Stephanie Alexander's Latest Adventures

We wanted to pass along Stephanie Alexander's recent Newsletter, packed with interesting information.  We've been known to describe her ast the Aussie equivalent of the US' Julia Child and Alice Waters - read on and you'll reallize.why..  Contact iStephanie Alexander <> to get on her newsletter mailing list so you can get the photos

I have been very quiet as I have been hugging a couple of exciting things to my chest and was sworn to secrecy until now...

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Newsletter 65, February 2020

Wow, so much to share!

Curtis Stone and Stephanie Alexander with three school children in a Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden

I have been very quiet as I have been hugging a couple of exciting things to my chest and was sworn to secrecy until now. 

For eighteen years I have been working my hardest to expand the awareness of the power of delicious food for young Australians via my not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. I still believe that the way to convince young people to choose great fresh food is to expand their food experiences and offer an enjoyable educational program that complements their general curriculum. Our mantra has been Growing..Harvesting..Preparing..Sharing.

And it is always a joy for me to visit one of our schools and see this in action. Anyone engaged with a not-for-profit foundation will know there is always so much more that can be done with extra resources. Already our family includes over 2000 schools and centres, representing around 250,000 children and their families each year.

In traversing this long road we have had marvellous support from corporate bodies, from philanthropic organisations and many generous individuals. In some years we have been well-supported for specific programs by government. 

I am excited and proud to announce a three-year partnership with Coles which will support our efforts nationally in all Coles stores. The fresh food department in every store will announce the partnership and encourage families to participate in promotions that will in turn support our efforts. At the same time Coles are announcing their own national healthy eating program called the Coles Fresh 5 Challenge, which encourages kids to eat all the five food groups every day through collecting Stikeez. I have also been delighted to renew my friendship with Curtis Stone, whom I first met when he was a young chef starting out.

For almost every family in the country a visit to a supermarket is at least a once-weekly experience. To now have the biggest supermarket in Australia reinforce our messages about choosing fresh seasonal food is game-changing for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Curtis Stone and Stephanie Alexander with school children in a Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden

Our Strange Summer

Enough has been written about the horror of the fires and now many of us are trying to find some way to help. 

I was having makeup done before a photoshoot and the makeup artist told me she had spent the last week knitting caps and rugs needed for injured animals. I joined with many other authors on the ‘AuthorsforFireys’ website and put together a collection of hardback copies of all of my out-of-print titles. The lucky auction winner bid a handsome price for this and she is coming from Sydney to personally collect her prize. I look forward to handing it over.

One of our delightful small schools Clifton Creek was completely destroyed. I have lovely memories of lunching with the staff and students (all 16 of them If I remember correctly) and being stunned by the gorgeous garden with its crop of tomatillos. They will rebuild we are told by the school principal. Other schools have reported considerable damage – we wish them well and hope that communites are rallying.

L–R: The Secret Garden during one of my visits; the Secret Garden after the fire, image Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

Above left: Clifton Creek's Secret Garden during one of my visits. Above right: the Secret Garden after the bushfire (image courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd).

The smoky air has been difficult and I have felt constricted in the chest and can only imagine how much worse it would have been for residents in fire-struck towns. Like other Victorians I have a serious layer of red dirt all over all external paving and furniture. My gardener and housekeeper are combining to clean this for me and I thought the least I could do was to make them a lovely cake.

Did I mention I have been very stressed lately? Well I made a complete mess of it. A recipe I have used many times. I am enclosing a sad picture to reassure all those tentative cooks that even a very experienced one can stuff up. The problem was that my super-clever scales had moved themselves from metric to pounds and ounces and I did not notice (need that specs appointment) and was in a great hurry and I used far too much flour. I have made a sort of lemon shortbread rather than a cake.

Image of a Stephanie Alexander cake recipe that failed

Time to unwind

I did get to have my annual late January holiday and enjoyed my beach walks. The breeze does help to blow away the stress. How about this beautiful pattern in the sand!

Australian coastline beach and sand patterns left by wave

I had two lovely meals at local restaurants, Captain Moonlite at Anglesea where I had the most stunning hapuku dish cooked with garlic crisps and chopped broccolini (below left), preceded by perfectly shucked oysters brimming with their juices. And at Aireys at A la Grecque two standouts for me were the fresh fig and hazelnut salad, and on an earlier visit, grilled kefalograviera with grilled peaches and drizzled with honey (below right).

Hapuku with broccolini and kefalograviera with peaches and honey

My role every year is to be chief cook and we ate very well but quite simply. I had a lovely trip down memory lane when Brian Stroschien, a former much-loved waiter from Stephanie’s restaurant and his partner came to lunch. I made my version of the Chinese classic white-cooked chicken which we all loved.

Most days lunch involved a salad like this...

Photos of Stephanie Alexander's White-cooked Chicken dish and Salade aux Lardons

I'm currently in India at the request of the Media and Communications School of Melbourne University to enthuse to would-be students about the delights of Melbourne as a great food city. Plus of course discussing what I know about publishing and how things have changed in our city.

I feel sure that my next newsletter will have a very Indian flavour. 

Photos of an Indian block print quilt and a map of India

 Until next time.

And do pass this on to any friend who may be interested.



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Happy 30th to the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation< just announced that the 2020 Awards will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the James Beard Awards, which began in 1990. Additionally, for the first time in Awards history, the Foundation will bring the Beard House to life with a two-day activation at Chicago’s Old Post Office: The James Beard Awards House presented by Capital One. The 2020 James Beard Awards will mark the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry. Throughout their three-decade history, the Beard Awards have both sparked and reflected trends in America’s food culture. To commemorate the past, honor the present, and look to the future, the Foundation is celebrating the semifinalists, nominees, winners, events, and milestones that have created the dynamic and ever enlightening food and restaurant community we have today.

Embodying the Foundation’s Good Food for Good™ mantra, the James Beard Awards support sustainability, gender equality, inclusion, equity, and access for all. As the preeminent benchmark for culinary excellence, the Awards will continue to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission to make America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone: celebrating the past while championing the future.

“We are really excited to use this milestone moment of the 30th anniversary of the James Beard Awards to reflect on how the industry has evolved, who has pioneered change, and what lies ahead for the profession, the community, and our impact in the world,” said Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation. “We’ve seen improvements in restaurant work culture, in gender equality, in diversity, and in sustainability, but there is so much more to do. It is galvanizing to register the increasing importance that food, and the food community has in society today, and we thrilled to be celebrating the industry’s leaders and standard bearers this anniversary year.”

The James Beard Awards House Presented by Capital One, official credit card and banking partner of the Foundation, will be a dynamic, central gathering place during the Awards weekend, open Sunday, May 3, and Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Old Post Office (433 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL). The Awards House will offer guests attending the awards, members of the industry, and general public a chance to engage in programming that will include talks focusing on issues that affect the community such as racial equity, sustainability, wine tariffs, and more. Local partners Choose Chicago, The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and multiple Chicago-based restaurant groups and chefs will take up residency in fun and delicious ways. A co-working space, a media lounge, hospitality and bar areas, and one-off events with sponsors and friends of the Foundation will be plentiful A special 30th anniversary photo exhibit created by photographer Melanie Dunea featuring past James Beard Award Winners and milestones will be open to guests. The full list of events and programming will be continually updated on the Foundation’s website, and ticket information is forthcoming.

“As a proud partner of the Foundation, we are excited to be the presenting sponsor of the James Beard Awards and support their impactful work through the James Beard Awards House in Chicago,” said Lauren Liss, Vice President of U.S. Card at Capital One. “By partnering with the Foundation, we’ve been able to broaden our reach and support in the culinary world, while bringing our cardholders exclusive access to memorable dining experiences.

Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists will be announced on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The celebrations will begin in New York City on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the James Beard Foundation Media Awards presented in association with HOUSTON FIRST©, an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists that will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

The events then move to Chicago with the Leadership Awards Dinner taking place on Sunday, May 3, 2020, where honorees will be recognized for their work in creating a more healthful, sustainable, and just food world. The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

The 2020 James Beard Awards are presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the James Beard Foundation. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership, Capital One cardholders enjoy exclusive access across signature James Beard Foundation programs including the Taste America tour, JBF Greens: Foodies Under Forty, and the iconic James Beard House.

UpCyclers Members Use Food Waste in Products

Recent OTM Guest  Michael Oraschewsky of TBJ Gourmet Tells us interesting News.  UpCyclers, those food and ingredient manufacturers who incorporate food waste into products, have formed the UpCycled Food Association. Launched in October 2019, the nascent group’s goal is to develop a formal definition of upcycling and advocate for policies that will inform consumers and accelerate marketplace acceptance of finished products and ingredients.

The founding group included eight members, but the association’s membership has more than doubled since its inception. TBJ Gourmet, is proud to be one of the founding members along another local Philadelphia brand, Abundantly Good by Philabundance who are all working to define the space and raise awareness about UpCycling for sustainability along with storied institutions like Drexel University. TBJ Gourmet rescued 80,00lbs of delicious bacon from being wasted last year and expects to double that figure this year. The group is based in Denver and led by Turner Wyatt, chief executive officer. Other founding members include TBJ Gourmet, Abundantly Good, Barnana, ReGrained and others. The group’s web site may be found at


Spork is Back. Just in time for Valentines

Hard to believe its February already.  Chris F and his team at Spork are back with new Menus and Swanky New Digs.  And a Very Special Menu for the 14th - see below.

While it feels like 2020 has just begun, the time of the year has come to reserve your table at Spork for an indulgent, romantic Valentines Day meal.  This year, Chef Christian Frangiadis doesn't disappoint, with the most sumptuous five-course Valentine's Day tasting menu, offered for $100 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), shown in detail below.  Guests will have the option to select one item  from each course, with delightful wine and cocktail pairings as an additional delight  Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling the restaurant directly at 412-441-1700.  

SPORK Valentine’s Day Menu

 ~ 2020 ~


Riccota Gnudi Bolognese with crispy prosciutto

(*V) Fermented Mushroom Pierogi with ratatouille, fresh mozzarella


Octopus Taco with salsa verde, aji amarillo crema, spork garden kimchi

Seared Scallop with Koji trumpet mushroom, black shallot, buckwheat crisp

(*V) Carrot Consomme with chard gnocchi, leeks


Iceberg Wedge smoked Roquefort, roasted tomato, pickled onion, 'nduja, chives, bacon, duck fat potato crouton, buttermilk dressing

(*V) Green Salad crispy quinoa, spiced pecan, dried cherry, shallot vinegar,

buttermilk ice cream


(*V) Tagliatelle with greasy grits miso, pumpkin cream, chestnut, sage, evoo crumbs

Dry Aged Prime Ribeye with lobster arancini, bordelaise, peach béarnaise, breadso haricot verts

Fried Snapper with salsa verde, parsnip two ways, cricket mayonnaise

Duo of Duck Breast & Confit with radish watercress salad, blue corn polenta, pepitas

+add seared foie gras for $25

+add perigord truffles for $25


(*V) Profiteroles with espresso ice cream, caramel sauce, toffee bark

(*V) Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with peanut butter parfait, ganache, cassis crème anglaise


Josh Niland wins Prestige Book Award

OTM last spotted Saint Peter Chef-Partner at Food on the Edge in Galway.  Now we hear another big mention.

Sydney chef Josh Niland and "Chef’s Table" presenter Musa Dağdeviren were among those honoured at the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards, which saw publisher Hardie Grant Books triumph with two awards.

The awards, now in their 41st year, showcase the best of contemporary food and drink writing. The ceremony took place on Monday (20th January) at the Goring Hotel in London. The judging panel was guided by this year’s independent assessors: award-winning author Niki Segnit for the food books and wine expert Dan Jago for the drink titles.

Josh Niland’s The Whole Fish Cookbook (Hardie Grant Books) won the 2019 Food Award. "In this book Sydney’s ground-breaking seafood chef Josh Niland reveals an original way to think about all aspects of fish cookery for every skill level,” organisers said. Segnit said: “Josh Niland applies nose-to-tail principles to seafood. This remarkably creative and surprising book encourages us to waste less seafood by making meat-inspired dishes, like fish black pudding, marlin ham and sea-trout Wellington. An instant classic."

We have been enjoying this toutstanding contribution  to Seafood Cooking.and hope to get Josh on the program again soon.  

Rogue Ales & Spirits Releases 2020 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout and Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey

With our culture of relentless curiosity comes the desire to create, innoate and do things differently,  says Bliss Dake, Vice President of Marketing. At Rogue we come up with some wild idea and then we make them happen. We are makers with a Do It Yourself attitude and are always asking What .This pushed us to experiment and ultimately create something special with the Rolling Thunder family

One of the reasons the Rolling Thunder family is so special is because of the handmade barrels built at Rogue’ own Rolling Thunder Barrel Works. In 2015, Rogue acquired vintage French WWII-era coopering equipment and built a barreling facility. Longtime employee Nate Linquist was tapped to be Rogue’s first cooper and spent six months apprenticing, learning the ancient art of barrel making. Using Oregon Oak, Nate assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, heads, hoops again, cauterizes, sands and brands each barrel, one at a time, all by hand.

Chef Magnus Nilsson at FOTE 2020

Food On The Edge 2020, which is taking place in Galway on the 19th and 20th of October, will host Nordic chef Magnus Nilsson once again, after he spoke at Food On The Edge 2017. JP McMahon, Symposium Director of Food On The Edge, comments,It's great to bring Magnus back to Galway. Not only is he a deeply inspirational figure, but he's also not afraid to change. With the closing of Faviken, he's set to begin a new chapter in his career. His work exemplifies the ethos of Food on the Edge: to constantly create the spaces for good food to flourish.”  Not only is Nilsson regarded as an authority on Nordic cuisine due to his purist and perfectionist approach to Nordic food culture, he is also regarded as a poet and philosopher. He has recently closed his two Michelin star restaurant, Fäviken, to pursue other ventures. Fäviken was located in remote Sweden, 375 miles north of Stockholm, and regarded as exemplifying the “new Nordic” food trend, which venerates regional and local food. Nilsson became a household name through the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table and his books Fäviken and The Nordic Cookbook, both of which are published by Phaidon.

Magnus Nilsson says, “I had such an interesting time in 2017 when I visited FOTE and I feel that  there is so much of interest said in such a short time. I look forward to coming back for that.”

More than 600 people attended over the two days of Food On The Edge 2019, which was held in Galway in the National University of Ireland, Galway More than 50 of the world’s best international and Irish chefs and food leaders took to the stage to share their food stories and debate topics, while Irish food producers showcased their produce in the Artisan Food Village. OTM was there for the 2nd year is a row.. Food On The Edge 2020 is taking place on the 19th and 20th of October in Galway, with the venue to be confirmed. Additional world-class chefs and speakers will be announced in early 2020.

It's not too early to plan your attendance.  The deadline for Super Early Bird Tickets is the 31st of January. The €250 reduced price two-day ticket includes admission and access to all talks and masterclasses, lunches, and entertainment on both nights. Tickets are available to book online at An Installment Plan will be available from the 1st of February. The Early Bird Price of €300 will be available to pay in two installments - an initial payment of €100, with a second payment of €200 due by the 31st of August. Student tickets will also be available at a cost of €300 from the 1st of February. For more information see Check out @foodonthedge on social and follow the official hashtag #FOTE2020 for updates and speaker announcements.


Pittsburgh's Spork Refreshes

The ownership group of Andrew Tepper, Chef Christian Frangiadis and GM Sean Enright of Spork in Pittsburgh have announced a refresh of their popular modern American small plates restaurant following its New Year’s Eve service on December 31. The restaurant will close for renovations and service upgrades from January 1-7.  Spork is expected to re-open on January 8, 2020 with a more elegant style of service and cuisine, while keeping the family feeling that Spork has become known for in Pittsburgh.

“The refresh provides a focused opportunity to enhance the sophistication of the Spork dining experience while maintaining the familial vibe that our customers appreciate,” said Enright. “We are always listening to what our loyal clientele love most about Spork and want to reflect what is most important to them as we start a new year.”

Earlier in 2019, the management team conducted a research and development trip to Mexico to identify additional service elements that would play a role at Spork.  A captain-style service will include all servers on the floor, resulting in a higher standard of service.  A vigorous training program led by manager Richard Stewart, a veteran on the Pittsburgh Restaurant scene, will take place during the restaurant’s closure.  Special attention will be given to education around wine service, tableside service, and spirit service as well as the new menu. Olivia Lindstrom will continue to lead the wine program with Wes Burdette overseeing the bar offerings.

“Our goal is to have the staff to be every element so they can properly convey the entire Spork experience with our guests,” says Stewart.

New, sleek and sophisticated black on black uniforms with maroon aprons for servers and bar staff will showcase a classic restaurant style. The bartenders’ uniforms will reflect the servers with maroon bar aprons while the new menu redesign will include a fold-out design and quite a few new items.

Spork will continue to offer the unique dining experience and interesting menu elements that initially put the restaurant on the map of the Pittsburgh dining scene, including in-house fermentation and pickling techniques as well as up-leveled dishes like the popular canard à la presse.  The overarching goal is to maintain the comfortable, friendly feeling that guests have come to enjoy since the restaurant’s opening, while bringing it to the next level. Interior and exterior painting will lighten and brighten the space while new art and lighting installations provide more elements of interest and more visible signage outside of Spork’s doors.

ABOUT SPORK: Spork is a chef-owned, modern American small plates restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving dinner Monday through Saturday. Executive Chef Christian Frangiadis leads a robust team that makes pastas, cures meats, bakes pastries and more entirely from scratch, every day. The menu at Spork changes nightly, based on what is in season at the farmer’s market or on-hand at the butcher, to showcase the diverse bounty of Western Pennsylvania produce. Seasonal craft cocktails, unique wines from around the world and local drafts are available, as well. Spork is located at 5430 Penn Avenue, at the corner of Penn Avenue and South Graham Street. Hours of operation are 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit Spork’s website

December 29 Episode

OTM is On the Road, The December 29 program will be Available at 8AM US Eastern Time

On the Menu for December 22 now onlne

OTM is landed safely from our Xmas Journey.  Happy Holidays to All Our Listeners