belinda jeffery's news and events
Phew, with Easter so early this year, I must admit I’ve been caught somewhat off-guard by the way March has slipped past in a flurry of classes and cooking, which, I would have to say, is a rather special way to spend a month! As I look back now over a lifetime of cooking, writing and teaching, I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to create a career out of a passion. I don’t think my mum quite realised the spark she ignited when, as a little girl, she first stood me on a stool next to her in the kitchen and let me help her cook. From that moment on I was totally smitten, and declared then and there that I wanted to be a ‘cooka in the kitchen’ when I grew up. It has been a long, winding, interesting, and at times exhausting, road since then, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it. For here I am, still doing the thing I love most…And there is a lot of that ‘thing’ happening this month.
At the beginning of April, I’m heading to Tasmania to teach at a unique cooking school which I absolutely love - the Agrarian Kitchen www.theagrariankitchen.com in New Norfolk. This beautiful farm cooking school is the creation of Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet, and no matter how many times I have been there, I’m always filled with joy at the sight of their wondrous vegetable and herb gardens; the orchard with its apple, pear and quince trees; the rambling rows of berry canes, and the hidden patches of wild strawberries and asparagus. For me it’s as though all my garden dreams have come true! It’s in this enchanted garden that we forage for whatever we need for the recipes, before heading into the light-filled kitchen to cook. By mid-afternoon we are settled in front of the fire in the dining room, talking, laughing, exchanging all sorts of food stories, and eating our fill of wonderful dishes. It’s lovely to be part of such a special experience.
In mid-April I’m off on a new adventure, and that is to conduct two classes with master cake baker, Jocelyn Hancock, at her new cake shop and bakery, Cake & Bake, in Brisbane’s West End www.cakeandbake.co. I have rather a long history with Jocelyn’s cakes, as when I first visited Brisbane by accident I stumbled across her original shop, Jocelyn’s Provisions. I walked inside to find a wonderland of beautiful home-style baking, and from then on every trip to Brisbane had to factor in a visit to this baking mecca. Sadly, one visit, Jocelyn was no longer there, and our much-anticipated sweet finish to a day in the big smoke came to an end. However in December last year, much to my delight she opened this gorgeous new venue, and it’s in the kitchen here that we shall both be baking some of our favourite cakes and pastries. If you would like to find out more about the classes, I’ve put all the details below.
Finally, as April draws to a close, I’m heading off for a very special few days in Adelaide to take part in the Tasting Australia festival www.tastingaustralia.com.au. It’s one of South Australia’s biggest and most wonderful events – chockful of everything to do with cooking, eating, growing, sustaining, loving and sharing good food and wine. I’m taking part in two lovely events – one a rather magical high tea at the Mayfair Hotel; and the other, a day of sponge cake-making in the Adelaide Central market kitchen with the top cake and sponge makers from the South Australian Country Women’s Association. And then on the final day, Sunday, I’m doing a bit of speed dating! Well, speed dating to talk about food anyhow! If you would like to find out more about any of these events, I’ve listed details below.
And on that note, I shall sign off, but not before mentioning this month’s recipe which, very appropriately considering all the baking I’m about to embark on, is for a really lovely, rustic apple cake that is fragrant with cinnamon; laden with apples; and finished off with a crunchy pecan crumble. What could be better!
P.S. FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY OF MY BOOKS!
Hooray!! The Book Depository is now stocking all my books and is offering free worldwide delivery. To buy them go to www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=belinda%20jeffery&search=Find+book
To see more of what I’m up to, you can follow me on Instagram.
Upcoming Cooking Classes, Events & News
1st and 2nd of April
I'm really chuffed to be returning to the wonderful Agrarian Kitchen cooking school in Tasmania in April to teach two baking classes on Friday 1st and Saturday the 2nd of April. (At this stage I believe the classes are full, however there is a cancellation list). This brilliant cooking school has a holistic paddock-to-plate philosophy that informs everything they do. Their website is really lovely and I highly recommend a visit...I rather suspect that, like me, you will be hooked once you read it! www.theagrariankitchen.com
13th and 14th of April
I’m really excited to announce that I shall be doing two baking classes with the hugely talented baker, Jocelyn Hancock, from Cake & Bake www.cakeandbake.co. I have always been a fan of Jocelyn’s baking, so when she asked me to come and do a class with her, I leapt at the chance. We shall both be demonstrating some of our favourite cakes in this special class held in the bakery’s kitchen. The classes cost $130 per person, and will include champagne, lots of chat and laughter…and of course, plenty of cake! For bookings, please email Jocelyn at email@example.com or phone on 07 3844 1088.
Tasting Australia - Adelaide
I'm really delighted to be taking part in this year's Tasting Australia which runs from 1st to 8th of May in Adelaide, www.tastingaustralia.com.au. I was fortunate to be at the inaugural TA in the 1990s (and even more fortunate to receive one of their coveted gold ladle awards for my TV segment). It was on this visit that I was completely won over by Adelaide's thriving Central Market, and the joy and passion for food that flourishes in this lovely city (I well remember my tiny hotel fridge was bulging at the seams with cheeses, smallgoods, and all sorts of treats that I hadn't been able to pass by in the market without buying just a wee slice to try...as I discovered, if you buy enough wee slices you can easily fill a fridge!). So when I was asked by the directors of Tasting Australia to take part in this year's event, I didn't miss a beat in saying yes. I'll be involved in a number of events, but the two big ones are a very special High Tea at the lovely Mayflower Restaurant, and a day-long sponge cake Masterclass with the fabulous women from South Australia's Country Women's Association. Seeing as how tea and cake are two of the things I love most in life, I feel so happy and excited about both events. If you would like to find out more about either, I have put the details below.
I shall be hosting and talking at a very elegant high tea at the Mayfair Hotel's Mayflower Restaurant and Bar in Adelaide as part of this year's Tasting Australia. Bethany Finn, the hotel's executive chef, and I shall be working on a menu of delicious sweet and savoury treats to savour with a glass of Petaluma Croser, and cups of tea and coffee. I would so love to see you there.
Join me and the SA Country Women's Association in a sponge cake masterclass. Award winning contributors from the SACWA Calendar of Cakes cookbook will share trusted family recipes and valuable prize-winning knowledge in this hands-on experience. Together, we'll reveal tips and tricks to achieve beautiful, mouth-watering sponge-based cakes that are worthy of many blue ribbons! Proceeds from this event will assist SACWA to continue its work in the community. Tickets include a signed copy of the Calendar of Cakes cookbook, an SACWA apron, lunch, and a gift bag containing SACWA products and recipes.
To find out more about both these events go to www.tastingaustralia.com.au, click on the What’s On link, and then go to the Program.
Saturday 13th August
I taught for the first time at Kitchen to Table last year, and I'm so glad to be returning to this lovely shop and cooking school in Yamba. This is an intimate demonstration class (read much chat and laughter!) where I'll put together a simple but delicious lunch using local ingredients. (BTW, I have a new cookbook coming out in October 2016 so you may well get a sneak peek at a recipe or two from it!).
For bookings and enquiries for this class, please contact www.kitchentotable.com.au, or phone them on 02 6646 1577.
Wednesday 24th August
This hands-on class is my second for the year at Lismore's fabulous Pepper Tree Kitchen cookware shop and cooking school. I must admit, I haven't sorted out exactly what we shall be doing yet.sorry! However, we'll be focusing on using beautiful local produce to create a fabulous casual menu. For bookings and enquiries, please contact the Pepper Tree Kitchen at www.peppertreekitchen.com.au and click on the link to their classes. You can also phone Helen on 02 6622 0180.
As I do just once a year, I shall be teaching at the renowned Accoutrement Cooking School in Sydney on Tuesday 18th October @ 6.30pm, to coincide with the release of my latest cookbook on Salads. For booking enquiries, go to the Cooking School page at www.accoutrement.com.au
I think there's nothing nicer than both giving and receiving handmade gifts for Christmas. There is just something so special about knowing that someone has put all that TLC into making you something, so I thought it would be a lovely time of year to do a class on simple but gorgeous edible gifts. For bookings and enquiries, please contact the Pepper Tree Kitchen at www.peppertreekitchen.com.au and click on the link to their classes. You can also phone Helen on 02 6622 0180.
If you would like to watch me making Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tarts on The Morning Show, follow this link...http://au.tv.yahoo.com/video/watch/25322696/springtime-asparagus-tarts/
My favourite charity
Just A Drop - www.justadrop.org
My lovely sister-in-law, Fiona Jeffery, started this international water aid charity in 1998 when she learnt that less than $2 can deliver clean water to a child for up to 10 years. From this knowledge, and her passion and commitment, Just a Drop was born, based on the premise that if people can be encouraged to give a little then collectively we can make a huge difference. I’m so proud of all she has achieved over the years and encourage you to visit the site and see the fantastic work they do.
Favourite websites & blogs