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In The Tiffin Box VIII

There’s quite a lot in the Tiffin Box so best not to waste time and share what’s happening.

Date Claimer! Paniyiri 2016
This year is a biggie for Paniyiri, the Brisbane Greek Festival, as it’s their 40th anniversary. They’ve come a long way from a small celebration within the Greek community to a huge festival over an entire weekend where the whole of Brisbane comes together to celebrate all things Hellenic. It’s actually Australia’s Big Fat Greek Festival as it’s the longest running Greek Festival in the country.

Three scenes from Brisbane's Paniyiri festival including haloumi cheese cooking on the grill and local children dancing in traditional Greek costumes

I was invited to the launch where self-proclaimed ‘Paniyiri’ Princess Effie, talked us through her long standing association with Paniyiri, shared some of the events planned for the weekend (‘My Big Fat Greek Selfie’ anyone?) and regaled us with her equal love of hairspray and of all things Greek. She promised that youse all would have a good time.

A video posted by Fiona (@azguidebook) on

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing a recipe with you for that much loved Paniyiri treat, the Honey Puff, but in the mean time, mark the date in your calendar so your don’t miss out on all the fun.

Paniyiri Greek Festival
21 – 22 May 2016
Musgrave Park
South Brisbane

Carte Blanche Espresso
I didn’t realise that shared cafes and hairdressers were a thing but it seems they are. A month or so ago I talked about a venue that that served coffe, cut hair and had a gallery. Now I’m telling you about another venue of a similar ilk in the next suburb. Carte Blache Espresso has moved into the former Crankstar Cycle Shop. Tucked around the corner from White’s Hill College, it was a very quiet Tuesday morning when we visited though I think this can be put down to school holidays. At the front, there are some stools with a window that opens out over the suburb but if you take a look behind the kitchen and counter, you’ll see a collection of shabby chic tables too. As a fun twist, menus are contained within re-purposed Little Golden Books.

Chorizo & Haloumi on toast ; scarmbled eggs & haloumi with avocado; Little Golden Books made into menus

I was determiend to steer clear from the standard ‘eggs on toast’ route so instead chose a mix of chorizo and haloumi on toast with kasundi, dusted with dukkah. Those were some strong flavours competing for my tastebuds and my arteries. I would have preferred to see some sturdier toast such as a thick slice of sourdough and there was a bit too much kasundi for my liking but these are minor quibbles and didn’t stop me enjoying my breakfast. The haloumi was particularly good as it was still hot. All too often, haloumi on a menu means a serve of some squeaky cheese that has hardened and cooled on the plate before it arrives at the table. No such concerns for this dish. Mr Tiffin opted for scrambled eggs, which are his favourite but are often a disappointment. Not so in this instance where they were scrambled loosely and not overcooked. The eggs were served with a very generous portion of sliced avocado which you almost need to take a mortgage out to enjoy one now days. I made sure some of those slices made their way onto my plate. Both meals were a shade over $16 each which is well under the going rate for breakfasts in Brisbane. With a coffee you can scrape by at just over $20 though they do have bowls of coffee, something I haven’t seen since the glory days of Aromas. These are mighty tempting and will add a bit more to the bill.

Carte Blanche is a relaxed cafe that it not too crowded, has no long waits and plenty of parking. Happy Days.

Carte Blanche Espresso
5 Abbott St
Camp Hill Qld  4152

Carte Blanche Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fine Food Queensland
Earlier this week, Fine Food Queensland was held at the Brisbane Convention Centre. This is a trade showcase for new products, retail packaging and solutions and, advances in cookware technology. It allows those in the hospitality, restaurants, catering and the commercial food sector to find out about new products and trends and to swap war stories and business cards with others in the food industry. I am able to attend this event as a food and travel writer and always look forward to it due to it’s no nonsense nature and the fact that exhibitors have time to engage, explain their product and answer your questions. Even better, the event isn’t overrun with thousands of gasping punters all trying to get in one last wine sample before the doors close (there is actually no alcohol at this event). I chatted with a number of businesses, some quite new and others that have been quietly working away for several years. I hope to share some stories at a later date but in the mean time, I wanted to direct you two Brisbane products that I was very impressed with. Look out for them and show your support for these 100% Australian owned local businesses

Fare & Good Snack Co – Chocolate Covered Dry Roasted Edamame
A little like a chocolate peanut but lighter and crunchier. They come in high quality dark and milk chocolate and are addictive. I had to leave the stand before I ate their entire inventory. Available at several retailers but also by mail order. These would be an unusual dinner party gift or an alternative for those who are allergic to peanuts.

Sugo Tu Pizze & Prodotti – Snap Frozen Dough Discs
Yes, yes, I know pizza dough is not difficult to make but some of us don’t have the time, or the energy or the organisational skills to make and freeze pizza dough in advance. Frozen pizza dough is not a new concept but these only need to be defrosted and stretched, no kneading or rolling and the final product tastes great. Sugo Tu know what they are doing – they’re also behind Sugo Mi Italian at Bulimba. A box in the freezer would be a very handy stand by. Available at Costco or in bulk at their factory in Mansfield.

TIFFIN Goes International
Sometimes I want to write a story or share an idea that doesn’t quite fit the theme of TIFFIN or the timing is not quite right. What’s a girl to do? Write for someone else of course. I have now submitted and had published two stories on the website Hospitality21. Writing these type of stories allows me to build my portfolio, try out new ideas and get to know some writers in other countries via the Hospitality21 community. If you are interested in seeing what else I am writing about, here is the link to my Hospitality21 page.

4 comments… add one
  • sherry from sherrys pickings April 13, 2016, 11:29 am

    congrats again on getting your article published. such fun! love the look of the choc coated edamame- very different. good old paniyiri- can’t believe it is 40 years old. did i tell you i saw you in the brisbane news social pages? every time i look at that mag, i always say to myself i never know anyone in it and then i turn the page and i see my niece (an opera singer) or a mate from work etc. My esp must be at work in an odd way.:)

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:20 pm

      The Brisbane News Social pages – they must have been desperate! They often take photos but the old bags rarely make it in. Yep – 40 years. A very different affair these days.

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 13, 2016, 1:58 pm

    I just need my hairdresser to serve coffee and I would be happy 😀

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