After spending a week in Perth, Australia for the Eat Drink Blog conference, I knew I’d be connecting back through Sydney and everyone in my life told me I’d be crazy not to spend some time there. As it happened, I had recently signed up for an American Express Starwood card that came with 25,000 points—or I’d earned them or something—and I could use those points to stay at the Westin in the Central Business District for three nights. So, in other words, I could stay in Sydney for three nights totally for free or just go straight back to America. Duh: I chose to see Sydney.
Jerry Fraser of Print Hall in Perth, Australia shucks 5,000 oysters a week. He does it with such finesse, with such ease, he can carry on a meaningful conversation and have a dozen oysters shucked by the time you move on to the next topic. He’s an oyster-shucking master who’s so completely passionate about what he does, people from all over Australia come to Perth just to see him in action. I feel incredibly privileged that I had the opportunity to learn from the master directly; what follows are some pictures and more video of Jerry giving his oyster-shucking master course. Turns out you just need one tool and the rest is skill.
All right, class, find your buddy and take them by the hand…we’re going on a class trip to Australia to check out an Australian supermarket!
Surely there are better reasons to go to Australia, like the Sydney Opera House or kangaroos or Olivia Newton John, but as a lover of food and food shopping and grocery stores, I was fascinated to go into a mainstream grocery store today to see how it differed from its American cousins. And the one that I chose, Cole’s, was a perfect choice because it couldn’t have been more conventional. It is to Sydney what D’Agastino’s is to New York and Ralph’s is to California. It’s where normal people go to shop and, because of that, it’s easier to compare the differences. So hop into my cart and let’s see what there is to see.
Let me tell you about Cory Gale. When Eat Drink Blog (the Australian food blog conference) decided they wanted me to be their featured speaker this year in Perth they partnered up with Cory Gale of Experience Perth to help plan my trip. All of these adventures I’ve been sharing with you so far have been dreamed up by Cory and what’s made them all so lovely–even the ones I was dreading (helicopter, speed boat)–has been Cory’s genuine enthusiasm for his city. He loves Perth and, even more, he loves sharing his love for Perth with other people. Here he is at breakfast sharing his enthusiasm for a mushroom omelet with truffles.
Heli to Rotto, Biking The Island, Quokkas, The Rottnest Express, A Beach Lunch and A Colombian Dinner
The truth about my trip to Australia is that, until I boarded the flight over here, I hadn’t really thought about what it was that I expected to get out of the trip. Of course, just coming here was going to be enriching and exciting, but what specific thing did I hope to take away? And then it dawned on me as I studied my itinerary; Australians are daring, they just get up and do things and don’t think twice about it. And so the activities planned for Wednesday (yesterday) would be the perfect opportunity for me to let go of my neurotic New York Woody-Allen-like qualities and become a Paul Hogan, a Steve Irwin, a Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It all began with a helicopter.
Eating Swan Valley, Bushtucker, Makin’ Nougat, Lunch at Houghton Wines and Kanga Bangas on the Beach
Today was a day so filled with food and information about food I’m not sure what’s more likely to burst: my belly or my brain. Before I take you along on my first Perth adventure, here’s something I learned from my new Australian friends: Australians like to abbreviate words to make them easier to say. So they wouldn’t call me Adam here, they’d call me “Ads.” A fireman is a “firey,” a relative is a “relly,” breakfast is “brekky.” Got it? So let’s get started on this posty.
I can’t believe I’m about to do what I’m about to do. After 26 hours of travel (with 20 hours of flying), I’m finally in my hotel room capable of going to bed–it’s 7:52 PM on Monday night in Perth, it’s 3:53 AM Sunday night/Monday morning in Los Angeles–and here I am editing pictures and writing a blog post about everything that’s happened so far. I must be mad! But no, readers, I do this for you…because I figure if I’m going to have an adventure to Australia, you should get to hear all about it. So let’s start with the lentil soup.
[image via Wexas Travel]
You guys: I just had a moment where I glanced at my calendar and saw that two weeks from tomorrow, I’m flying to Australia. I mentioned this to you before but the trip seemed so far away when I wrote that; and now the trip is right there on the horizon and I can hardly believe it. Which is why I’m posting this post now: I want your Australia recs! Almost always when I travel I ask my readers for places to go and eat, and almost always your suggestions are the best. So have at it, readers: I’ll be in Perth for a week (much of that trip is already planned, but I should have some down time) and then I have three days in Sydney. What should I do? Where should I go? And, of course, most importantly: what should I eat? Thanks, and if you’re Australian and you’re reading this…say hi if you see me on the street in TWO WEEKS!