Eat Drink Blog 2012

Dennis Leslie's Juka with Lime & Garlic Mayonnaise, served at Adelaide Hilton, Eat Drink Blog

Adelaide Hilton executive chef Dennis Leslie thinks the next food trend in Australian dining will be South American/Tex Mex.

He predicts that with the next FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympics being held in Brazil, the spotlight will shine on South American cuisine.

Having recently returned from a trip to America where he indulged his love of Tex Mex, Dennis was inspired to draw on some of those flavours for the very generous banquet he produced for Eat Drink Blog 2012.

Lamb on Spit, Adelaide Hilton, Eat Drink Blog 2012

This annual talkfest for food bloggers has been held in Melbourne, Sydney and now Adelaide, and this year I was privileged to be one of the 80 bloggers selected to attend. South Australia can always be counted on to put on a great show when it comes to food and wine, and this time was no exception.

We sipped and supped on lots of beautiful food and wine, fell in love with all the great produce at the Adelaide Central Market, drooled over cupcakes made by the very clever Natasha (pictured) and were whisked out to the Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions (more on those to follow).

We networked with old and new friends, heard lots of inspiring stories, gained lots of great tips about blogging, and met US food writer and coach Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write For Food.

Natasha, of Playing House, with cupcakes at Eat Drink Blog 2012And on the Saturday night we partied – well, not quite. It was actually quite a sedate affair as everyone just wanted to talk to as many like-minded people as possible.

The Hilton’s extraordinarily generous array of sharing platters was a great way of encouraging conviviality.

Grilled Corn with Cheese, Lime & Coriander, Adelaide Hilton, Eat Drink Blog 2012

Sitting outdoors on a balmy evening, we feasted on spit-roasted lamb, grilled piri piri chicken, smokey beef ribs with chipotle sauce, grilled corn (above), empanadas, Woodside cheese, Beerenberg strawberries with Haigh’s chocolate, and alfajores (dulche de leche sandwich cookies).

It all went down a treat with a refreshing glass of K1 by Geoff Hardy 2010 Arneis and silky-smooth 2007 Zema Estate Shiraz. It goes without saying that there was also plenty of Coopers beer flowing.

The dinner was sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia whose social media manager Matthew Dwyer spoke about a new campaign, Target 100, to collect real-life stories from producers committed to sustainable cattle, sheep and goat production.

Duck And Prune Terrine, The Brasserie, Adelaide Hilton Hotel

Sustainability is a mantra for Hilton chef Dennis Leslie, who features local produce in The Brasserie’s Seriously South Australian menu. Leslie, who took over from Simon Bryant and counts Bryant amongst his greatest mentors, is doing a fine job in The Brasserie.

After a weekend of so much good food, it was hard to find room for more, but I did manage to try a couple of small dishes at The Brasserie – a melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork and coleslaw slider, and duck and prune terrine (above), both of which were fabulous.

The Hilton has produced a really beautiful little cookbook of South Australian recipes that you can download here for free.

Related post: Adelaide Central Market

Orange marmalade Danish pastries, Eat Drink Blog 2012

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