Meet Chef Justin Pola – Mexican Food in Melbourne

St Kilda is a happening place in Melbourne, Australia. Just up from the beach, it’s full of pavement cafes, boutiques, alternative therapists and restaurants serving food from every corner of the globe. One such is Bluecorn in Barkly Street, where chef Justin Pola and his team match margueritas with great Mexican food every day of the week.

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Peppadew Party Snacks

My glorious holiday is at any end. I am back in the UK and have been capapulted into Christmas preparations. There are presents to buy, meals to plan and lots of lovely parties to attend. Despite the recession – or maybe because of it – everyone I know seems to be holding a festive gathering of some sort this year, and with their vibrant colour matching Santa’s suit, Peppadew piquanté peppers fit right in. They look great, taste terrific and make superb snacks that are just that bit different from the dips and crisps that are standard party fare. You can serve the peppers just as they are (they look good mixed with black olives in a glass dish) or you can skewer them on toothpicks with cubes of cheese and cocktail onions, retro-style, fill them with cheese or pâté or pop them into pastry cases. Here are a few more suggestions.

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Emilio Manfin, the Flying Chef

I’ve met plenty of chefs with a passion for sourcing the finest ingredients, but Emilio Manfin is the first who pilots his own plane for the purpose. He is the proprietor of one of South Melbourne’s longest established restaurants, The Olive Tree in Park Street. You can’t miss it. The eponymous olive tree is right outside. Emilio planted it himself 41 years ago on the day the place opened.

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