Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lunch with George Calombaris

This little black pass from Fisher & Paykel worked wonders this past weekend.  It's an amazing experience to be a VIP at a huge event. You may remember that I recently won a big competition that included 4 VIP passes to the Good Food & Wine Show, front row seats to the celebrity theatre, lunch with George Calombaris and 2 hotel rooms at The Darling at the Star.  I have won some good prizes in my life (money, dinners, that enormous stuffed doggy, a race in a Porsche with the No 1 Racer at the time, around raceway Oran Park) but this weekend just past beat all of them hands down.

We had an amazing weekend. We were really treated extremely well and it's a weekend we will all long remember. So many people were lovely to us - the staff at the Good Food & Wine Show, George and his amazing team, stall holders who spoiled us with free food goodies, the friendly hotel staff and in particular, Jacinta, the marketing coordinator from Fisher & Paykel who was so lovely to us and organised our weekend.

George Calombaris (Master Chef judge, and owner of the Press Club, Hellenic Republic etc) is both an incredible chef and just a down right nice man.  He's always been my favourite Masterchef judge - I think its the twinkle and cheekiness in his eyes. I really admire people who have passion for what they do and when they share that passion and skill with others.

George was super nice to our daughter. He's such a family man - his passion for food and family is so evident in all he does. No wonder I admire him so much!

food is family, family is life, life is everything
- George Calombaris

The food that George and his talented head chef Joe Grbac from the Press Club made us was divine. This pretty plate below was heirloom carrots, flowers and WA Marron, taramasalata and fennel pollen. It tasted as good as it looked.

The main course was a Pikilia of veal with eel, pumpkin and fetta. 
Melt in your mouth.

The dessert was pure theatre - the Story of the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite. Roses bloomed where ever she went. The soil was made of chocolate - a bit like Milo but way better, served with chocolate mousse that you would never have taste the likes of before, white chocolate and marshmellow snails that had guts made from passion fruit mousse, little chocolate and blackberry toadstools that popped in your mouth, sugared rose petals and bark made from pumpkin. All covered the rose water essence that was mixed with dry ice and steamed everywhere.

I was so proud of our daughter. She was the only child there - normally children aren't allowed in the Private Dining Room but because I had won the prize they let us bring her. She tried everything and didn't make any fuss and she was so polite and lovely.  She even tried the sweetmeats  - which I only tried because she'd eaten it and said it was yummy! She's such a pleasure to go out with.

Have you been to one of George's restaurants? What did you eat? Did it just blow you away?

You'll have to excuse the crappy phone photos but it didn't feel right ripping out my massive camera.

My sister and I also accosted Miguel Maestre as he came out of the toilets. Poor guy...He was so friendly and also good looking! Phil and I have long been fans of Miguel (TV shows include Boys Weekend and now The Living Room). 

Miguel's younger brother Carlos was our waiter for the lunch. He's front of house at the Argyle.  Can you imagine family functions with these 2 foodies in the house!

This was our room at The Darling. A really luxurious hotel.  We gave the other room that I won to our lovely neighbours. We had so much fun with them at the Good Food and Wine Show and at dinner on Saturday night. Lots of champagne and laughs.

We didn't need a thing to eat on Sunday night. Not that we were stuffed after lunch - just so satiated.  I just had a glass of lemon juice and water and was in bed by 9:15pm. That's very early for me!

It's good to win a prize and be thoroughly spoiled for a weekend! I think I'm going to enter some more competitions! LOL.

What's the best thing you've ever won?


  1. Oh my, this sounds like such a lovely weekend and the food looks delicious. You daughter is adorable and what a trooper to try everything. Hug,s Marty

  2. Fiona what a weekend, Sasha looked so excited. What a win. Sandy x

  3. looks like you had an amazing time! :) and delicious, too!

  4. wow what an amazing time, my favourit photos are the ones of your wee girl, so sweet :) Isn't it nice taking just one of your kids somewhere sometimes, they are so different on their own! I don't really enter competitions very often, just can never be bothered. I did however win Sandy's giveaway a while back now, a sign from Ramsign. I chose to put 'casa della familigia Needham' on it, and it hangs on the front door of our home :)

    xx Karen

  5. Wow - what an amazing experience. Not just the food but the whole package. Congratulations.

  6. That looks seriously AMAZING! Lucky girl! I've NEVER won anything that good! Mx

  7. The other day my boyfriend and I won a Smeg Fab28 Retro Fridge. We were so chuffed!

    Your hotel suite looks amazing.

  8. This is really wonderful that I have found this website. I would really admire the efforts made here to make the content & the whole stuff more wonderful than others.


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