Ann's Blog

Published on May 10th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard


Hot – Manu Feildel

Is it the accent?  The agreeable height?  The hair, the stubble, the celebrity status?

Probably all of the above.

I don’t know what makes French chef and My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel such a hot item, but hot he is.

When berardo’s announced he was coming to Noosa to do lunch and dinner for the launch of his new book, French for Everyone, the events were booked out within hours.Manu

The waiting list for a spot with Manu grew and  many people (mostly women, of course) missed out.

Poor me – I copped the job of interviewing Manu at both the lunch and dinner.

Jim Berardo, owner of the renowned Noosa restaurant, berardo’s Restaurant & bar, has asked me to do these interview/Q&A’s over these literary lunches rather than have the author just get up and talk.

So far, all the authors who have come to Noosa to launch their books (and we get a lot) have agreed to have me get up with them, start the Q&A with a couple of questions and then go around the restaurant with the microphone to involve the guests.  It’s very interactive and it works.

(The only one who wouldn’t let me get up with him, or even let me touch the microphone, was Jamie Durie.)  I’ll say no more.

Anyway, back to Manu.

We had a delightful lunch with all guests hanging on his every word and asking fab questions and getting into the spirit of it all.

The berardo’s chefs cooked three courses from Manu’s book.

Well, swoon we all did.

Yes, swoon over Manu, but more swooning over the delicious, the sublime, the melty, wondrous, flavoursome  beef sort ribs.

They were so good, I dreamt of them that night when I really should have been dreaming about Manu.


The recipe is in the book, called Beef Shortrib (the French name sounds so much better Cote de Boeuf Braisees au Vin Rouge).  It’s incredibly simple.  Just season the beef short ribs, seal them, then fry off some chopped carrot and celery and onion and then put the lot in a big casserole dish with a bottle shiraz and some rosemary sprigs cook for about two and half hours.

The best, most flavoursome meat, I can recall ever eating.  And cheap to make.  We had the beautiful meat on a creamy potato puree…what else

The berardo’s chefs served pickled carrots with goat cheese with the ribs, another recipe from Manu’s book, used as an entree in the book, but it worked so wonderfully well with the beef as the tang of the pickled carrots cut through the richness of the meat.  (I sound like a judge on MasterChef.)


We started the lunch with Manu’s smoked rainbow trout and cucumber salad.  Very light and refreshing and a good lead into the heavier rib dish.

The cucumber was peeled length ways very thinly and tossed in creme fraiche which had been mixed with Dijon mustard.  Super light and the rainbow trout was flaked and the whole thing presented with lovely edible flowers and dill and bits from the garden.


My man Geoffrey (who makes me swoon more than Manu does) and I made the smoked trout dish at home last weekend.  We put our own spin on it.  Made a potato salad and then topped with smoked salmon and the ribbons of cucumber.  We put a little chilli oil around the lot and if I may say so myself (most modestly) it was a good as Manu’s.


We finished the Manu lunch with a chocolate and pear tart and watermelon and champagne granita, but I didn’t eat it ‘cos I was too busy interviewing and I was too scared I’d put on weight.


Because I had to go back to dinner and repeat the whole event again that evening, I got to eat the ribs all over again.



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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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