Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

A Silent Agreement coming soon!

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Pre-release Facebook Banner Video

At last! It is September and spring has sprung!We have been holding ourselves back with all the excitement leading up to our September release and premiere.Before we get to that, though, we have some great new material coming up including an Auslan Q&A with Davo Hardy, Joshua Sealy and Jennifer Maclaughlan, as well as some publicity listings, plus many other goodies to share.Big events are on the way, so stay tuned!

Posted by A Silent Agreement on Thursday, August 31, 2017

A recent interview

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Actor Focus: Paul Mercurio

Merc’s Bier Café – one year ago today.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

One year ago today Merc’s Bier Cafe opened its doors to the first paying customers. It was a fairly long road getting there with a variety of speed humps, hurdles and difficulties to work around but we got there. I still remember the very first customers coming in – well the first customers to sit down to order and eat my food – it was like jumping off a cliff for me, all the hard work to open was done now the real work and test began….would they like it….would people come? It was a resounding yes!

The next two and a half months were crazy – crazy busy, crazy hard, crazy exciting and ultimately crazy disappointing. It was certainly a baptism of fire on many levels and sadly a fire in which my dream of having my own place would be burnt to the ground not literally but figuratively. Two and a half months of crazy and I had to walk away – not from my dream because that had already gone by this time, but from the business. Put simply it was devastating, I walked away from some great people – my kitchen team that worked so hard and were so committed to my food and our customers.

Stories of business partnerships falling apart are a dime a dozen and my business partnership breakdown is by no means unique it is, in fact, as mundane as all the rest of them. I won’t bore you with the details but I will say I never lied to anyone, I never lost the vision, I treated everyone with respect and at all times endeavoured to act with the utmost of integrity. Along the way I made a few mistakes and learnt from them however the biggest mistake was to believe that everyone else involved in the business would act and behave in that same manner as me.

I effectively left Merc’s Bier Cafe on the 13th December and put in my written termination around the 20th of that same month. I have often said I walked away with nothing which is not true at all. I did walk away without any payment for all of my work or any thanks for that matter. I did walk away with a debt that was promised to be repaid and still hasn’t been in full. I did walk away with some new friends and a raft of experiences that over time I have come to learn some invaluable things from. As Richard Bach wrote in (I think) Illusions of a Reluctant Messiah – “there is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hand’. The problem that was Merc’s Bier Cafe most certainly held a great gift for me and I have gradually over the course of the last 10 months unravelled those gifts and count myself lucky to be the recipient of them.

Merc’s Bier Cafe ceased to be in the first week of February – although some say it ceased to be the day I left.

So today I thank all those involved in those early days for the effort, commitment and passion you put in to making Merc’s happen. I also apologise for the hurt caused along the way – I tried to put that right as best I could. I know there are still a lot of us hurting and I am angry about that – some say “that’s business” but that is not how I will do business.

Merc’s will live another day, I will do it my way with the lessons learnt and with the friends I have made.

 

Cheers

Life takes Time.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Ham – a timely subject and a vexing question…

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

At this time of year I am sure I am not the only person that goes out and buys a whole leg ham on the bone for the Xrissy table – I do a turkey in the weber also but more on that in another thread.

I picked up my ham today from my local butcher whose ham I will buy sliced every now and then and it is pretty good. I normally buy my Xmas ham from a small smoking company which unfortunately sold up around October this year – his hams were awesome!

So I got my ham home and just chanced to look on the label – I am a label reader – and found that my ham was in fact only 78% pork the other 22% was made up of water, salt, nitrites, acid regulator, sugar and other stuff etc etc In my label reading travels regarding ham I have found ham in the supermarket with as much as 95% pork and as low as 55% pork.

Now the thing is I like Kevin’s ham but I am not sure I want to be eating only 78% pork? My expectations on a gourmet ham would be that it be in the 90% pork range. Am I wrong; is the quality of a ham dependant on the amount of pork in the ham? Or is the quality all about the quality of the meat and the quality of the brine and smoking i.e. in the magic of Butchers like Kevin and how they ply their craft?

Obviously a ham with a higher pork content will be a drier ham, a more meatier texture, flavour and mouth feel – something I like in a whole leg ham. A ham with a lower pork content is going to be a little more wet, a softer texture and possibly a little more salty.

Where do you guys and girls sit in regards to your xmas ham? I know there are a couple of butchers lurking here what say you about pork content levels in ham?

Why?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Why do people who don’t know you, never had anything to do with you, why do they take the time , why do they make the effort to post aggressive, spiteful, insulting messages to you.

Okay to me.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen often but I am completely perplexed and rather angry that someone I have never met or spoken to has sent me a couple of tweets which have been abusive, insulting and aggressive.

Why?

What do they get out of it? Is it a sense of power (hiding behind their handheld media device)

What annoys me is I am angry about it, I feel like it is unfair and I want to fix it. I have done nothing wrong and yet I feel the need to sort it out?

Strange! People are weird!

It is a strange idea that some one that doesn’t know you at all has decided to not like you. I guess that is just as strange as some one who doesn’t know deciding to like you although that scenario feels a lot nicer.

Water off a ducks back – working on that – I wanted to rant and rave get them to see the error of their ways to apologise for being rude and all that….instead I just blocked them, never to be heard of or thought of again!

 

Fresh Idea? I think not!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

I only just heard Jamie Oliver is the new face of Woolworths! He is a good guy, talented, passionate, successful, a moral food crusader etc He is going to tell Australian how to eat healthier – all good things. He is going to help change the way you and I shop and eat – good for him and Woolies.

 

I am just a little tired, frustrated and annoyed that Australian companies keep using overseas celebrities to promote Australia???? Coles has signed Heston, target Gok, Big W has Eric Stonestreet, you got Jerri and Dawn and so on and so forth……the list will continue to get longer.

 

Yes I am envious too because I think – I know I could do a good job of it also. Don’t get me wrong I am not putting myself anywhere near the same step as Jamie or Heston or Curtis….but I have been championing Australian fresh food, produce and producers for the last 7 years.

 

I have also had extensive discussions with Woolworths to try and get support for my show Mercurio’s Menu so we could continue to tell the stories of the Australian fresh food growers, suppliers, producers, supporters and customers but to no avail. So it does irk me to know that Woolies will more than likely pay Jamie the equivalent (or more) of what I needed to shoot two more 13 part series of Mercuio’s Menu – and that is probably only for the first year and doesn’t include production costs for any of the adds they will shoot with him.

 

Oh well, that’s the biz! Good luck to them.

Recipe from the cooking demo I did yesterday and also today at the Feast and Family Field Day At Morning Star Estate.

Sunday, October 6th, 2013
Mussels in Coconut and Beer
25g of unsalted butter
25 mils of olive oil
1 long green chili – thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 Lebanese eggplants
2.5 cm piece of ginger – peeled
½ cup of peas 1 stick of lemon grass –
4 Kaffir lime leaves – remove middle stalk and thinly sliced
1 ½ kilo’s of fresh mussels
1 330mil bottle of Hoegaarden Wit Beer
1 27o mil can of coconut milk
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 bunch of fresh Coriander to finish
Clean and de-beard the mussels discarding any with broken shells, set the rest aside in a colander. Place a pot large enough to hold all the mussels on the stove over a medium high heat. Add in some olive oil and when hot add in some chopped garlic and chilli and cook stirring for a minute or so being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the mussels to pot and about ¼ cup of the beer, put lid on and turn heat to high. Bring beer to a boil and boil/steam the mussels shaking pot to get the liquid swirling around the mussels. When all the mussels have opened remove from the heat and put mussels into a colander making sure to reserve the cooking liquid.
On the stove melt the butter and oil in the same pot. When butter is foaming add the garlic and chili and stir. With the flat of your kitchen knife or palm of your hand smash the peeled ginger so that it is squashed and falls into chunks add this to the pan. Cut the green chilli in half lengthways and add to the pot. Peel away the tough outer layers of the Lemon grass stalk to reveal the pale lower section of the stem. Use a sharp knife to trim the base. Cut the stalk into 4 pieces and then smash the stem with the flat side of a knife to bruise and release the flavour add to the pot. Cut the Lebanese eggplant in half lengthways and then cut again lengthways so you end up with four pieces from each eggplant. Now chop them into pieces about 5 mm thick and add to pan along with the peas and the Kaffir lime leaves. Give it all a stir and cook until the eggplant has softened – about five minutes.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve to remove dirt and shell and then return to the pot then add the rest of the beer and the coconut milk and give it all a good stir, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer add the fish sauce stir through and allow to cook for ten minutes. Add the chopped coriander and the cooked mussels and stir so the soup gets into the mussels drenching them well in the sauce. Taste the sauce for seasoning – if the mussels are really fresh they may release a lot of fresh salty sea water into the sauce in which case you will not need to add any salt. Add some freshly cracked black pepper simmer for a couple more minutes.
Divide the mussels and sauce equally into to two large bowls and garnish with a little more freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with some toasted crusty sourdough.
Serves: 2 as a main 4 as an entrée.

Proud Dad – you bet!

Monday, July 15th, 2013

But it’s more than that have a listen!

Winter is an original written, composed and sung by Erin!

https://soundcloud.com/erinmercurio

It’s not that hard!!

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I might quickly point out that I am talking about Pizza and not some other issue!

Seriously though I had the worst pizza last night from a local home delivery service pizza shop. It makes me wonder how do people get it so wrong? I was in a little country town last week riding my new motorcycle home and I had one of the best pizza’s in a long time. So why in a town like Melbourne do so many get it wrong.

People try to save money by using very bad cheap ingredients and then pile them high so the pizza looks good and is big and heavy but it is also crap! The best pizza’s only have a few quality ingredients on them and are wonderous to behold and eat.

Have you ever asked yourself how can a pizza joint be offering two large pizza’s and a bottle of sugar and fizz all for the low price (and even lower quality of ingredients) of $12!!!!!!

And while I am at it do some research on the stuff that is supposedly shredded ham it is not what you think it is!!!! But is is cheap.

 I should just stop ordering pizza – my pizza oven is in the garage waiting on the knocking out of a wall so I can get it around the back of the house and set it up! No more pizza till I am making my own again!