Thursday, December 18th, 2014

What Katie ate at the Weekend Launch Party & Workshop Info.

The last few weeks/month has been insanely manic for me, what with the release of my second book, doing publicity interviews and such for that, juggled in with travelling a lot for work to places like New Zealand (Emmm AHMaaaaazing!?!) and to a few other places around OZ to shoot various jobs. This has meant my blog got a little bit unloved for a while, but am back on track now so there will be a few things coming this week ~ including a great photo story where I got to shoot all the behind the scenes and experiences you can have at Jacob’s Creek Winery in South Australia’s Barossa region. More on that a little later on this week, plus I’ll have a few holiday recipes next week.

I wanted to kick off again however with a post I had hoped to get up a few weeks ago ~ but due to running around like a headless chicken for the past while (!), I am only getting round to it now. It’s a really important post to me.

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to throw a big launch party to celebrate the release of my second book: What Katie Ate at the Weekend. I never did one for my first book so I was really keen to celebrate the 2nd book with a big bash for friends and media. I did so along with the new production company I am working with ~ Plate Up Productions, which are a sister company to Rapid Films, based here in Sydney. They are an incredible company who produce high end TV commercials and videos and their new wing Plate Up – specialises in food advertising videos and TV show production. Without these guys, I wouldn’t have been able to throw the party on such a scale and I really delighted to have had their unending support.

The night was an amazing success, about 100 people showed up to the party which was held at a super cool and eclectic venue here in Sydney’s Waterloo, called Studio Neon. When I was checking out possible venues, the minute I walked into the place I knew immediately it was the perfect place for the launch, really edgy and trendy and totally funky. It reminded me a bit of something you’d find in NYC (my favourite place on the planet) so I felt really at home in the space and knew, with the styling I had in mind for the night, it would all come together brilliantly. A really nice juxtaposition of edgy and urban, meets vintage and WKA styling.

I was helped all along the way by Leoni Milano at Plate Up who was an incredible help, my assistant Lou Brassil and my good friend Andy Arnfield at The Gourmet Grocer Online (whom I have known now for years and who is one of my closest mates) and between the three of us we all managed to pull off a really unique and successful night.

I decided to cover an area of the studio with all the photos from my two books going from the first to the second, then we filled the area with old, vintage props, sumptuous flowers and literally hundreds of candles and some fairy lights. The place really looked incredibly pretty and sat brilliantly within the industrial, edgy feel of Studio Neon

The chefs at Studio Neon are incredible ~ all extremely experienced and most have Michelin stars under their belts. We chose a few recipes from book 2 and they effortlessly produced them on the night for all to enjoy. It was a really nice feeling to see all your recipes being produced en-mass for so many people in comparison to the smaller numbers I am used to cooking for.

I was totally bowled over at the support I received from so many food producers and suppliers in Sydney with whom I have had the pleasure to work with over the years working as a food photographer. They all supplied me which the most amazing array of meats, fish, wine, flowers, groceries, as well as a load of amazing products which we put into custom-printed gorgeous WKA printed canvas tote bags, these were given out to guests as they left the event and I received so many messages saying what an incredible selection of goodies they discovered in their bags when they got home.

One of the main reasons I wanted to write this post was to say a massive thank you to all these people – without whom, we could’t have produced such a polished and high-end event. I am eternally grateful to them all for their involvement.

The goodie bags all lined up for guests to take on their way home..

My great mates Colin and Andy from The Gourmet Grocer Online.

Picking out a winner out from the hat, with Dave from Rapid Films to see who would win the KitchenAid Stand mixer…

All above photographs © Jack Friels

The people and companies I want to again hugely thank are:

Plate Up Productions without whom, I couldn’t have thrown the party to the extent we did.

Gourmet Grocer Online who helped me source all the items for the goodie bags and donated a $400.00 gourmet hamper to giveaway on the night

Salvatore Ferragamo who amazingly dressed me for the night in a stunning dress and beautiful shoes.

The Artisan Press who kindly printed the most beautiful letter-pressed invites.

Potteround Floral Design massive thanks to Darren and the team at this local flower shop in my home suburb of Rozelle for supplying and arranging the stunning flowers on the night

Tscharke Wine who amazingly supplied us with some of the best wine I have had the pleasure to enjoy when I was down in the Barossa region recently. Eva and Damien thank you again, I was chuffed to be able to have the guests drink your incredible wines.

666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka for gifting us the cutest little baby vodka bottles for the bags and the vodka for the cocktails on the night.

Tetsuya’s who supplied me with a whole side of divine smoked trout to serve on my walnut bread canapés to all the guests

Maya Sunny Honey who gifted us 100 beautiful little bottles of their incredible honey for the goodie bags

Willie Smiths this is a company I worked with recently in Tassie and they kindly donated bottles of cider for the event.

Paddington Tea a small company here in Sydney who kindly supplied 100′s of boxes of assorted teas for the bags

Hank’s Jam who also supplied an array of their relishes and jams for the bags

Herbie’s Spices we cooked my Smokey Beef Chilli with black beans for the event and Herbie’s kindly suppled me with all the chillis for both the dish and for everyone to take home to use when making the chilli themselves.

Barossa Heritage Pork huge thanks again to my good friend Michael Wohldstadt in the Barossa, for shipping up a load of his incredible hams for the party.

Darling Street Meats THE best butcher in Sydney, cheers again Chris for kindly supplying me with all the beef for the night’s food.

Claudio’s Seafoods at the Sydney Fish Markets, for amazingly supplying us with kilos of lobster and crab for my slider recipe which was part of the night’s menu.

Harris Farm for supplying us with all the groceries for the menu. I was really thrilled to pair with these guys as I really support their ‘Imperfect Fruits range’ – a line of fresh, delicious fruit and veggies with minor imperfections, on sale for up to half the normal price. i think it’s a brilliant idea as there is far too much waste in Australia when it comes to main-stream supermarkets discarding perfectly good fruit and veg just because they do not look perfect in appearance. You can read more about this project here.

Careme thank you so much for all the pastry you supplied for the dessert (which went down a storm!)

A Taste of Paris for suppling me with amazing bottles of their ‘Milk Jam and Guerande Salted Butter’ – basically a gobble-the-whole-lot-with-a-spoon-in-one-go creamy salted caramel.

GIR for shipping 100′s or your colourful and extremely useful silicone spatulas, all the way for the US. These were adored my all the guests.

Aisle 6 Industries thanks to Shannon who hand silk screen printed all the actual goodie bags themselves. They looked amazing and I carry mine to the shops all the time now.

Olsson’s for gifting us with sublime truffle salt, in the dinkiest little bottles and hessian bags.

Brasserie Bread thank you for supplying all the gorgeous mini brioche buns for us to serve my sliders on.

Sweet Style thank you Leanne for supplying me with the bamboo plates and forks to serve the food on for the event.

KitchenAid thank you SO much for again super-kindly suppling me with a stand mixer to give away on the night. It’s amazing to continue our relationship working together since the first book was released.

Just some of the items I was so kindly gifted on the night and for the goodie bags…

Gir Spatulas

Maya Sunny Honey

666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka

Hanks Jam</strong>

Paddington Tea

Olsson’s Salt

Tscharke Wines

All of these suppliers were massively generous to us and some are quite small, young companies, I would ask readers of the blog to take the time to check out their sites and products, some of them may even make for nice Xmas pressies :)

A few more photos taken on the night by my friend Susan Pazazian

Luckily too, I kept one of the goodie bags back to giveaway to a reader.

To win, leave a comment below telling me ‘What would be the one, dream item you would wish to find in a goodie bag at a party?’

The most fun and interesting answer will get one of the WKA canvas bags with all of the above listed gifts in it. I’ll pick a winner at the end of next week.

Lastly in regards to the workshop I will be holding in the new year.

This will take place on Saturday Feb 7th at a location to be confirmed in early Jan, in Sydney.

It will be a one day experience and will cover everything I would do on a regular food shoot.

You will get to see me part cooking (with the help of my assistant) and fully styling/plating 3 dishes. Then you will get to do the same, learn about propping the dishes with backdrops, ceramics and such, and then finally watch me shooting each dish and in turn you will all get to photograph each dish yourself with some guidance from myself.

You will walk away with 3 final shots and also enjoy a fun dinner at the end of it all.

The cost of AUD$850 plus G.S.T per person, with a limit of 12 people all up.

To book and secure a place, please note I require full payment up front (fully refundable should, on the off-chance the event be cancelled) please mail me on with the subject line: “WKA 2015 Workshop”, then I will respond and send payment details etc.

Katie x

53 Responses to “What Katie ate at the Weekend Launch Party & Workshop Info.”

  1. Shez
    December 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    How exciting! Congratulations on the book and the launch party – it looks lovely and very WKA. My ideal little treat in a goodie bag would be a home-made, edible goodie! (Either that or a live in chef, but he/she might not quite fit).

  2. Nat
    December 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    The party looks fab! Love the neon.

    My dream goodie bag gift would be a genie in a bottle, preferably with some lovely middle eastern foodie treats with him!!

  3. December 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Looks like everyone had a blast!

    My perfect foodie gift bad would be filled with coffee beans and whole dried spices, I go through both so quickly as I use them all the time :)

  4. December 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Your book launch ( and the styling ) looks amazing – no suprise there really… I’d love a never ending supply of coffee beans or a new camera ;-)

  5. Catherine
    December 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    A little tiny elf to clean up my kitchen after cooking. Or saffron, not sure which is more valuable.

  6. December 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, the pics of the event look absolutely stunning. I would so love to get this goodie bag and I wish it had a ‘sparkling’ inside, a vintage, rare, extravagant sparkling.

  7. Lahonna H.
    December 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I would love to receive a goodie bag that contained a gift card for a makeover–makeup and hair–maybe with a Spa treatment included!

  8. Jeanne Hyatt
    December 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    What great photos of a what looks like a fun and funky evening!

    My dream goodie bag would have to include a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans. All the better to keep me buzzing into the night discovering even more delightful and delectable dishes while reading “What Katie Ate at the Weekend”!

  9. Liz Thomas
    December 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Congratulations on the book and what sounds like a splendid party! Must see if I can persuade one of my Aussie friends here to bring back copies of your books for me next time they are headed down under.

    I’d love one of your tote bags but I doubt they’d get as far as Macau! Anyway, I’d love to find a selection of Aussie native herbs and spices inside!

  10. December 18, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    It is nice to see you celebrated your latest culinary creation at such a glorious fete!

    Alright, how about an iPad (with a pretty What A Katie Ate case, of course) that lets me then link up live to a dropcam at your kitchen and your workshop so I can watch you create culinary magic?

    Should we throw in a fab background playlist of your fav tunes that keep you dancing in the kitchen to accompany the video feed?!!!

    How about some kitchen assistants clad only in aprons who clean and wash your dishes while you prep? (Preference is male, with at least seven lifes, Australian without sheep dogs –my cats added this last addendum)?

    Happy Holidays!


  11. Carole
    December 18, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Hi! Thanks for this giveaway. My favorite goodies would be some tea because I am a big fan of tea! Congratulations on the book. Happy Holidays. Carole

  12. Leslie in Portland, Oregon
    December 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Congratulations and well done!

    The one thing I’d most like to receive in a goody bag at a party would be a round-trip airline ticket to and from Sydney so that I could attend your February 7 workshop!

  13. December 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Wow, what a night to remember! Coveting the dress, let alone the goodie bag! I will have to wait til Amazon UK get an English version to curl up and indulge reading through your next installment. Am still working through WKA #1!

    As to the Goodie Bag, well, as your first love is photography, I’d err on the side of photo equipment than foodie things. A few rolls of good ol’ fashioned 35mm films in various ISO would be fab as I just bought a vintage film camera to (re) learn the basics of photography. So easy to rely on my dslr and post-prod when I’ve nagging doubts about how cameras actually work and about my ability. A light meter too perhaps if we’re talking posh goodie bag!

  14. Michael Cavanagh
    December 18, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    My goodie bag surprise would be an invitation for two (I’d take my wife) to dinner at Jamie Oliver’s house in Essex – the one with the amazing garden!

  15. Catherine Baird
    December 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    My goodie bag surprise would be an invitation to join you on your next weekend away of foodie and travel adventures!

    The launch looks beautiful. Congratulations.

  16. Desiree sharp
    December 18, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    LOVING your recipes Katie. Who knew I could cook brioche in the NT, although the dough was placed in an aircon room to achieve room temperature!
    Your recipes make cooking so adventurous yet so achieveable and so delicious You’ve resparked my love for cooking. I’ve hinted for the new book for Christmas! I LOVE goodie bags-For my kids parties we always theme our goodie bags to suit the occasion. Sooooo I’d love to receive your favourite ingredient that’s a must in your kitchen or kitchen utensil you simply cannot live without!

  17. Carla
    December 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Congratulations Katie! A brilliant event for a brilliant person.

    My one item that I would wish to find in a goodie bag would be one of your goodie bags tucked neatly inside!

  18. Kerry
    December 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    A voucher to have a special meal cooked for me and a bunch of my friends., would be the item id like to have in my goodie bag. Nothing like sharing good food with your friends and family. Your book launch looked amazing..loved the styling.

  19. Allison
    December 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Congratulations Katie! What a beautifully styled event, the photos look gorgeous! What’s a fabulous event without an equally fab dress, love it! I’d ask for a signed copy of your book but they are already displayed proudly in my kitchen. Who needs random pictures of chickens and coffee when your covers double as art!
    I’d love a small but functional momento from the event like a little vintage spoon or fork with the initials WKA engraved on it. Who am I kidding, just being there would have been cool!

  20. Pamela
    December 18, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    A copy of What Katie Ate 3!!!

  21. April V
    December 19, 2014 at 12:35 am

    A ticket for a meal out on the town… not having to make dinner & actually have a chance at getting dressed up to go out somewhere without having to worry about the check would be a dreeeam.

  22. Geoff Shakespear
    December 19, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Love the photos of the launch party and of the book!

    If I was to receive a goodie bag, I’d love to find a small espresso machine, maybe a hand-operated one and portable (if such a thing exists)!


  23. cindi
    December 19, 2014 at 1:35 am

    FUN!! Looks like you had a fabulous event!
    Hmmmnnn…something cool would be Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey or something related to photography like a ring light or a mobile lighting kit, or something like a lens you always use in your own shoots which ties into the beauftiful pics of all of your food!!
    Congrats on your launch! Cheers

  24. December 19, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Well, a KitchenAid mixer would sure be fun to find in a rather LARGE goodie bag! Your new cookbook looks amazing, congratulations on the 2nd!

  25. Sarakay
    December 19, 2014 at 2:43 am


    Wow! How fabulous! Beyond a great job and I cannot WAIT to get your book! I have collected all of them and have been so inspired by all your work!

    A little idea for a goodie bag that i would be so excited to get would be 3 or so photo negatives in a paper vintage-like frame (looking a lil beat up) with a little handwriting from you on the paper frame! The negatives being some of your best food pictures!?

    Or how about a little vintage type of tasting spoon with “What Katie Ate” etched into the handle?!

  26. December 19, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Congratulations, Katie! You are such an inspiration! To me, the real goodie I would love to take away from people like you would be advice or tips from you. To know what has helped to get where you are, what have driven you, what you have learned, what you have failed, and etc. These are the real gems! :-)

  27. December 19, 2014 at 5:21 am

    I really like these party shots, there’s so much energy in them! My DREAM gift in a goodie bag would be a kitchen aid but that’s not possible… So I’d say a beautiful cookbook! Preferably yours or Jamie Oliver’s “Comfort Food”. :)

  28. December 19, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Hi Katie,
    What a great party to celebrate your book!
    What i would love to find in a goodie bag is one of your recipies beautifully printed and rolled up in a bottle. A WKA-message in a bottle!
    Why? it’s the loveliest thing to be inspired to cook something new

  29. Carolee Wilkins
    December 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I would love your new book, as I cherish your first one.

  30. Laura McNutt
    December 19, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Congratulations! Looks like a great celebration! My ideal “Goodie Bag” would contain endless photo inspiration, new camera equipment and the energy to accomplish as much as you have in such a short period of time. Way to go!

  31. December 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Hi Katie,

    What would I want in my goodie bag? YOU!

    But realistically, come visit us in the Hamptons next time you come to NYC. Its a great escape.



  32. December 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

    So glad to have you back – we missed you! Looking forward to see your book on shelves in London!

  33. Amanda Nellist
    December 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

    My dream goodie bag would contain a copy of What Katie Ate on the weekend, and some packets of the harder to find ingredients like farro, freekah etc.

  34. December 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Since we’re dreaming here It would absolutely blow my mind to open up and find my (since-passed) grandmother’s classic irish stew inside. She passed before I was born and I never got to meet her or taste her infamous heart-warming food.

  35. Laura Faith
    December 19, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Your event pics look fun and festive! I have enjoyed peering into your blog and checking out your inspiring adventures and recipes. Thank you for sharing one of your event gift bags.

    For my dream gift bag item: I would just be ecstatic to receive all the lovely items you gathered from local Australian artisans. I love supporting and sampling things from local food crafters. Treats from Australia would be just perfect.

    Thank you,


    Washington, USA

  36. December 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Katie,

    Oh those goodie bags look epic!

    My dream item would be a little black book /diary of the best places to eat in Aus including secret haunts and delicious dishes , the lesser known places , hidden treasures ! Sure you know a few!

    Also artisian chocolate , can’t really go wrong there.

    H x

  37. Lara
    December 20, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I would love to receive an organic seedling of some kind of fruit or vegetable that is unique but would make cooking with it really interesting!

  38. Yvonne Bowey
    December 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I would love to receive a magic genie who would assist me in making all my whole food dreams become a reality.

  39. Adrienne
    December 20, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Congratulations on a successful launch! Such a huge accomplishment :)

    I’d love to open a goodie bag to find a round-the-world ticket for two, so my partner & I could retrace your travels to taste every inspiration firsthand!

  40. Cassidy
    December 21, 2014 at 3:15 am

    A fabulous, soft scarf in a vibrant variety of colors.

  41. NZ Maureen
    December 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Wow what a fantastic looking party! My dream find in a goodie bag and it would be a dream – would be the most coveted item I lust over is a kitchen aid mixer…..maybe one day Santa will agree that I have been good enough! However I have a sneaky feeling perhaps a new cookbook is under said tree :-)
    Merry Christmas everyone xx

  42. December 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Ohh Katie!!! congratulations on the book and the launch party ..everything is brilliant :) for the goodie bag I would love to get dark chocolate truffles with a creamy goat cheese filling inside and a piece of walnut on top …dark chocolate and cheese are my favorites ..

  43. December 22, 2014 at 5:53 am

    What a wonderful wonderful party you threw! I am gobsmacked by the decor and every last detail in these photos. Can’t wait to get my hands on the book… just the other day I made your patatas bravas out of book 1, and was thinking how excited I am for book 2.

    As for the goodie bag, I can’t lie — a bottle of Plymouth or Hendricks would make me the most happy party guest. :)


  44. Fiona
    December 22, 2014 at 11:56 am

    It looks like everybody had an amazing time! The best and most over the top goodie bag treat would be a vitamix blender!

  45. Annetje
    December 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Congratulations on the new book and launching party. When will it be available in Ireland/Europe?
    In a goody bag I would love to find great recipes and something unexpected to eat.

    Regretffully your latest post is password protected. How can one get aassword?

  46. Anna
    December 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    My favorite item to find in a goodie bag would simply be a really nice apron – because your books and blog really inspire me to go out, sourcing great ingredients – and then to put on an apron myself and get cooking.
    I really love your work and I love to eat the food that I get when following your recipes! But mostly I love your personal story at the beginning of the 2nd book, which always motivates and reminds me that in order to achieve one’s dreams, it also needs hard work and perseverance. So thank you so much for telling your story!

  47. Anna
    December 22, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    … sooo sorry – of course I meant your story which you shared in the beginning of the first book… !

  48. December 23, 2014 at 8:44 am

    An incredibly beautiful, wonderful, opulent and mostly fun sparkling party that was…. I’m a bit jealous (being ill in bed – hence my late comment)….
    Oh, I have no idea what I’d want in a goodie bag – I never get anything like that anyway, but I think a little ‘you’ in one form or another would be delicious – some ‘mini edition’ with a few recipes of your new book, some tiny tasters… whatever
    I’m SO glad I got your (first) book from UK to be sent over to me in France – the land of abundance! Good luck with your projects – AND Gosh, an absolutely HUGE COMPLIMENT to the florist who did the flower display…. I’m gobsmacked! :)

  49. Jen from S.A
    December 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    In my goodie bagI would love to get some Barossa pork to make your delicious pork recipe with cider and maple syrup . I made it for Christmas Lunch. What a winner!!!! I encourage everyone to get you second book and cook this recipe.

  50. Lori
    January 3, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Congrats on the stunningly stylish book launch.

    Would love to find a bottle of artisan vodka in my goodie bag; I always have a bottle in my freezer :)

  51. Anna V
    January 5, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I think it would be so fun to find a picture of me and the host in a goodie bag. It would be so personal. Even better would be a Polaroid taken at the party of me and the host!

  52. January 31, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    wow what a nice picture.

  53. January 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    its amazing to see.

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