Sydney Food Bloggers ROCK!
They truly are a bunch of talented people. Among all the different kind of genres in the blogging world, I believe Sydney food bloggers are one of the most active, friendly, supportive, tight-knit community around, especially those who came out to join us at our inaugural Sydney Food Blogger 'Mad Hatter' Spring Picnic at Centennial Park over the weekend.
Without a doubt, they are absolutely passionate about what they are doing - cooking, baking, taking photos, dining out, taking more photos, blogging, all sheer labour of love while juggling with a full time day job. I am so glad that I able to join 40 odd Sydney Food Bloggers last Saturday to frolic at the park and devour some delicious food brought along by everyone to the picnic.
Despite the miserable weather in Sydney last Saturday was less than ideal for a spring picnic, it didn't dampen the spirits of a group of "Mad Hatters" for a day out at the Centennial Park, even the sick ones charged on like real troopers to come out and play with medication in the handbags I noticed.
The Mad Hatters are definitely not afraid to put on a show. Some put so much effort into making their hats, seriously put my vintage bowler hat into shame. Phuoc'n Delicious is bribing fellow bloggers with her edible Eclairs witch hat which is a little to heavy to stay on the head, while some are just a little too comfortable wearing bunnies ears and mini skirt. When Gianna from The Empty Fridge showed up as Carmen Miranda with a giant colourful fruit bowl hat, not to mention the peach and apple on her head kept falling off occasionally to add much hilarity, she deserved to win 2nd place of the Best Mad Hatter Prize.
But hands down, the Best Mad Hatter simple has to go to...
Tammi from Insatiable Munchies and her Lady Gaga's Orbit Hat. The effort of making the orbit head piece until 3am in the morning truly well deserved the prize. Hmm... I can sense a Lady Gaga themed party coming up... ;)
When there are food, there are cameras. If Marie Antoinette was at the picnic, I don't think she would complain with the long line of deliciousness spread across six picnic rugs! When everyone placed their dishes on the rugs, I was actually a little worried because they all looked amazing and the effort everyone had put into it is astounding. It definitely made the judging between me, Karen and Sarah from Nuffnang one hell of a difficult task.
Coincidentally we have two Momofuku's BBQ Pork Bun inspired dishes by Julie from idreamofchocolate which had big slab of juicy BBQ pork belly sandwiched inside a soft steam buns whereas Simon from The Heart of Food went for DIY approach served with shredded pulled pork and coleslaw. Julie's dish has won herself 1st place in the Best Savoury dish.
There were more well presented savoury dishes including these mini burger with an adorable pickled on the top by Paulina and Liam from Fat Belly Club, and also the beautiful pad thai by Joe from My Delicious Blog. I loved the pad thai was still nice and warm, and a nice chilly kick to it too!
The Bonnie&Clyde from Fat Belly Club also presented us with some beautiful mouthful size raspberry and lemon curd tarts (the previous picture above in the background) that is sweet, tangy and crumbly which won them the 2nd prize of Best Sweet dish.
The YaYa's YumYum team went all the way with the blue theme and really had fun with some blue food colouring. I was so impressed with Mrs Shanks' fondant art and this time she even wowed us with a Mad Hatter themed cupcakes!
"It's freshly baked this morning," Moya told me as she slightly flipped the tea towel over revealing which looked like a tray of blue rocks to me! It turned out that they were actually bruschetta Moya baked that morning. The wow factor was definitely there as everyone was taken aback how strikingly blue it was and human brains simply couldn't cope with "blue food". The bruschetta tasted just as heavenly in the contrast of a colourful tomato salad and blue vein cheese. The shocking factor of this blue bruschetta was enough to win Nuffnang 'Blue Dish' Prize.
It was fascinating to see how food bloggers' minds work. When comes to blue food, not one, not two, but three food bloggers thought about making cookie monster cupcakes! Jacq @ penguin says feed me, sook @ nommy nom nom and the last one I believe is by Eliza from Boomerang Banquet or Gemma from The Cheap Glut. Loved Sook's intricate details of perfection, Jacq's dessicated coconut fur and googly eyes, Eliza's or Gemma's BIGGGG cookie mouth looks so crazy! LOL! :D
The Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic cake by Anna from Diary of a Ladybird definitely stole the show at the picnic. The moist chocolate mud cake is covered in white fondant with the mini fondant art on top including a laptop, camera (black and red Canon strap, Nikoners suck it up! ;) ), macarons, watermelon and I just noticed there were also mini eggs! The commitment and effort that Anna had put into making this beautiful cake is truly inspirational and makes me want to attend a cake decorating workshop soon. It was a unanimous decision that all judges thought the cake deserved the 1st prize in Best Sweet dish category.
Cutesy overload! Trisha from Sugarlace and her sister even dressed up as Japanese lolita girls to give out the cute baby pink and blue cake pops! Tammi "gaga" also plated up some 'tea'-ramisu using teacup made entirely out of chocolate (!), then filled with sponge cake, mascarpone.
If you are not already sugar overloaded just by looking at all these sweet dishes, then imagine what the three judges had been through by tasting every single one of them! Stephanie from fluffy makan brought a smile to everyone's face with her tricolour "smiling cake". Ayana's decadent Earl Grey chiffon cake was so soft like a cloud, surrounded by pretty, chewy macarons. Rosalind from Rasa Rosa spoiled us with some Malaysian sweet delicacy of blue glutinous rice kuih topped with some mean kaya jam, so so so rich. Leila from Tablenosh also indulged us with one of the biggest, cheesiest (in a good way) blueberries cheesecakes.
There were a lot of other beautiful dishes that I unfortunately didn't get to take photos while juggling a few tasks at the same time and also a few bloggers came late when I was already half in sugar coma.
I will try to list them all out here - peanut butter slices by Jamieanne from Sweetest Kitchen, bacon chips dulce de leche caramel slice by Helen from Grab Your Fork, Smores cupcake by Phuoc'n Delicious, Chilli Brownie by SugarPuffi, Broccoli muffin by Minh from Eat Show and Tell which also won 2nd prize for Best Savoury, bacon and olive loaf by Sandra from The French Wrench, Soy and evaporated milk jelly by Eugene from Nothing Too Sweet, salmon blini by Jamie from Grubbing About, white icing cake by Sophie from Stovetop Revolution, then there were other food that I didn't know who brought what, including more brownie, more caramel slice, chocolate cheesecake, cheesy puffballs, blue muffins... and MORE!
Seriously, did I eat that much food within 2 hours?
But that's not it, we had one more dish, the dish that we all thought was the most delicious and a dish that we kept going back for more, and we all agreed that the Best Overall dish of the day belongs to....
Anita from No Red Meat and her delicious Thai Fish Cakes with a sweet chilli cucumber dipping sauce. The fish cake is soft and packed with chopped green beans and chunks of barramundi flesh inside, a hint of curry spice is nicely balanced with a simple refreshing cucumber dipping sauce on the side. I can see myself eating a whole plate of it.
Anita also posted her fish cake recipe on her blog, go and get it!
Anita later told me she actually made a batch of caramel slice with popping candy the night before which wasn't as 'poppy' as she'd hoped for and decided to make a whole new batch of the fish cakes in the morning on the same day! A last minute decision has earned her a brand new KitchenAid Mixer kindly donated by Nuffnang Australia. We also had an extra prize stuch inside a pinata for those who like to burn off some of those calories intake from all the food or sheer frustration-release exercise.
Anita's smile simply couldn't be wider and brighter. :) Congrats!
I would like to thank all the food bloggers who came to the picnic and shared your delicious food with us. I wish you all the best with the exciting food blogging endeavours ahead and enjoy every single moment of it. Be kind to others, share, love and devour, food unites us all.
Billy ~ A Table For Two
I would also like to thank all our sponsors to make this event a success. Thank you all for the support and the generosity by donating wonderful prizes.