Through a bizarre chain of events I once again find myself in the great state of Western Australia, home of the bumper sticker that specifies “there’s only two states to be in, WA and pissed” (I thought I should be able to achieve both). Please allow me to elaborate embellish;

I got on a television box called “the interweb super highway”, purchased a ticket to ride on an “aero plane” (a magical craft that allows you to fly with the birds) with a seemingly random sequence of numbers, apparently known as a “credit card”. AMAZING. Gone are the days of strapping six carnies together and having them carry you to your destination in a large cast iron box. CRAZY.

Landing safely in WA I handed over a wad of local currency (Lima beans I think) in exchange for a “hire car”… Once again AMAZING. And still not a carnie in sight. A lot has changed around here, that’s for sure.

The “hire car” found me quickly transported to my good friend/chef/mentor/fellow foodisthebestshitever blogger Paul’s home.

A quick Grey Goose, nachos with feta, scorched mozzarella, tomato and Vegemite guacamole (yeah, crazy kid) and several beers later Paul informed me that we were having a cooking challenge that evening. The guests (Graham, Carla, English DJ Deekline, my good friend Richy and Lauren, Paul’s lady friend) would be arriving in a couple of hours so we should probably get cooking before we got too pissed. I was pretty sure we’d already gone past the point of being “not too pissed” but cook we shall. On to the kitchen!

Paul had set the challenge. We would both choose five ingredients with which the other would make his dish. He also thought he would save me some time by choosing three of his ingredients for me. Nice guy that Paul fellow. So, fair or not, the cook up was going down!

The ingredients

Grazza McFilthy Mouth; Atlantic salmon, quinoa, avocado, beetroot and truffle pearls.

Paul; black pudding, cauliflower, polenta, dried shrimp sambal and capers

I offered up Atlantic salmon tartare with mixed grains, avocado, goats feta, truffle pearls and crisp beetroot, beetroot and jalepenos vinaigrette.

Paul produced a cracking dish of black pudding, cauliflower and chilli shrimp fritters, Marsala polenta and caper cream.

Our guests were satiated. Now it was time for me to sleep.

The next morning I was woken by my boys asking if they could play with Lauren’s cat, which they had discovered during the night (obviously the cat was smart enough to stay away during the day when it saw the kids arrive, but still to dumb to realise kids don’t sleep). As it was 4am and still quite dark outside, I suggested they may want to go back to bed and get some more sleep, or just lay there, or sit there, or talk quietly amongst themselves, or practice yoga, or whatever. Just as long as it didn’t involve me… Or the cat… Or a naked flame. Well maybe just keep me out of it.

Soon enough we were all awake and breakfast, or second breakfast, or elevensies (yes, I think my children may have hobbit in their bloodline. If only for their eating habits… That and their amazing digging skills) was the call. It would be Yum Cha and what a damn good call that was. All the good stuff came to our table via a small Asian woman pushing the “trolley of dreams”; braised chickens feet, shanghai dumplings, fried squid tentecles, kai lan with oyster sauce, prawn dumplings, pork dumplings, braised pork ribs, sticky rice in lotus leaf and steamed pork buns. EFF YES!

I think the highlights were Seba smashing the chicken feet and Obi describing his favourite meal as a mixture of things including a light bulb. The kid is a cullinary genius!

So that’s it. Day one; done. Day two; done. Time for a little bit more doingeffallisthebestshitever…

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