Have a blooming good New Year!

Once again the time has come to say goodbye. How do you plan on saying farewell and ushering in the new year? Whatever your plans, I'm guessing it will include something bubbly.

Hold on to your glasses because I am about to blow you away with the most amazing garnish for your champagne. It's charming, elegant, exotic and fun.

Take a few minutes to appreciate the awesomeness that is

Black Cake

For most West Indians it's not 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire or Jack Frost nipping at your toes' that evokes feelings of Christmas but black cake soaked in lots of rum. It just wouldn't be Christmas without it. So much so that I have actually had to mail tins of this cake to friends and family abroad who craved a taste of home.

Black cake is also used for weddings. As per tradition

The Overland, Adelaide to Melbourne

Somehow I managed to enjoy my freshly-nuked bacon and cheese croissant, despite its limp, deflated appearance. I think it was because I was on a train, which is fun, rather than a plane, which is not. Maybe the simple fact of having a steady blood-flow through your legs makes things taste better?

overland bacon croissant

Birthday Meat and Potatoes

Say the word birthday and one invariable thinks of cake. In fact the celebration of a birthday may seem incomplete without cake. For my birthday, I asked that there NOT be any cake.

I will explain.

Every week during the month of November, there is a birthday in my family. That's one cake every week. This translates to a slice of cake almost everyday if it is not to go to waste. By the time my

Demitri's Feast, Richmond

Growing up in 70s Melbourne, my sponge-like mind was drenched in a singular image of Greek food: the souvlaki. So it was quite a shock to my culinary foundations to be sitting down for a Greek-inspired breakfast at Demitri's Feast, 141 Swan Street, Richmond, Tel +61 3 9428 8659. Can you eat souvlaki for breakfast? If Mark Philippousis went on MasterChef and cooked Cougar-glazed French toast with ouzo foam, would George Calombaris call it Greek toast? Is Nana Mouskouri the original cougar?

You can make up your own mind about Nana. And we can all hope that the Scud stays out of the kitchen. Because when it comes to Greek toast, it's hard to imagine anything better than the Baclava French Toast at Demitri's Feast. Take a big fat slice of fresh Tsoureki. Dip in egg and fry till golden brown. Drizzle with yoghurt and orange-honey syrup. Sprinkle with blitzed walnuts and serve. Delicious.

The rest of the menu is similarly sprinkled with Greek twists. Like ouzo-and-dill-cured salmon served with poached eggs and spinach; omeletta with lokaniko sausage, potatoes and kefalograviera cheese; and semolina pancakes with thick Greek yoghurt, rose jam, pistachios and more of the aforementioned orange-honey syrup. In some cases, there may be just a hint of Greece, in the form of goat's feta added to creamy scrambled eggs, or manouri cheese added to sage mushrooms.

scrambled eggs

The only thing missing was a breakfast souvlaki. For that, apparently, you need to go Hellenic Republic. Tell them a food blogger sent you. George hates food bloggers.

17/20 "tsoureki is the new brioche"


Christmas Bread from Venezuela - Pan de jamon

Every year for the past four years this Christmas bread from Venezuela has graced our table for breakfast on the morning of December 25th. Oh wait, every year except last year.

You see, we have an electric range and my bread was in the oven about ten minutes when poof! There was a power outage that lasted all day and I was left with raw dough mess.

I am not ashamed to tell you that I cried.

Salad for Christmas

'Tis the season and every one is busy with Christmas preparations. The countdown is on. Like many of you, I am also planning the meal for the big event. This is the salad that I plan to serve on Christmas Day. Salad? Yikes! Where is the ham? Where are the pastelles, the cake and other edible indulgences of the season? Who cares about salad on Christmas Day?Let me plead its case. Trust me, it