15 January 2012

Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic, Centennial Park (14 Jan 2012)

Corner of Parkes and Hamilton Ave, Centennial Park NSW 2021 http://www.centennialparklands.com.au

For the love of food, let's eat!

Mother nature was thankfully very kind for the Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic organised by Chocolatesuze and Grab Your Fork providing a miraculous break from the wet weather. Having minimum cooking skills I resorted to bringing the one thing I knew I could do — making cocktails. With the kind donation by Steve Stammers (Weber Shandwick) and Cida Wen (William Grant & Sons) for 3 bottles of Hendrick's Gin and Charlotte Ferrand (Burson-Marsteller) for 3 bottles of Maker's Mark I was set to make two of my favourite drinks I discovered in 2011. The Simon Food Favourites Pop Up Bar was created with two small tables and served the Hendrick's Gin & Tonic with fresh cucumber and the Maker's Mark punch known as Samuels Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice (recipe below) which even the non-whisky fans admittedly enjoyed once they tried. I think the most inventive eat of the day goes to the Candy Bug (pictured above) made by Sara and Joshua from Belly Rumbles. Banana lollies, mint chews and jaffas have never looked so cool. It was a fun day to catchup with lots of bloggers and put faces to new ones I haven't met before. I hope everyone had a good time and I look forward to meeting you at the next meetup.

Other events enjoyed with Hendrick's Gin:

Other events enjoyed with Maker's Mark:

Simon Food Favourites Pop Up Bar

Hendrick's Gin & Tonic with fresh cucumber

Maker's Mark Samuels Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice punch

Samuels Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice recipe
1.75L Maker's Mark
300mls Lemon Juice
3L Ginger Beer
300mls Spicer Port Syrup*
3 Oranges - Sliced in thin wheel for garnish
5kg bag of ice

*Spiced Port Syrup
Peel of 6 lemons and 6 oranges
1 kg Castor Sugar
6 cracked cardamon pods, 1 cracked whole nutmeg, 6 colves, 6 star anise, 4 cinnamon quills
700mls Port (Your preferred choice)

Combine citrus peel, sugar & spices in an airtight container for 24 hours, shaking a few times throughout. Add the Port and leave for a further 12 hours, stirring well.
Strain the finished compounded syrup through cheese cloth, bottle and refrigerate.
Service – combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl, stir well and serve.

Schiacciata was really nice — first thing I tried made by Mel (Crunchy Tiger)

This yummy quiche was my lunch — thanks Shez (One More Bite)

This cupcake was so good — loved it! Christmas Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing by Swah (Love Swah)

A yummy pandan cupcake from Lay's Kitchen Explorations

OMG, how cool! Candy bugs by Sara and Joshua from Belly Rumbles

Bacon makes an appearance

These were popular

Fresh is best — such a great idea, if I had a blender I could have made a cocktail out of these

So many cakes, so little time

I wanted to try this but missed out

Great childhood memories with fairy bread — so who got the one with the fly on it?

Paella was very popular

I think it's a savoury roll?

I'm suspecting a tiramisu? — Great decoration on top

Most awesome painted fingernails by April (Polkadots & Chopsticks)

Chocolatesuze's multicoloured nails goes well with a Maker's Mark

Gianna's sparkling fingernails offset nicely with a Hendrick's Gin

Two drinks Suze and Dee (Food In Hand) with an old school film camera

Dedication to the blog

Lola (Figs & Brie) and me

Paul and Joseph (Up For A Feed) with me

Laura (StarLoz) and me

Richard (Richard Elliot's Blog) and me

Anyone for a cocktail?

Potential Ambassadors for Maker's Mark and Hendrick's Gin

Food bloggers enjoying the cocktails — Betty (Sugarpuffi), Annie (The Random Foodie), Swah (Love Swah), Felicity (Flick Your Food), Sophie (The Stick and Sweet)

Penny (Jeroxie) and me

Michelle (M(i)s Ch(i)ef™), Maryanne (Dressed and Eaten), JB (j.b.josé) and me

Tina (bitemeshowme), Shanshan (Food is our religion) and me

Food bloggers say grace by photographing before they eat

Simon (the heart of food) setting up for a group shot

Group side shot

Group front shot

Group back shot

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Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

OMG you are quick!

Loved your pop up bar, would of loved it more if I wasn't driving ;)

Didn't try the gin and tonic as the other whiskey sugar and spice one sounded so nice. It was, I think you need to share the recipe with us Simon!

Glad you liked my bugs :)

BeyondBourkeStreet said...

Woot, a post up already! The pop up bar was so cool, but since I had to drive home, I just observed its coolness from the sidelines xD I didn't have a chance to say hello yesterday, but I recognised a lot of the bloggers (including both Simons!). Love your blog, and look forward to reading more in the future.

P.S. The big cake was from me - it was an apple cake with cream cheese frosting. I didn't get a chance to photograph it properly at the picnic, so seeing it on your blog this morning was a pleasant surprise :D

joey@FoodiePop said...

Looks like good times! Very fortunate with the weather as well. :-)

MissPiggy said...

You should hire out your pop-up bar for events...you'd make a killing.

They were my savoury scrolls - tuna and corn.

Kerancia said...

The Candy Bugs are super cute! Too cute to eat. Yum, so many desserts and sweets, all looks delicious Simon :) Anyone recovering from a post picnic sugar coma?...

Flick said...

Thanks for the pop up bar! The cocktails were tasty but lethal :)
Its was great to meet you

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

A picture of efficiency as always, Simon! So glad the weather held out! I think you could have a back-up career as a mixologist. lol.

Nic said...

Great round up of the day and really good to meet you!. I think I will be giving the cocktail a go, it reminded me of a mulled wine type cocktail with all those spices - delicious!

Swah said...

Hey Simon,
Was great to meet you yesterday! I was in the green polka dot dress and made the ginger cupcakes with cream cheese icing - glad you enjoyed them! :)

Laura a.k.a rah said...

you guys won't need to eat until next Tuesday!!

JB said...

Awesome bar, Simon. Pleasure meeting you!

Flick Your Food said...

Hi, It was great meeting you yesterday, I was the one in the bright coloured striped dress.
Your cocktails were delicious, also lethal :)

Dee @ foodinhand said...

Wow that was fast. Did you even sleep?? I second everyone's notion, great bar and ideal alternative career.

Martyna@WholesomeCook said...

Aw... I'm a bit bummed I missed out on the meet up but it was good to check it out through your photos. Quick as always!

chocolatesuze said...

great round up simon! loved your pop up bar hehe they were deeeelicious cocktails!

Annie said...

Was awesome meeting you yesterday :D! Love the pop up bar...the cocktails were very addictive hehe. Hope to catch up with you and everyone else at another foodie event!

penny aka jeroxie said...

best pop up bar ever! Love love the bourbon cocktail. Am so going to make it. And nice to finally meet you after following your blog for so long.
Chin Chin!

Food is our religion said...

It was awesome seeing you again yesterday! Hope to see you again at future foodie events :)

Jacq said...

Lovely to see you again Simon! The pop up bar was such a good idea!

Jennifer Reid said...

Sorry I missed it...looks like such fun! :)

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

It was lovely to meet you Simon. I have been following you for a couple years now so it's great to have seen you in person :)

You're such a quick blogger. I love it. Thanks for being Mr. Bar Tender. The drinks were delicious!

lateraleating said...

It was great meeting you in person, thanks for the cocktails! (I'm glad I didn't drive!).

Detective Chow said...

The "bloggers say grace" photo and comment is hilarious. :)

Joseph said...

Was nice to meet you! your bar was great, loved the makers mark cocktail!

Michelle Elliott said...

Loved the pop up bar - such a great idea for networking with everyone! Thanks for posting the Makers Mark cocktail. Now I have something to do with the whisky on my bar at home! Great to meet you :-)

crunchytiger said...

Great to finally meet you Simon! Thanks so much for your cocktails, they were definitely one of the highlights of the day :)

The focaccia you photographed at the top is mine :) It's actually a schiacciata... I posted the recipe on my blog if you ever want to try making it yourself! http://crunchytiger.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/brasserie-breads-schiacciata-con-luva/

Vivian - vxdollface said...

Haha so quick to post!
Your cocktail bar was such a success :)would've never thought to have a pop-up cocktail bar at a picnic, but I guess that's why food bloggers are so awesome ;)

Dressed and Eaten said...

Lovely to meet you. Such a great idea for you to bring along the pop up bar. Great round up of the meet. Looking forward to the next one!

Laura said...

oh yeah, you got a shot of my peaches, i'm uber glad because i didn't take any. oops!

great seeing you again & i loved your pop-up bar

Simon Leong said...

hi sara, hopefully i'll do the pop up bar next time and you're not driving as well :-)

hi beyondbourkestreet, your cake looked awesome. hopefully i'll try next time.

hi joey, hope to see you at the next one.

hi misspiggy, i might have to think about that as a career move perhaps :-)

hi kerancia, i think most of us would have had a sugar overload

hi flick, if you're going to have a cocktail it might has well be lethal too :-)

hi helen, job well done in organising.

hi nic, definitely like a mulled wine and very easy to drink

hi swah, loved your cupcake. was my sugarhit for the day. great to meet you too.

hi laura, i think you might be right ;-)

hi jb, great to meet you too. glad you enjoyed the bar. finally something i can do.

hi flick, glad you enjoyed the cocktails. lethal is my middle name hehe

hi dee, i rarely sleep these days it seems. too many things to blog about.

hi martyna, hopefully see you at the next one :-)

hi chocolatesuze, so glad the pop up bar worked. i think a bit more table space next time will come in handy though :-)

hi annie, great to meet you too. will aim to have some new cocktails at the next picnic.

hi penny, thanks for the kind words. hope you get to make the bourbon cocktail soon to impress your friends — i guarantee they'll love it.

hi food is our religion, hope to see you at future events too.

hi jacq, long time no see. good to see you too.

hi jennifer, hopefully next time.

hi tina, great to meet you too. thanks for following my blog. was happy being Mr Bar Tender for a day. lots of fun.

hi lateraleating, lucky you for not driving. more cocktails for you! was great to finally meet you too.

hi detective chow, first photograph, then eat, is the blogger way.

hi joseph, that maker's mark was definitely a popular one

hi michelle, hope your whiskey cocktail works out. looking forward to seeing the post if you blog it

hi crunchytiger, thanks heaps for the recipe. so professionally cooked.

hi vivian, it was a last minute decision but so glad i did it. was lots of fun.

hi dressed and eaten, looking forward to the next one too. may the drinks run freely then as well.

hi laura, i really wanted one of those peaches but forgot to take one. they looked so good.

Lola said...

Hahaha thank you for the lovely drinks at the pop-up bar Simon! Always nice to to see you again, and such a fantastic picnic it was. Although that is a heaps unflattering photo of me hahaha

Simon Leong said...

hi lola, great to see you again too. i reckon you look pretty good in the photo although i didn't take it so you can't blame me hehe :-)

muppy said...

great post SImon, sadly i didn't partake in the cocktails (was feeling a bit sick on the day :( ) - next year pleeeeeaaasssee do it again!!!

Simon Leong said...

hi muppy, will definitely aim to do a pop up bar next time. seemed to be a big success for all that got to try it :-)

Miss Kimbers said...

What a fantastic turn out! The bar idea is a classic:) Next time you will have to take along a generator to power the blender for any fresh fruit.

Simon Leong said...

hi Miss Kimbers, a blender for next time would be so cool. anyone got a generator they can bring?

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