Take away food

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In a marathon giveaway of Australia’s best Mexican food, Guzman y Gomez (GYG) Mexican Taquería in Westfield Bondi Junction yesterday churned out an average of one burrito every eight seconds sustained over nine hours, serving up over 4,000 free meals to hungry Sydneysiders.


A queue of hundreds stretched from one end of the shopping complex to the other throughout the day, eagerly awaiting their free meal. Making the offer that much more enticing, GYG had pledged to donate $1 for every meal given out to the Misión México children’s refuge operated by an Australian couple in Tapachula, Mexico.


GYG Steven Marks

To achieve the incredible feat, more than 25 kitchen staff worked tirelessly to keep the burritos flowing with three quarters of the 4,195 meals given out taking no longer than three minutes to prepare and not a single one taking longer then five minutes, all made freshly on the spot.


GYG Founder Steven Marks says the turnout for the event exceeded all expectations: “There was not a single moment in the nine hours of trading yesterday when we could see the back of the queue while greeting those at the front. We’re absolutely ecstatic to have had so many people come through our doors to enjoy our food and help to raise money for Misión México in the process.”


Robert Hazen, Anthony Carroll, Steven Marks

Throughout the nine-hour fiesta, the crowd was entertained by a live mariachi band while foosball fans hit the tables in the restaurant.  Among the crowd of Bondi faces was Channel 10’s Bondi Rescue star Anthony Carroll who stopped in to join the crowd for dinner.




About Guzman y Gomez


Guzman y Gomez (GYG) Mexican Taquería burst onto the Australian dining scene in 2006, a time when quality Mexican cuisine could scarcely be found. One of the earliest ‘gourmet to go’ brands in Australia, it was the creation of New York native Steven Marks who saw a gap in the local market for the authentic Mexican food he had been brought up with and loved so much. With a menu built on traditional Mexican flavours made from only the best ingredients, the brand is a celebration of all things Latin – the food, the music, the art and the personality! With 17 restaurants already spanning three states and one territory, GYG continues to expand rapidly with up to 5 restaurants set to open by the end of 2012, driving the Mexican food wave that has swept Australia over the past six years.


About Misión México


Sunshine Coast couple Alan and Pam Skuse travelled to Mexico to volunteer at a refuge in 2000 only for it to close down after six months. Refusing to let the children return to life on the streets, they established their own refuge in Tapachula with the goal of providing a family environment rather than an institution. Caring for children of all ages who have been orphaned, abandoned or suffered abuse and neglect, the Misión México refuge has given hundreds of children a second chance at life, ensuring they receive care and an education. The Skuse’s also introduced the children to surfing making them the only surfers in Tapachula!


Sydney’s favourite food event, the month-long Crave Sydney International Food Festival, presented by Citibank is upon us!

Event organisers are gearing up for a jam-packed month of amazing food experiences across greater Sydney and regional NSW.

BBQ Madness

BBQ Madness

New to the festival this year are brilliant events such as Kitchen Garden, Surprise Saturday Lunch (both throughout October) and a Moveable Feast – a food truck-a-thon in George Street on Saturday October 20 October. They will join favourites such as Breakfast on Bondi (October 14), Night Noodle Markets – a fave of mine! (October 3-5, 8-12, 15-19), Barbecue Madness (October 6) and the fabulous World Chef Showcase (October 6 & 7).

Noodle Markets

Sydney International Food Festival, Sydney Noodle Markets


As the festival’s marquee event, the World Chef Showcase will kick off on October 6-7 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour. It’s the ultimate food lovers’ weekend bringing together the finest culinary talents from around the globe for a series of interactive and passionate presentations, cooking demonstrations, talks and tastings.

World Chef Showcase

World Chef Showcase

World Chef Showcase

World Chef Showcase


The showcase is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to indulge every foodie’s fantasy to get up close and personal with a number of international food luminaries including Massimo Bottura, the highest-ranked chef in Italy and #5 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2012, Jordi Roca from Spain (ranked second in the world!) and best-selling author Tessa Kiros (Venezia, Twelve, Falling Cloudberries), flying in especially from her home in Tuscany. These and other celebrity guests will be arriving from October 3.

New to World Chef Showcase this year is Talks & Thoughts, an exciting parallel program of talks and debates featuring some of the most inspiring (and challenging) minds from today’s world of food including Momofuku Seiobo’s David Chang and the much-loved Maggie Beer.

Festival Director Joanna Savill says the program features everything from full-scale community street-food fairs to intimate one-off dinners, featuring something for everyone.

“The number and type of events reflect Sydney’s incredibly diverse food scene and with literally hundreds and hundreds of events, there is so much to see and do and taste,” she said.

“The festival is all about enjoying amazing food, family and friends, and there’s no better backdrop than Sydney. There truly is something for everyone in the program.”

Other highlights in October include:

* Good Pub Grub (throughout October) – Get out and about on a pub crawl with a difference to taste some gastronomic pie greatness. Everything from crocodile tail pie, kangaroo pie and Tajima wagyu pie, plus oxtail and ale-braised veal pies are on the menu at some of Sydney’s best pubs for just $20 with a Coopers Pale.

*Sugar Hit (throughout October) – Indulge your sweet tooth with a special late night dessert platter (from 9pm) at Sydney’s best restaurants and finest hotels.

*Taste 101: a mastersclass in flavour (October 23 & 24) –This deliciously interactive three-hour masterclass in neurogastronomy will look at how our brains combine taste and smell to create flavour, hosted by wine writer Max Allen and food writer Richard Cornish.

*Kids in The Kitchen (throughout October) – Let the kids indulge in these fabulous hands-on baking classes for tots and tweens, covering everything from cupcakes, biscuits, pizza, Mexican and pasta-making. Events include cupcake baking classes at Sparkle Cupcakery (October 1, 3 & 5), lunch box treats at Sweetness the Patisserie (October 13, 20 & 27) and Mexican fiesta at North Sydney Community Centre.

*Street festivals (throughout October) – With dozens of great street-based events this year, there’s never been a better time to explore Sydney’s multicultural food scene. Seven new community festivals include The Lanes of Parramatta (October 18 & 19, 25 & 26); Paddington’s Pub Precinct Barbecue Madness (October 6); Meander Manly (October 23); Eat, Drink Neutral Bay (October 28); and Signature Dish events in Cabramatta and Canley Vale.

Crave Sydney International Food Festival (October 1-31) is a month-long celebration of extraordinary food experiences and one of five signature events in the NSW Events Calendar.

The full Crave Sydney International Food Festival program is available at

Tickets for the must-do World Chef Showcase are on sale now via Ticketmaster.





I like events in Sydney that are a bit quirky and provide a difference experience to the ‘norm’. Suffice to say I’m intrigued by the Eat Art Truck, fusing progressive street food with some of the country’s coolest street art, which has opened its windows to the public with renowned street artist Phibs as the launch artist. I’ll be heading to sample the delights tonight, I’ll keep you posted on my Twitter feed @sydneysocial101

Former Tetsuya Sous Chef, Stuart McGill, is behind the burners with former Quay chef, Brenton Balicki, by his side in one of the 10 food trucks selected and issued with a license by the City of Sydney.  The well-credentialed truck will be feeding hungry Sydney-siders dishes ranging from $6 to $12 using seasonal produce including pulled pork buns, twice cooked beef served ‘ssam style’, karaage prawns, sides of seasonal pickled vegetables and desserts like Japanese favourite ‘annindofu’.

Street artist Phibs, whose works are seen all over Melbourne and Sydney and have been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, will craft one of his signature artworks on the truck’s huge removable canvas on May 23. Diners will be able to watch live as the artwork takes shape and then tours the streets of Sydney.

A mix of up and coming and well-respected street artists have been invited to paint the truck’s canvas over coming months, with a new artwork featuring on the truck at least once a month.

Stuart’s menu, influenced by his time in some of Australia’s best kitchens as well as time spent living in Japan, will push the boundaries of street food with regularly changing dishes depending on season, the best ingredients available and influences from the artists who paint the truck.  His dishes will challenge the limits and demonstrate that food truck fare can be innovative and impressive.

The custom made truck is equipped with a state of the art Electrolux kitchen, (provided by Electrolux as a sponsor of Eat Art Truck) and especially designed for the limited space, including cutting edge induction cooktops and combination steam ovens, giving Stuart all the appliances of a full-sized, well equipped kitchen for cooking his exciting new dishes.  The truck is powered by the most advanced point of sale system engineered and supplied by ImPOS, utilizing the latest software platforms and intuitive menu design to ensure Eat Art Truck fans spend less time in the queue.

Eat Art Truck will be feeding hungry Sydney-siders at confirmed sites including:

Queens Square in Sydney CBD

Hyde Park in Sydney CBD

Belmore Park in Haymarket

Victoria Park in Camperdown

Federal Park in Glebe

Sydney Park in Alexandria
Macquarie Place in Sydney CBD
Customs House Forecourt in Sydney CBD
Pitt Street Mall in Sydney CBD

Menu A will operate on Wednesdays & Thursdays, Menu B on Fridays & Saturdays. Sundays will be either menu A or B, or a mixture of both. Also – each Sunday there will be 1 experimental dish produced by Stuart & Brenton.

You can find Eat Art Truck’s vending locations and times on Twitter, Facebook and its website:

Twitter: @eatarttruck

Facebook: Eat Art Truck


LivingSocial’s Sumo Sized Salad Saver

I’m a big fan of the group buying sites here in Australia, I especially love it when you really feel like you’ve got a bargain! I actually went on a Vivid Harbour Cruise yesterday that I received from Living Social for just $39, which was valued at $120. Great value!

I’ve just been advised that LivingSocial has partnered with SumoSalad to bring Australians a famously delicious and healthy lunch at half price. Now I do love SumoSalad, so this offer makes me v happy (especially as my recent six-week fat burning challenge isn’t going quite as well as I’d hoped – Only 2kg down, oooppssiee)

Normally priced at $10.00, LivingSocial’s SumoSalad deal at just $5.00 offers a complete delicious lunch time meal. Each deal includes one mouth-watering small fast deli salad of choice, a tasty snack and a 600ml bottle of Mount Franklin water.

Adam Rigby, Executive General Manager of LivingSocial Australia and New Zealand, said, “We are delighted that another global brand has chosen LivingSocial as part of their marketing mix. Great partnerships with renowned brands like SumoSalad are integral to LivingSocial’s continuous commitment to create great experiences for our members”.

Luke Baylis, Managing Director of SumoSalad Australia, said, “We are pleased to be able to bring our fresh and healthy lunches to LivingSocial’s extensive membership network. We hope our range of fast deli salads inspire many more Australians to eat a healthy lunch every day.”

Up to two fast deli salads, from SumoSalad’s extensive range can be mixed and matched as part of the deal.  Popular choices include pesto chicken and avocado, roast pumpkin and chickpea, southwest chicken, or falafel, barley and quinoa.  A choice of favourite snack is also possible with yoghurt balls, apricot bites, trail mix or rice snacks on the menu. Combined with the 600ml bottle of Mount Franklin water, this deal makes for a truly satisfying lunch.

LivingSocial members can purchase two vouchers for themselves and up to 10 vouchers to share with health-conscious friends. To purchase the deal or for further information go to

To redeem, simply present your LivingSocial voucher to any participating Australian SumoSalad store when ordering. Store locations are profiled on the above link.

Pizza Hut Pizza for $2.00?!?!? Read on…

LivingSocial delivers a slice of Pizza Hut in a first for daily deals


In an Australian first for group buying sites, LivingSocial has partnered with Pizza Hut, the largest pizza chain in the world, to bring Aussies their favourite pizza at a slice of the price.


For just $2.00, pizza lovers can enjoy a full-sized nine-inch Pizza Mia with seven of the mouth-watering flavour combinations available.


The heavily discounted offer commenced at 12 am midnight EST, Sunday 13 May, 2012 on  and is available until sold out.


Adam Rigby, General Manager of LivingSocial Australia and New Zealand said, “We are thrilled Pizza Hut has chosen to exclusively partner with LivingSocial for this phenomenal deal, which is sure to delight pizza lovers Australia-wide.”


“An increasing number of globally recognised brands such as Pizza Hut are vying to be part of the booming daily deals market and LivingSocial is the perfect platform to reach consumers on mass,” continued Adam.

With a rich history of innovation, Pizza Hut has more than 12,500 restaurants and delivery units operating worldwide.


Anup Jain, Pizza Hut Australia’s head of food innovation and marketing said, “LivingSocial is a great vehicle to attract new customers to experience value with Pizza Hut’s range called Pizza Mia. Having witnessed the growth in group buying sites and knowing that our mutual consumer is looking keenly at value, we know LivingSocial is a fantastic match for our brand.”


The $2.00 LivingSocial Pizza Hut voucher is redeemable when ordering online at for orders picked up from any of Pizza Hut’s 270 stores across Australia.


For further details on the Pizza Hut Pizza Mia offer visit

Pizza, pizza, pizza come on!

Ok, I have a secret I’d like to tell, it’s something that I’d like to get off my chest… My name is Lisa and I’m a pizza-holic…

Seriously I have issues, despite being on Weight Watchers and convincing myself I don’t need it, when the cupboards are bear (who am I kidding, even when they’re full to bursting) I find myself leaning for my laptop and typing in ‘Crust Pizza’ into the search tab.

I feel I must clarify, it’s not just any pizza that pushes my buttons, here in Sydney there is one Pizza place that gets my pulse racing, and that my little SydneySocial101 readers, the pizza of choice is of course Crust Gourmet Pizza!

It is delish! In particular my personal fave is the Chicken Piri Piri, it’s to die for!! If you’re new to Sydney or are yet to discover the taste sensation that is Crust and you’re looking for inspiration in the form of take-away food, then you need look no further!

There has also been an exciting announcement recently from Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar in a bid to get pizza lovers to try something new, it has just introduced nine daring new items to their already delicious menu.

Back by popular demand is the satay chicken pizza, joined by eight delicious items all available in store now including the deliciously naughty rocky road calzone, hokey pokey calzone, cookies and cream dessert, chicken pesto club pizza, all-time favourite flavour peri-peri chicken in a calzone form, vegetarian calzone, prosciutto wraps and herb and garlic ciabatta.

Pesto Chicken Club

Crust Head Chef, Peter Augoustis, said the menu items were a reflection of Crust’s customers’ tastes and what they desired when they visited their local Crust store: “Ever since we took the satay chicken pizza off the menu in 2010 we have had customers inundating us with requests asking for it back. They have also been vocal about having a garlic bread option, which we’ve decided to give a gourmet touch by using a traditional Italian loaf ciabatta. That’s one of the great things about Crust, the interaction we have with our customers and being able to deliver what they want to see at their local pizza bar.”

He said the desserts which included a rocky road calzone, hokey pokey calzone and cookies and cream dessert were rich and luscious and a move into sweet treats to offer something different for every customer: “These gourmet desserts are the perfect way to finish your meal and share with family and friends. This will take our desserts menu to six items which already includes gelato, tiramisu and a classic chocolate mousse.”

To launch the new menu, Crust is encouraging its customers to “dare to be different” and try the new menu items rather than sticking with their usual order.

Satay Chicken Pizza

If a customer buys a new menu item, they can in turn dare Crust to do something just by posting a photo of their new menu item and writing their desired dare on the Facebook page (

All new menu additions are available for pick-up or delivery from Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

For more information and store locations visit or head to the Facebook page at

About Crust

Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars launched in 2001 with a single store in Annandale, Sydney, and has since grown to more than 100 stores across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. In 2010 Crust opened its first international store in Holland Village, Singapore, and has now expanded into New Zealand.

From day one, Crust has been committed to offering customers a healthier choice, and was one of the first pizza chains to provide independently tested nutritional details on its top selling pizzas to customers both online and in store.

Crust prides itself on being sensitive to customers’ health needs, and supplies detailed allergen fact sheets online and in store to help people with allergies and food intolerances select appropriately. It was one of the first pizza take away chains to introduce gluten free bases and is a member of the Coeliac Society of Australia.

Echoer – Featured Blogger


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