June 3, 2015

Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate

Pialligo Estate Smoked Bacon Roses. Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I reckon one of the best things about being a blogger is the wonderful community of likeminded people, and the fabulous foodie friends I have made from Canberra and all over the world. So when the opportunity to hang with the Canberra Food Bloggers group came about for an amazing degustation dinner at Pialligo Estate Farmhouse Restaurant (currently one of Canberra’s most talked about restaurants), I was on that like a fat kid is into chocolate cake!  

Pialligo Estate Smoked Bacon Roses. Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

The lovely Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things planned the indulgent sensory experience for our group of 20, cozied up in our own private space, we were spoilt with a sampling of divine fine dining cuisine, all of which was exquisitely presented and tasted crazy amazing.

Arriving at Pialligo Estate I was greeted by excited squeals followed by squishy bear hugs, I’m looking at you Rosemarie. Happy hellos, laughter and chats were enjoyed over a glass of bubbles and tasty stuffed croquette by the large fireplace, it really was the perfect setting to escape the Canberra cold (let me tell you….. -3c aint no way to start & finish a day) and catch up with friends.

Pialligo Estate Smoked Bacon Roses. Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Jan Gundlach, Pialligo Estate’s Culinary Director warmly greeted us and explained the personalised 5 course degustation dinner menu created by Chef de Cuisine, Brendan Walsh. Holy WOW, can that man cook! 

Now to share just a few of the emotions experienced that evening… My bouche was thoroughly Amuse-d, heart feels for cured Bonito – Seaweed-Cured Bonito, Green Tomato, Crispy Chicken, Radish and Dashi of its own Bones, laughs had at Fran’s offal humour – Majura Valley Egg, Veal Sweetbread, Celeriac, Brioche and Pine Mushroom, Muscovy duck taste explosions – Muscovy Duck, Musquee de Provence Pumpkin, Red Onion, Chestnut and Liquorice, and my O my, the whoopee cushion Valrhona Jivara Chocolate, Buckwheat, Caramalised Banana and Malted Milk dessert…. words fail to explain the perfection of this dish.

Pialligo Estate Smoked Bacon Roses. Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Trying to pinpoint the highlight of the evening was near impossible, the company lovely, the staff passionate, the service standout, and the food phenomenal.  We were spoilt rotten by the Pialligo Estate team – Exceptional food, wine & service, not to mention the basket of goodies (oil, wine, smoked salt, salmon and bacon) we were so kindly gifted with. #illbeback

Hands down, the Farmhouse Restaurant at Pialligo Estate was one of the best hospitality experiences I’ve ever had.

When one is in possession of Australia’s Best Artisan Bacon, one is required to do something special, something extraordinary even, something that is guaranteed to make the non romantics amongst us swoon. Bacon Roses! I defy anyone that wouldn’t find this gorgeous bouquet of smoked meat the most romantic thing, ever. #baconmecrazy 

 I’d love to know, would you prefer a fresh picked bouquet of flowers or salt-cured meat?

Pialligo Estate Smoked Bacon Roses. Canberra Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo Estate - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time:  30-40 minutes

  • 12 rashers of bacon
  • Non stick spray oil
  • 24 toothpicks
  • A metal cake cooling tray
  • Baking tray
  • 12 plastic roses

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 160C. Place a cake cooler tray on the baking tray (line the baking tray with baking paper for easy cleaning). Spray the cake cooler with non stick spray.

Step 2: Take each rasher of bacon and roll it up from the larger end to the smallest. Close shut with a toothpick and place on the cake cooling tray.

Step 3: Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Step 4: While the bacon is cooking, prep the rose stems. Pull each rose off the stem, leaving the leaves and spike.

Step 5: Place the stems in a vase or in wrapping paper. Slide the roses onto the stems.

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Miles & Smiles Away - A Road Trip Across Australia - November 12, 2015 Reply

[…] away from Canberra, we slowly faded from suburban civilization to […]

Rusty - July 1, 2015 Reply

My weakness for Bacon tells me Smoked Bacon Roses wouldn’t be the best idea to bring for a date? Would definitely need a back up plan 🙂

    Anna - July 1, 2015 Reply

    Hahaha! 🙂 That’s fantastic Rusty! Any rational person would totally understand why the bacon roses didnt make it in one piece. LOL!
    So…. Normal roses for your date and bacon roses for you. 🙂

Hannah - June 25, 2015 Reply

SALT-CURED MEAT every time!
I can’t believe you can make roses out of bacon! #resumethat
So so so jelly of your experience!
I can’t wait to try the Pialligo Estate Restaurant.

    Anna - June 25, 2015 Reply

    Ha! Yeah, once you go salt cured, you dont go back. 🙂
    It was a pretty fabulous experience, but one that you could easily repeat again and again, and not get at all tired of.
    Hope you get to try Pialligo Estate Restaurant soon.

Kris - June 17, 2015 Reply

Hot damn the bacon roses look amazing. I would smash those bad boys for sure.
Such a cool way to display the amazingness of bacon.
I tried the Pialligo Estate bacon a few weeks back. Oooh gawd it is good!
It looked like you had an awesome time, especially when you get to share experiences with people that think the same way as you.

    Anna - June 17, 2015 Reply

    Awh thanks heaps Nizz. 🙂
    Totes agree, the bacon roses didn’t last long, quick photo shoot and they were in my tummy. LOL!
    Awesome you tried the Pialligo bacon, it’s freakin delightful. Defs deserves the title of BEST.
    And I sure am lucky to have a great bunch of foodie friends too.

Krista - June 13, 2015 Reply

What a fabulous time!!! How fun to see you and Liz in the same picture. 🙂 That makes me happy. Cured meat OR flowers? Oh boy, that’s a tough one, but I reckon the meat would win out. 🙂

    Anna - June 13, 2015 Reply

    It was brilliant Krista. I am blessed to have such beautiful foodie friends. 🙂 I do SO wish we lived closer to break bread together too, lets try for a catch up this year?
    Ha….. meat flowers seem to be the winner all round.

Agness - June 13, 2015 Reply

Awwww wish I was there! I’m a real foodie!!!!!! :D!

    Anna - June 13, 2015 Reply

    I so wish we lived closer Agness, it’d be awesome to do foodie adventures with you.

Gourmet Getaways - June 12, 2015 Reply

Aww..nice to see you guys hang out! That’s such a romantic basket…romantic…and TASTY with those doppelgänger meaty roses!!

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

    Anna - June 12, 2015 Reply

    I know right?! I would be totally impressed if anyone gifted me with a bunch of bacon roses. Mmmmm! 🙂

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - June 10, 2015 Reply

What a great community you have, Anna! Enjoy all that it has to offer.
I loved the bacon roses… They would’t last if I was around. 🙂

    Anna - June 11, 2015 Reply

    Yeah, it’s pretty fabulous to have such a great group of foodie friends. 🙂
    And I hear you on the bacon roses, they didnt last very long at all.

Liz - June 10, 2015 Reply

Liz is such a dear! It looks like you all had a marvelous time! And your bacon roses are beautiful—such a fun idea!

    Anna - June 10, 2015 Reply

    Yep, Liz is one of my faves! 🙂
    Thanks for the compliment, the roses were pretty snazzy, delicious too.

Jean | Holy Smithereens - June 9, 2015 Reply

Love the bacon roses! hmm..to choose between the two…well both the real flowers and the bacon ones won’t last, so might as well go for the one you can consume …thou shalt not waste anything 😉

    Anna - June 10, 2015 Reply

    Haha Jean…. Totes with you, I’d def take the edible flower over the nice smelling variety. 🙂

Tim UrbanDuniya - June 8, 2015 Reply

“The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

I might need to swap the bacon for bresaola, or some other non-pork product. But this is truly love <3

    Anna - June 9, 2015 Reply

    Hahahaha….. Why do I keep forgetting that magical little tip?! Will be making another batch stat. 🙂
    Awesome idea, I might put a note in the recipe for the non pork eaters, thanks Tim.
    Happy week ahead my friend.

Elizabeth - June 7, 2015 Reply

That looks so wonderful 🙂 what a great night… and I love roses…. but did someone say bacon 🙂 really what could be better than that 🙂 I’m sure there is enough of us to do one in Brisbane…. surely! hmmmm I’ll see what I can do 🙂
Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience
Liz x

    Anna - June 8, 2015 Reply

    Oh you’ve gotta try the bacon roses Liz, they are just beautiful and those that were gifted with a meat rose, were super touched. 🙂

    Yeah, you have a huge foodie community in Brisbane, I follow a bunch of them on Insta. It seems you have some of the most amazing food outlets and a really passionate group of people up your way too.

    Thanks for enjoying, you rock! xo

Bam's Kitchen - June 7, 2015 Reply

What an amazing evening with so many fun like minded people. Eating food while talking about food, how awesome is that!!! Now my boys, that thing that bacon is its own food group, would love these roses. what a fun idea. Sharing!!!

    Anna - June 8, 2015 Reply

    Hahaha! I know right?! I was so impressed with the staff, they were super patient as we all took photos of the food before eating it, even posing for us to snap the sauce being poured in slow motion over the delicious meals. It really was excellent! 🙂

    With your boys, I am considering have a tab on the blog dedicated to bacon. LOL! Hope you try the roses, they went over a treat my end, thats for sure.

Amanda (@lambsearshoney) - June 7, 2015 Reply

Wow – it looks as though you all had such a brilliant time. I really must get back to Canberra again – it’s been too long.

    Anna - June 8, 2015 Reply

    It sure was a wonderful way to spend an evening. Very lucky to have so many wonderful foodie friends here in the Berra. 🙂
    And yes, you should get back, lots has changed.

Sneha - June 6, 2015 Reply

Heyya.. What a glorious night. This friendly parties one of the most beautiful life celebrations are. I’m so going to be stealing that idea! Thanks so much. 🙂 🙂

    Anna - June 6, 2015 Reply

    Hey Sneha! Such a fab night, was tops to hang out with such a great group of peeps. Let me know how your meat roses turn out. Happy weekend. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - June 5, 2015 Reply

Ooh I love that yo made the bacon roses and thanks for the lovely shout out! What a perfect choice for the bacon. They were out of it when we visited which was such a shame!

    Anna - June 6, 2015 Reply

    As soon as I saw the gift of bacon from Pialligo, I thought of you & your Valentines cured meat roses. So thank you, thank you for the inspiration. Oh no, what a shame, guess you’ll just have to visit us again. 🙂

Liz (Good Things) - June 5, 2015 Reply

Boy that was a great evening! I’d like to do it all again, but this time in slow-mo! Thanks for the very kind shout out, lovely Anna! And how about those roses, you are so clever! xoxo

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    It was a brilliant evening, delicious food & delightful company. Thanks HEAPS for organising such a stella event lovely, oh …. and for the photos too. I really want to do it again too, was thinking I should talk to the Chefs here at NPC.

    The roses were great, although anything Pialligo Estate would be. But I got the idea from NQN.

    Happy weekend sweets. xox

      Liz (Good Things) - June 6, 2015 Reply

      Ooooh yes, that’d be grand. Please wait till I come back from overseas xxx

        Anna - June 6, 2015 Reply

        Deal lady! I’ll plan it all and as soon as you get back, it’s on like donkey kong. 🙂

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - June 5, 2015 Reply

What a great time you all had. And bacon roses would work for me 🙂

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    Such a lovely experience, Tandy! And yep, I’m with you, bacon roses all the way. 🙂

Mabel Kwong - June 5, 2015 Reply

What a night out with the bloggers, Miss Anna! It’s amazing how the blogging community can bring together so many like-minded people together, and I’m sure you all had a lot to talk about…apart from gushing over the food together! And when it comes to taking photos of food, it doesn’t really get awkward 😉

That really is some fancy way to present bacon. And it doesn’t look that greasy to me. A lot of bacon I’ve eaten drip with oil…probably why I don’t eat it too much 😀 But I would certainly take a bouquet of salt cured meat-flowers any day!

Hope you are staying warm where you are. It’s cold in Melbourne, very cold, brrr!

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    It was awesome Miss Mabel! Wish you lived closer so we could go on eating dates and stuff ourselves silly. LOL!

    I am super grateful to have connected with such a fantastic group of folk, that really is one of the most amazing things about the blogging community. Plus, like you say, you dont feel as much guilt when everyone is taking photos of the food. Ha.

    The Pialligo Estate bacon won Australias best bacon, its amazing, not greasy, so it presents really well, totes enjoys having its photo taken. 🙂

    Its flippin freezing here today, I have a Nanna rug across my legs, the fluro work puffa jacket and a scarf wrapped around my head. I look ridiculous, but I am warm.

    Happy weekend lil sis. xox

Norma Chang - June 5, 2015 Reply

What a fantastic evening – gathering of foodies + divine fine dining + exceptional service … an experience to remember. Give me the bacon roses any time.

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    Yeah it was Norma, such fun to hang with the foodie crowd and we were super spoilt too. Very lucky we were. 🙂
    And I agree, bacon for the win.

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - June 4, 2015 Reply

What a gorgeous state and happy get together. Love the roses made out of bacon. Enjoy your blogging community…you are in great company!!!

Sending you wishes for an awesome weekend!!!! xx

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    Yes, I am very blessed to have such a fun bunch in my life. 🙂
    The bacon roses are delightful, but really ….. anything bacon is amazing.
    Thanks for the well wishes, we have a long weekend. #pumped xox

hassan - June 4, 2015 Reply

What a glorious night. This friendly parties one of the most beautiful life celebrations are.

    Anna - June 5, 2015 Reply

    It was tops Hassan. I had a fabulous evening hanging with friends and eating the most wonderful foods.
    Hope you are well my friend. 🙂

Erin - June 4, 2015 Reply

What very attractive amazing people! Loved the food, the venue, the staff A++! Great to see you again, we should do it again soon!

    Anna - June 4, 2015 Reply

    Haha! Yep, our table totes was. LOL! 🙂
    I agree, it really was an amazing night, fun to catch up with you and meet a bunch of others too.
    YES… I say we do it again for sure. Lets work on making that a thing.

Dave - June 4, 2015 Reply

Bacon roses…?.now I’ve seen everything 🙂

Cured meat for me dear!

    Anna - June 4, 2015 Reply

    Haha! Whoever thought of this kind of floral arrangement should be listed in the world records for BRILLIANCE! 🙂
    Yep, Im with you, Id take the meat flower any day. All the yarm!

John/Kitchen Riffs - June 4, 2015 Reply

This sounds like such a fun affair! Terrific company and food — I’m jealous! Those bacon roses are so clever. I’m so going to be stealing that idea! Thanks so much.

    Anna - June 4, 2015 Reply

    It was great fun, John! It’s always fab to be able to spend time with like minded folk, and eat amazing food too. 🙂

    The bacon roses were delicious and went down a super treat. Steal away, hope your better half enjoys.

    Happy weekend.

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