times and think we might be due another round. A Honky Sandwich for brunch will stay on your mind well after the meal! Also open for dinner they offer modern British cuisine - hearty, tasty and really worth returning to.

So while H is still on holidays I am really going to make the most of pretending to be a normal person, I think we'll head out for another stroll tonight!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here we go again...

So, it has been suggested to me many times that I should start a blog. Even if no one ever reads it, what an excellent way to 1. document my oh-so-thrilling existance 2. waste time at work!

Let's start with a breif intro. I am a 26 year old Melbournian, I work in a bayside office and live in a really cute flat. I have a cat, two fish and a husband whom I adore.

Said husband is a chef. In fact Husband is one of the best chefs going round. Truthfully, that's not just wife-speak!

For the past few years Husband has been a fixture at some of Melbourne's (and one of London's) top restaurants. We travelled to London in 2006 for the sole purpose of furthering his career. For a year my darling boy experienced extremely long work hours, weight loss and verbal abuse that makes Gordon Ramsey look like a pussy cat, while I worked a nine to fiver and spent time with a few of the most fabulous friends a girl could hope to find on the other side of the world...oh, and we NEVER saw each other.

London was at the extreme end of the hospitality relationship spectrum. Husband was out the door at 6am and home on the last tube. Since we have been home things have been slightly more relaxed, but slightly less stable. Within a week of arriving back in Melbourne Husband landed a job at what was one of Melbourne's most exciting restaurants, however after a year of back and forthing with new owners and a move into the CBD that never happened, the delightful and innovative eatery closed its doors and the young staff went their separate ways. Seemingly the timing was perfect as one of Husband's London collegues arrived back in Melbourne at that time. Together this talented team took over the kitchen at a flailing inner city restaurant and turned the menu into something special...but once again it was a constant battle with new owners and after a year the chefs moved on to bigger and better things.

So that brings us to late last year. Husband was hired to replace the sous chef at a busy little spot near our home. Within a month the head chef resigned and Husband was faced with a dilemma. Whilst the owners wanted him to replace the head chef they wanted to take the menu in a direction that did not suit him. Things were looking annoyingly up in the air until the phone rang and we heard those fateful words..."hello, this is your dream job calling"!

As of this week my dearest takes over the position of head chef at a Melbourne institution and whilst I could not be prouder (this gushing blog is proof of that) this does mean we are back to the unbearabley long hours.

A day off in common does mean we can retain something resembling a normal relationship, not to mention fodder for this blog when he updates me on all the goss!

In the meantime I hope that other ladies and gents who work a nine to five job while their partners slave away over the hot stoves can relate to these rants, at least I've passed a quick hour in the office!