GIN MAKING CLASSES NEW website review by Katherine Kelly
Bass & Flinders Gin Masterclass Venue: Garage Wine Store and Bar 42-44 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
Last week I learned about the intricacies of Gin-making from distiller Holly Klintworth from Bass & Flinders Distillery, a family-run artisanal Distillery, located at Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. Where possible, it uses local produce and Shiraz grapes in their spirit production. Holly, with a wine marketing background, commenced distilling three years ago. This was a steep learning curve for Holly who had no chemistry or maths background. In addition to their nine gin varieties, Bass & Flinders distil liqueurs such as Limoncello, Vodka and a French inspired Brandy known as Ochre.
The Gin Masterclass consisted of a history of Gin. We learned that it originated in the Netherlands in the 13th century and was originally known as Genever. It served as a medicinal drink and was used prior to battles to calm soldiers’ nerves. Hence the term “Dutch courage”. By the 17th Century, Gin had become popular in England at the time when Mary II and William III of Orange ascended the Throne. It continued to be a popular drink throughout the centuries. Over recent years Gin has risen rapidly in popularity; in 2012, there were just thirty Gin distillers in Australia, now there are over 350!
Holly explained the Bass & Flinders unique distilling process where single vineyard Shiraz grapes are used along with gin’s essential ingredient Juniper – a bitter and dry tasting cone-shaped fruit which is softened by coriander in the process. Other botanicals such as bush sandalwood, orange peel and bitter almond can be added. Distillation is producing spirit by separating the different types of alcohol - a fine and exacting art.
Participants were able to sample some of the botanicals used in Gin-making and taste four Bass & Flinders Gin products:
This Gin reflects the heritage of the Mornington Peninsula. It contains locally acquired kelp and saltbush. Other botanicals include Strawberry gumleaf and Lemon Myrtle.
Gin Ten is made from the Tasmanian Juniper berry, Cardamom, orange peel, native pepper berry and bitter almond (the kernel of the apricot seed).
Angry Ant Gin
This Gin has a lot of the essences of the outback. The botanicals have been sourced from the Wooleen property in Western Australia 700 Km north of Perth. This property is unique in that owners David Pollock and Frances Jones emptied it of all the livestock and enabled the creation of its original flora, which elicited the return of native animals and birds. The botanicals selected in the creation of this Gin include native lemongrass, native sandalwood nuts, the currant bush; and … Australian ants! Ants produce pheromones which have been used to complement the plant botanicals used in this original and unique gin.
Some years ago, ABC’s Australian Story produced Splendour in the Grass - a couple of episodes on Wooleen.
Just a word about the venue for this Masterclass. Previously a mechanics shop, the Garage Bar is now a wine store and bar. Opened two years ago by a partnership and run by the very hospitable Adam, the Garage bar does a brisk trade in take-away wines, ciders, beers and spirits – not to mention Gin! There is plenty of room to enjoy unique wines by the glass on the way home from work.
photography: Stuart Buchanan
Saori Sauce presenting Japanese Vegan Cooking Class III NEW Sun 9th Feb 2020 website review: Olga Kirk
Japanese Vegan Cooking Class with Saori
Are you vegan or not? It really doesn’t matter it’s good to just learn to cook something new, healthy and tasty! I’m not a vegan but I take care in what I eat: it must be fresh, easy to digest and tasty. I believe that we are what we eat))
The vegan cooking course with Saori has become very popular and is usually booked out. It’s great if you learn how to make it occasionally to surprise your family and friends!
I couldn’t imagine how versatile Tofu can be- silky, firm, cooked etc. The main thing is Saori is sharing the best brands and places to buy them.
We learnt to cook using only plant-based Japanese dishes and even dessert. When you are next to a Japanese expert like Saori you feel like you are somewhere in Japan! Atmosphere and the sweet heart of Saori makes you happy, not only her food and sauces!
Highly recommend for people who care about their health and are looking for new ideas!
photography: Andrew J Liu
Saori Sauce presenting Japanese Vegan Cooking Class TRADITIONAL NEW Sun 16th Feb 2020 website
review by Jeanette Russell
Saori first moved to Australia, in 2011 From Hokkaido Japan. Seven years ago she began her Sauce innovations, and started her business, in Melbourne. Having studied health Science in Japan, she became particularly interested in producing seasonings and condiments that were based on traditional Japanese cookery. One of Saori's passions is to produce high quality dishes that she can share with others while leading the way to making delicious and healthy dishes. Another important aspect of classes Saori teaches is that she wants to provide high quality ingredients without too many additives or too much processing. Believing that Japanese cooking is one of the more nutritious types in the world, Saori runs and heads up workshops, that include vegan and vegetarian classes.
The group, I was very fortunate to attend was a lunchtime one. All guests were able to participate in the cooking and procedures for the process of making fresh and very palatable Japanese cuisine. Our presenter Saori was most delightful, and had a vast knowledge of her craft. Making 5 dishes in total the group members were really treated to a wonderful assortment of culinary delights for our consumption.
Dishes included Nasu Dengalku a eggplant dish. A tofu Fritter was another delicacy. A lovely mushroom dish, and a soup with amazing dumplings. For dessert we had Dango Balls which traditionally are not too sweet, as that is how the Japanese like their deserts . It was very tasty.
After we had finished cooking we all sat down together at the table and shared the dishes for a beautiful nourishing and scrumptious meal. Saori was an interesting and informative host and it was moving to hear about her beloved home land. I would highly recommend the classes, for flavoursome, beneficial foods as well as a great atmosphere, not to mention the breathtaking views of Melbourne from the dining room window. Thank you so much for the opportunity to review it. On sale is Saori's own array of sauces, as well as seasonings curries and Soup stock.
photography: Ezwan Chew
VEGAN CHEESE MAKING WORKSHOP AT UNWRAPPED PANTRY website review by Jeanette Russell
Thank you very much for the opportunity to review the Unwrapped pantry vegan cheese workshop on the 25th of Jan.I was delighted to attend the session at Belgrave South last weekend. The owner of the business Yvonne, running the show on the day was very personable, professional, and it seemed most skilled and masterful at producing her culinary delights. We were treated to delicious delicacies that were blissful for the palate.
First up we were able to spectate to as Yvonne demonstrated how to make the vegan cheese. It was a Garlic and herb vegan cheese recipe On tasting it, I found it to be most moreish, smooth and creamy . Next up we witnessed Yvonne whipping up a vegan sauce, which went with veges. It was a lovely to eat. Last up she showed the participants how to do a vegan Parmesan cheese . It was very tasty indeed.
Yvonne brought the business whole food store just over two years ago and stated that she has added 100s of products to the shop. Starting the workshops just over 6 months ago she began with various topics. However the vegan workshops have by far excelled in popularity. They have apparently taken on a life of their own. I believe they are great value for money, very informative and interesting, not to mention the opportunity to sample the beautiful foods. The products sold at the shop are healthy choice products and Yvonne tries to stock as much Australian food as possible. The Bulk food shop contains grains, sugars pulses. Unwrapped Pantry staff practice a zero waste policy, brown paper bags are provided for health foods, or patrons are welcome to bring their own containers.