Kitchen Garden: Sampling regional delights with dinner | The Canberra Times

whats-on, things-to-do, susan parsons, kitchen garden, garlicious grown garlic

Lucky Canberrans must support our country producers within an arc from Yass to Collector to Braidwood. Bellchambers Produce in Fyshwick, established in 1948, is a place for the home gardener to browse. There are paper bags of chicken mash for your organic poultry, bins of black sunflower seeds and dog food. A bloke in a ute parked next to me had the tray filled with pea straw and six bags of Martin’s Premium Potting Mix. I purchased some of the latter – Martin’s Fertilizers are based in Yass. Hessian sacks of seed potatoes had lured me to Bellchambers. Six years ago I was given a seed potato (which had been “chitted” or allowed to develop one large eye) at an Italian cafe in Cronulla. My single spud, which the cafe people said was bintje, produced 14 new potatoes 10 weeks later (Kitchen Garden, February 11, 2015). This time I have planted the Dutch cream variety atop a 15cm layer of potting mix with a top layer of Who Flung Dung mulch and more potting mix. My potato looked like David Pope’s Canberra Times cartoon (September 17) of a Federal Minister’s head. If planting in the ground Bellchambers recommends a trench 20cm deep and when the potatoes have flowered you can bandicoot some baby new potatoes. They store better with a bit of dirt on them. The Heritage Nursery at Yarralumla has a printed sheet called Growing Potatoes in Canberra which includes tips such as “growing potatoes is a great way to break up heavy soils in new gardens”. They had bags with nine certified seed potatoes in three varieties but, as the nurseryman said a week ago, “sold out, COVID”. Tatey growing bags have an easy-to-harvest hatch if you are short of space. On September 20 clouds cleared to a blue sky and a group gathered in the stone walled garden at Helen Stephens Gallery in Collector for drinks and nibbles at the opening of “Insectarium”. The guest of honour was possibly Seamus, the wool-curled sheep over the wall who welcomed some nose stroking. The jewel-like art works of bees with honeycomb, beetles, bogong moths and butterflies will be on exhibition until October 25 (Fridays to Sundays 11am-4pm). Try Some Cafe just up the road for a bite to eat (check their opening times). Enjoy a tasting at Collector Wines where the spring pink 2019 Shoreline rose has “mandarin, cherry, rosewater and spice aromas”. We came away with six bottles. Outside, there are benches and tables beside raised beds of plants and rows of crab apples in pink and white bloom. The village creek is full and Lake George is blue with water. Cathy and Jenny, producers from Garlicious Grown in Braidwood, launched their black garlic in 2014 and it is used by leading chefs and shortlisted in the Food and Beverage Industry Awards this spring. They have shared a special recipe with us. The current season has been tough in

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Times Square Olive Garden losing $300G each week because of coronavirus restrictions

Olive Garden is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every week from just one location in New York City because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Times Square Olive Garden typically brings in $15 million a year, but now it’s losing $300,000 a week. That’s because of state restrictions on indoor dining, said Gene Lee, the CEO of Olive Garden’s parent company Darden Restaurants, on a Thursday call to investors.

“We start every single week $300,000 in the hole from a comp store basis,” Lee said about the Times Square location.

In fact, he said that location alone is costing the chain “50 basis points in comps.”

The Olive Garden in Times Square is losing $300,000 a week because of restrictions on indoor dining, Darden Restaurants CEO Gene Lee said Thursday. (Google Maps)


“That’s our best restaurant in the Olive Garden system,” he said. “We do over $15 million there and now we’re doing, you know, $2,500 a day.”

On Thursday, Darden Restaurants reported that Olive Garden’s same-restaurant sales were down 28.2 percent.

The Olive Garden locations that performed better during the quarter were restaurants that were allowed to offer indoor dining, Lee said.


“Overall, capacity restrictions continue to limit their top-line sales, particularly in key high-volume markets like California and New Jersey, where dining rooms were closed for the majority of the quarter,” Lee said. “In fact, restaurants that had some level of dining room capacity for the entire quarter averaged more than $75,000 in weekly sales, retaining nearly 80 percent of their last year’s sales.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DRI DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC. 97.31 +7.31 +8.12%


Olive Garden isn’t the only restaurant to be negatively impacted by capacity restrictions on indoor dining. Earlier this week, a study from the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that 87 percent of restaurants, bars and nightclubs in New York City were unable to pay their full rent in August.

“Even before the pandemic when operating at 100 percent occupancy, these small businesses were struggling to stay open,” Andrew Rigie, the NYC Hospitality Alliance executive director, said in a statement.

“Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent,” Rigie added.


However, restaurants in the city — including the Times Square Olive Garden — will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity starting on Sept. 30.

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Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant is losing $300,000 every week

  • Olive Garden’s Times Square location is losing $300,000 every week. 
  • Olive Garden same-store sales fell by 28.2% in the most recent quarter, parent company Darden reported on Thursday. Fifty basis points — or 0.5% — can be linked to the Times Square location. 
  • New York City has been slower to reopen restaurants than the rest of the US, and has not yet allowed indoor dining rooms to reopen. 
  • “I went up to a rooftop deck and it was two deep at the bar,” Darden CEO Gene Lee told investors. “It’s just a different life in Georgia. I know it’s hard for you guys in New York to even imagine that.” 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant is burning through $300,000 every week, as New York City restaurants struggle to survive. 

Pre-pandemic, Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant was the chain’s best-preforming location in the US, bringing in $15 million a year. Now the location is losing $300,000 every single week, according to Olive Garden parent company Darden’s CEO Gene Lee. 

“We start every single week $300,000 in the hole from a comp store basis … just from that one restaurant,” Lee said on a call with investors on Thursday. 

Olive Garden same-store sales fell by 28.2% in the most recent quarter, Darden reported on Thursday. According to Lee, 50 basis points can be linked to the Times Square location’s losses. 

While Olive Garden has higher costs as a massive, three-story restaurant in the heart of Times Square, most New York restaurants are struggling to turn a profit. According to a recent survey by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, 87% of the city’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments could not pay full rent in August. 

New York City has been slower to reopen indoor dining than the rest of the country. Restaurants will not be allowed to reopen dining rooms at 25% capacity until September 30. 

Lee told Wall Street analysts that outside of cities “life is normal,” with people happy to return to restaurants inside. The majority of Olive Garden restaurants are now profitable, with sales being dragged down by restaurants in areas with greater restrictions, according to Lee.

“I landed at an airport the other day and not one person had a mask on. I was in a hotel, I went up to a rooftop deck and it was two deep at the bar,” Lee said. “It’s just a different life in Georgia. I know it’s hard for you guys in New York to even imagine that.” 

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Pandemic slashes sales at Olive Garden’s Times Square location by 94%

An Olive Garden restaurant located in Times Square, New York.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

During a typical year, Olive Garden’s Times Square restaurant rakes in $15 million in sales.

But the coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on dining have wiped out the business of the chain’s best location, cutting its average weekly sales from $300,000 to less than $18,000.

Darden Restaurants CEO Gene Lee told analysts on the company’s fiscal first-quarter call that sales have slowed down to just $2,500 a day for the takeout-only location. Olive Garden accounts for roughly half of Darden’s overall revenue.

And the Olive Garden isn’t the only Darden restaurant that has seen its New York business falter. Lee also said that the three New York locations of the Capital Grille, a fine-dining chain owned by Darden, are losing millions of dollars every week in sales. 

Dining rooms, which are set to reopen at 25% capacity on Sept. 30, have been closed in the city since March. As of Monday, New York is the U.S. city with the hardest hit restaurant industry. According to Toast, the city’s restaurant revenue is down 65% compared with the same time a year ago.

The loss of tourism is among the factors hurting the New York restaurant industry, including the Olive Garden in Times Square. Pedestrian traffic in the New York City tourist hotspot has plunged to about 73% from the same time last year, according to the Times Square Alliance. Less than half of Times Square’s restaurants are open for outdoor dining.

Shares of Darden rose nearly 5% in morning trading after the company topped analyst estimates for its quarterly earnings. Darden’s overall sales fell 28% during its most recent quarter but it expects sales declines of only 18% next quarter.

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Woman Found In Bathroom After Being Shot Multiple Times


  • The two people involved were identified as Floyd Rush shot Latoya Smith
  • Rush fatally shot Smith with a handgun before killing himself
  • The relation between the two remains unclear

The Iowa City Police Department ruled Tuesday the deaths of two people Sept. 15 were a case of murder-suicide. Authorities said a 49-year-old man shot and killed a 45-year-old woman at their home before killing himself.

On the day of the incident, officers responded to the house after concerned family members saw through a window Latoya Smith laying on the bathroom floor. Officers broke open the door and found Smith and Floyd Rush dead, the Press-Citizen reported. The relation between the two remains unclear.

Police said Rush shot Smith with a handgun multiple times before killing himself. According to the police, no one else was home at the time of the incident.

Iowa City Police Capt. Denise Brotherton said the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s office and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office have not officially closed the case. Iowa City police were assisted in the investigation by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office and Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“I cannot provide further information, but it will not change that this was a murder-suicide,” she wrote in an email to the Press-Citizen. 

According to court documents, Rush was arrested for domestic assault causing an injury or mental illness following an incident in November 2018. In this case, Smith was not a victim but was named a protected party, The Gazette reported.

An officer was dispatched to the home hours before family members called 911. Brotherton said an agency requested the police check Rush’s home after he hadn’t shown up for work. However, when an officer arrived at the house, no one answered the door, the Gazette reported. 

“There was no other information provided to indicate that there was anyone in danger or other issues at play besides a person who did not arrive at work,” she wrote in an email to the Press-Citizen, adding that the department’s routine practice is to leave and follow up if no one answers the door and nothing else is suspicious.

“We would not have had enough information at the time to force entry into the home or search around the residence,” she wrote. 

crime scene Crime scene tape is pictured. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Decor duo answers the times with a store dedicated to the ‘peculiar’

There’s English designer Matthew Hilton, who despite being globally renowned after 30 years in the trade, retains his HQ in an old workshop in South London. And rising British star Lucy Kurrein, who handcrafts her own prototypes in her studio in a creative enclave past the East End. (She works with independent manufacturer Molinari to produce pieces such as the sculptural leather Otto sofa and armchair, based on the shape of a baseball mitt.)

Paris-based Belgian designer Eric de Dormael handcrafts his brass wire lighting first as pieces of jewellery, tiny enough to fit in the palm of his hand. Once satisfied, he works with French manufacturer DCW éditions to scale them up to room size.

A porcelain ‘Luna’ suspension lamp by Ann Demeulemeester for Serax; painting by Louise Olsen. Prue Ruscoe

The latest addition to the Spence & Lyda stable is Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. One of the fashion world’s famous “Antwerp Six”, fresh out of the Academy of Fine Art, Demeulemeester – along with fellow graduates including Dries Van Noten and Walter Van Beirendonck – rented a van to take their first collections to show in London, in 1986. She stepped away from her cult fashion brand in 2014, ostensibly retiring to tend her rose garden in the grounds of a Palladian-style chateau in the Belgian countryside.

I loved to always put new plates on the table saying, look what I made!

Ann Demeulmeester

Restless, she began experimenting with clay and then porcelain, installing a kiln in the basement of the mid-19th century property to create tableware for herself, photographer husband Patrick Robyn and those lucky enough to be invited over.

“I loved to always put new plates on the table saying, look what I made, but I never created any of them with the view to making them available commercially,” she told me a year ago, just as local brand Serax was about to launch an extensive collection of her work – crockery, but also fine glassware and robust steel cutlery – to critical acclaim.

Demeulemeester also designed lighting, initially at the behest of Robyn, she explained recently by phone.

“While I was working on the crockery Patrick asked, ‘Could you make me a large disc in porcelain, very sharp because I want to illuminate this or that part of the house?’ I said, ‘OK, I can try.’ But then, he wanted it in bone china, it had to be really thin, to be translucent. So I began experimenting and finally came up with the disc.

“Then Patrick suggested the base of the bulb should be black whereas most commercial bulbs of this sort have silver bases. So he painted one black, and we took that to Serax, which had it made. We worked with a local smithy to make the fixture which pivots by a single screw. It is very simple, but I think very beautiful.”

She has several versions of the fitting (appropriately called “Eclipse”) as wall sconces throughout the house. In fact, the

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Kitchen Garden: Blooming good fun in spring | The Canberra Times

whats-on, food-and-wine, susan parsons, kitchen garden

The spring equinox is a joyful time for gardeners. Our mystery photo of the first flowers of Floriade Reimagined and the last mouthful of fruit salad (Kitchen Garden, September 1) stumped readers. Floriade head gardener Andrew Forster knew it where it was as he helped plant that display with staff from the National Portrait Gallery. Deirdre Ward, of Campbell, first thought it was at The Lawns in Manuka, where rows of pansies and tulips are planted in the raised bed where a plane tree fell some months ago. She and husband Lionel had been eating at Typica, the cafe formerly known as ONA. Then they went to the National Portrait Gallery. Solved. In the Wards’ home garden bees are supping on the purple flowers of Hardenbergia. See the three ribbons of flowers at the NPG then swing in to the Pub Rock exhibition or at Floriade NightFeast on October 2 when Broadbean Catering is among two dozen venues celebrating food for Floriade Reimagined. Their exclusive event features pub rock food and music (bookings essential). Our Diggers Van Gogh’s Landscape sunflowers giveaway resulted in a haiku from Len Leason, of Griffith. A reader admired poppies and tulips outside the Peter Yorke Building (entry to John James Hospital). Walk to EQ Cafe and Bakehouse in Kent Street for a croissant with housemade strawberry jam or a lamington with a syringe filled with the jam. Pansies bloom outside the IGA on Giles Street in Kingston. After lunch at Pomegranate Restaurant nearby, order their special Turkish ice cream. Head chef and owner Erkin Esen says it contains the ingredient salep powder. It takes 1000 orchid roots to make 1kg salep consequently, Esen says, the orchids are endangered. Enjoy the treat while you can. At Kingston Foreshore a thousand poppies are fluttering in shades of orange, yellow and white in a breeze off the lake. Sit at tables in the sunshine with a takeaway healthy combo salad from Local Press Wholefoods, one block up Giles Street. They sell reusable cloth face masks. The three-layer cotton designs with fruit and avocados sold out quickly so you will have to email BigBiteEco, owned since 2017 by creative Australian designer Seonaidh. (Masks must not have gaps so add aluminium flashing or a pipe cleaner to the bit over the bridge of the nose if necessary. Gardeners should use a mask when working with compost, potting mix or perlite, and some mulches.) Floriade boxed plantings outside the National Library, the Yamba Drive emergency entry to the Canberra hospital, Gungahlin Place and Dickson Town Centre have a secret. Look into poppy plantings where the foliage of tulips awaits their turn to bloom. There are Floriade potted plantings in Bruce, Calwell and Woden and community Floriade plantings in other suburbs. At Hughes shops, near the outdoor eating area of Home Ground cafe (try their sweet potato and date slice), are pots with baby olive trees and tulips. A reader says children from Hughes Primary kindergarten

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Watching Jeff Mauro Cook With His Son on ‘The Kitchen’ is Helping Fans Through Hard Times

These are difficult days for everyone. Pandemic depression is real, and it’s touching most Americans. Even Michelle Obama admitted to being depressed due to the current global situation. Some things are making people feel a little better, however.

Actors, comedians, and artists are working harder than ever to keep peoples’ spirits up during this difficult time. Many shows are still being filmed, but actors can’t go to studios.

That means they’re opening up their homes, and recording themselves in their own houses so that fans can get the content they crave. Jeff Mauro, Food Network star, is one such celeb. Fans are forever grateful that he stepped up to film from his own kitchen. 

Jeff Mauro is the perfect person to lift spirits during quarantine 

Jeff Mauro
Jeff Mauro | John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF

When Mauro announced he would be doing episodes of The Kitchen from his own kitchen during lockdown, it seemed like a perfect fit. Mauro has two passions: comedy, and food.

On the Food Network, he’s able to combine them. Now, if it’s one thing people need, it’s comedy. A lockdown cooking show seems perfect for Mauro’s particular skill set. 

But setting up his New Jersey home wasn’t easy for this Chicago native. He went from a 70 person crew to himself, his son, and his wife. They surrounded the kitchen with multiple iPhones and iPads, as well as a laptop for Zoom conferencing with hi co hosts, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee and Geoffrey Zakarian.

He didn’t even have all the food and spices he would normally have on set. Mauro and his family resorted to frozen salmon for their first lock down episode.

According to Mauro via Chicago Tribune: “Luckily we had enough salmon frozen that we could do this recipe. We do not have the resources that we normally do for ‘The Kitchen.’ We have the same stuff that everybody else has. It made it that much more special.”

Fans loved Jeff Mauro’s son Lorenzo 

RELATED: Food Network Fans Can’t Stand Cooking Sanitation Rules Being Ignored

Something else made Jeff Mauro cooking at home during quarantine special for fans. Not only was he in his normal kitchen, using things he had at home like “everybody else,” but he was with his family.

Like most Americans, Mauro had his son Lorenzo with him full time during lockdown, and he didn’t shut him out of the kitchen to film for the Food Network. Instead, Lorenzo was right there with him, and fans loved it. 

One fan on Reddit wrote: “Any scene with Jeff and Lorenzo always brightens my day. I melted when Lorenzo said he makes grilled cheese very expertly (pun not intended).”

Other fans agreed, and say that the channel has done a good job adapting to the ‘new normal’ of coronavirus lock down. 

Geoffrey Zakarian is a ‘sous chef’ at home, and fans are here for it 

Fans are seeing new sides of their favorite celebrity chefs, and they’re loving it. Mauro was always

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BACKYARD BLISS | Utilising companion planting in your urban garden | The Canberra Times

life-style, life, Hannah Moloney, Good Life Permaculture

As our spring crops are gradually going in, we’re making space for some sister action to take place, all three of them – corn, pumpkin and beans – together like they should be. These three plants are a guild of plants traditionally grown in Native Amerrican agriculture. Dating back around 5000 years, it is so successful, it’s now on of the most popular “pin ups” for companion planting around the world. The symbiotic relationship between these three plants is particularly wonderful, here’s how it all works. Structurally, the corn does what it does best, and grows tall and straight providing the perfect climbing pole for beans to grow up. The beans provide nitrogen to the soil, being heavy feeders, both the corn and pumpkin lap this up for their own use. Meanwhile the squash (generally a type of pumpkin) sprawls in and around the base of these two plants acting as a living mulch with its big, shady leaves. It also helps suppress or slow the growth of weeds due to this pattern of growth. Apparently corn lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the human body needs to make proteins and niacin, but beans contain both and therefore corn and beans together help provide a balanced diet. And of course, if one of the crops fail (due to pest or disease) it is ‘backed up’ by another two – so you never go hungry, clever. From the perspective of the plant’s root profiles, these three plants all have different root ball shapes where they inhabit different levels of soil meaning they’re not competing for nutrients. So clever, so sophisticated. The other great thing about this guild (there are many) is that you can plant it on any scale, so even if you have a small urban garden (like we do) you can still have a productive patch in a relatively small space. We’ve allocated a garden bed roughly 5 metres by 3 metres, which will include around 16 corn and bean plants and two sprawling pumpkin plants. However we’ve also planted it in smaller beds. Being in a cool temperate climate, we’re yet to establish this year’s three sisters garden outside, but we thought we’d get a head start and get the corn and pumpkins going inside first. They’ll be moving outside soon, where we’ll direct sow the beans at the base of each corn plant. When you’re planting this guild, be sure to give the corn a head start as the beans grow so fast they’ll quickly catch up to the height of the corn. If you’re in a warmer climate, you can direct sow all three seeds at the same time straight into your garden area, they’ll all go gang busters. Where ever you are, make sure your soil has lots of food, like manure and compost, as corn and pumpkin are hungry plants and require healthy, nutritious soil to thrive. Utilising companion planting in your urban garden or

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Covid-19 Tracker: Live Updates – The New York Times

Amid a stimulus impasse, a bipartisan group is offering a $1.5 trillion compromise.

A bipartisan group of 50 centrist lawmakers plans on Tuesday to present a $1.5 trillion plan to prop up the coronavirus-ravaged economy, making a last-ditch effort to break a stalemate on stimulus talks before November’s elections.

Members of the group — which calls itself the House Problem Solvers Caucus — concede privately that their framework stands little chance of becoming law. But the decision to offer it up publicly reflects frustration among rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties at the failure by their leaders to agree to another round of pandemic aid, and a reluctance to return home weeks before Election Day without cementing such help.

The proposal includes measures that enjoy bipartisan support, like reviving the popular Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and direct checks of $1,200 or more for American taxpayers, as well as more contentious ones like new legal rights and protections for workers and their employers.

But the bulk of its proposed spending would fall somewhere in the middle of what Republicans and Democrats have championed. The measure would reinstate lapsed federal jobless aid at $450 per week for eight weeks, then replace up to $600 weekly in lost wages for an additional five weeks. That is more than Republicans wanted, but less than the flat, $600-a-week benefit that lapsed at the end of July, which Democrats have insisted must be extended in full. And the proposal would send $500 billion to strapped state and local governments, less than the nearly $1 trillion Democrats included in their $3.4 trillion stimulus plan that passed the House in May, but roughly double what the White House has signaled it could support.

In unveiling the plan, the group is seeking to send a signal to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the lead White House negotiators — Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary — that there is ample common ground to be found in talks that have been dormant for weeks.

This year’s report, which Mr. Gates discussed in an interview with The New York Times, was unrelentingly grim. Not since 1870 have so many countries been in recession at once, it says.

Between 1990 and 2020, the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty, which is now defined as living on less than $2 a day, shrank to less than 7 percent from 37 percent. In just the past few months, 37 million people have fallen back below the line, the report estimated.

One of the starkest conclusions in the report is that nearly twice as many deaths could be prevented if Covid-19 vaccines were distributed to all countries based on their populations rather than to the

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