Maideni Americano – Cocktail Recipe

National finalist, Mark Reginato was one of our young waiters in 2009. He developed a fantastic cocktail that featured at one of our young excellence dinners. The beauty of this cocktail recipe is that is quite simple to prepare at home but looks stylish and sophisticated. Mark is not only a superb waiter and restaurant manager, but is now a business owner. He started his own boutique wine agency Connect Vines a few years ago, expanding his portfolio each year. He is proud to be able to be in an industry that he loves and is much more than a career.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Skills needed: minimal
Serves: 1

30 ml Maidenii Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Campari
90 ml Club Soda
Pink Grapefruit Twist
Fresh Rosemary Sprig
Increase ingredients per person

using a zester, peel a long piece of pink grapefruit skin working your way around the grapefruit so the piece looks like a curly streamer. Cut the rosemary stick into 6-7cm lengths. Twist the grapefruit zest around the rosemary stick to use as a garnish
Half fill an old-fashion glass with ice. Add the Maidenii Vermouth, Campari & gently stir. Top up with Club Soda, add a garnish of pink grapefruit twist & rosemary sprig


  • serve in a high-ball glass and serve with double the Club Soda for a longer, thirst quenching drink
  • cut the rosemary stick longer to use as a swizzle stick
  • perfect for an afternoon pre dinner drink


Braised beef shin soup with swedes, barley and crispy leeks

Recipe of the week

Meet Stewart Wesson, a young gun chef from South Australia and proud owner of a long list of awards and accolades – including the title of the electrolux australian young chef of the year 2012, and Australian representative in the 13th Annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice 2013.

Here Stewart shares with us a hearty and warming soup with chunks of braised beef making a warming dinner for the chilly winter nights ahead.

Braised beef shin soup with swedes, barley and crispy leeks

  • 1kg bone in beef shin or osso bucco
  • 100g plain flour
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black pepper ground
  • 5lt beef or chicken stock
  • 15ml vegetable oil

For the beef broth

  • 100g pearl barley
  • 4 swedes
  • 2 sheets of nori seaweed
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Braising stock from previous step
  • Salt
  • White pepper

To prepare the braised beef shin:
Pre-heat oven to 160c. Add the salt and pepper to the flour and mix well. Coat all the beef shin in the seasoned flour and then, in a hot pan, add the oil and seal the beef in small batches.

To prepare the beef broth
In a large pot, add the braising stock and bring to the boil. Peel the swedes, cut into 1cm squares and place in the stock. Then add the barey, thyme and nori…

Breanna Lawler – eat & drink insider Knowledge

see where else to eat & drink around the country:

A gracious front of house professional and venue manager at Flying Fish, Sydney Breanna Lawler has always had a love of food. She likes to spend her days off exploring new eatery’s, coffee hubs and reading up about wine and food. Named the highly commended electrolux young waiter 2013 she recently shared her favourite Sydney haunts;

favourite coffee spots

West Juliett, Marrickville

The Butchers Block, Wahroonga

Deviate Cafe, Clovelly

Beautiful fresh produce, excellent service, ever changing menu, good coffee, great staff!

favourite casual eateries

West Juliett, Marrickville

Deckhouse, Woolwich

Deviate Cafe, Clovelly

favourite restaurants

Flying Fish, Pyrmont
Fish Face, Woolhara
Pendolino, The Strand Sydney.

Fresh produce, good wine lists, great people who love to share the love of food and beverage! And that oil at Pendolino is to die for!

favourite bars

Little Fish, Pyrmont
Eau de vie, Sydney
Button Bar, Surry Hills

Always changing the menu and they know what I like!

favourite markets

Eveleigh markets
Bondi Markets
Earlwood growers market

The best heirloom tomatoes ever and I can get Pepe saya butter at Eveleigh!

favourite interstate restaurants

Biota dining – great experience and concept

Ethos eat drink, Hobart – Chloe and Ian will look after you – new bar just opened, Tasmanian through and through!

Stillwater – Bianca and James will look after you – amazing produce

Daniel Wilson – eat & drink insider Knowledge

see where else to eat & drink around the country:

Daniel Wilson is a restaurateur with passion, a chef but also has a burgeoning burger business. We were lucky to have him involved as one of our electrolux australian young restaurateur 2012 national finalist. Daniel is the chef/owners of Huxtable and also runs the Huxtaburger’s in Melbourne. Here he shares his favourite places in his hometown

favourite coffee spot

Market Lane Coffee at the Queen Victoria Market and Carlton – it’s always very good.

favourite casual eaterie

Dainty Sichuan – because I love chilli!

favourite restaurant

Flower Drum – because the food is insanely good.

favourite bar

The Alehouse Project – they have a really good range of craft beers.

favourite market

Queen Victoria Market – because I have been shopping there for years and know where to get the best produce. The range is amazing!

favourite interstate restaurant

NuNu in Palm Cove – because it is a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful setting.

Ben Devlin – eat & drink insider Knowledge

see where else to eat & drink around the country:

Ben Devlin, one of our Australian young chef national finalists in 2008 is now Chef de Cuisine at Esquire Restaurant. After he completed his apprenticeship in Brisbane at Lat 27, he has worked at Urbane Restaurant and for 2 years at Noma. He returned home a few years ago to join the Esquire team. Here, Ben shares his recommendations on top spots to dine and wine in Queensland.

favourite coffee spots

John Mills Himself, Brisbane and Bunker Coffee (also John Mills) – great use of space and awesome coffee

Death before Decafe, New Farm – open 24hrs, a great place to escape

Reverends Fine Coffee – great service, my local

favourite casual eateries

Chouquette – the best French pastries we have, they do an awesome canelé

The Bakers Arms – a great selection of baked goods, and great coffee

Taros Ramen & Cafe – he makes the best noodles, and his stocks are always full of flavour

favourite restaurants

Gerard’s Bistro, Fortitude Valley – interesting food that’s always full of flavour, and really well made. Great atmosphere and service as well

Trang Restaurant, West End – awesome Vietnamese food.

Sorrelina Pizzeria, Great pizza, and they wood fire cookies to order for dessert

favourite bars

The Scratch Bar, Milton – fantastic place to be, great ever changing list of beer

The Gresham – hidden in the city, good selection of whisky

Tippler’s Tap – good food, good beers

favourite markets

Northey Street City Farm, Brisbane – it’s a bit hit and miss, but there are some real gems there sometimes.

Sourced Grocer, Teneriffe – an awesome nursery. They stock some great local produce, and make a great breakfast

Raddacliff Place Market, Brisbane – in the middle of the city in the middle of the week, but there is always some amazing produce to be found here

favourite interstate restaurants

Sixpenny, Sydney – the chefs here always put so much thought, effort and love into everything they make. It’s been one of my best ever meals

Bar Lourinha, Melbourne – great Spanish food, an awesome bar, I’ve only ever had amazing meals here

Finally Brae, Victoria – haven’t been but it’s the top of my wish list, the gardens, the dining room and the food all look stunning


Produce Report – May 2014

Before you next embark upon your weekly produce stock-up, check out the below overview of fruit and veg currently making the news.


  • Avocadoes (hass) are down in price1, as are the wholesale prices of smoothleaf pineapple and seedless watermelon2
    Interesting fact: The large avocado seed used to be eaten, and spread, by large mammals about 65.5 million years ago, and its survival today is the result of human cultivation3.
  • Queensland strawberries are excellent – there are loads around and they have great flavor
  • Also known as Winter Nellis pear, honey pares are a small to medium sized fruit with a matt skin and some russetting. Not the most pretty of the pear group, however they are tasty and an ideal size for those with smaller hands! They’ve started coming into season, so keep an eye out for them
  • Beware Pines, Slippery Jacks and white ghosts are average quality
  • Feijoia is here – a native of Brazil, feijoia’s are delicious as well as being an excellent source of Vitamin C, are low in calories and high in minerals and fibre
  • Globe Artichokes – this member of the thistle family is ensconced in the world’s cuisine & available from May to October. They are plentiful at the moment, so why not put them on the menu?

Looking for some easy ways to serve and enjoy feijoas? Here are some ideas for your next meal incorporating the delicious fruit4:

  • Cut in half, scoop and eat
  • Halve, scoop out pulp, sprinkle with lemon juice, brown sugar, and chill
  • Add the juice of an orange and chill
  • Slice and add to fruit salads
  • Use in place of other fruit in ice-cream, sorbets, sherbets and smoothies
  • Combine with preserved or crystallised ginger
  • Feijoas make delicious blended juices, particularly with orange or apples
  • Feijoas are excellent with pork, roasted or in casseroles
  • Three or four feijoas add interest to stews
  • Slice thickly, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with curry
  • Cut lengthways and fry with onions, bacon or steak
  • Feijoas freeze well. Peel and place in a plastic bag
  • Feijoas can be bottled and make excellent jam, chutney and wines


  • Broccoli is improving, but it’s still high
  • Beans
  • Eggs – due to a supply shortage
  • Lemons
  • Zucchini

Download the full Murdoch Produce Report here

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