A fine dining ambition

SEA CHANGE: Cory Campbell at One Two Seven Darby. Picture: Simone De PeakWHEN a chef the calibre of Cory Campbell leaves a three-hatted restaurant in Melbourne to work at a cafe on Newcastle’sDarby Street, people take notice. They talk.The former head chef at Vue de Monde, however, has nothing to hide.

“Who can stay away from God’s country?” he laughed.

“Andit’s no secret,my dream is to open a three-hatted restaurant up here. It’s the big reason I moved back to Newcastle. There are a few things that have to line up, but they are pretty close. It’s exciting.”

While he waits for the planets to alignCampbell is enjoying working at One Two Seven Darby. He also has plans involvingPatrick Haddock and the team at Reserve Wine Bar which he says he’s“super stoked about”.

In his younger years, kicking around Newcastle, Campbell was more interested in surfing than working. Then he had a car accident and “a few things were put into perspective”.

“I enjoyed cooking, so I went down to the TAFE to see what was on offer,” he said.

“What got me excited was something the TAFE teacher said to me: ‘As a chef you can get off a plane and work anywhere’. For me that was the defining moment, for what better way to experience the world than through food?”

Campbell completed his apprenticeship atPeppers Anchorage under Jean Marc Pollet and Shane Brunt. Heleft to discover the world at the age of 23 andwent on to work closely with renowned chef Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen. No doubt he was the envy of many an ambitious young chef.A 12-course meal at Noma can lasthours.

“It was a fantastic experience – the drive, the passion, the thinking– andsomething that I try to base my own cooking on,” Campbell said.

Melbourne’s three-hattedVue de Monde was another learning experience. It was also where he met his “amazing wife” Kim.

“It was incredible working with Shannon Bennett.He gave me freedom, but pulled me back in when I strayed too far,” Campbell said.

“Taking my chefs foraging through inner-city Melbourne, just like we did in Copenhagen,stinking out the morning peak-hour trains with wild garlic – these aresome great memories.”

Being a chef canbe stressful,he says, but it’s all worth it:“It’s not about me, the food, the wineor the coffee –it’s about you, the guest.It’s worth a million dollars to hear a ‘thank you’or ‘we enjoyed that’.”

Markets handmade in Hunter and proud of it

Markets handmade in Hunter and proud of it Moore Wollombi Garlic, a branch of Moore Farm Fresh Produce known for their honey, kitchen preserves and free-range pork.

Riverflats Estate’s Pickled & Pitted products range from olive oil, olives and tapenades to chutneys, relishes, pickles, jams, mustards and dukkahs, plus a range of caramelised and gourmet vinegars.

Pokolbin Purple

Beelish products include Raw Honey, Roasted Almonds in Raw Honey, Creamed Honey, Cinnamon Honey, Ginger Honey and Honey Gift and Beeswax products.

Paul, The Vegan Ninja.

Pure Greed sells chutneys, pestos, spice rubs and more.

Tomalina Ridge Honey.

Casbar’s Kitchen makes jams, butter, pickles and sauces.

Pokolbin Purple will have a stall showcasing its three main garlic varieties – Italian Pink, Italian Purple and Rojo de Castro.

Bonjani Woodfired Pizza.

Spotty Dog sellls a range of wine-based cheese pastes and mustards.

TweetFacebook GALLERY | Handmade in the Hunter MarketsHandmade in the Hunter Markets celebrate five years in business at Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin, on Saturday, April 16. Some of the stallhiolders are pictured here. Go to handmadehuntermarkets苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 for more information. Pictures: SuppliedFIVE years agoKaren Rowe launched Handmade in the Hunter Markets at Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin.There were just sixstallholders.

HOT STUFF: The Hot Chilli Woman has been selling handmade, premium quality chilli products since 2001. Picture: supplied

On Saturday, at the markets’ fifth birthday celebrations,there will be close to70.

Rowe says she was tired of attending markets that offered resold goodsor items made in other countries. And so Handmade in the Hunter Markets was born.

“This market is all about promoting the local community of creative people.There arevery talented people from further afield howeverthis market is about Hunter residents and Hunter products,” she said.

The markets benefit local artisans and growers by providing a venue to sell their products but just as important, Rowe says,is the interaction between buyersand the makers themselves.

“Each of the stallholders is passionate about what they do and they love chatting about their products,” Rowe said.

“When visitors go home with something they purchased, they also take the story the maker tells them. When they show family and friends their treasures, the story gets told over and over again.

“I can’t beginto tell you how many people visit because someone told them about what they bought at this quirkylittle market.”

Rowe has watched with interest howlocally made or grown products have increased in popularityover the years.

“I am like a proud mum regarding this marketand the community of amazing stallholders wholove what they do,” she said.

”We have not wavered from the vision of being a locally-made, handmade-onlymarket where the maker is the person you buy from. This has been difficult to maintain but it iswhat makes us unique and different.”

Among the stallholders areDragonfly Foods, amother-and-daughter team based in Newcastle who use natural ingredients, colours and flavours to create gourmet treats, andPokolbin’sSignature Sauces Australia,a chef-inspired, gourmet range of finishing sauces for both savoury and sweet dishes.

Balloons Aloft Australia (weather permitting) will offer hot-air balloon rides up and down a tether to give you a tasteof what hot-air ballooning is like, and Hunter Valley Classic Carriages will take you on a horse-and-carriage ride. Pokolbin Rural Fire Brigade volunteers will be holding a raffleto raise money to buy essential thermal-imaging equipment.

Handmade in the Hunter Markets is on this Saturday, April 16,at Kevin Sobels Wines,Pokolbin,9amto 3pm.For the full list of stallholdersgo tohandmadehuntermarkets苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.

Investors watch China’s growth, jobs report this week

Last week Australian shares endured their third week of losses, and the ASX200, which closed on Friday at 4937.6, is now firmly below the 5000 mark.

However, Wall Street’s S&P500 index lifted 0.3 per cent on Friday night and Australian futures trading on the ASX SPI 200 is pointing to a 0.4 per cent lift on the local sharemarket when trading opens on Monday.

One of the reasons for the rise on Wall Street was a 6.3 per cent surge in Brent crude oil to $US41.94 per barrel. And, indeed, oil will continue to be a big theme this week. Oil

The world’s major oil producers, both inside and outside of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, are to meet on April 17 in Doha, Qatar, to discuss stabilising the price of the commodity.

Oil has fallen to under $US30 a barrel from $US100 a barrel in 2014 as OPEC strives to retain market share through oversupply. But plunging oil prices have helped to deepen the commodities rout and the panic that pervaded global investment markets, including Australia’s, at the start of the year.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil producer, has baulked in recent weeks at a production freeze unless rival Iran freezes as well – which Iran has ruled out.

But the latest media reports appear to indicate that a preliminary deal reached between Russia, Venezuela, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in February to freeze oil output at levels reached in January will go ahead.

Sources close to the Russian government said there would now be “discussion of how long production will be frozen and ways to monitor the agreement,” with a price target of $US45-$US50 per barrel.

“The level of $45-50 (per barrel) is acceptable from the point of view of market balance: if prices go higher shale oil production could start to recover,” the source said.

The rebound in oil prices since January has helped local energy stocks this year, with Woodside up from $23.87 to $24.94, Santos up from $3.53 to $3.83 and Oil Search up from $5.99 to $6.45.

The next OPEC-only meeting is in Vienna on July 2. Chinese trade numbers

“Chinese and US economic data compete for top billing this week,” said Commsec chief economist Craig James. “The highlight is probably Chinese economic growth on Friday.”

China’s economic growth slowed to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, its weakest since the financial crisis that began in 2007 and 2008, and there is concern it may have fallen further in the first quarter of 2016.

In addition Chinese trade numbers are released on Wednesday and Chinese inflation numbers on Monday. Labour force survey

Locally, investors will be keen to get the latest labour force survey when the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases the March unemployment report on Thursday.

March’s jobless rate is forecast to tick up to 5.9 per cent from February’s 5.8 per cent, a survey of 13 economists shows. But the number of Australians with a job is expected to have risen by 20,000 in March, following a gain of just 300 jobs in February, and a fall of 7,900 in January.

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Victorian whisky Starward strikes gold at Global Spirits Competition

Gold awards for Melbourne whisky label Starward are helping Australian whisky gain traction internationally. Photo: Shaiith Gold awards for Melbourne whisky label Starward are helping Australian whisky gain traction internationally. Photo: Shaiith

When it comes to making whisky, the airfields of Essendon are a long way from the misty Isles of Scotland, both in distance and in romance. But Melbourne whisky label Starward is lapping up praise after winning Best Craft Distiller Whiskey at the recent San Francisco Global Spirits Competition for its wine cask matured single malt.

The same whisky also received a Double Gold medal, which means it received top marks from each of its category judges. “I’m very proud of the team and what we’ve achieved,” says founder David Vitale, 42, whose New World Distillery started producing whisky out of its headquarters in a former Qantas maintenance hangar in Essendon Fields, six years ago.

“You have to start a race thinking you’ll win and we come to market with what we think is the best product in the world. But to have it validated by other people is always really nice.”

In a “double-win” for Victorian distillers, Healesville gin Four Pillars also received a Double Gold medal (its second) at the awards, which received a total of 1899 entrants. Starward also picked up gold for its Solera single malt and, at the World Whiskies Awards held in London a few weeks earlier, it won two gold medals and Best Australian Single Malt Whisky.

Starward is one of only three Victorian-made whiskies (there’s Bakery Hill in Bayswater and Timboon Railway Shed Distillery in Timboon) but Australian whiskies are slowly gaining overseas traction.

In 2014 Tasmania’s Sullivan’s Cove was named world’s best single malt at London’s World Whiskies Awards and this year Lark Distillery won Best Australian Single Cask Single Malt Whisky; Perth’s Limeburners single malt received a bronze.

Starward’s recent competition success comes on the back of a $10 million capital injection late last year, which included the backing of global alcohol beverage company Diageo, behind global brands such as Johnny Walker.

Part of their success, says Vitale is due to Melbourne’s notoriously changeable weather. “Our four-seasons-in-a-day is our secret weapon. It creates a richer, mellower whisky in a shorter time frame because those barrels are working so hard every day.”

Wild temperature rides like the ones we’ve been experiencing recently cause the whisky liquid to rapidly expand and contract inside Starward’s used Australian red wine barrels, fast-tracking alcohol evaporation and flavour extraction. Consequently, Vitale says mainland whiskies like his only require two-and-a-half-to-three years to mature, unlike drops from more stable and cooler climates that typically need at least four.

“If we’re talking Scotch whisky it’s eight years of capital you’ve got to lay away before you see a return on that investment,” says Vitale. “In that timeframe we turned over that inventory twice. It’s a huge time-to-market advantage, which gives us the ability to scale quickly.”

New World Distillery currently produces nearly 1000 bottles of whisky per day, seven-days-a-week. Although they are not selling the equivalent of that yet Vitale says they have established an export base in the UK and plan to double production in October. Next year he hopes to break into the lucrative US export market.

For the time being, though, Vitale says knowledge about Australian whisky remains limited to the “tweed jacket-wearing, pipe-smoking big moustaches and beards brigade”.

“We’ve still got a long way to go to build awareness so these awards are fantastic from that perspective.”

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need2know: ASX seen rising at open

The latest housing data is likely to continue to show that the composition of lending has shifted – as desired by APRA. Photo: Erin JonassonLocal investors will be looking for data this week as they search for a new market catalyst. ASX futures up 0.4%. Housing finance ahead.

What you need2know

SPI futures up 20pts or 0.4% to 4932 on Saturday morning

AUD +0.6% to 75.47 US cents, 81.45 Japanese yen, 66.11 Euro cents and 53.46 British pence

On Wall St, Dow +0.2%, S&P 500 +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.1%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +1.4%, FTSE +1.1%, CAC +1.4%, DAX +1%

In London, BHP +4.5%, Rio +3.7%

Iron ore is fetching $US54.57 per tonne

Spot gold flat at $US1240.69 on Friday in New York

Brent crude +6.1% to $US41.85 on Friday in New York

LME copper flat at $US4650

What’s on today

Local data: Housing Finance Feb at 11.30am

NAB expects a rise of nearly 2% (Forecast +1.8% m/m) a bounce back from the prior month. The data is likely to continue to show that the composition of lending has shifted – as desired by APRA – with slower growth in lending for investor housing and stronger growth for owner-occupied lending growth.

Overseas data: China inflation (March); Taiwan trade balance (March); Japan machine orders (Feb.); Italy industrial production (Feb.).

Overseas earnings: Alcoa kicks off US second quarter results


“The Reserve Bank of Australia should be applauded for resuming its attempts to talk down the dollar as the evolution of the currency will have a crucial influence on the outlook for both  economic growth and underlying inflation. It’s even more important when the latest activity data suggest that domestic demand eased in the first quarter,” say Capital Economics editor Paul Dales. “We believe that the US Fed will change its tune later in the year and raise interest rates at a faster  rate than the markets currently expect. That should play a large role in weakening the Australian dollar back to US$0.70 or below. But the damage to the Australian economy from a stronger dollar may have been done in the meantime. As such, the RBA may yet have to back up its words with actions and cut interest rates again.”

The yen fell on Friday after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said rapid currency movements are undesirable and action will be taken as needed. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this week that they are watching currency markets and will act as necessary.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist Shusuke Yamada, who predicts the yen could climb another 8 per cent this year, says 105 is the level at which policy makers would consider stepping in to sell.  The yen was little changed at 108.16 per US dollar on Friday after surging to 107.67 the previous session, its strongest level since October 2014. Despite Friday’s pullback, the currency advanced more than 3.2 per cent last week as the Fed’s dovish approach to US interest-rate policy weighs on the greenback and traders speculate that Japanese officials are reluctant to intervene in the market.


West Texas Intermediate crude rallied 6.6 per cent to $US39.72 a barrel in New York on Friday, the biggest jump since February 12. Speculation has returned that Russia and OPEC members can reach a deal on freezing oil output when they meet in Doha on April 17. Saudi Arabia has said it will only agree if it’s joined by other suppliers including Iran, while Kuwait said a deal can be done without Iran’s support. An unexpected drop in US crude inventories in data last week also helped crude’s recovery.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed unchanged at $US4650 a tonne, still near a six-week low hit in the previous session, when it slumped 2.8 per cent in the biggest daily loss since September. LME copper fell 3.6 per cent this week, the biggest since the week of January 8, and has erased all its gains so far this year. “Risk-off (sentiment) has weighed on cyclical commodity markets,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said. “Copper supplies are set to remain ample as producers are focusing on cutting costs rather than production.”

Rising stockpiles of metal at exchanges have fanned jitters about demand, compounding the impact of souring sentiment in broader markets. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper edged off intraday lows of 35,890 yuan ($US5534) a tonne, but was still down 2.3 per cent. SHFE exchange stocks hit a record just shy of 400,000 tonnes in mid March. Fuelling concerns China will ramp up exports to global markets given a domestic oversupply, copper shipments into Singapore jumped 4800 tonnes, the latest LME data showed.

United States

US stocks edged higher, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trimming the worst weekly slide in two months, as a surge in crude that boosted energy shares offset a slump in biotechnology shares.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.2 per cent to 2047.63 at 4pm in New York, remaining in a range it’s held since the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting on March 16. The index rose as much as 0.9 per cent Friday, and closed down 1.2 per cent in the week, the most since February 5. Equities have swung between gains and losses in the five days as investors search for clues on the strength of the American economy ahead of what is forecast to be the worst earnings season since the financial crisis.

“You still have a lot of uncertainty surrounding earnings,” said Peter Jankovskis, who helps oversee $US1.9 billion as co-chief investment officer of Lisle, Illinois-based OakBrook Investments. “There was definitely a risk off trade yesterday. People don’t want to jump in and take a big position either way in front of an earnings number that people expect to be down.”


Lenders and energy producers helped lift European equities from their lowest levels since February, giving some respite to traders witnessing the longest stretch of weekly declines since 2014.

With a 1.2 per cent advance, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index pared a fourth week of slides. Almost all of its industry groups rose on Friday, with Italian banks leading the industry to its biggest gain in almost a month. Energy and commodity producers rallied more than 3 per cent as groups as oil extended a weekly jump.

“Markets are so unpredictable right now – there are risk-on days and there are times when everyone exaggerates the negatives,” said Dirk Thiels, head of investment management at KBC Asset Management in Brussels. “Maybe a better earnings season can change that, but right now you don’t need a lot for markets to get nervous.”

A Bank of America Merrill Lynch measure of financial stress is heading for its biggest weekly advance since February, reaching levels not seen in almost a month. European auto makers, miners and banks – among the industries that led the last rebound – were the ones hit the most this week.

What happened on Friday

Australian shares lost ground over the week as concerns over the global economy prompted a wave of broad-based selling and investors continued to dump the big banks.

All sectors finished in the red with the exception of the more defensive health and utility stocks, dragging the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 down 1.2 per cent for the week to 4937.6, including a 0.5 per cent drop on Friday. That consigned the index to its third straight week of losses.

The broader All Ordinaries fell 0.5 per cent on Friday and 1.1 per cent for the week to 5018.2.

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