Time flies, this is A Table For Two's final curtain call to take a look back at my own gastronomic journey through the year 2009. Oh boy, have I been busy or what?! Although I probably could have done better, after writing 181 posts in 2009, I do feel a sense of pride in myself and it is quite an achievement to say the least. I've dined at so many restaurants, cooked so many dishes, and most importantly, met so many lovely food bloggers whom I can happily call them friends. 2009 has definitely been a fruitful year for A Table For Two and I thank you all for the support and still keep coming back to hear me rant. :)
I here would like to take this opportunity and do a recap of what A Table For Two has been up to for the last 12 months. From 1:00 pm, I will update this post with recap of each month starts from January to December 2009 at every hour, until the clock strikes 12 midnight for the new year 2010! Just a little bit of fun, why not? :)
ATFT is just over 6 months old and that's also how long it takes for me to slowly get the hang of food blogging. January is all about celebrations of the new year. The highlight of this month has to be the 9 courses dinner Banquet that I've prepared for the Chinese New Year. I am just so glad that friends were able to drive all the way up to Central Coast to celebrate this special occasion with me and had a great time.
January is also when I discovered Elvis' favourite midnight snack - the Fool's Gold Loaf at Parkes. The combination of bacon, peanut butter & jam, and maple syrup is screaming for heart attack! But whoever dares to try shall be rewarded. I was hooked on first bite and have been incorporating this out-of-this-world combo to many of my cooking.
February is all about Melbourne. I found myself in Melbourne having a great time just a week before the Victorian Bush Fire disaster struck. I get to visit the "VIP access only" Crystal Club on top of Crown Towers, a scrumptious dinner at KOKO Japanese restaurant which is all paid for and a delightful lunch at Taxi Dining Room that I will never forget.
This month is also about donations to charities. Apart from the Victorian Bush Fire appeal, I've also attempted someting that have never been done before for Happy Pancake Day, and created my own version of Fool's Gold Pancake Stack! 9 pancakes + 300 gram Bacon + 150 gram peanut butter = 1953.23 calories! And I survived.
Festival. Festival. Festival. March is an important month for ATFT that's when I got invited to the very first media event to Taste of Sydney media launch. That's also when I first met so many other food bloggers that I admired all these time and became close friends since. Funny how most of us just clicked like we all have known each others for years. I guess when the conversation usually only revolved around 'food' is hard not to. The inaugural Taste of Sydney event in Sydney is definitely one of the highlights of 2009, but March into Merivale was also another event that have got all the food lovers in Sydney talking.
Good events. Good friends. Good Fun (with wasabi). March was a good month.
Update: To tell you the truth, I am actually also prepraring the NYE's dinner right now while writing this post. Multitasking to the extreme! I will share a few pics of the cooking and dinner on Twitter later.
Procrastinating in April. In the early of the month, I was on a road trip down to Kinglake and Marysville and did a photo documentary of the Victorian bushfire area. I guess the experience must have affected me one way or another, because I pretty much spent most of the time at home and did as little as possible. I didn't even bother to blog about the lunch party at our place during the Easter long weekend. (Thanks Helen!) I actually did a lot of home cooking during April, from making Anzac Biscuit, to making bean sprouts chicken as a guest blogger on Rasa Malaysia (Thanks Bee!). But the most talked about has to be the Vegemite Cheesecake I made for the Daring Bakers Challenge.
April is also a sad month to see a few good friends leaving the country and moving to another continent.
Update: Now the whole house is fragrant with ginger and star anise. Guess one dish?! 2010 is near...
Fun time! If I have to pick a perfect date, it will have to be.... 3rd of May, because it is not too hot and not too cold... with colorful wigs and a crazy flavour tripping party! I only know Chocolate Suze for like what... two months? (first met at Taste of Sydney media launch) Somehow we become BFFs (if you don't know what BFF means, google it) rather quite quick, and next thing I know I was at her place having a housewarming party with a group of food bloggers! It was one of the best parties in 2009 - food and crazy wigs bring out the wild side in all of us.
Another exciting event happened in May of course is the launch of Adriano Zumbo's winter collection. Everyone talked about Masterchef Australia, and Zumbo has suddenly become a household name and everyone wants a piece of him... and a piece of his cake. It was all good fun.
Update: Crap, cooking and blogging at the same time are not a good idea. I am falling behind! HELP!
Getting to know you, getting to know all... about you. Food blogs are increasing since early this year, PR and Media companies start turning their heads towards us and June has rather become a month of communications between PRs and Food bloggers. I almost lost count on how many PR events I've attended within this month alone; Ripples, Atelier, MUMU, and Foodbloggers discussion panel just to name a few. I think is great that companies take initiatives to start giving food bloggers a voice in the food industry. We are what we eat, and we write about it. It is all fun and I predict there will be even more food bloggers in 2010 in Australia.
On the creative side, June is also the month I had my first solo photographic exhibition at Dank St Depot Gallery. Definitely something I am passion about and will keep doing it. A Table For Two has also officially branded as ATFT, with a brand spanking new business card. Emboss.... swoon! Ellie (almost bourdain), my secret admirer liked it so much she even flirted with me for one at Suze's bigger-than-Ben-Hur birthday party! Because she can.
Masterchef Finale! The best winter time staying indoor, glued to the TV and cheer for the contestants on Masterchef Chat with fellow food bloggers every night. I am looking forward to the Masterchef Australia season 2 in 2010 already! *Pssst... Rumoured that a Billy-look-a-like might appeared in the next season. I guess I will have to keep an eye out! July is actually a busy month for me with work, especially photoshoot jobs. Apart from the hotel conference photoshoot that I do every year at Hilton Sydney, Mad Mex has also kindly offered me an assignment to shoot their menu for them. My first gig out of this blog - Food. Photo. Win! You can read more about it on Helen's blog.
Then there is the annual Aroma Festival, which I ended up going all by myself! But the highlight of the month is definitely our little boat cruise at Hawkesbury River. It was a 2 days non stop debauchery madness. I am surprised that we didn't sink the boat with our inhumane gluttony.
Update: I need to cook and have my dinner, so August will be delayed by an hour!
An impromptu decision and found myself visiting South East Asia for most of the August month. My hungry empty stomach has set me on a gastronomic journey travelled to Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It is always a great time catching up with family over a scrumptious dinner banquet, sharing a durian or two. Side trekking to Vietnam had me munching on something that I never thought I would brave enough to. Then off to Cambodia spending a day with landmine victims has definitely changed my perceptions towards food.
September is when the sky turned red in Sydney when the red dust storm swoops past. I think I was suffering the holiday blues after spending the August month overseas and play catching up in September. Despite the Merivale Winter Feast was in full force, I only managed to get myself to Est. and Teppenyaki to take advantage of the promotions.
Overall, September is a very dull month for me.
October only mean one thing - SIFF, or the Sydney International Food Festival. Busy time of year for most food lovers, but again, A Table For Two was staying low key for many reasons. But I was grateful to be invited to 'A Taste of Peru' event, but most importantly, another excuse for us to have our second run of Sugar Hit marathon in one night! Helloooo... heart attack!
October is also an interesting month for me. I have never made so many mandarin panna cotta in my life, simply for the sake of Masterchef Australia season 2 audition. The rumour is true, I was indeed in the audition for Masterchef Australia season 2. The whole October I think I only cooked 2 dishes, the mandarin panna cotta is one, then Egg Floss Butter Prawn is another, until I was so sick of it. And then I was out of the game and is over for me. It was a great experience and totally unexpected to be selected for the audition. Will I ever do it again? Shit yeah!
Love is in the air! Birthdays and Wedding filled up my November month. The usual stubborn me always like to set tough challenges to myself, and signed myself up to make 99 macarons for my friends Wing & King wedding with one of the flavour inspired by Fool's Gold of course. I am so glad that I did it. "MACARON, I NEVER FEAR YOU!"
(Sipping champagne...*hic*) Where were we? Ahh yes.. November... Another big thing happened in November, ATFT Photography website is finally launched! A little portfolio website to house some of my food photos I've done over the year.
Wheee......! It's Christmas time! Sydney food bloggers had the biggest turn out at the Christmas picnic and I wowed everyone with my momofuku bo ssam! We even have ladyironchef flew in all the way from Singapore to celebrate with us. Wheeee...!!! (This is the Champagne talking...). and December is also The Pom's birthday, we celebrated at Sepia... and then... (*hic!*) wait a second... the clock just strikes twelve and what the hell are you still doing on this blog reading my post?
Happy New Year to all ATFT readers and now, GO OUT AND KISS SOMEONE!
Sydney food bloggers, you guys rock! See you all in 2010 and looking forward to more feasting together! (sorry I don't have mugshots of everyone, but you know who you are.)
Wheeeeeeeee.......!!! (*hic!*) hee hee ^_^ haa haa! Here comes the food! Grab you fork... wheeee...... and one bite more... wheeeeee....... with citrus... and candy... whee....... then chocolate suze.... wheeeeee.... then eat... whee... and show... and tell... wheeeeee....... then feed to a hungry digital elf.... wheeeee.......... all because of the heart of food...... wheeeee.......!!!! (I swear I am not drunk...)