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Mad Hatters Spring Picnic 2010

Sydney food bloggers gather with their best dishes and wildest hats to Centennial Park for a Mad Hatters spring picnic. An event held in tandem with the Melbourne food blogging community.

Many prizes were up for grabs, including the major prize of a KitchenAid stand mixer for best overall dish!

Find out which bloggers had the wackiest hats, the best dishes of the day and who walks away with the KitchenAid.

Before we get into this blog post, the images presented in a comic book format. Partly for stylistic reasons. Partly to differentiate from the myriad of other posts already covering this event.

Any text included in this post outside of the comic book “pages”, should be read as a supplementary, like a director’s commentary track.

Anyhow, onto the post.

By far and away, the most impressive hat was the Lady Gaga inspired hat by Tammi, which looks like a model from a science project.

Rita‘s bunny rabbit tail was a cute touch, while Phuoc‘s eclair enhancement to her hat was a sweet one.

The guy with the video camera was a little disconcerting at first. It wasn’t all that clear as to who he was or why he was recording video of the event.

A few questions were asked and the situation was cleared up. I’d be curious to see the output of his video project.

Five picnic blankets worth of some great food, far more than we could have possibly consumed.

This, as with the Sweets below, is but a small, non-specific sample of some of the dishes of the day.

As with most of these food blogger gatherings, dessert appear in disproportionate volumes.

At the very least, the ratio is around 50/50. In this case, it was around 2-3 dessert dishes for every savoury one. If you were to factor in volume, it would be even more!

One dessert that I really liked which I thought was somewhat underrated, or at least understated, was Helen‘s bacon dulce de leche caramel slice.

Bacon & sweet combo ftw! :)

With the vast scope of possible dishes that one could choose to make, it came as a surprise to me that this many dishes were nigh on identical, or at least were inspired from the same source.

This was a first for me, and I’ve been to a number of food blogger gatherings in my time.

This awesome cake speaks for itself. As soon as I saw it, there was no question who would win the Sweet prize.

Anna is certainly a talented baker.

Had I known what this was before trying it, I probably would have overlooked it for other more “enticing” food. I’m glad I didn’t.

A solid savoury dish. Not sure if there is more that needs to be said. It’s as good as it sounds.

The amount of detail that went into the “tea-ramisu” was amazing.

Edible chocolate tea cups complete with handles, tea soaked sponge, not to mention the attractive display.

Unfortunately, didn’t actually get around to trying this out but it certainly looks like it would have been real delicious.

There’s a recipe up for it, so I might have to try it out for myself at some stage.

The image of Simon seemingly having an outburst at the judges is taken out of context, as this image was taken before the prizes were announced.

I, to this day, have no idea what was going on at the time.

Anita‘s reaction is absolutely golden!

I don’t think anyone could feel disappointed for not winning this much coveted prize after seeing how over the moon she was when her name was called.

Winning “Overall Best Dish” was an impressive feat as her humble and simply presented Thai fish cakes outdid more technical and extravagant dishes.

If her reaction is anything to go by, I trust that the KitchenAid will put it to good use.

The best of the Sydney food blogging community are an open, friendly and inclusive group.

Time and time again I hear from first time attendees how their initial concerns with entering into a well established group of friends and associates dissipates once they realise how friendly and engaging everyone is.

So, for bloggers out there who are reluctant to participate and meet new people, we don’t bite. For readers, when a reader event is organised, feel free to come along. The no-bite rules applies here too :)

Serious kudos for Billy and Karen for organising this event.

To all the food bloggers that made this an awesome day, with their great food and company.

Maybe some for Ninja too for wearing such an ensemble :)

Image courtesy of Iron Chef Shellie.

As stated at the beginning of this post, this picnic was held in tandem with Melbourne food blogger, holding their own Mad Hatter’s spring picnic at the same time.

For accounts of their day, check out Iron Chef Shellie’s post, which has links to other participating bloggers on the day.

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{ 47 comments… add one }
  • Trissa October 17, 2010, 2:57 am

    Great coverage! Certainly different and more entertaining when told this way!

  • mademoiselle délicieuse October 17, 2010, 9:24 am

    *boing, boing, boing*…”I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”

    And I had a fob watch as well, by the way =)

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 10:55 pm

      Oh, I didn’t know. Attention to detail ftw :)

      Did you also bring along a waist coat as well?

  • Tammi October 17, 2010, 10:15 am

    LOL I love the layout!! It must’ve taken you ages to do!! /applauds

    Awesome post man.

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 10:57 pm

      Let’s just say that I have a new found appreciation for comic layout artists. Far more complicated and involved than I ever bargained for! :)

  • Phuoc'n Delicious October 17, 2010, 10:57 am

    HAHA What an entertaining post dude! I can’t wait for the next food blogger event.

    Couldn’t help but laugh throughout the post, especially at the end! Until next time…. XD

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 11:01 pm

      Thanks! I’m sure that there will be another event or outing soon enough… :) hehe

  • Sara @ Belly Rumbles October 17, 2010, 11:40 am

    What an awesome post on the picnic, love it! Hehe ninja look so cute in the final pic.

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 11:02 pm

      Thanks! Ninja’s real popular with the ladies, especially with the skirt on :)

  • Moya October 17, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I love the way you presented this, being a lover of graphic novels from way back you did a wonderful job! Hope that last picture of the Ninja won’t scare off any prospective newbies from coming to other food blogger events, hehe!

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 11:06 pm

      Thanks! Never knew how involved the process is to layout a comic. There’s a lot that can be improved upon but at least I know next time around what I’m getting myself into!

      I guess it was a good thing I didn’t use Ninja as the cover image then! :P hehe

      Nah, I reckon that that sort of wackiness draws in people. Gives it something of a fun/festive feel.

  • Iron Chef Shellie October 17, 2010, 5:14 pm

    I just love how you did it comic book style!! definitely stands out, and I’ll have to link it to my post!

    Great photos, I think I’ll have to make that cheesecake too!

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 11:07 pm

      Thanks dude, and thanks for letting me use one of your photos! :)

  • Ladybird October 17, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Great coverage Simon – love the way you’ve presented this in a comic style format.. very clever!!!! :) Lovely meeting you at the picnic and look forward to seeing you and the other bloggers at the next event!

    • Simon October 17, 2010, 11:07 pm


      Was a pleasure to meet you at the picnic. Until next time… :) hehe

  • Rhonda ( The Dainty Baker) October 18, 2010, 8:40 am

    What an amazing round up Simon!!! loving the comic strip tell tale! oh and it was great to finally meet you at the picnic! ;)

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 8:44 pm

      Great to meet you too! Until next time… :)

  • the ninja October 18, 2010, 10:06 am

    and that’s how the veteran assassin draws in his prey…

  • Laura (Starloz) October 18, 2010, 10:18 am

    lovely wrap up simon, such a great day

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 8:45 pm

      Thanks! Was great to finally meet you :)

  • Gemma @ The Cheap Glut October 18, 2010, 10:55 am

    This is fantastic!!! So clever!

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 9:12 pm

      Thanks! Was a pleasure to meet you on the day :)

  • sugarpuffi October 18, 2010, 11:20 am

    lol! so cute to make it into a comic!! SEXY NINJA MONKEY HEAVENLY FORTUNE ATTACK!!

    great coverage simon :)

  • Betty @ The Hungry Girl October 18, 2010, 1:20 pm

    Haha love the comic! I feel like I’ve just relived the whole day over again!

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 8:48 pm

      Thanks! Tried to capture the moment as best as I could. Certainly took enough photos for it!! :)

  • chocolatesuze October 18, 2010, 3:46 pm

    man wish i wasnt sick that day! so much food i didnt get to try!

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 8:47 pm

      dude, awesome effort turning up considering you were sick and all.

  • Julie October 18, 2010, 8:37 pm

    awesome storytelling haha that was entertaining~

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 8:47 pm

      Thanks, and nice work out-momofuku’ing me :)

  • Ayana October 18, 2010, 9:09 pm

    This was so much fun to read!! Good stuff!!

    • Simon October 18, 2010, 9:13 pm

      Thanks dude! Great to finally meet you, as brief as it may have been :)

  • Jacq October 18, 2010, 9:51 pm

    Love the comic strip layout and of course great photos as always. And I have to agree that Helen’s bacon caramel slice was awesome!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 8:57 pm

      Dunno how she keeps doing it :)

  • Helen (grabyourfork) October 19, 2010, 5:15 pm

    Nice work, and glad you enjoyed the bacon caramel slice!

  • sonia October 20, 2010, 10:59 am

    This is so awesome!!! Love the graphic novel format. Its’s..well, NOVEL :P

    Great coverage and super fun to read.

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 8:58 pm

      Wittiness. Nice :)

      Glad you of all people liked it.

  • Leila October 20, 2010, 4:35 pm

    Simon…love your recount of this fabulous picnic! Was so fun to meet some fellow foodie’s in sydney!!

    • Simon November 8, 2010, 8:59 pm

      Thanks! These things are always fun :)

  • FFichiban October 20, 2010, 11:05 pm

    Marvel vs Foodbloggers

  • Emma @CakeMistress October 24, 2010, 10:47 pm

    Oh lordy, this gave me a good laugh. Love the comic book presentation and commentary!!

  • Daphne November 20, 2010, 6:40 pm

    I love the comic look layout, it’s so retro and just looks downright cool.

    I feel a lot better after reading your comment about new bloggers entering a new group of friends. I will be attending the next picnic and was kind of scared that I would be left out as I wouldn’t really know anyone. However, I would like thank you for making me feel less jittery about the upcoming picnic. Hopefully I’ll see you there and I’ll be able to thank you in person.

    • Simon December 13, 2010, 11:50 pm


      Hope you enjoyed the picnic :)

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