Cypriot halloumi pormotion, Bahari, 179 Swan Street, Richmond. Phone: 9427 7898
How many of the many invites, spam, deals and inducements Consider The Sauce receives worthy of further investigation?
One in 50?
I don’t keep count, but the number is probably closer to one in 100 or even higher.
But the invite from Bella at Progressive PR and Publicity impressed.
For starters, it was boldly, unapologetically stated right upfront in the covering email: “Our client is the Cypriot agricultural organisation Panagrotikos.”
Kudos for that when so many such communications are sly or even deliberately misleading.
And I was for sure interested in halloumi cheese – I eat it, mostly in Lebanese pies and pizzas, but know next to nothing about its history, how it’s made or where it comes from.
So this event looked like a nice chance for knowledge to be gained.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, was this an event being held at a restaurant or venue that I would otherwise be interested in checking out?
The answer in this case was an emphatic yes – the event’s venue was the Bahari restaurant of Philip Vakos, an alumni of MasterChef.
Not that that impressed CTS at all – as I’m sure most readers will know.
But Cypriot food?
I threw the “plus one” chore out there to CTS readers …
… and so it was that regular CTS reader and leaver of comments Mitchell and I rocked up to Bahari, surprised to actually arrive early given the peak-hour traffic we were forced to negotiate.
We met Bella as we entered – and then unfolded a most pleasant surprise.
Because in the logistics of ensuring our attendance at this event, I had not twigged – as I should have – that Progressive PR was the business of very good and lovely old friend from my Sunday Herald Sun days, Jodie Artis.
Jodie was one of record company stars when I was doing the Sunday Herald Sun entertainment thing. I put a lot of store in family, networks and connections.
My jaw pretty much hit the ground when Bella said: “But you know Jodie …”
But of course!
After that, I knew this was going to be a very cool night.
And it was.
Mind you, the place was packed – but only with a few of my fellow bloggers.
And I learned precious little about halloumi, though chef Vakos did create Cypriot/Greek sausages called sheftalies.
There was speechifying by various dignitaries – Anastasis Yiapanis (Panagrotikos Association of Cyprus), Theodoros Ahhas (Cyprus Cattle Farmers Organization), Georgios Kyprianou (Pittas Diary Industries) and George Stogias (Economotechniki LTD).
And fair enough, too, after all they were paying for this bash!
But right from the start the food kept coming and – the reason I have chosen to perpetrate this so-far rather long-winded post – it was magnificentl.
Really, seriously this was super good – and far, far better than I would normally (and cynically) expect from a PR-generated event.
Onya, Bella and Jodie!
There was no stinting on portions – when a platter was exhausted, it was replaced with more of the same.
It was all excellent.
See the menu below.