Gay Bilson

Gay Bilson WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

12 ENTRIES Gay Bilson is a writer, literary critic and former Sydney restaurateur. Her books include Plenty: Digressions on Food and On Digestion.



LATEST


Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Cannibal cookery

Channel 7’s ‘My Kitchen Rules’

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Bread and butter

For dessert we ate hot puff pastry with a filling of grated apple cooked with butter, eggs and lemon. It pleased the guests, although one of them asked about the filling and seemed shocked that the ingredients were so rich, which is to say (she implied …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Flavour of the nation

For our last breakfast on a tiny island in the Alappuzha backwaters in South Kerala, we had asked for kanji, a gruel of rice or millet. Mohan smiled in disbelief but promised us that simplest of dishes. For five days he had been bringing meals …

Paul Grabowsky performs during the launch of the ABC digital radio service, July 2009. © AAP Image

Culture

Impresario

At first glance, the 2010 Adelaide Festival program felt, well, small, in a sensible, tightly fused kind of way, with far fewer advertised events than the usual cascade of choices one expects from major-city festivals. It is possible of course that this …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

A fava fresca!

Early in October the broad beans began to appear, but were still so small that it was mere ritual to nip one or two off and eat them whole. The pods, about 6 centimetres long, are at first difficult to see. They rise close to the hollow, square-ribbed …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Masterchef

It is like a sixteenth-century court: royal, papal, judicial – take your pick. The court makes its own rules and makes sure, by its self-designated pomposity and paternalism, that its power is never in doubt, that there will be no surprises, no rebellion. …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Bad behaviour

My daughter, who is in her thirties, was doing the dishes. I began to dry. You can’t have a conversation with a dishwashing machine. We were chatting amicably until she said, “Mum, I don’t want to upset you, but I’m not comfortable with taking …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Harvest

The South Australian autumn had been wet, and in the early morning the soggy earth steamed, especially under the pines in the Adelaide hills. These are perfect conditions for mushrooms. They have had a bumper season, which is to say it has been a bumper …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society

Botanical Curiosities

The most enchanting display in the original and permanent collection of the recently re-opened Museum of Economic Botany in the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide consists of about 350 apples, pears and plums, a few peaches and figs, and one forlorn, damaged …

Society

Cooking brains

Martin Jones’ ‘Feast’

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

nation_reviewed

Buyer’s market

Tasting Australia, a biennial event in Adelaide, is aptly named, for although it delivers a dizzying series of culinary entertainments for local audiences eager to get close to their favourite cookbook writer, who usually has a show on pay-TV which spawns …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

nation_reviewed

The big cheese

In 1837 Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, ordered that a 1400-pound cheese be placed in the foyer of the White House for those who were hungry and voiceless. The cheddar cut at the traditional welcome for the well-fed and empowered …