About

Alison Alexander

Image Credit John Reyment: A day in the life images

Welcome to my blog.  I am a Brisbane-based food consultant and the inaugural Queensland Food Fellow. This is a first for me so please steer me in the right direction if I seem to not understand some of the intricacies of operating this animal.  I hope not to show up my incapacities and lack of computer skills too often – so embarrassing!

This blog is intended primarily to be an information source of all things connected with food.  It will concentrate on Queensland in particular but will also take in events and news from anywhere else.

I hope to cover a wide range of food activities including events, dinners, tours, newsletters and other blogs and hope you will share your food stories with me.  If there is a new crop emerging, an innovative product being made, an exciting tour to a near or far location, I will pass on the information.

I will not be presenting restaurant reviews but may write about restaurants visited along with food outlets, farmer’s markets or food trails travelled.

Photography is not my strong point so I will not crowd this blog with too many of my efforts but I will include recipes and some pics will be added.  All photographs will be mine unless acknowledged.

I look forward to sharing many stories with you about the ever changing landscape of food.

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52 thoughts on “About

    • HI Alison,
      lovely to meet you at Coast on Wednesday this week. It was fascinating to hear your thoughts on our local food production here around the Fraser Coast & Wide Bay/Burnett area.
      Cheers!
      Kristen Young & Ben THompson

    • Hi Alison, great to see your blog cannot believe it has taken me so long to join, I have just opened up a gourmet food store at highfields, we stock local produce and products from the region, also have a commercial kitchen where we make my famous Apthorpe farm relishes. We have loads of fresh australian produce and try to support as many local farmers as possible. I am having a day mothers day function on 6th may with a couple of speakers and my great friend tracy madden from brisbane who has just written her second book and is doing a book signing.I would love to know if you would like to join us for the day as a speaker I always enjoy talking with you when we meet and has been too long between meetings. Let me know if you might be able to come for the day. my email is leonie@apthorpefarm.com.au
      Regards Leonie Brassey

  1. Hi Alison, just heard about your blog through Dad [Jock Douglas] I’m looking forward to reading more about your food journey in Queensland….. I’m sure it will make me homesick for the amazing suppliers and produce that Qld has available!

  2. Hello Alison

    Thank you for visiting our newest social enterprise Grove Heritage Nursery in Tasmania’s Huon Valley recently. And a big thank you for your kind donation towards our work. We look forward to your next visit! Kind regards, Mark.

  3. Hello Alison,

    We love your regular spot on 612 ABC Brisbane with Steve Austin. Heard you talking about the Delicious Food Awards this week. Was very interested to hear of the company that processes Spanner Crab. Is this product available to the public in retail outlets? If so, how much is it?

    Regards,
    Craig Coote

    • Hello Craig
      CEAS Spanner Crab can be bought frozen in small sachets, either cooked or raw. It is a delicious product and can be purchased from The Fish Factory, 363 Lytton Road, Morningside and Sammies Girl, 15 Hercules Street, Hamilton and others mentioned on the website. For more information, go to http://www.ceascrabpak.com
      I hope this helps.
      Regards
      Alison

  4. Alison,

    Please HELP!

    Where in Brisbane can we buy Juniper Berries? Haven’t been able to locate them in the supermarket.

    Have a recipe for Corned Beef that calls for Juniper Berries amoungst other things.

    Regards,
    Craig

    • Juniper berries can be bought from good delis particularly those stocking “Herbies” spices by Ian hemphill in Sydney. Try INgredients at Kenmore, Rosalie Gourmet Food Store, Sourced Ingredients at Teneriffe or order online direct from Herbies.

    • Alison reading comments left, and someone asking about Juniper berries! Well, we have them down in the garden, outside our beautiful stone fence, just growing wild! After all my Australian hunting and gathering experience, you are very aware of, maybe this is another venture I can try, picking and packaging juniper berries from Norway right back to Australia!
      Then again, believe me nothing compares to Queensland and Australia!

  5. Hi Allison
    I heard you talking on the ABC earlier in the week about a simple and easy to make CHRISTMAS CAKE. If I remember correctly it only had four ingredients? Any chance of the recipe?
    Thanks Bill

    • Thanks for your enquiry. Recipe is below. There is a podcast on the ABC website of the session I did with Steve Austin this week. regards Alison

      Last Minute Fruit Cake

      1 kg mixed dried fruit (see below)
      500 ml unsweetened fruit juice
      2 cups self-raising flour
      2 teaspoons mixed spice

      1. Pre-heat oven to 160˚C. Line a 21cm X 26cm rectangular tin or 27cm round tin with baking paper.
      2. Combine dried fruit and fruit juice in a large mixing bowl. Sift together the flour and spice and add to the fruit mixture. Stir to ensure that all the flour has been incorporated.
      3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
      4. Remove the cake from the oven and leave in tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in a well sealed container.

      Variations:
      • I make up my own fruit mixture with 600 g sultanas, 250 g raisins and 150 g currants but any combinations of these can be used
      • Chopped dried apricots, crystallised ginger, dates, prunes or figs can also be used
      • Orange, apple, pineapple or pear juice can be used
      • Instead of using mixed spice, combine 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg and ½ teaspoon ground allspice
      • The top of the cake can be decorated with whole nuts before baking
      • After cooling, the cake can be decorated with icing
      • This recipe does not contain eggs, fat or added sugar (if not iced) but may not be suitable for all diabetics – check with your doctor first

  6. Thanks Allison greatly appreciated I,ll give it a try for when my wife has the” turning on” of the Christmas lights night for the neighbourhood in December. Santa has to make a Christmas cake??????????????.
    Regards Bill N.

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  8. Alison just listened to your segment on the radio with Steve Austin and googled capers South Burnett and have not been able to find the producer. Could you let me know the name please?

  9. Hi Alison, I have been listening to you on 612 ABC this year. In particular your highlighting of the major supermarkets rejecting less than perfect fresh produce. I buy my fruit and vegetables from Food Connect, who pride themselves on sourcing produce within 4 to 5 hours of Brisbane at the most, and who supply tasty ALL SIZED produce.
    I also wanted to let you know that Food Connect began my inspiration to paint fresh produce and I have an art exhibition of foodie still life paintings, which is on until November 10th called ‘Playing with Food’, at Sprout BYO French Cafe in Auchenflower. It showcases fresh in-season produce and locally made products. If you’d like to see more go to http://www.kellysouthee.com

  10. Alison, can you please share some more details on the gluten-free pastry you mentioned this morning on 612? I’ve been googling, but with the clues I had I’ve come up with nothing. Many thanks 🙂

  11. Alison, loved loved loved our class on Saturday, you inspire me so much and I love our chopping vegetable sessions before hand. Thank you so much for all your wonderful knowledge, and have a wonderful time in Melbourne. Tracey

  12. Hello Alison – Sinead here from the Queensland Hotels Association. I’d love to chat with you about doing a piece for our monthly QHA Review magazine. Can’t seem to find an email or phone number for you, so hope you don’t mind me contacting you via your blog! If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on local produce with our hotel-industry readership, please call me on 3221 6999 or email shoran@qha.org.au – thank you.

  13. Alison,
    My interest was peaked this morning’s listening to your segment with Steve Austin when you mentioned ‘Smoked Barramundi’! Could you please give me the name of the product? As a lover of Queensland seafood I am most curious to try this.
    Regards,
    Craig Coote

    • Hello Craig. The brand is Perfection Seafood Natural Hickory Smoked Barramundi Fillet. There is also a pepper crusted version. i understand the product can be bought at Seafood factory and Sammie’s Girl in Brisbane and Ferry Road Market on the Gold Coast.
      Regards
      Alison

  14. Hi
    Am currently listening to you on ABC and came in late to hear you talk about carrot picking. I would love to do this with my family.

    Where do I take them for this?

    Thanks,
    Laurie

  15. Hi Alison. I enjoy hearing your segment on Steve’s show on the ABC. Did I hear you mention an apple that had been produced in the Stanthorpe area that doesn’t need spraying for pests etc? I would appreciate any information you could give me to find out more about it. Thanks. Love your work.
    Regards Mike.

    • Hello Mike
      I spoke about the Kalei apple which has been developed by the agricultural scientists in DAFF. This apple will not be available for sale to consumers for another couple of years although i am crossing my fingers I might see a few next autumn. There is some information about the apple online on various sites.
      It is a red firm apple, holds well in storage and is very juicy. The apple is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights and cannot be grown in home gardens at this stage.
      Regards
      Alison

  16. Dear Alison,

    Thank you for all your inforative radio spots on 612 ABC Brisbane. I often find myself envious of Steve Austin.

    The reason for my email today is to ask where on the southside one can get Glacé Fruit?

    Merry Christmas,
    Craig Coote

  17. Hello Alison, so pleased to have come across your blog. I look forward to some special and informative reading. Ciao Maggie Wingett

  18. Hi Alison
    Can you tell me if you’re involved with Regional Harvest at the Ekka this year. I’m keen to collaborate with others to showcase what’s on offer in the South Burnett.. think Barkers Creek Pork, Kingaroy peanut satay, Bunya Red Capers, Blackbutt avocados etc etc Cheers, Julie

  19. Great to have fouond your Blog Alison. Thankyou for the wonderful weekend on Jams, Relishes and Preserves I attended as part of the QCWA (Queensland Country Women’s Association). I had great fun and learnt soooo much.

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  21. Hi I was listening to the radio and someone called right in the middle of the salad dressing ingredients!! Please could you let me know the list for the dressing to go with the peach/bean salad?? Many thx

    • Hello Philippa, see below the recipe for Bean and Nectarine Salad. Thanks. Alison
      ABC 16.2.2017
      Bean and Nectarine Salad

      3 slices pancetta
      500g. young beans, trimmed
      6 nectarines, stoned and cut into 1/8ths
      1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely shredded
      1/2 cup pecans, roasted
      Dressing:
      1/4 cup canola oil
      1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
      1 tablespoon lemon juice
      salt and pepper to taste

      1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place pancetta slices on the paper. Bake the slices in the oven until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
      2. Cook the beans in boiling salted water until crisp/tender. Drain and refresh in iced water until cool. Drain again and place in a mixing bowl.
      3. Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the nectarines, basil and pecans to the beans. Add enough dressing to coat the ingredients. Place the salad on a serving plate and scatter over the crumbled pancetta.

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