Meeting Lorisse

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Dandenong World Fare, Dandenong Market

It’s all a bit confusing.

We’ve been Facebook friends for a while, hooking up there on the basis of our numerous friends and former colleagues.

We’ve had some fun chat and even a few more reflective and personal moments through messages.

I certainly didn’t have Lorisse – or anyone else for that matter – in mind when I posted about not getting stuck in a rut.

But several weeks back, I was gazing rather absentmindedly at my computer screen and Facebook, when I thought: “Now that’s someone I want to meet!”

I mean, what’s not to love – big heart, whacky sense of humor, Stephen King fan, ardent feminist and sports nut without out being humourlessly obsessive about either, fully paid-up member of the sub-editor sub-clan of the journalist fraternity …

Why leave it to chance and some possible future gathering of former staffers of the Sunday Herald Sun, where Lorisse worked for about four years starting – it seems – almost immediately after my own departure?

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My inquiry about meeting up for dinner was greeted with an unequivocal “Yes!” … but a nasty virus intervened and some rescheduling was done.

And then came the big announcement – Lorisse is departing in a matter of weeks for a gig in Abu Dhabi.

So … am I meeting a new friend or bidding farewell to an old one?

It feels like something of both, which seems about right.

Picking up my pal at her Frankston pad, we hit the road for the Dandenong World Fare and proceed to have a swell time – alternatively gobbing some pretty good food and yabbering away about our numerous mutual interests, as well as talking rather briefly with fabulous foodie Nat Stockley.

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event is not as big and sprawling as I have been expecting.

But the stalls, numbering about 50 all up I reckon, are well laid out; getting around is easy and the crowd not too overwhelming.

Overall, the food available is quite diverse, seems of uniformly high quality and is all very affordable.

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We start with some crunchy bhel puri that could’ve been a bit more tangy.

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Then it’s on to some pretty good grilled chicken with salad from the Nepalese stall. The mildish chilli sauce is a winner and we wish there was more of it.

Despite the diversity, the one thing we are having difficulty spying is something spicy, something with a real heat hit.

So after a few more bits and pieces, we finish on a high note with Korean popcorn chicken from the Ghost Kitchen crew.

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It’s a true cliche – this is how KFC should be: Tender, slightly peppery, delicious.

The chilli sauce is what we’ve been craving – it’s homemade, hot and divine

We look at the dab they’ve supplied, we look at each other … and then I return to the Ghost Kitchen stall to have ALL our chook bits smothered in the fiery elixir.

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