Four KitchensFans of Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules probably know Colin as the ’straight talking’, ‘call it as I see it’ ‘hard-assed’ guest judge who has ruffled the odd feather and allegedly made several contestants cry.

Fans of great cooking will however, know Colin as the Dublin born, Sydney based classically trained two hat chef with a passion for nose-to-tail and seasonal eating.

Colin’s main restaurant in Sydney (Paddington), The Four in Hand is a two-hatted restaurant high on our list of places we must try, but we don’t often get to Sydney. So it was with some excitement that we were able to organise dinner with Colin here in Melbourne.

Colin’s classical training included an apprenticeship with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, five years in London, stints with Est and the feted but ill-fated Banc in Sydney before taking over the Paddington kitchen and making it his own.

Colin’s signature is food he likes to eat; nose to tail cookery that is a little refined; sourced and sauced with respect, honesty and seasonality, a little bit of ‘craic’ and a bit more honesty.

As Terry Durack once said in the Sydney Morning Herald…

“This feels like food that is making a point, not just sitting there. The kitchen is also more sustainable than most, with its use of cheeks, ears and bones. The chef also grows most of the flowers, herbs and small vegetables on the rooftop. It’s a more refined version of nose-to-tail cookery than at that patron saint of offal and honesty, St John in London, and is all the better for it.

Above all, there is respect here for those who enjoy good, contemporary food and wine without any histrionics and who want somewhere small and civilised in which to appreciate them. I’ll stop looking for things I don’t like about it now. I don’t think there are any.”

Colin will be joining us for dinner for the Melbourne launch of his first book Four Kitchens published by Ebury Australia on Wednesday 2 April and we’d like to invite you to join us.

Matt Wilkinson at Pope Joan shares a fair bit of Colin’s approach to good food so we’ve asked Matt (who cooked a cracker meal for our Rick Stein dinner last year!) to put together a great menu from Colin’s book to celebrate its launch.

Expect some great food, great laughs and straight talking from Colin & Matt; neither of them are known for being shy!

Pope JoanWhen: 7.30pm Wednesday 2 April

Where: Pope Joan 77-79 Nicholson St Brunswick East

Menu: 4 courses, drinks included

Price: $130 per person (includes all food, wine & a signed copy of Colin’s book)

Bookings open 12 noon Wednesday 25th March; to book call Pope Joan on (03) 9388 8858

If you are interested in coming, we suggest you book now as places are limited and we expect they will sell out fast.

Additional copies of Colin’s book will be available on the night. If you would like a signed personalised copy but can’t join us for dinner please contact us

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Fermentation Workshops

We’re quite excited that over the weekend of the 21st-24th Sandor Ellix Katz will be visiting Melborne and conducting a series of fermentation workshops

We first discovered Sandor Katz in 2003, when he wrote Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible”) in order to share the fermentation wisdom he had learned, and to demystify home fermentation.

Since then Katz has taught hundreds of fermentation workshops across North America and beyond, taking on a role he describes as a “fermentation revivalist.”

One of the major trends in the past few years has been the rediscovery of traditional fermentation techniques for preserving and transforming foods.  Think sauerkraut, kimchi, beer, fermented sausages, cider, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha and much more.

The Art of Fermentation
Over the years it has been difficult to find good reference materials, but now,  his new book,  The Art of Fermentation, with a decade more experience behind Katz, provides the unique opportunity to hear countless stories about fermentation practices, and answer thousands of troubleshooting questions,

The Art of Fermenation has been one of our best sellers all year and is the winner of both James Beard and IACP awards as well as the recipient of critical acclaim around the world.

Thanks to our friends at Milkwood Permaculture you can spend up to 5 sessions with Sandor Katz here in Melbourne over the weekend 21-24 February. Tickets are available for all sessions.

We’ll also be there with a range of Fermentation, preserving and permaculture books for cooks and chefs as well as Sandor Katz’s books and DVDs.

If you can’t attend but would like a signed copy, contact us or buy The Art of Fermentation and we’ll post out your signed copy straight away.

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Buy a Cookbook for Christmas - they're easier to wrap

This Tuesday 10th December we’re staying open for some impromptu late night shopping for our VIP customers.

Join us between 6 and 9pm for:

  • 10% off most titles (and a few specials thrown in)
  • free giftwrap
  • A French wine & bubbles tasting courtesy of Randalls Imports
  • Tastes & nibbles courtesy of Savour & Grace
  • Some Christmas baking courtesy of Amanda

Wines from Randalls will be available for purchase for Christmas and Randall has promised to be ‘Santa’; expect some well priced treats!

We also have ice-cream vouchers from our wonderful new neighbours Gelato Messina to give away during the evening.

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