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Home Cook: Joe Noone, food truck advocate

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Joe Noone is the high achiever behind Adelaide food truck event Fork on the Road, but at home he is a dedicated foodie who enjoys deliberating over dinner.

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By day, Noone is a project manager for Renewal SA. In his spare time he co-ordinates Fork on the Road, the community event he founded four years ago to bring together Adelaide’s growing collection of mobile food vendors.

Noone says that as a child he baked for fun, and he believes the restaurant experience he gained working in hospitality while studying at university taught him a lot about time management. Now, he loves to “read cook books and find recipes on the interwebs and quickly experiment in the kitchen on week nights between work and doing Fork stuff”.

On the weekends, Noone says he likes to fire up his smoker and take a much slower approach to cooking.

In the kitchen I am …
Functional, random, efficient and at times creative. I like to muck around with combinations of sauces, spices and flavours to marinate some meat and then combine with a salad.

On the weekends I make curries, a laska or a pot of chilli – things that make for great leftover lunches during the week.

When I have loads of time I love to bake a cake or smoke a whole salmon, a slab of beef, pork ribs and my favourite “beer can chicken”.

The fridge is nearly empty – what do you cook for dinner?
Probably some sort of a salad, assuming there is enough in the crisper, or maybe a toasted sandwich with whatever leftover protein and cheese is in the fridge, mixing it with some herbs, garlic, spices and sauces to give it more flavour.

Most useful cooking tool?
The most useful cooking tool has to be the barbecue or the smoker. Many nights I’m at out the back using the barbecue to cook something for dinner and then when the weekends allow I fire up the smoker, and cook all day.

After watching friends in the US use a smoker many years ago, I purchased one, probably about 10 years ago now. It’s a really enjoyable experience preparing your produce, managing your fire, and cooking slowly (usually while drinking) to create final products that are full of flavour and falling off the bone.

Three essential grocery items?
Good-quality steak from my local butcher, halloumi cheese and minced garlic.

How did you learn to cook?
As a really young kid apparently I loved playing with pots and pans over toys. As I got older I baked a lot, learning that off my mum and my grandmother. Dad cooked a lot when I was kid and embraced stir-frys with a massive amount of enthusiasm.

Through high school and uni I worked at Sizzler, first doing dishes and then in the kitchen – it wasn’t fine-dining but it taught me a lot of basics, particularly around cooking steak, chicken and fish, how to manage a team in the kitchen and get a range of meals ready all at the same time. I learnt lots about the importance of preparation and getting ready for service.

In the early ’90s, I worked for a while at Estia restaurant on Henley Square, working weekend lunch-time shifts. Back then, there weren’t many restaurants open for lunch in Adelaide.

Favourite restaurant?
Damn, that’s a hard question – Adelaide has so many great places to eat. During the week I find it hard to go past Peel St, but for sake of being very local, great for takeaway and a food truck connection, I can’t go past Low and Slow in Port Adelaide. It has a great casual vibe and awesome smoked meats, especially the brisket and ribs and a great range of sides, all full of smack-you-in-the-face flavour.

Favourite recipe?
My grandmother Gabrielle Twohig’s banana cake recipe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A photograph of Joe Noone’s grandmother’s original hand-written recipe for banana cake.

Banana cake

Ingredients

2 or 3 bananas (I use 2)
4 oz (120g) sugar
4 oz margarine or butter, melted
2 eggs, added
1 teaspoon carb soda, disolved in ¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups SR flour

Method

Mix all together and bake for around 40 mins.

Sprinkle with icing sugar or else ice.

 

 

The next Fork on the Road event – “Fork Awakens” – celebrates craft beer and cider as well as food truck food in Light Square on April 1 from 5pm to 10pm.

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