Josie Bones is the food baby of Masterchef couple Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins. It is a restaurant in Collingwood featuring meat - including various offal - and beer. Nose to tail eating and beer, more specifically. Given that my only experience of cooking and eating offal in the past 20 years (aside from Mum's tripe, and chicken feet at yumcha) is asking for a pig's trotter for cooking pho, and saying it was for my dog, and that I mainly drink beer in the form of shandies (but I once had a beer spider - beer and macadamia icecream - as a dare to impress a boy), it seemed pretty crazy of me to suggest to Mum that we eat at Josie Bones for dinner last night. But I am glad we did.
Its exterior and interior may keep vegetarians away. An illustrated bone hangs overhead, marking the street number. If my dogs were alive, they'd find a way to get the sign down and taking it home to hang above their kennels.
And inside, a digital print of a skinned rabbit is the main artwork. It may freak some people out, but I thought the light and shade on it made it really beautiful. I've seen many skinned rabbits on the kitchen bench at home - that my Dad had caught or bought, or prised from the jaws of my dogs.
Loafer Bread in Scotchmer Street Fitzroy. The butter was handmade by the chef.
We sat flicking through Chris's book between courses. I bought it for Dad's birthday last year and now Mum can't wait to revisit it.
My meal was not Heart Foundation approved. But the doctor said to eat more, and I figure the fat will go to moisturising my skin from the inside. Well, I can dream? It's the Last Meal kind of food.
I had a plate of pork crackling. Wow. I smiled all the way to the last piece.
My piece de resistance was this:
Mum told him I was going write about our time at Josie Bones. He said he recognised me from somewhere, perhaps I'd been in before. I said no but said I am on TV. He was interested to know about No Limits, and then we got talking about good and bad reviews, and of course, food. I told him I'm a big fan of Masterchef.
He said that while he'd love to serve a whole pig's trotter on a plate, Josie Bones is about making offal more palatable and less confronting to diners. It's about getting offal out there, and respecting the whole animal enough to use all its parts.
Chris was happy to pose with me for two photos.