Old friends contacted us during the week and good fortune conspired for us to be able to meet them in Sydney today for a very long lunch at Out of Africa in Manly. We had HOURS of catching up to do since it was 8 or so years since the last time we'd had a good chat together. It was a BIG birthday weekend for Barry - celebrated with their grown up family in Sydney. We were lucky to find this time with them in between the celebrations.
Sydney was cold and very wet today; not the best day to enjoy the ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf - but the warmth of the welcome at Out of Africa and the quality of the dips and dukkah and veal couscous made us forget all about the grey day outside.
I started teaching way back in 1973 with Dorothy. She is a very lovable, artistic and quirky character with a penchant for collecting vintage colanders - and then painting them. She is also known - around the world - for her textile jugs - she's made hundreds of them to meet the demand! She started her career in Food, way before most Aussies knew much about it. We always have a lot to talk about!
Dorothy and Barry recommended Out of Africa, having been here previously when their son Joe was photographing Hassan M'Souli's lovely cookbook Moroccan Modern. Dessert was simple, but lovely: dates soaked in coffee liquor for 14 days, with handmade spiced icecream - served with sweet and strong Arabic coffee.
Unsurprisingly, there was quite a bit of travel talk as Barry and Dorothy have been lots of places we haven't. They celebrated Barry's last BIG birthday with a trip to Ethiopia - with their kids and grandkids. They're taking a more luxurious option for their next OS trip in September, a gourmet food tour with Gabriel Gate, to the Alsace Lorraine region in North East France.