The week that was (24 March)

Last week I wrote about the impact of WWII on our culinary landscape, through the advent of fertilisers and pesticides. It is important to note the post-war fall out was not all negative.
Touted as “the land of opportunity”, waves of European immigrants arrived on our shores looking for a new beginning. The culinary coup was that each of them brought a deeply ingrained taste for the cooking of their homeland: the food of their country, their region and of course their mother.
Their Baltic and Mediterranean sensibilities were generally at odds with Australia’s strong British tabletop traditions and yet their climates were so much more in line with our own. Their food made sense, when they could find a way to procure the produce. There would be no greater poster boy for that wave of immigration and its effects on our shores than Beppi Polese. As Lethlean chronicles:

“The son of a farm labourer, Polese came to Australia from The Veneto region of Italy in 1952 having been imprisoned in an Austrian labour camp during WWII, from which he escaped to join the partisan movement in the mountains of northern Italy’s Friuli region until Mussolini’s defeat.
Before immigrating, Polese worked in grand European hotels in Switzerland, Rome, Florence and Venice.
Four years after arriving, the restaurant bearing his name opened.”

Beppi and his wife Norma Polese opened Beppi’s in 1956. The restaurant has served four generations of diners. This week Beppi passed away at 90 years old. The restaurant continues to this day in the hands of his son Marc.
Some Easter reading - 
Why has no one heard of Ana Ros? – Saveur ask the kitchen regarding chef Ana Ros, who will open the new season of Netfix’s Chef’s Table.
An Australian Chef in Hong Kong, Serving Casual French Fare – NY Times talk to James Henry about his new digs in HK.

WA organic farmer must pay $804,000 in court costs after losing GM legal battle – The Guardian on the heart-wrenching story of Steve Marsh vs his neighbour (and, it turns out the financial aid of Monsanto).
World’s largest community kitchen at Golden Temple goes organic - because it IS possible, via SBS. 
Italy to change law to make all supermarkets give unsold food to the needy – Italy following in the footsteps of my mates the Frenchies in The Independent. How long until Australia does likewise? 
Finally, while you are enjoying your Easter eggs this weekend, spare a thought for the birds who provide us with the non-chocolate variety. If you give a cluck about free-range eggs (and putting in place some serious parameters) sign this petition now.