So much of the emphasis in the classes is on the quality of produce.
I very deliberately sought sponsors who could provide not just good produce, but great produce.
My sponsors’ products reflect my philosophy about cooking – simply using the best ingredients possible and not overly complicating the food preparation.
I am delighted to say that not one of my preferred sponsors knocked me back. So there is no question of integrity in recommending these products, as they are exactly what I use at home.
Hopefully, one message that will last with you after these classes is an appreciation of the difference that top quality produce, other ingredients and cooking equipment makes to your cooking.
The sponsors of the Boys Can Cook classes are:
I have no doubt that Fratelli Fresh is the best place in Sydney to buy fruit and vegetables.
Food industry stalwarts Barry and Jamie MacDonald run their providor business to Sydney’s top restaurants out of the same space as the retail operation, so we’re buying the same elite produce as the three hat restaurants. Jamie and Barry buy direct from artisan growers as well as the markets, offering produce like ox heart tomatoes, cavallo nero, the freshest zucchini flowers and a wonderful selection of chilled fresh herbs.
As well as fruit and vegetables, Fratelli Fresh also sells Italian cheese, sweet canned Italian tomatoes and a huge range of olives, olive oil, vinegar, anchovies, rice and pasta.
Ex Fuel chef Andy Bunn heads up the kitchen at Sopressa, the restaurant within the Fratelli Fresh complex. Bunn serves beautifully simple Italian dishes, not surprisingly produce driven. The salads are fab and he does things to slow meat braises that I can only dream of matching.
Macleay St (Above Woolworths)
7 Dank St Waterloo
Ph 1300 552119
Both stores now open 7 days
Essential Ingredient is Sydney’s ultimate ‘one stop shop’ for foodies. You can literally stock a kitchen from scratch with high quality pots, pans, baking dishes of all shapes, sizes and price points.
There are ranges of cutlery, top of the range Pillyvut to budget crockery, Reidl to budget glassware, every quality kitchen knick nack imaginable as wee as one of Sydney’s largest ranges of cookbooks.
In the food section, you can stock up on essential ingredients like imported pasta and risotto rice, spices, an extensive range of oils and vinegars including house brands and a plethora of other local and imported gourmet products.
477 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, Sydney
Ph. (02) 9439 9881
Santa Vittoria Mineral Water
Available from premium retailers and in many quality restaurants.
Where would we be without Carlo Colaiacomo’s AC Butchery? Originally only in Marion St Leichhardt, the AC business now has branch offices springing up everywhere- thank goodness.
AC is famous for its Italian sausages; pork and fennel and duck and pistachio are my favourites. But the plain beef are great for weekend fry ups and the plain Italian pork perfect for many Italian recipes, including my rigatoni with Italian sausage and capsicum ragu.
And Carlo’s other products are every bit as good as his sausages. The free range pork actually tastes like pork, the veal and lamb are legendary and the wagyu beef is both well priced and delicious. Try the prosciutto and pancetta or the fabulous, golden yolked organic eggs.
174 Marion St Leichhardt
Ph 9569 8657
Shop 15 NortonSt Plaza Leichhardt
Ph 9550 9030
Shop 22 Plumer Rd Rose Bay
Ph 9363 4971
13 AyrshireCres Sandgate
Ph 4968 8886
Steve Costi Seafoods
You can now buy quality seafood without driving to the fish markets, with Steve’s shops now in more than a dozen suburbs across Sydney. I find that it’s best to develop a relationship with the store manager, asking what is in season and which fish is really good today. Get them to recommend produce to you, rather than shopping with preconceived ideas.
Steve’s stores have a particularly good range of fish fillets, many already cut into portions for you, to save wastage and mess.
If you want something specific that’s not in stock, like some crustaceans, whole fish or sashimi, speak to the store manager who may be able to source it for you.
Ph 9958 0947
David Jones City
Ph 9266 6234
David Jones Bondi Junction
Ph 9619 1290
Ph 9938 9155
Ph 9819 7198
St Ives Shopping Village
Ph 9144 3099
Winston Hills Mall
Ph 9674 9078
Met Centre (City)
Ph 9252 9811
Ph 4365 3563
Ph 4367 6811
Ph 9499 3433
Ph 9969 9435
Ph 8883 0700
Menai Market Place
Ph 9541 2580
Ph 8814 7611
Ph 9398 2400