My dear friend Lise is exploring Australia for the next six months, working on farms and vineyards, and for amazing floral design houses. She’s living the dream life of a food adventurer, visiting with farmers and gardeners, indulging in great wine and some of the freshest produce and seafood imagineable.
Lise knows my passion for amazing food finds, and knows my remote love for all things Australian, especially Donna Hay, their own version of Martha Stewart. She’s offered to share photos of her food and farm journey!
In exchange, I’m creating her Australia To Do List, a list of the things she absolutely must sip or taste while living there these next six months. The great luck she has is she will be working on various farms so good fresh produce won’t be far away. I recommend focusing on all that great fresh local stuff and never opening a can or bag while there.
If I were in Australia for six months, I’d taste my way around the glorious wine regions that offer up tart and crisp Sauvignon Blanc and spicy red Shiraz. I’d also hit every single wine bar possible, munching on briney olives and fresh seafood in between each glass.
I’m a huge fan of Donna Hay, the magazine editor turned homestyle guru and best-selling cookbook author. I have every one of her cookbooks and believe she’s one of the few inspiring home chefs who also has mastered a modern design aesthetic.
To liken Donna Hay to Martha Stewart is both true and false. Like Martha, Donna is extremely popular in her homeland and abroad. She’s seen as the goddess of domesticity. However, unlike Martha, Donna doesn’t appreciate fussy style with lots of decoration and pomp. Her plates are simple and lack extra unnecessary garnish. She focuses on the food and the flavor, maintaining an elevated design by keeping it simple.
I’ve urged Lise to be on the look out for anything Donna Hay – food shows, books, products, or recipes. Donna knows how to live the good Australian life.
Being surrounded by water, Australia is known for delicious seafood in all of its ports. If I were living in Australia for six months, I’d focus on seafood (along with all that fresh produce). I wouldn’t rest until I had tasted every possible incarnation of rock lobster, prawns, scampi, oysters, blue crabs and even bugs. Of course, I’d recommend indulging in all this seafood while on a beautiful sandy beach, perhaps with a local, pale-colored beer.
Lise, sweetie, whatever you do, please make sure to enjoy every last second. Six months will fly by and you’ll be back in France, and hopefully the States, sooner than you think. My only suggestions would be to taste and try everything, grab lots of scrumptious photos (as you already have) and remember every experience so you can recount it all with me some evening, over some gorgeous Australian reds.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.