Master chef Rachel is on soup detail
This month's Cooking Your Calendar event took us to Sydney's Inner West where our excellent hostess was artist and curator Holly Williams. April's recipe was Leanne De Bortoli's hearty Zucchini and Potato Soup matched with Windy Peak Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.
Despite the simplicity of the recipe Rachel was nervous being head chef this month, but Holly's well-equipped kitchen made for smooth sailing. As the sun set over Sydney, Rachel took over Holly's kitchen like a tornado - chopping, mashing and blending like a woman possessed. Ever helpful (read control freak) Drew couldn't resist hovering around the sidelines offering constructive criticism and generally being a pest.
Drinking on the job as usual
By the time our guests all arrived, the soup was ready which was the go-ahead for everyone to enjoy a round of pre-dinner drinks. Our guests included Holly of course, as well as children's book author Tristan Bancks and artists Aseem Pereira and Cash Brown. Holly's cat Mr Smoochy was the night's official mascot. As we all got to know one another, Aseem asked Daniel what role he plays in the Cooking Your Calendar project, to which Daniel replied "I stand around and drink wine". Daniel was certainly in good company with Cash, who needed the hair of the dog to get over her Friday night debauchery.
Kids in the Kitchen
Before long Rachel rang the dinner bell, serving the soup with a salad of greens and baked vegetables, and hunks of crusty sourdough. Everyone agreed the soup was superb - rich, flavoursome and warming. Definitely a recipe to keep on file.
Friends from way back, Tristan, Drew and Rachel rehashed old times while the beautiful bawdy Cash Brown discussed a range of topics not suitable for publication. Holly, Aseem and Daniel caught up on artworld gossip. A contentious debate flared up about the Archibald Prize and Sam Leach's controversial win for an "appropriation" of an old Dutch masterpiece. Tristan defended the Archibald to Daniel's unmitigated horror. Drew was appalled that anybody would pay good money to see a gargantuan portrait of Glenn A Baker. Speaking of art, Cash plugged her upcoming exhibition at Robin Gibson Gallery; if last year's Cash Brown art controversy is anything to go by, it should be a great show. We also chatted about the upcoming Sydney Writers Festival where Tristan will be one of the guest speakers.
Cash Brown - the Queen of Controversy
Ten or so bottles of wine later, Holly suggested we play a boozy game of Balderdash, where players bluff each other with bogus definitions of various words or things. Rachel blitzed the game but suspected that Holly was scoring under the influence. After we gorged ourselves on a cheese platter, we made our way back to Kings Cross - not that we remember much of the ride home.
Mr Smoochy - designated driver