Jan O'Connell
  • New book coming soon A Timeline of Australian Food:Mutton to Masterchef chronicles 150 years of Australian food, beginning with the first Australian cookbook in the 1860s and ending in 2010 with the game-changing cooking show, MasterChef. It will be in bookstores in December 2017. No responses 23/07/2017
  • Turning 60 in Paris I was turning 60 and my objective was to be as far away as possible from anyone I knew. This led to five amazing days in Paris and further culinary adventures in Umbria. No responses 23/07/2017
  • The Yoplait story In 1982, when the French were still testing atomic bombs in the Pacific, launching a product with a French name could have been problematic. But research groups gave the go-ahead, so we were off to Paris to shoot the commercial that changed the Australian yoghurt market forever. No responses 23/07/2017
  • Has it come to this? Frog in a Pond has been an Australian favourite for decades. But the DIY version (spotted in the bistro at the Barooga Sports Club, aka Sporties) just doesn't pass muster. No responses 22/07/2017
  • Food to go One night in 1900, Australia's first Prime Minister missed his train, after stopping for a tot of whisky; how the mobile catering unit nearly caused a train wreck; and other tales from the history of Australia's Railway Refreshment Rooms. No responses 12/07/2017
  • Sky I was working on an ad campaign for a client's new building, Sky Plaza. So I consulted an online thesaurus looking for "words associated with sky". The words on the screen sang to me. Some line breaks and a little punctuation turned them into a poem. No responses 14/04/2017
  • High wire Popular history has it that the underwired bra was, in fact, invented by Howard Hughes to prop up the truly remarkable breasts of Hollywood legend Jane Russell. But I've had a love/hate relationship with these frustrating pieces or ironmongery. No responses 14/04/2017
  • Easy to get a lawn with Along the roadside as you approach Bungendore is a series of signs promoting the product of one of the town’s major industries. (Perhaps its only major industry.) Canturf. No responses 14/04/2017
  • Buy my book Me and My Big Mouth is a personal account of how Australian food has changed in the baby-boomers’ lifetime. It’s the story of a generation that can remember life before pizza – a generation that has seen the demise of the local grocer and, decades later, the resurrection of the small local deli. No responses 12/02/2017
  • Salt from the earth A short drive from Dimboola towards Adelaide takes you to the Pink Lake, where salt harvesting started in the 1860s. We took a tour, as part of the Dimboola Food Festival. No responses 23/08/2016
  • Truffle Kerfuffle – or Truffle Oil Kerfuffle? It’s not snobbery. Truly it isn’t. It’s just that truffle oil doesn’t taste like truffles. Or rather, it has one note that resembles the truffle flavour in a very unsubtle, strident way. In fact, it’s a chemical – a chemical called 2,4-dithiapentane – and it’s made in a laboratory, No responses 16/06/2016
  • A blast from the past The name Raytheon is one you see every time you hop off a flight at Canberra airport. They make weapons. Very big weapons. But they also invented the microwave, which was followed in due course by some very earnest microwave cook books. No responses 15/06/2016