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The Forager: Grown-up winebar, festival picks

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Today, restaurant heavyweights collaborate on a grown-up winebar, our top five of the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival, other events, books and more.

Wine bar aims to expand horizons

Serious food and wine muscle is backing the spanking new Franklin Street winebar and restaurant, Publishers Hotel.

Chef Salvatore Pepe has been overseeing preparations for the opening of the establishment, which has rejuvenated the century-old former printery that once pumped out copies of the Stock Journal and Station Journal newspapers.

In exciting news for wine drinkers. sommelier Patrick White has returned to his home town to oversee the wine list – including a museum stock of mature premium wines. White was a heavy-hitter in the glamorous Sydney restaurant scene, working for Neil Perry and, in latter years, as a senior sommelier for Luke Mangan.

“While the wines are serious, we want guests to have fun and experiment, hopefully expanding their wine horizons along the way,” White says.

Black chorizo, scallops and chimichurri at The Publishers.

Black chorizo, scallops and chimichurri at The Publishers. Photo: Tony Lewis

Head chef Daniel Brooke is a local and his modern Australian menu crosses territory between hearty and refined (in a sneaky tasting, we particularly liked the black chorizo with scallops and chimichurri).

The Publishers, at 110 Franklin Street, has a relaxed bar at the front (yet still with wait staff to serve you), a dining room at the rear, and, hopefully by the end of the year, a two-storey rooftop bar with a capacity for 400 people. The Publishers’ “ArtHouse” is a soon-to-be-opened venue out the back of the premises, which will allow events for up to 300 people. Accommodation is also planned for next year.

Pepe, most well known to Adelaide diners for his long-lamented Cibo Ristorante in North Adelaide, says the team is hoping the Publishers will become a destination for mature Adelaide drinkers and diners.

It’s opening officially next week.

The dining room at Publishers Hotel.

The dining room at Publishers Hotel. Photo: Tony Lewis

Countdown to deliciousness

The Adelaide Food and Wine Festival is nearly here, with the first events happening on April 4.

Here are The Forager’s top five picks of the program:

1 Baudin and Flinders Breakfast

On day one of the festival, gustatory history will come alive at Port Adelaide with a re-creation of the April 1802 breakfast shared by Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders when they met at what would later be named Encounter Bay.

Using the journals of the explorers, Fino chef David Swain has put together a long-table breakfast to celebrate the key meeting in South Australia’s history. “Mr South Australia” Keith Conlon will host the event which is a collaboration between the festival and the Maritime Museum.

2 Don Dunstan Tribute

Back by popular demand, Don Dunstan’s former apprentice, Sam Smith, will create a menu inspired by the late political legend’s cookbook, published when he was premier. Pink shorts optional.

3 Kis(sing) Gin

Who wouldn’t like a gin-themed picnic accompanied by big-band tunes? Get down to McLaren Vale’s Salopian Inn for local and international gins, the Adelaide Big Band, and picnic food by chef Karena Armstrong. KI distiller Jon Lark will be on hand to provide expert tasting advice.

4 The Bacon Trail

A tour-de-pork led by meat master Richard Gunner through the Adelaide Central Market. This was a sell-out last year, so get in early. (And for the non-porky types, there is also a Vegan Trail, hosted by Bliss Organic Cafe.)

5 Jimmy Shu at the Market Shed

A bit of shameless self-promotion here… yours truly will join restaurateur Jimmy Shu at the new organic market on Holland Street in the south-west corner of the city. Jimmy will be doing all the work, demonstrating the best use of organic produce to create his famous Thai flavours. I’ll just be asking the questions.

There’s plenty more on the agenda, including the coffee trail, a couple of events where everyone gets to talk food and wine, and lots more. The full program is available here.

Next week, The Forager’s top five of the Tasting Australia program.

Small bites

Listen up, those of you in the inner west. Devour Cafe and Patisserie has quietly opened on Davenport Terrace, Richmond. Over at Thebarton, Entropy is a cafe with a bit of a difference: every Friday night it’s running a “char bar” – char-grilled morsels, matched with beer, cider and wine. Details here.

Local author Liz Harfull will next week publish the follow-up to her excellent Blue Ribbon Cookbook, which told stories and recipes from South Australian show cooks. The Australian Blue Ribbon Cookbook takes a national view, bringing together 70 tried and true recipes from talented show cooks across the country. It also contains plenty of heart-warming stories – and wisdom about how to crack the tough show cookery competitions. Deviation Road Winery in the Adelaide Hills is hosting a launch event on March 30 – go here for details.

Blue Ribbon Cookbook author Liz Harfull.

Blue Ribbon Cookbook author Liz Harfull.

If you fancy the power of your palate, get down to Leigh Street on Friday between 4.30pm and 7pm to test it in the most appealing way. Adelaide Hills winemakers will be offering tastings (for the cost of a $5 commemorative wine glass). There will also be a “My Palate Rules” competition to test tasters’ abilities to recognise variety, vintage and – if you’re very good – the producer of some of the wines. The winner gets a “premium Adelaide Hills wine and food experience package”.


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