FB: How would you rate yourself as a cook?
JB: Look, I’ve been practising for a long time and I’m sort of getting there. I can manage. My favourite signature dish is oxtail ragut. It’s a recipe I’ve adapted from a Robert Carrier cookbook. It was given to my wife when we got engaged.
FB: What is your favourite food?
JB: I reckon – quite seriously – the most delicious thing on the planet is a Four ‘n’ Twenty pie or a potato cake from Fish Fetish, the fish shop next door to the Continental Hotel in Sorrento.
FB: Working breakfast hours, do you get through a lot of coffee?
JB: Look, I’m not a mad coffee nut. The modern fashion of going out for coffee doesn’t appeal to me. It’s just coffee. I’ll have an instant coffee when I get in (to work) and when I get home I’ll have an instant coffee with a cigar, and then that’s it for the day.
FB: Which five people would you most like to invite to dinner?
JB: Jesus, Michael Caine, Nigella Lawson, Lady Gaga and Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life … the bloke who came in and exploded (to finish the night off with a ‘bang’.)
FB: Do you have a kitchen tip for us?
JB: Absolutely. Throw out all your stainless-steel knives and get a high quality Japanese carbon steel knife. The only place to buy them is in the market in Kyoto. I’ve got five of them and they’re worth every penny. The other knives – you can’t get an edge on them. If you look after your Japanese carbon steel knives, they’re just works of art.
SPLICE OF HEAVEN
It just happened to be a stinking hot, 38 degree day in Melbourne when I posed the question on the Food Bytes Facebook page: Which do you prefer, a Golden Gaytime or Pine Lime Splice? Who knew ice creams could be such a polarising topic? We do a regular little weekly survey called the Friday Food Poll, and it has to be said that this one went absolutely bananas. Maybe it was the heat getting to us all!
For Rob it was all about the time and place: “Splice outdoors during the day, Gaytime watching a movie on the couch.”
Nadine would choose the Pine Lime Splice on a hot day, but a Golden Gaytime on the cooler ones: “Best of both worlds,” she says.
For Lina, it’s “Pine Lime Splice by a street,” but Fran says there’s no contest – it’s Golden Gaytime all the way.
For Mark, price equates to quality. As he remembers it from days gone by, “The Splice was in the 50 cent category, just above the lowly icy pole. The Gaytime was well above that, approaching the exorbitant one dollar level, up there on the level of the Heart and Choc Block.”
What’s your go-to ice cream on a hot day?