Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meeting Maggie Beer and Comfort at my Table

There are times when blogging just seems too hard. It does take up a lot of time and creative energy. I feel sad when my hit rates go down, or when I don't have any comments. Also worthy of consideration is the amount of money I spend on food and my jeans feeling consistently tighter. And then, there are days like last Saturday, that remind me why I love blogging so much. Well actually, it all started last Wednesday.

I received a DM, that's direct message for all you lovely readers that aren't twitter bugs i.e. on Twitter. Anyway, the DM came from Emma at Black Pearl Epicure, who are a gorgeous little retail shop in the Valley that also happen to do cooking classes. Emma asked me if I would be interested in coming to an intimate gathering on Saturday morning- a meet and greet style event with .... MAGGIE BEER.

I started squealing in my office and tweeted back something very generation Y, i.e Are You Serious? I think I am going to die..

So on 8:15 on Saturday morning, I found myself a little chilled (probably good as I needed it to calm me down) whilst I waited outside Black Pearl with some other very excited looking ladies.

We were all ushered into the Shop floor for some tea and croissants, and then the wonderful Maggie arrived. She slipped straight into her duties, like it wasn't a chore, and made her way around the room talking with different groups of people. Maggie, in real life, is just like she is on the Cook and the Chef. Delightful. I seriously don't know If I have ever seen someone more good natured and genuinely happy.

There were plenty of star struck people but Maggie was collected and not one bothered by talking to her 'fans' for about an hour and a half. I met some new lovely people (HI to the girl with the lovely blonde curly hair, who works in marketing..I'm sorry I can't remember your name, but it was nice to meet you!) and also spotted a few familiar food blogging faces. I also came across some old twitter friends, who are new real life friends. (I get the whole net thing is really weird, I still can't believe I meet people on the internet.)

Anyway, I'm not going to bore you with a word for word rundown on the conversation, but Maggie was so lovely. We talked about her upcoming holiday as she is really tired from working over a month straight. Eat Drink and Be Kerry was in the same group when I was talking with Maggie, and she convinced me to get a photo. I asked Maggie If I could 'bunny ears' her because I wanted a funny shot to pop onto my blog. Bunny earsing is the very childish practice of putting two fingers behind someones head in a photo, giving them bunny ears. Maggie had no qualms and actually found it funny that I had asked such an odd request. I'm really glad that Kerry convinced me to have a photo - I have never had a 'celebrity' shot before. I think it may be the only one too, because Maggie is way more than a celebrity- she is also a genuinely lovely person, whose feet haven't been dragged off the floor by the helium balloon of fame. For me this attitude is very inspirational, so much more so than someone who is divaish. I'm not going to put the photos on here yet, as I haven't had a chance to photoshop my face out yet sorry!

After Maggie moved on, I had a little chat with the food bloggers- it was lovely to catch up with them. Kerry mentioned she had visited Comfort at my table during the week, which reminded me how gorgeous the place was, and how much I had wanted to re-visit to blog about the very pink eatery. In fact, Kerry only blogged about Comfort at my Table last week, so it is probably a little soon for me to reviewing the same place, but I wanted to combine it with this post, as I'm quite sure that Maggie would LOVE comfort at my table! So after my meeting with Maggie, I swung by home, picked up C and headed to Comfort at my Table in Milton for a late breakfast.

I had briefly popped in to CAMT a couple of times, just to grab a juice actually. I had never taken the time to sit down and eat something, and I knew Saturday morning, still on a meeting Maggie high, was the perfect time.

CAMT is situated in an odd spot- on Cribb Street, next to a hairdresser and a newsagent. They open mainly during the week for the office staff in surrounding buildings for lunches. They also open on Saturday mornings until 2p.m. for Brekky only. The place is divine- so gorgeous. Very pink with big chalk boards, flowers, walls lined with jams and very cutely - a little basket of apples at the door. I like to think that if I lived by myself (no C to have to balance out the gender!!) my house would be as beautiful as this.

As I visited on a Saturday morning, only the breakfast menu is available, but if you stop in all through the week you will see the glass display cabinet filled to the brim with fresh salads and baked goods, all of which are made on site. The menu is inspired and the prices are reasonable. To give you an idea biscuits are $1, cupcakes are $3 and the most expensive lunch menu items are $16. Breakfast is particularly good value, with $15 being top dollar.

The two specials looked particularly inviting- savoury mince on toast with rocket, cheddar and grilled lemon $12 and Hotcakes w stewed apple, rhubarb, strawberries, ricotta, maple and crumble crust $14. Unfortunately the savoury mince had just sold out and as I wasn't sure I could handle a full on sugar hit, I decided on something off the lighter options menu- the avocado on toast with grilled lemon, tomato and onion relish, sheep's feta and bunnyconnellen extra virgin olive oil for $8 (YES- $8!!) . Bunnyconnellen is a QLD producer of olive oil.

C paid $12 for 'Nims Eggs' - (Nim is the owner/chef) poached eggs with crispy bacon, pesto, nims banana chutney, roasted tomatos and toasted levain pane. I ordered a cranberry juice, and C went with his usual flat white.

No 1. Thank you so much for putting cranberry juice ($4) on the menu. I love cranberry juice in the mornings and very few places offer it. There is a good selection of teas and cold drinks- things you don't find just anywhere.

My simple but eye pleasing dish arrived and I tucked in straight away. The avocado was firm without being too underripe and the sheep's feta was an interest point. Without a doubt, the tomato and onion relish was the best thing on this plate. It was sweet, but had depth and even tasted a bit aniseedy at times. It was just lovely. So lovely, I ended up buying a jar at the end. I also bought some tomato sauce- it was nice to read the ingredients on the tag - no preservatives or unknown items! I will probably go for something a bit heartier next time, but for a light brekky at $8, this dish really killed it.

C's more substantial eggs arrived and looked picture perfect. I don't love banana flavoured things, and hence have never tasted banana chutney before, but somehow it went well with this dish. The eggs were poached perfectly, the bacon was, as the menu suggested, crispy and the pesto added another element. Overall these two dishes were wonderful. They were homey and comforting but had a unique touch. In this neck of the woods it is usual to pay around $18 + for breakfast and even at that price, it is rare that I have ever had anything as good as my humble avocado on toast.

Basically,I can't wait to go back to CAMT. It's a place I could sit for hours with some old friends catching up and just feel like I am in a uber gorgeous living room. The young waitress that was taking care of the floor was very polite and the whole feeling of the place is warm and generous. I feel like Comfort at my table just gets 'it'. A nice place to sit, homey, unpretentious, comfortable, but with a classic individualised menu, where the food is damn good.

When I introduced myself (after I had dined and paid!! If I introduce myself, I always wait so my experience is not coloured by the fact that I am a food blogger) Nims was happy to have a chat to me. She is right in saying that there isn't really else like it around. I feel like this is the place that Maggie would like to come to, I can picture her sitting in one of the corners browsing through one of the various cookbooks amongst the lavender filled vases.

Just between you and me, I think I actually have a crush on Maggie and Comfort at my Table. At any rate, I had such a lovely day on Saturday! Everything was just perfect. It revitalised me and reminded me that through food blogging I have had the opportunity to meet fabulous inspiring people like Maggie, connect with some very cool people like the Bris Foodie crowd and you guys, and do what I do best- eat fabulous food!

Thanks to Emma at Black Pearl Epicure for inviting me. I'm still getting over the excitement.

When to go: For a late Saturday breakfast on your way back home after shopping at the Farmer's Markets. It really doesn't matter what the weather is like- the venue is gorgeous regardless. P.s Help yourself to an apple on the way out - I know right- too cute!

Comfort at my Table
Shop 5/19
23 Cribb Street Milton
Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

3 fabulous comments:

D said...

GG - I hope you dont mind, but I posted your bunny ears pic on my blog. I love it SOOO much! I hope its ok? And if so, could I please link the pic to you and your blog?

Was great to meet you and the other foodie ladies on Saturday :)


mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Yay, what fun! And great times can be had through the leisurely act of blogging =)

And don't worry about the tightening jeans. I'm sure I'm not eating more since blogging - I'd probably have managed that on my own without any sort of encouragement, I reckon!

Trissa said...

Get out of here! Maggie Beer? How lucky! From what I've seen she is a lovely person and truly an inspiration. And don't worry - we all feel the same way about blogging sometimes (at least I do). The important thing is to pick yourself up and have more great days like this one.

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