Pasta di Porto owner dedicates fine food awards success to her Papa | FOOD NEWS

SUCCESS: Ed Halmagyi flanked by co-owners of Anna Bay pasta-making business Pasta di Porto, Peter Toth and Domenica Fedele.

SUCCESS: Ed Halmagyi flanked by co-owners of Anna Bay pasta-making business Pasta di Porto, Peter Toth and Domenica Fedele.

Artisan Anna Bay pasta-making business Pasta di Porto dedicated its success at the 2016 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show awards to a very special man. Papa.

Domenica Fedele, who runs the Anna Bay store with business partner Peter Toth, said her father taught her how to make the best veal osso bucco ragu, pecorino and fresh herb ravioli.

He passed away in 2014.

“These awards are very special to me because I have dedicated our osso bucco pasta to my Papa in memory of the great pasta lunches he used to make for us at Sunday lunches when we were kids,” Domenica said.

“We have kept alive his recipe for the dish and I’m so heartened it is still bringing pleasure to so many people, not just me. We are very passionate about making the best pasta possible, working long hours to deliver quality, so these awards help us carry our proud family traditions in pasta making forward which means a lot to us.” 

The 13 medals won by Pasta di Porto last month included a championship and best in show award. They have won 72 medals for their fine Italian pasta since launching their business in 2009. 

Pasta di Porto sources local produce and ingredients to make 45 rustic, southern Italian pasta varieties for direct sale to the public and to restaurants, delicatessens and other food outlets. Pasta di Porto’s store is at 134 Gan Gan Road, Anna Bay, and is open seven days a week.

Festival fare

Gone are the days of Dagwood Dogs and soggy chips. Hunter Region music festivals have gone gourmet. THIS THAT, for example, is backing up its music line-up with an equally impressive array of food stalls, as well as clever cocktails and craft beers. BBQ Hill will showcase slow-cooked BBQ stylings from Asia, the Americas and Europe, with beers on offer from Adelaide’s Pirate Life Brewery, Young Henry’s and the Central Coast’s Six Strings Brewery. Also on site will be Food Truck Hill and an exclusive VIP lounge and bar served by Newcastle Brazilian BBQ team MEET. THIS THAT is at Newcastle Foreshore on November 5. 

Welcome back

The Gunyah Hotel at Belmont has re-opened, much to the delight of its many patrons, after a fire earlier this year forced it to close its doors for several months.  

Hunter Harvest

Don’t forget, Hunter Harvest is on at Westfield Kotara’s The Rooftop this Saturday, October 22. Some of the Hunter’s premium wineries, local food producers and chefs will be there and many will be offering tastings. Workshops will also be held so head to Westfield Kotara’s website to secure your place. Entry to the event, which runs from 11am to 4pm, is free.

Go bananas

Kokomo Junction will be launching its new tapas and share-plate menu at a special event on Friday, October 28 called Kokomo’s Gone Bananas.  Tickets cost $40 per person, which includes an antipasto grazing table, canapés, house wines, bubbles and tap beers. Go to 

Murray’s update

The Murray’s Brewery team is still coming to terms with a fire that ripped through its cellar door on Friday morning, causing considerable damage. They wanted to send a message to their many customers, so here it is: “Well, all things considered, we are picking ourselves up and making some progress under very challenging circumstances. We are able to offer wine tasting, wine sales and packaged beer sales again, and we really appreciated a steady flow of visitors come to offer their support by buying some beer or wine over the weekend. We have recommenced our inbound tourism lunch service and we are now working hard to open a pop-up drinks and food service as soon as possible. Hopefully it’s a matter of days, rather than weeks. But we’re still not sure. All our staff are still working – they may just be redeployed for different things. We have come a long way in four days, thanks in part to the fabulous Murray’s team spirit,  but there is a way to go. We are really hoping that this weekend we may be able to pour our first beer (from a portable system) and offer some simple food. Thankfully the brewery operation was not affected and we can keep brewing, and run brewery tours. Please stay tuned to social media for updates and we hope to serve you soon!”

New ideas

Blackbird Artisan Bakery at East Maitland now offers cooking classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information go online to, phone 4934 5238 or visit the store’s Facebook page.  

Blackbird also hosts special events from time to time. On October 28 there will be an Argentinian Food & Wine Tasting, cost $50 per person, to raise funds for Farley geologist Marianne Harvey, who is taking part in the world-first Homeword Bound Strategic Leadership Mission for Women in Science. She is one of only 77 women worldwide chosen to take part in the Antarctic journey, so it’s quite an achievement. 

New milk bar

The Greenhouse Eatery at Pacific Dunes, Medowie, has opened a milk bar on site and will launch a new Thursday night menu on October 27.

Lake specials

Crusoe’s on the Lake at Belmont is now offering a range of dinner specials, in line with their popular $12 lunches.

On Sunday kids eat free (one child per paying adult); on Mondays schnitzels will set you back $12; it’s $12 pizza night on Tuesdays and $12 pasta on Wednesdays; while on Thursdays you can order a Surf n Turf for $20. Also, breakfast is now available on weekends from 7.30am.