Volume 3, Issue 2, (Originally Published on Monday 11 March 2013)
First discovered by his Instagram uploads on Facebook, second-year John Azzopardi has travelled a slow but sure road to success in the Australian food industry. It is this growing fame which led to Azzopardi finding himself in charge of the entire menu for the University of Melbourne’s annual Law Students’ Society Law Camp for 2013. While De Minimis initially harboured some doubt about Azzopardi’s capacity to cook for the campers, what initially sounded like an uphill proposition proved to be an overwhelming success over the course of the weekend.
Friday night’s Huxtaburgers were anything but merely ordinary burgers. The patties were made of coarsely ground grass-fed wagyu beef, and served with flavourful aged cheddar and house-made chili. Azzopardi had clearly thought carefully about the blend of beef and fat ratio he was using. Vegetarians were given the generous option of portobello mushroom burgers with pesto mayo and asiago cheese. This was certainly a welcome change from the usual soy protein faux-meat creations usually served at camps.
At the crack of dawn, the happy campers arose to organic, cage-free scrambled eggs with spring onions. The spring onion is a species of onion from Asia with slender bulbs, similar to other types of onion. In fact, spring onions are very young onions which have been harvested before the bulb has had a chance to swell. It is rumoured that Azzopardi picked spring onions to represent the newness of the first-year law students, and to remind them that their chance to shine will come in the later semesters of their JD degree.
Saturday dinner featured olive-oiled multiple-hour slow-roasted lamb and a variety of sides, including a Moroccan carrot salad, Bolivian quinoa and Greek cucumber yoghurt sauce. The lamb was so succulent and tender that knives were unnecessary, and this ultimately helped to streamline the dishwashing process. Quinoa has been receiving a lot of media attention in the past few months. Its newfound status as a ‘miracle food which is also really cool to talk about’ has led to higher market prices and consequent claims that poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain. Azzopardi, who studied business at an undergrad level, assured the campers that the quinoa boom can only be a good thing for some of the world’s poorest nations.
Of course, it is rare for camp food to be without flaws, especially when the campers are law students who take their own opinions a little too seriously. “I’m not sure where John was going with the Moroccan carrot salad,” one camper confessed. “It was a little too offbeat for my generic preferences. Sometimes when you’re really drunk all you want is a bowl of nachos.”
One of the self-inflicted vegans (who wishes to keep his/her identity and gender secure) was also less than positive. “I guess I found it hard being around so much lamb.”
Head Kitchen Assistants Yi Long Li (‘The Naked Chef Who Actually Did All The Work’) and Ken Kour (‘The Horsemeat Fanatic’) succinctly summarised last weekend’s camp food endeavour for De Minimis: “We’re quitting law school to takeover the food industry.”
Tessa mainly eats roasted broccoli and artisan ice cream. She did not attend camp.