Fortune favours the brave, so they say. While playing chicken with mother nature is hardly worthy of a Cross of Valour, in the face of ominously overcast skies and a reported 90% chance of rain it does take a certain kind of passion (or perhaps crazy) to roll the dice given the odds and attend this year’s annual Sydney Food Bloggers Picnic.
However, the promise of a feast of eclectic and epicurean delights is the siren’s call for many food bloggers and food lovers alike, the weather be damned. An opportunity to mingle with old friends, fellow peers, and an ever growing and diversifying group of newcomers that weathers away at the recently minted, yet long held stereotype, of the FAB (female Asian blogger).
Our delightful hosts of Chocolatesuze and Helen from Grab Your Fork and crowd of 68 strong gathered on the lush open fields of Centennial Park, throwing caution to Sydney’s uncharacteristic moody bout of any-season-but-Summer.
From humble roast beef or Reuben sandwiches, mini quiches, meatballs and tuna pastries, to lavish pork sausage rolls with a fabulous tomato sauce, and not one but two paella, pan and all. There’s the child-like whimsy of fairy bread and freshly torch-toasted choc-malt and lemon sherbet marshmallows (the latter of which was mind-blowingly good). Bacon in many incarnations, from a traditional application as hors d’oeuvres blankets, the less conventional beer and bacon bread, to the outright whacky and yet strangely understandable use in a peanut butter cake with maple bacon.
As always, there were also a countless assortment of cakes, tarts, biscuits and other sweet treats. It was rather balanced this year by food blogging standards, with the sweets making up around half of the picnic dishes. An artfully decorated browned butter apple pound cake, gooey brownies with swirls of raw cookie dough, and cupcakes with pandan icing. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup tarts, refreshing mango jelly, and cute little ants made from candy. There’s donuts with maple cream, as well as choux puffs with pastry cream, both of which were insanely good.
As for the weather, the heavens did eventually open up and cast a shower over Centennial Park and across Sydney. However, by that stage there was no parade to rain on; no spirits to dampen; no picnic to ruin.
Fortune did indeed favour the brave that day, a great day filled with awesome food and some great company. What a fantastic way to kick off a new year of fun, friends and food blogging.
Here’s to an awesome 2012. Cheers!
For more on this wonderful food-filled day, a growing list of food blogger’s accounts can be found at end of Chocolatesuze’s picnic post. You’ll also find a full list of attendees with links to their respective food blogs.