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The best sort of food to go out for

What makes a meal out special?

September 11, 2017

The best sort of food to go out for

The best sort of food to go out for – what is it.

After four days hosting a Food Tour in South Australia, constantly eating out, trying new things and learning about ingredients I have been giving this some thought.

On Sunday evening, for my first meal back home I relished the absence of complication when eating a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with delicious baby roma tomatoes on the side. Declining the tempting offer of a smearing of some very seductive Barossa Valley produced ‘Bacon Jam’ with the tagline Not Suitable for Boring People, I just loved the simplicity of the familiar flavours.

Fourteen hours later and it’s Monday morning. At the same time as writing this I’m also putting some thought into our evening meal and pondering over how to cook a leg of goat. What flavours I’ll use to compliment it and what accompaniments to serve with it – this is home cooking to me.

Keeping it simple with rosemary and garlic rubbed into the leg, long slow cooked for the duration of the afternoon. I’ll serve it with one or two green steamed vegetables and cheesy polenta on our dinner plates with the soft luscious meat and its’ juices.

I really don’t have to spend more than 30 minutes in total in my kitchen to pull this meal off.

Dinner for our group in Adelaide CBD came in the form of three outstanding restaurants all equally as good serving their own individual and creative unique style of food.

They did all share one thing though. The brigade of chef’s would have spent hours getting ready for service.

Mis en place is a big part of any chefs day where components to dishes are prepared up to a certain point. As for the ordering from myriad suppliers as well as the designing and testing of the dishes, I don’t even want to hazard a wild guess as to the length of time that would have taken for each establishment.

I’ll list one dish from the multiple courses from each dinner we experienced to illustrate my point.

At Shobosho the second course was Raw Yellow Fin Tuna, Charred Edamame, Black Rice, Bonito Cream (exquisite). Pictured top.

Africola served a vegetable accompaniment that had us swooning. Cabbage Heart braised with beurre blanc, charred in their wood fired oven and served with crisp kale and powdered salted plum (very sexy cabbage). Pictured middle.

At the recently awarded Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year 2018, Orana, the sixth dish was Kohlrabi, Dorrigo, Quandong and Lemon Myrtle (words fail me. It’s a genius combination). Pictured below.

At the beginning of this article, some may have thought ‘Monday night, home cooking….goat? Simple, no way!’ But try replacing goat leg with lamb, polenta with potatoes (spuds take longer to prepare and cook than quick polenta BTW!) plus steamed veg on the side and you may be starting to see my logic.

Going out to eat is such a treat. I adore and appreciate the magic that’s created in many quality restaurants across Australia day and night. Having been in the food industry for thirty seven years myself, I well know the commitment it takes to continually strive to give clients the best experience possible.

It’s a tough gig working full-time as a cog in the wheel of a busy kitchen. I thank the dedication of these people who commit to giving us extraordinary dining experiences. For me at home, I enjoy cooking good honest food that is wholesome and delicious, but doesn’t take an age to get on the table. I hope we pass this sentiment on to you.

Take a look at the bespoke Extraordinary Culinary Tours Tracey and Anthony have organised for this year and next. You may want to join us for a very special trip.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

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Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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