Rare & Fine Pizzas

9.03am, Sunday 13th June, Catseye Bay, Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia

Dawn on Catseye Bay

All the best intentions to catch up those jobs yesterday, but I slid effortlessly into ‘island time’ and did not a lot. I organised us one of the golf buggies to get around the place – and truly it’s like living in toytown! You pull up wherever there’s enough space, go to the bakery, buy your fresh sandwich for lunch, hop back in and park by the marina overlooking zillions of dollars worth of boats, eat your lunch, then … go back and flake out for a couple hours or park by the beach and watch the water. Good choices!

When Greg got in from the mainland, we went over to the Yacht Club and ran through arrangements for the two jobs today. First, we will be hosting 50 of the Hamilton Island wine and food folks – including chefs, sommeliers and floor staff – at a masterclass in the auditorium underneath the club (where they show movies on Thursday and Saturday nights). Then tonight we’re following the last three nights of Pas de Deux in Paradise at Qualia as the dress circle event on the island with our Rare & Fine Dinner for 80 people in the Yacht Club’s  Bommie restaurant.

The tinfoil-covered sea

One of the things about Hamilton Island that you notice straight away is that it gets dark really quickly. Sunset is all but over at 6pm, which steered me again to an early night – so that I caught the dawn again this morning at about 5.30am. This morning there’s a few clouds about so the sky was all hot pink, orange, and coral pink and grey. Now that the sun is right up though, the way it’s hitting the water makes it look like the whole thing is covered by a sheet of tinfoil! You just never get tired of staring at the water – such a contrast to the landlocked Barossa!

Any rate, whilst the washing is on, I’ll get another catchup done – two to go:

Catchup Thursday 10th June: Trade Lunch at Augello’s – The Esplanade, Mooloolaba
Simon at Augello’s has been a Yalumba man nearly as long as he’s supported the Canberra Raiders Rugby League club, which is forever. They’ve got a great double story corner spot right on the Espalanade on top of the beach at Mooloolaba, and have been THE gourmet pizza spot since they first fired up their ovens in 1995. In the recent Global Pizza Challenge 2010′, Augello’s took out  Best Pizza on the Globe with their Hot Smoked Salmon Pizza. This is ‘hot smoked’ meaning that the main ingredient is Tasmanian Huon hot smoked salmon, cured with redgum smoke. This is layered onto Augello’s own dill and parmesan infused dough, with cheese, baby spinach, salsa verde, onion jam, and finished with a caper and lemon juice aoili and salmon caviar (from the same ‘hot smoked’ salmon). A definite mouthful that delivered!

Jayne Halls

It went really well with the  2008 FDW [7c] Chardonnay and 2008 Virgilius Viognier. I’ve put in a pic of our  gal that looks after the Sunshine Coast  – Jayney H – with that pizza, two big winners!

We backed that opening combination with a couple of others – one  of them being two Augello’s finalist pizzas with the Cabernet Shiraz pair of the 2005 Signature and 2004 The Reserve: Peppercorn-infused dough, peppercorn cream sauce, Romano cheese, strips of eye fillet steak, garlic roasted mushrooms  topped with rocket and horseradish mayonnaise. The other one was Augello’s old favourite The Meat Lover with the 2005 Octavius. A very nice way indeed for us to catch up with the trade from the Sunny Coast, and help Simon and Augello’s celebrate their continued dominance in the gourmet pizza stakes! Thanks a heap!

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