Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Event : Tsirekas Family Feast, Sydney International Food Festival
Date : Sunday 18 October 2009
Cost : $100 of which $60 went to Street Smart

A Perama feast? For a good cause? This could mean nothing but a cavlacade of Perama fans, the "peraharem", foodbloggers, Twitterati, SIFFers, the Tsirekas family, and some special guests. 

Driven through suburbia by the tiara clad Miss Twitterverse, aka @carmR, @Reemski, @felixexplody and I soon found ourselves in Earlwood. I wish that I could tell you that the trip was tweet free, but it was not.

The skies had been overcast but as David assured the Twitterverse :

We never give up @Tsirekas house. Rain, hail, locusts, dust storms, flash forwards...the lamb will be cooked & fingers & lips WILL be licked #siff

The first of the hungry hordes to arrive, we made our way through the garage.... the calm before the storm.

Where's the food?!?

Ah good, someone remembered the drinks.

Host and Petersham's Greek God, David Tsirekas, fetchingly clad in an Urban Food Market t-shirt. Perama serves Urban Food Market's Bultarra Saltbrush Lamb which, in an unofficial taste test conducted in August, came out the winner.

David's sister preparing some salad.

The charming George Tsirekas, David's father, tending to the spit roasted lamb.

Below is a photo of Mr Tsirekas' basting mix, whose secrets he would not reveal to me.  However he did give me a handful of the paprika mix with which he coats his lamb cutlets, for an extra delicious kick to my meat.

The crowd starts arriving.  Can you recognise anyone?

Fooderati, Reemski, Elliott in the foreground and some unexpected special guests in the background...

Some dips to whet the appetite.

This is my favourite - tarama!

Pickled home grown tomatoes and Greek olives.

At this point I heard a number of guests already discussing the eternal problem of Stomach Pacing. How much of the dips should they eat? Would they find space for dessert?

Meanwhile there was haloumi waiting to be BBQd.

David wielding his tongs

The hardworking Jamie...

.....tending to the souvlaki

Chorizo, Souvlaki and Chicken Wings

....with some Chicken & Mustard Seed Chipolatas on the right.

Jamie cooking lamb cutlets which had been marinating in the Special Tsirekas Mix.

I was trying to hold the cutlet with one hand and photograph with the other when I heard a kind voice approaching with an offer to hold said cutlet for me.

What I didn't realise, was that my new hand model, George, would suddenly become rather attached to my lamb cutlet.

George enjoying my cutlet. I'm sure that I would have enjoyed it as well.

Fortunately, I managed to convince him to return with two more cutlets, one for myself and one for his friend Mieka.  Let me assure you that they were tender, tasty morsels. I believe that I ate about four or five of them, I'm not quite sure. It all became a blur at some point.

What goes with meat? Potatoes of course.

Plus some filo pies made by David's mother Jenny, who has been making filo since the age of 12 and who still makes it for Perama.

Some healthy vegetable options.

Finally, the lamb is ready to be carved up.

Yes it was as good as it looks.

Papa Tsirekas making sure that every last bit of meat has been carved off.

So much food and so little stomach space, but always some extra space for dessert....

Chocolate Biscuit Sandwich with Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Crumbled Halva and Sour Cherry.

Pastéis de Nata


David's mother Jenny's Patchavoura.

Oh wait a moment, I mentioned some special guests, didn't I?

Yes ladies, it's the Master of the Macaron, the Sultan of Sweetness, the Man Known As Adriano Zumbo.

Carm finally meets her George!!!

Just a couple of friends hanging out.

Now what is a Tarts blogpost without a watch tableshot of some type? I was happily surprised to come across a fellow watchnutut who was wearing this desirable U-BOAT.

The metal grille on top of the dial is immovable. You can't really see it, but there is a date window there. This U-BOAT has an ETA 2824 movement.

As the day was drawing to an end David, accompanied by his daughter Mia (holding a "thank you" sign that she created), thanked everyone for attending and reminded us of why we were there, to support Street Smart.

According to Street Smart's website, every night across Australia there are more than 100,000 people who are homeless.  Of these, 14,000 sleep rough. Every day, two out of three people who look for crisis accommodation are turned away because of lack of beds.

A recent episode of Four Corners highlighted both the problem and the changing face of homelessness in this country. 

Street Smart take donations via their website.  100 per cent of donations are distributed in the form of grants. To date they have raised and distributed over $830,000 to 188 grassroots projects.

From November 9 - December 24 StreetSmart, in conjunction with participating restaurants, have their annual Restaurant Campaign, during which participating restaurants ask diners to make a small donation of $2 or more to StreetSmart on their bill.  Click here to find participating restaurants in your State.

My thanks to David and his family for welcoming us into their home. It was a Sunday BBQ to remember.



Johnson said...

great post. got me really salivating as I'm totally Asianed out! can't wait to get back to Sydney!

Barbara said...

What a great day. And for a good cause.

Felix said...

Awesome post, looked like a particularly epic day.

Ellie said...

Wow, so much food. I feel full by looking at them. Lol at the chap from Mastercehf >_<

The Sydney Tarts said...

Johnson - I'd have tried to persuade you to come had you been in town!

Barbara - it was just a lovely relaxing day and perfect weather to boot.

Felix - Epic for sure LOL.

Ellie - There was food left over! George Calombaris seemed to enjoy himself ;) I'm not quite sure what he thought of some of us who spoke to him though hehehe.... :D

Reemski said...

What a wonderful recap of a fabulous day!!!

White Dove Media said...

What a fantastic post ... your photos are making me hungry for it all over again. I really appreciate the plug for Street Smart. I will let you know during the campaign if there are any new stories. Great meeting you in person we will have to do it again soon

The Sydney Tarts said...

Reem - You were part of the fabulousness!

White Dove Media (aka Mieka :)) - I'm still recovering LOL. Pls say hi to George for me :) :) Nothing but awe from me to StreetSmart for the amazing work that they do. The BBQ was for StreetSmart so to have a post without mentioning their important work would be an incomplete one.