October 2009

Those of you who read the big Sydney newspaper — the one that’s hard to handle on the bus or train — will know all about SIFF, the Sydney International Food Festival, with its giant (50-page) program of largely chef-worshipping events (see below). There are so many things to see and do that many of us will decide to do … nothing. A pity. Here’s a few I’d pick from the list. I’d love to go the Sichuan Banquet at Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay (October 20, Ph 9518 9011).

Sichuan seems to be a bit of a theme this year, mainly because the brilliant Fuschia Dunlop, whose book on Sichuan food, Land of Plenty (Norton), has become such a hit. Ms Dunlop herself will be cooking with Sichuanese chef Yu Bo (described as the Chinese Ferran Adrià?!) at Claude’s (10 Oxford Street Woollahra, Ph 9331 2325) on October 12 — pricey @ $250 a head, but if you have the dosh, make an effort.

Speaking of Ms Dunlop and her Sichuanese book (not to mention her other brilliant and disturbing book on learning to cook in China reviewed on the Sydney Eats site, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper published by Ebury), I’m trying to summon the courage to cook her Sichuan Roast duck (page 251 Land of Plenty), which will take the better part of three days

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