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The Forager: Easter buns and Jamie Oliver

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Today, Jamie’s Italian starts interviewing locals for its Adelaide opening, two loved SA companies join up for Easter, Indigenous food and more.

Jamie’s Italian starts recruiting

Celebrity-powered restaurant Jamie’s Italian has started recruiting locals for its Adelaide establishment, planned for the corner of King William Street and North Terrace.

Interviews began last week, and management says the bulk of the recruitment will be completed over the coming months.

The Forager is curious about how Italophile British chef Jamie Oliver’s take on Italian will go down in Adelaide, where Italian restaurants are among the city’s oldest and most-loved places to eat.

We put this to Karen Westfield, general manager of Jamie’s Italian. She said Oliver’s aim was “to re-create what Italians are most proud of – fantastic, rustic dishes made using tried and tested recipes that people love”.

“The restaurants are designed to be accessible, affordable and welcoming, no matter how much people spend or how long they stay,” she said. “We’re so glad that Adelaide already loves Italian and we’re hoping that they will love Jamie’s take on Italian, too.

“Italian food is all about fantastic ingredients, cooked simply. That’s what you’ll see at any great Italian restaurant and that’s what we make sure we do at Jamie’s Italian. As you’d expect from Jamie, he likes to throw a few little twists in there, too – little bits here and there that make us unique.”

Jamie’s Italian is expected to open in the second half of this year.

Jamie Oliver during a 2012 trip to Australia.

Jamie Oliver during a 2012 trip to Australia.

No Lenten deprivation

With just over a month to go until Easter, Kytons Bakery has begun its busiest time of the year.

One product that will keep the ovens cranking is its collaboration with Robern Menz – officially known as the “Kytons Menz Fruchocs Hot Cross Bun”.

It is exactly as it sounds – a hot cross bun with mini Fruchocs baked into it.

Sharon Sutton from Kytons says that last year the bakery couldn’t keep up with demand for the South Australian cross-over product, with the ovens cranking 24 hours in the lead-up to Easter.

The idea grew out of a radio promotion two years ago, before becoming an official product line in 2013.

Sutton is expecting huge demand again this year for the Fruchoc bun as well as their traditional hot cross bun, which won fifth place in the national hot cross bun competition in Shepparton last week.

“Kytons is a very busy place heading into Easter,” she said. “It’s a pretty crazy place here for the next few weeks.”

The buns can be bought direct from Kytons or Robern Menz, or at Foodland and IGA supermarkets.

The traditional Kytons hot cross bun.

The traditional Kytons hot cross bun.

In our own backyard

After years of being seen as a food novelty only, Indigenous ingredients are finally being treated very seriously (by chef Jock Zonfrillo, for example, at his well-received Rundle Street restaurant Orana).

Now, a Flinders University researcher is examining the potential of Indigenous plant to kill cancer cells.

Flinders reports that researcher Bradley Simpson is working with three Indigenous communities in the Adelaide Hills, Flinders Ranges and Cape York in Far North Queensland to test eight different flora species to look for possible medically useful compounds to treat cancer.

Simpson says the study, now in its eighth month, had shown “the plants are essentially killing the cancer cells”.

He says the plants had long been used by Indigenous communities to treat various health ailments, yet it was the first time they had been explored in anti-cancer applications.

“Nature is a treasure trove of potential better treatments, and both myself and the Indigenous communities I’m working with think these particular plants have real promise.”

Small bites

It’s been a very busy time for the McLaren Vale Beer Company. In collaboration with Chapel Hill Winery, the brewery has created a lovingly retro apple cider. Harking back to the days of travelling medicine salesmen, it’s called Dr Pilkington’s Miracle Cider. MVB has also added two imports to its distribution portfolio – the venerable US brew Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and China’s Lucky Buddha Beer (presented in a fat Buddha-shaped bottle).

MVB has also thrown its weight behind the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival, donating $5000 to help the grassroots festival along its way (read next week’s column for more details of the April festival’s program).

There’s an embarrassment of riches for casual diners around the city this week. Pop down to Lola’s Pergola, the Festival club on the banks of the Torrens, for some smoky barbecue, visit Hanuman or one of the other stalls at the Fringe’s Garden of Unearthly Delights, get down to the Waymouth Street party on Friday night, or Taste the World at WOMADelaide, which will add a whole new dimension to Adelaide over the long weekend.

Looking further ahead, Sunday, March 16 will see Magill Road closed between Osmond Terrace and Edward Street for the Magill Road Alive Street Market.  One of the highlights will be alfresco dining in Richards Park with local food businesses offering a range of street food.

Get down to the Adelaide Central Market this month to learn about wine – and enjoy some fine drinks – at the Vinteloper Urban Winery Project. The fully working micro-winery and cellar door is located in Stall 61, where Vinteloper’s David Bowley aims to “demystify wine through interactive demonstration, participation, education and tasting in a casual, fun environment”.


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