About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
The Quandary
Three Strikes, You're Out!
Too Rude For Food
Viva Portugal!
Dilmah Update
Salad Wars
The Wine Drought
Saturday Night In
A Simple Concept
The Rose Garden

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Praise For The Most Part
The undisputed matriarch of Australian cooking would have to be Stephanie Alexander. From her humble beginnings at Jamaica House restaurant in 1964 through to that temple of gastronomy, the eponymous Stephanie's Restaurant, along with all her books and television programs, have made her a legend amongst all Australians with an interest in food.

As with all famous people, Stephanie has her quirks and foibles, most notably the need to put her name to everything. Her name has been attached to everything from humble ingredients through to classic recipes, virtually renaming them in the process. I seem to recall at the height of the controversy over Melbourne chef Robin Wickens, when opinions were called for, Stephanie recounted a tale of when she saw another chef with a menu item of jellied consomme like the jellied rockpool that she felt was her creation and asked that he give her credit for it, which he apparently did. I wonder if she ever asked the Roux brothers for some credit in their version?

Why it's interesting at the moment is that Stephanie has published an article about a former chef, Janni Kyritsis, who has written a book called Wild Weed Pie. In the article she gives credit to Janni as a co-creator of the jellied rockpool dish. I suppose it's fair enough to claim a recipe for yourself if it was thought up in your own restaurant with the input of your employees, but is it fair to dispute in a major newspaper something that he claimed, namely that he hadn't worked with pig's ears prior to Bennelong, which was of absolutely no importance and then turn around and suggest that a dish he gives a recipe for had its beginnings in your restaurant, even though you say it was inspired by Elizabeth David? If Jannis included a recipe for salted duck roll, it was probably because he felt he created it.

If your concerns about these matters were so great, you should have taken up these quibbles privately with him.

It was very generous of Stephanie to write an article that was for the most part full of praise for her former chef and made his book sound like it would be a worthy addition to my bookshelf. But by her own account, Jannis helped Stephanie to where she is today, the article she wrote should have been all about him, not nitpicking so as to cast herself in a better light as a matriarch of the Australian scene - that's an honour she all ready has.

Edited to add: I was talking with my wife about this last night, when it occurred to me that Stephanie's rockpool dish has antecedents, namely the classic English dish of jellied eels. When I mentioned this my wife pointed out that in Europe, fish in jelly is a classic of many European countries. I don't doubt that Stephanie and Janni thought up their rockpool dish independently, but with Stephanie having lived and holidayed in Europe, is it possible that she unconsciously absorbed the seafood in jelly concept? It would be easy to imagine a food historian simply noting her rockpool dish, which is essentially seafood in jelly, as an adaption of these classics.
  posted at 8:26 am


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter