Thursday, April 14, 2011

BLOG HAS MOVED

Hiya,
I probably should have told you this months ago! But Frank, Food and Me's blog, is now our website!
So check it on www.frankfoodandme.com

We are still here because there are sooo many stories on here from early on in our days, that we wouldn't want to lose them!

Happy ogling at our cakes and stories!
Kath x

Saturday, June 12, 2010

it might look unassuming now

See Frank, Food & Me "Locable Kitchen"

What is the Locable Kitchen?

a space where poaching rhubarb, toasting almonds, whipping butter and sugar, and baking is all in a day's work...

**ohh of only you could inhale the goodness of our baking while you were reading this! **

If you peep through the window, the delicious heaving array of baked goods ladens down the benches.

We would love to bake yours next, so you can order two ways: at www.frankfoodandme.com, or fill out one of the order forms, and pop it under the door.

so where is it?

answer coming soon...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Dinner Party

a few weeks back we had a little dinner party to thank a few close friends for all thier support of the first year of Frank, Food & Me.
Stupidly I didnt take any more photos of the actual night, but the next day - in a heady state, I did manage to snap the menu, in the clean up!
All that beautiful produce from the Farmers Market, went to a great cause!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DEEEE_LIGHTFUL - 1st birthday

Oh Saturday was great!

My wonderful chef friend, Ange, and I rose early and met at the Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers Market. I love walking down the wooden walkways over the vege plots, and across to the goats, and furry footed hens, as you make your way to the market. The morning mist was hanging low over the bending Yarra.
(why dont I ever think to take photos! - I take them in my mind- that's why!)

We were hunting and gathering for a "Thank you" dinner to my mates who have actively helped me make Frank, Food & Me what it is, on its 1st birthday.

We picked up a tussy mussy bunch for the table centrepiece...grabbed the pears, oranges and rhubarb for the business for the week.

And then we had some serious fun...

fresh sage and rosemary (grown in a drought so the oils were so vibrant) and some AMAZING sweet heritage tomatoes from Meg & Blakey, pine mushrooms, _(a Growers Espresso Flat white)_ and Kingfisher lemons...the makings of Coq au vin, goats cheese for part of the entree...and we were loaded up! With wheelbarrow in hand, we hauled out of there, stopping by Monique's "rock the free world" Larder Fresh felafel stand (for next week's dinner) and on to the next foodie destination...

Sydney Rd we are on our way! LOVE IT!!
At Balha's pastry we picked up some Katyfi pastry, baclava and Lebanese fairy floss...then nipped into A1 Bakery for a cheese pie for breakfast - ahhh Haloumi how I love thee.

Back at home we made aioli, and gremolata for the Katyfi wrapped deep fried King Prawns, and served them with Dill Chevre on lavosh, and heritage tomato tart tatin.
Mains was a braised Chicken Coq au vin style, served with home grown beans, and roasted beets.
Dessert was the highlight - beurre bosc (poached in mulled wine) stuffed with vanilla bean marscapone, resting on a nest of fried Katyfi pastry, with a little Belgian chocolate tart, and red wine reduction - topped with lebanese fairy floss!
Oh how much fun!

Port, strong coffee, and baklava followed and I am pretty sure we all then died and went to heaven!

Amen.

Monday, May 10, 2010

SLOW FOOD STAND _ BROADSHEET ARTICLE

You might be interested to know, that coming up in "Broadsheet" paper in Melbourne, I have inspired Jane De Graaf to write a piece on the importance of understanding and living the Slow Food Principles...
Keep your eye out over the next few weeks...
in the meantime, feast your eyes on this




see you on May 29th at Abbotsford Convent Slow Food Farmers Market....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SLOW FOOD FARMERS MARKET THIS SATURDAY

I am so looking forward to getting back to my roots this saturday at the Abbotsford Convent Farmers Market.
My little family will be surrounding me...Kingfisher Oranges family on one side, and Di and rhubarb on the other.
I know its going to be another hot saturday...but one taste of my rhubarb orange cake will make you melt more than the heat!

See you there...
Abbotsford Convent Slow Food Market
Abbotsford Convent
8-1PM SATURDAY 27TH FEB

X

Friday, January 29, 2010

*Locable*

I want to coin the phrase "Locable"....let's see if it catches on

Yes that's right - you heard is here first.

Locable: (adj) describes food or produce, even raw materials, that are grown, harvested, and distributed in a sustainable manner, from the local area.



Done...

next task!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sensory Lab - David Jones

Another big win for us! It seems not a week passes without something AMAZING happening for the support of Frank, Food & Me.
Last Saturday our cakes debuted in "Sensory Lab" the new face of David Jones on Little Collins St, Melbourne.

INSANE! I know!

I just couldn't have even imagined 6 months ago that this little concept of mine and my love for baking would take me so rapidly to such soaring heights, when there are so many amazing pastry chefs out there!
I am so humbled by it all.

But I have to say it wouldn't be even the remotest bit possible without having such an inspiring group of mates, and the world's best husband!
The farmer's Market community have become my Melbourne family, keen to find out more and do anything for you. And my mates have been rallying around with enthusiasm...seems if you pitch a dream at people, it is almost an imperative for them to want to help make that happen for you.

So here I am, staring at the top rung of my brown paper poster i stuck on the fridge six months ago, where i said that my ultimate life would be:
" Farmer's market involvement, a produce business, vege patch, plenty of love, and a big kitchen"

I think I have pole vaulted past that - might be time to set some new goals...like "time" to give something back to everyone that has helped me!

Thank you for your support and encouragement...it never goes un-appreciated!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Farmers Market and more!

It's been a few months of mayhem and growth for Frank, Food & Me.
We have been attending markets at the Abbotsford Convent on both Friday night's Supper Market and Saturday's Slow Food Farmers Market.


It has been grand getting to know our customers face to face, as wholesaling to cafes around the traps doesn't give me that opportunity.

The feedback has been amazing. I now understand that FFM cakes are unlike any other cakes available in Melbourne cafes. I have been offered old family favourite recipes from regulars, and have got fantastic following of kids who live for the rhubarb swirl shortbreads!




It's so festive and fun being around the laughter and indecision of children choosing their favourite treat, or their parents deliberating if they too should treat themselves. In the background live salsa plays, and drinkers shake barakas in one hand, beer in the other...

It feels like all the hard work in the kitchen is worthwhile when I get to come and play at the market...and its pretty fun getting my tyres pumped up by all my followers!

Speaking of followers, the Chef and part-owner of Outpost by St. Ali, told me today that people come in and actually say "Oh yay, you have Frank, Food & Me cakes"!!!
How funny is that...people want to eat my cakes!

So if you want to come and eat cake, or buy/ order your Christmas Puddings or Fruit cakes with me in person, come and visit me at the markets!

Saturday 28th NOV at Abbotsford Convent Slow Food Farmers market 8am-1pm
Friday 4th DEC at Abbotsford Convent Supper Market 6-10pm
Friday 11th DEC at Abbotsford Convent Supper Market 6-10pm
Friday 18th DEC at Abbotsford Convent Supper Market 6-10pm
Wednesday 23rd DEC at TWILIGHT Abbotsford Convent Slow Food Farmers market 3pm-8pm


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Di's Rhubarb






Di McDonald has been growing rhubarb for years.
It all started when a farmer she was working for couldn’t afford to pay her, so he gave her some rhubarb cuttings.
Evidently he gave her a lot more than a bit of cash to get her though the next few months, he gave her a livelihood.

Di leases a block of land from Tahbilk Vineyard. The setting is amazing, the rhubarb grows on a gum lined bank of the Goulburn River. Grass parrots potter in the green grassy rows between the rhubarb stems. Kingfishers duck and weave in and out of woody hollows.



Di lives in one of three workers cottage on the vineyard, and whilst she doesn't have any immediate family, the vineyard workers are her extended family.

When you drive in the dusty road to the vineyard you can see Di, head down bum up, quite literally. Picking and tending to her rhubarb is how she relaxes.
Working 7 days a week, making her own compost, weeding, taking care of her girls (the chooks)who take care of her rhubarb, is all in a weeks work.


On Saturday mornings she wakes at 3am to drive to Melbourne for the Farmer's Markets. It takes her two hours to get to the city down the Hume freeway.
By the time she has a cuppa back on the farm, Saturday has been 16 hours long.


Its hard work, but she is richly rewarded with "moments" on her farm. Today she watched two turtles baking in the sun at the river while she pumped water, and the migrating Kingfishers circled above her head.
She wouldn't have it any other way.
You can buy Di's rhubarb from any of the Melbourne Community Farmers Markets
www.mfm.com.au

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

4 months on...and no time to scratch!

Frank, Food & Me has been up and running for about 4 months now, and has time flown!
In fact it has probably been that long since you last heard from me on this blog! I really had no idea how busy it was to run your own business, but feel a lot better of late, as I seem to have started to get my head around it all, and have some clarity to my thoughts!

So what has happened in those few months since you have had the last update?
HEAPS!


So I had to do the boring stuff, ie. a business course, to keep Frank, Food & Me going. The whole time I was sitting there writing a 35-page business plan, I was thinking, “I wanna be baking...but you have to do it for the farmers!”. Afterall if I stuff-up the business side of it all, there is no point in baking! I have to admit, the big smiles I get when I walk up to the farmer's stalls at the market reinforces that I am doing it for the right reasons. We have developed a really lovely relationship over the past four months, they know I’ll be there come rain wind or sunshine, to get increasingly larger orders of rhubarb, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, nuts and dried fruit, butter and eggs. People keep telling me to get it all delivered, but then I would miss half the fun. I make the markets part of my relaxation time.


LATELY....

Talking about support, I am pretty proud to say that you can now find Frank, Food & Me cakes in 7 locations across Melbourne, which is testament to the owners for committing to locally produced ingredients and ultimately more flavoursome treats for their customers.
I had two phone calls in one week, where both people (who are now customers) had to blow up a photo from this blog, of the brownie wrapper, to get my phone number, to call and talk to me about the possible supply of cakes. It was hilarious, and very ingenious and detective-like of them to track me down, but it also made me feel pretty grand knowing that the appeal of the cakes made people go to that length. Alriiight!!
So now we trek down to Malvern East, as well as the northern suburbs for delivery too. The new store is called Servery and Spoon. They have the most amazing range of beautifully presented cakes that they make in-house, really wholesome and fresh. So it is an honour that they are choosing to support us as well. It was good to talk to a café owner that respected what Frank, Food & Me stood for. It was reassuring to know that our values ring true with people, and that there are other people out there that want to make the commitment to knowing and supporting where your food comes from.

A little lesson...
Back in May I had a phone call, from a chain store that sells frozen yoghurts. This call was a bit funny in two respects, 1/ the person calling said that they had been referred to me by one of my competitors, and 2/ they were a franchise (which scared me a little). Both respects ended in a great learning curve for me because I realized 1/ that the other people who bake cakes in Melbourne are REALLY nice people, and were supporting me too (I don’t know why I thought they wouldn’t like me, I felt a bit scared treading on their turf, as I am not a mean competitive type). Turns out they thought that I would be better suited to what the frozen yoghurt company wanted to do, so I felt very honoured that they had thought of me first, out of all the other little bakers out there! The second thing was, I had a realisation, that even though some of the most famous franchises are equally as famous for homogenizing culture, you can’t be a generalist and paint them all with the same brush! There are some out there that aren’t! and Igloo Zoo is one of them. I am so pleased to be involved with them, as they consciously choose to support small scale producers (like me), who support small scale growers, (like Di and John and Cihan,) to get the best possible flavour, with conscious thought to how it gets to be that way.
I was so impressed with Igloo Zoo, they have stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland, and do not compromise on their values. They source local suppliers making a local version of their yoghurt in each store, but with the same quality and similar flavour. So it only took a little research to be more well-informed and make the decision to take them on as a client. We have been working happily together for about 4 months now. You can taste FFM crumbles made from Di’s rhubarb, and John’s apples, as well as the chocolate polenta cake, chai tea and honey cakes (featuring Happy Fruits fabulous muscatels), and the most divine pears straight from John Howell’s farm poached in a vanilla bean syrup. So next time you are moseying around that area, check them out…their pomegranate yogurt with organic halva is a tastebud festivale too! www.igloozoo.com.au

Moving on from there, we have done a little event cake baking too!
I recently flew down to Tasmania to bake, having Frank, Food & Me cakes featured as centrepieces on the tables of a fabulous fundraising function at the Salamanca Arts Centre. www.salarts.org.au
In the Long Gallery, a truly beautiful wooden space, where back in the early days Huon Valley apples were canned, there were 20 tables arranged, each with their own individual spotlight shining straight on to the Frank, Food & Me cake centerpieces. I was so proud of them, they truly looked like a decadent Marie Antoinette style feast, all they needed was Marie herself to be entwined among them. There they balanced with poise and grace, on vintage crockery, tins, eggcups and beaters, triangles of brownie piercing through teacup handles and cones of cherries reflecting the warmth of the room.
Oh how fabulous they looked! Unfortunately the photos don’t really do them justice (photography hiccup!!) But nonetheless I was proud, and heaps of people had such wonderfully supportive things to say.

And last Friday we extended another little olive branch, and started supplying some creative studios with our cakes too. Our first shipment went express post to Sydney, for the office of Terroir Architecture to enjoy… www.terroir.com.au They were pretty stoked to receive them, from all accounts an unsual bout of fisty cuffs occurred to sort out who would collect the mail. It was nice to be the instigator behind a little Friday office “love-in”, as I don’t think we have enough of these! And wonderful for Frank, Food & Me to have the support of such a wide community!
So thanks team Terroir, we are loving your support.

You can have cakes for afternoon tea too if you like…Just send an email to kath@frankfoodandme.com…look forward to hearing from you.



I also joined the 21st century today…I have been resisting joining stalker book (aka, facebook), but Frank, Food & Me can! So now you can see what’s happening more regularly on Frank, Food & Me’s twitter and facebook pages. Arrrgghhhh – what have I done!?

Thank you for your patience in receiving this blog entry, watch this space for more soon, and feel free to comment, tell us about your business/ ventures. It is always nice to know that there are other people out there trying to:
1/ do what they love
2/ live sustainably
3/ support local food and design culture
4/ enjoy themselves!





Bye for now….

Monday, May 4, 2009

EVERYONE LOVES THEM!!!


What an amazingly insane week it has been! I could never have imagined how successful our first week would be. Frank Food and Me now features in 4 cafes across Melbourne, and the feedback has been unbelievable. We delivered our first batch of cakes on Friday to three stores for their weekend trade. It was to be a testing ground for future purchases, and this is the feedback we received...

"People can't get enough of your cakes, they are so beautifully presented, and stay so moist and yummy that I have sold out of all of my weekend's supply just on Friday, we are going to have to do bigger orders starting this week", Ange.

"Well, they have all sold out already, let's get another batch of the same for Monday, people are loving them." Sam.

"We sold out of everything on Saturday, and I would love the same again for Monday, and I would be very interested in your savoury pies, when you get them up and going!" Judith.

So it seems we are in business. Absolutely exhausted, surrounded by stamped pieces of cake paper, driving all over Melbourne every five minutes to get ingredients cos we keep running out, and having constantly sticky fingers from so many cake mixes, but we are TOTALLY happy.

Thank you everyone for all your support and positive feedback. I received about 40 emails when we announced our cakes on the blog, and I just don't have time to write back to everyone for now, but I am sincerely appreciative of the support. It is extra important because selling cakes wholesale means you operate in a bubble a bit, relying on the retailers feedback, so it's great to hear from everyone.

I had a moment today when dropping off a delivery, where I saw a lady choosing a cake from my selection, with her child. Her comments as she worked her way through each type of cake were so uplifting and a rare moment of feedback direct from the horse's mouth.

We can't believe you guys want to buy what we just love cooking, it is wonderful.

Thank you everyone! Hope we can be serving in your neighbourhood cafe soon!

Frank, Food and Me Cakes are available at a growing number of cafes throughout Melbourne's CBD and south of the river.



The Official First Orders leave the kitchen!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frank, Food & Me Baking is up and baking



I have been hitting the pavement of late with my cake samples.

At first we were a little scared, thinking if we actually went out there and tried to sell our cakes, pies and cookies to cafes, and they said they didn't like them, we would actually have to consider another career. We wouldn't have given up that easily obviously, but it is pretty scary putting you heart and soul out for judgment!

But there was no where to go, we couldn't keep testing recipes, baking cakes, and having no one buy them. We had to take it out of the theoretical world and into the real one...We had to sell these little tackers, so sell we did.

We are proud to say that Frank, Food & Me now has its first customers, and we are off and baking!

Now that we have all our branding, I thought it was time to share the vision, and show off some of our range! So here they are.


The Frank, Food & Me Sample Plate


Some tasters for the cafe folk


Rich Chocolate Brownie




Seasonal Fruit Crumble Pie


Poppy's Persian Shortbread


Lemon Cake with Seasonal Fruit (whatever is freshest and bestest from the farmers market goes into these lovelies!)


Morning Bircher Loaf: this one was created for a client that sells most of his cakes in the morning with coffees, something different from the muffins!


Me minis: these little beauts are for the chil'ens. Kids love icing in all its bright gooey glory, but no one loves a hyper kid,or the sugar low that follows, so these are an adaptation of the Lemon Cake with big juicy blueberries(when they are in season - something else otherwise) and an all-natural fruit icing.


Chai Tea and Honey Cake: a little creation of mine containing Calmer Sutra Chai Tea and Honey, great served warm with a dab of local honey.


Oatmeal Bali Biccies: These are heavy and wholesome, the recipe is from a health retreat I visited years ago in Bali, and a beautiful Balinese waiter took the time in perfect Indonesian English to write it on the back of a restaurant docket for me!


Citron Polenta: a homage to the woman I travelled to Paris to work for, Rose's Citron Polenta cake is UNREAL and is also gluten free.


A Chocolatey version of the Citron Polenta, adapted with some sheep's milk yoghurt to cut through some of the butter, and add a bit of sharpness - also gluten free.


Lemon Cake with Seasonal Fruit: at this time of the year rhubarb is great, so I grabbed some from Di at the market - best rhubarb in town, and tartness matches perfectly with an appley lemon base in this cake.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When you put yourself out there....

Since you last heard from me, oh boy, a lot has happened.

We left Europe after a fabulous food discovery tour, all of which will be listed in subsequent blogs. I sucked the life out of every local food scene we stumbled across.

From Paris to Lyon, Lyon to Genova, Genova to Cinque Terra * the best food of my life*




to Florence,
Rome
and Catania (Sicily)
video followed by Venice, Innsbruck, Munich, Prague, Hungary and Vienna, we finalized the feast of culture and life, in a small picturesque town of Hallstatt. This was a Christmas that I will never forget. Lovely produce, a traditional turkey, and all the trimmings in the land where Christmas began. Unbelievably relaxed, it even snowed exactly as we sat down for lunch! We completed the fairytale with tobogganing on Boxing Day.






BACK IN AUS!!


It was equally incredible to be back home in Aus. I felt that whilst I was overseas, there was so much to learn, but also, so much that didn’t necessarily apply to us. We are a young free country. We have so many unbelievably diverse cultures ruminating together in one grand soup pot that we could be forgiven for not keeping up with Europe. Europe was a fantastic learning ground for what I can see Australia will be in thousands of year’s time. I predict a confident country with a strict food identity, like France and Italy, Germany and even England.
But for right now, we are still experimenting, so I have decided that it is ok, and even quite fitting that here I am, in this country, experimenting with my cakes and baking, blazing the trail as I go, just like the rest of the country.

To be frank, right now, there is no place I would rather be. I have had moments of severe confusion. I have backed down from opportunities knocking at my door with fear of it all actually working out, just as I had planned!
This is half of the reason that you have heard from me less! I was busy sitting in the confusion…do I go back to TV, or do I stay here, where my dream of a baking business (the start of building a brand that my cafe will follow)is ACTUALLY working!

Ok you need some backstory! Anth and I arrived in Melbourne in early February. Within a week my girlfriend had found me a client for my baking, and whilst sourcing produce for the baking for that cafe, I also sourced myself another client.
Now I already have two clients, both hugely understanding that I am learning, but the proof is in the pudding, and proof they got! I rushed around with samples, and obviously impressed them…and now, here I sit with a real chance of getting off the ground with a little baking business.

Opportunities, people and ideas keep presenting themselves, even though I am still convincing myself that this is the right thing to do!

This blog is keeping me honest and accountable. Accountable to myself and my dream.

In my opinion, if anyone tries to tell you starting a business is going to be a hard road, and will it all be worth it...etc etc, then maybe you need to question a little and see how that fits with you, BUT what I have worked out is that the only person that often doesn’t let you succeed is just yourself.
Because, it kind of does start falling into place, people do accept you into their community, they want to teach you and guide you when they can see it REALLY IS your passion that is guiding you...so maybe it is meant to be. Right now I am putting my fear aside and going with the “meant to be” idea, knowing I have something to offer and honourable intentions to spread. For you, and the good of understanding, I will continue to be a pane of glass in this development process!

Right now, i need to go tend to my rhubarb that a possible 3rd client has given me to do something cakey and yummy with!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Post on the way




Anth and I have been settling into our new home in Melbourne, Aus.
Sorry for the lack of updates...its been a tough time, but now we have come up for air, I have time to share with you.
You will be so proud of what I have achieved since I have been home, so watch this space for an onslaught of blogs about my progress and transition into food glorious food!
in the mean time, here are a couple of photos from that lovely day with Meg in packaging town! We even had time for lovely little lunch together.