Norfolk Island needs a chef and The Locale goes Brazilian | NIBBLES

OI OI OI: Venues across the Hunter are getting into the Australia Day spirit.

OI OI OI: Venues across the Hunter are getting into the Australia Day spirit.

Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are behind us, it’s time to start thinking about Australia Day. And do try to ignore the Easter eggs already popping up in some supermarkets... 

On January 26, The Greenroof will be partying from 11am until late. Entry is free and activities include a lamington-eating competition and a dunking machine. The Triple J Hottest 100 countdown will be played from start to finish. 

The Sydney Junction Hotel is celebrating with thong throwing, wheelie bin races, carpark cricket, pie-eating contests and more. 

Marks Point Sports Club will have loads of activities for the kids and The Greenhouse Eatery at Pacific Dunes will be serving cold beer and traditional Aussie desserts. Adamstown Bowling Club will fire up the barbecue and there will be live music, a waterslide and a cricket match. 

On January 26 Toronto Workers Club’s menu will be an all-Aussie affair, and there will be raffles and live music to enjoy. At Maitland Park the fun starts at 7.30am with a free barbecue breakfast and a day of family activities. 

The Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks will host a crab-racing and a prawn-peeling competition, and Novocastrians are more than welcome to join in the fun, Food & Wine was told. 

Out at Where Pigs Fly Sanctuary near Laguna, though, the focus will be a little different. They are hosting Love A Lamb Day on January 26 where lambs are the guests of honour rather than the main course. All are invited to take part in a sanctuary tour, where you can meet the rescued animal residents and hear their stories, and enjoy cruelty-free snacks from Herbisaurus. Bookings essential at

If you have an Australia Day event coming up, let Food & Wine know. 

Locale heats up

The Locale at New Lambton has introduced a new Brazilian menu on Thursday nights, 5pm until late.  Everything, Food & Wine was told, is served “on a stick”. Two sticks for $12, plus $6 beer and wine, and $10 cocktails. Also, a new Summer of Awesome breakfast and lunch menu has been introduced which includes some tasty new gelato flavours you could use to bribe the kids during the remainder of the school holidays.

Talking dinner

Slow Food Hunter Valley are holding a special Terra Madre (“Mother Earth”) celebration at Momo Newcastle on January 10. Enjoy a three-course meal made from seasonal summer produce while Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Amorelle Dempster, farmer Tom Christie and other Hunter Valley folks talk about some of the highlights of the 2016 Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Italy.  Reserve your seat by emailing

Tradition lost

Research conducted by Westinghouse has revealed that family recipes and cooking skills are not being passed to the next generation as they once were.

The Westinghouse Kids in the Kitchen Survey found that cooking from scratch is in decline, with parents today half as likely as the previous generation to always cook from scratch (26 per cent compared to 53 per cent).

To encourage families to spend time together in the kitchen and pass on their cooking skills these summer holidays, Westinghouse has teamed up with MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin and created the Kids in the Kitchen recipe booklet, featuring 12 recipes the whole family can cook together.

The research also found that:

  • Passing on skills and traditions is critical to keeping cooking alive. Parents whose mothers always cooked from scratch are much more likely to do the same for their children.
  • Dinner is becoming a lacklustre affair, with the typical Aussie parent relying on the same seven meals each week to feed the family, and more than a third having five or fewer meals in their weekly dinner repertoire.
  • Just one in three parents sit down with all the family and eat together at the table every night.
  • More than one in three parents allow their children to bring a device to the dinner table.

To download a copy of Kids in the Kitchen, go online to

Dinner and movie

Wollombi’s Panino Caffe & Restaurant, a great spot to visit for an authentic Italian feed, is hosting a dinner on January 14 to coincide with a special screening of Rabbit Proof Fence as part of the annual Flicks on the Green in the picturesque Grays Inn Garden.

Director Phillip Noyce will be there, answering questions about the film. Tickets are $60 for the dinner and movie package. 

Bookings essential by phoning 4998 3483 or 0416 245 655.  

Sea change

Food & Wine this week stumbled across a social media post by musician Matty Zarb, who is no stranger to Newcastle.

He runs a restaurant and bar on Norfolk Island called The Jolly Roger, and he needs a new chef. His sous chef is heading home to Newcastle, coincidentally, to spend time with family after a long time living the island life.  

Zarb is looking for an “enthusiastic chef d’partie or demi chef …. with a positive attitude, strong pan and grill experience and able to work or willing to learn all sections of the kitchen. Short-term accommodation assistance available and flight costs reimbursed after three months. Most of the produce is grown locally and we have local free-range, grass fed beef, local pork and local line-caught fish daily.”

Interested? Email