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2012, The Year That Was

Happy new year everyone!! I can’t believe it’s 2013 and that we’re already into our second week of the year!

Looking back at 2012, I would have to say that it was a phenomenal year for team es&t.

It’s hard to sum up Minh’s 4-week “America! The Road Trip” in just a few photographs, but lucky for us, she’s recounted some of her adventures in a few posts.

Howie found a south-western local gem in Fairfield RSL by the name of La Tratt, where we enjoyed some really fantastic Italian dishes.

A few weeks later, I suddenly found myself on King Island for Jeep (where I got to schmooze with Hayden Quinn from Masterchef). And in that same month, Linda found herself catering for her sister’s baby shower in spite of her sciatus – becoming an aunt soon after. Linda’s back is a lot better now, thankfully!

In a blink of an eye, it was Easter. We decided to return to the lovely Wilton House in Gerrigong and ate up a storm.

This is around the time things got a bit crazy for team es&t (including a very epic winter of snowboarding).

Our Minh left to travel around the Middle East for a couple of months before settling down in London (now our UK correspondence! haha). We haven’t seen much from her lately, but I know she’s got some fantastic posts in the pipeline this year.

During her travels, and back in Australia, F and I somehow became home-owners! I was most surprised as I was expecting it to take a lot longer. Linda and Howie also became home-owners soon after – we were most excited as they moved quite close to us, yay neighbours!

Then before we all knew it, Linda and Howie got married!! It was (of course) an amazing and beautiful wedding and we’re all simply so happy for them.

With everything going on, it took a while to really get settled into our respective new homes, but it was just enough time for Linda and Howard to host a new year’s eve party at theirs. Woohoo!

Cheese, Figs, Antipasto Plate, Haloumi Salad with Cous Cous

Cheese, Figs, Antipasto Plate, Haloumi Salad with Cous Cous

While the various meats and seafood were cooking, we were spoilt with super creamy brie, honeyed figs, deliciously salty pancetta, green olives stuffed with mozzerella, pesto or capsicum and a wonderful grilled haloumi cheese salad with cous cous.

Salmon Two-Ways

Salmon Two-Ways

We managed to score a beautiful, fresh salmon, which Linda decided to cook two-ways: salmon steaks grilled on the bbq and the rest of the salmon oven-baked. She also made her famous tartare sauce to go with it, where I learnt that the secret to her sauce is to add things until it looks “right” haha (I think she was having me on, but I couldn’t tell).

Nem Nuong, Prawns, Snags

Nem Nuong, Prawns, Snags

We made nem nuong balls (they’re usually on skewers, but nem nuong anything is always a big hit), grilled the lightly lemon marinated prawns and various sausages.

Moroccan Lamb, Truffle Butter, Fresh Oysters

Moroccan Lamb, Truffle Butter, Fresh Oysters

Linda and Howie bought a massive chunk of Moroccan lamb which was grilled and oven baked – Howie was worried that the grill would dry out the meat, so they finished cooking it in the oven. It turned out really well, actually! Succulent and full of flavour.

C made some truffle butter, which we all flocked to… mmm it was so deliciously salty and earthy.

I didn’t try the fresh oysters, but two trays were gone in almost in the blink of an eye and a few of them were used as part of a shot “surprise” (unfortunately, I scored one of these shots… vodka and oysters do not mix, ugh).

Wagyu BBQ

Wagyu BBQ

Oh my goodness, these 8-9 marble score wagyu steaks were absolutely melt-in-your-mouth-decadently-rich fantastic. I don’t think much more can be said about this except: bliss.

Howard's Oreo Affogato

Howard’s Oreo Affogato

For dessert, Howard made an amazing Oreo affogato – holy cow, I’m not a coffee drinker at all and this was absolutely delectable.

We saw the new year in with full bellies, awesome company, some old school Mario Party 5 on Gamecube, and some astonishing fireworks (on TV that is).

And here’s Max wishing everyone a fantastic new year, filled with lots of fabulous food and great company!


  1. It’s definitely been a huge year for team ES&T! There was definitely a lot going on and its been an amazing journey, for every single one of you. Looking forward to what 2013 will bring. Cheers!

  2. Trent says

    What a great synopsis of 2012 with heaps happening. Thanks for all your posts and informational goodies over the past year.

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where es&t takes us this year 😀

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