'Dear Liz,' read the invitation, 'At V Spot Café, we are passionate about promoting clean eating and nutrient dense, minimally-processed food that is low in sugar and high on taste. We’d love to showcase a delicious range of breakfast items from our menu. With this in mind, we hope you can join us for an intimate evening of Breakfast (our way) for Dinner.'
This was one of the more unusual, enticing, and I must say fabulously innovative, invitations I have received in all my many years as a food writer. 'Dear Chrissie,' I replied. 'Thank you for your kind invitation. Wow! What a clever idea. Yes, I'll be there with bells on!'
The menu for the Breakfast for Dinner event was interesting, delicious and nourishing. It included:
I had the opportunity to catch up with Chrissie after the event. Our conversation appears below:
Chrissie, thank you again for inviting me to your Breakfast for Dinner event, it was such a pleasure to meet you and your daughter, and sample your delicious food.
Please tell me a little about your background: where did you live originally and how long have you been a chef working in Canberra?
I was born in Narrandera in New South Wales, and came to Canberra about a thousand years ago to work as an apprentice chef at The Tower Restaurant for Theo Moulis, who also owned Bacchus Tavern, the first real restaurant I ever went to. After my apprenticeship, I worked front of house. As a people person, I really enjoyed the interaction with customers. I also worked at Peaches and Rascals, as well as numerous other cafes, bars and restaurants.
What is the inspiration behind V Spot Café and how long ago did you open?
My position was made redundant in March 2013 and, although I was devastated at the time, it did give me an opportunity to think about what I really wanted to do. My kids had finished school and were quite independent, so I considered what I wanted rather than what I needed to do. I had always loved hospitality and figured this was a good time to go back. I wanted to create a happy place where people ( staff, suppliers, customers) were valued above all, where the food was minimally processed, healthy and delicious and the coffee really good. The decision to go vegetarian/vegan was based on three things: the lack of a full commercial kitchen, my recent love affair with raw food and my view that Canberra had very few modern Australian style vegetarian eateries.
Tell me a little about your food philosophy and the menu at V Spot...
I love food! Creating it and eating it. I aim to provide real, clean, nutrient dense, minimally processed food with minimal sugar. I prefer to use locally sourced and ethically produced ingredients. I believe that food should be fun, healthy, joyful, not too time consuming and not something to stress about. Our menu reflects that. We have lots of gluten free options ,as more and more people are avoiding gluten because they are intolerant or just feel better without it.
Tell me about some of the locally produced foods that you sell...
I am a proud Canberran and think we have some fantastic producers here. We use Lindsay & Edmunds chocolate, The Fix: cold pressed juice, The Muesli Bar muesli, Veganarchy baked treats, Deek's bread and Real Chai. I love encouraging and promoting young Canberrans as well.
Who are your food heroes and why?
Jamie Oliver because he isn't pretentious. Janella Purcell for her amazing wholefood plant based recipes. Mimi Kirk, Mal Valcorza, Russell James - for creating simple, nutrient dense, beautiful health giving food raw food recipes. I probably have cook books by 100s of others too.
When it comes to cookbooks, do you like the pages to be kept pristine, or splattered with oil and other good things?
Pristine. I'm a bit OCD!
Is there a (short) recipe you’d like to share with my readers?
Yes! Chia Seed Pudding:
Soak about 30g chia seeds and 3 chopped Medjool dates in about 1 cup milk or Mylk overnight in the fridge. Next morning add fruit, nuts, seeds, yogurt, LSA or whatever you like. An easy protein packed breakfast or anytime snack,
And finally, what’s for dinner at your place tonight?
LOL - leftover sausage on toast with tomato sauce! Yum! The kids are both out. : )
Postcards from our Breakfast for Dinner...
V Spot Café is located on the Corner of City Walk and Petrie Plaza in Canberra city. For opening hours, menus and more about the venue, visit the web site. You'll also find them on Twitter and Facebook.
Tell me dear readers, have you ever eaten breakfast for dinner? And local readers, have you been to the V-Spot
Café in Canberra city?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.