About Mark

So you’re a gastronomic junkie too huh? Can’t stop thinking about food? Obsessed with cooking programs on television? You own enough cookbooks to be eligible for the title of Professional Hoarder? Draw pictures of potential dishes with coloured pencils? Wake up in the night salivating at the thought of dinner?

Ok, so now you have got to know a little about me, here’s a few interesting food and cooking facts that I’ve picked up. Did you know that:

  • Each day one quarter of the world’s population eats chilli/chilli/chile/cili/hot peppers (I’m one of these people)
  • Couples who cook together are likely to improve intimacy in their relationship (Imagine if most guys knew this. I also believe that men are more likely to attract the attention they desire from their partner if they engage more in household duties like doing the dishes, laundry and vacuuming the floors).
  • Families who eat together are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables as opposed to junk foods? (I guess this might deter some from eating with their families, though it’s an interesting finding given the hours people work these days)
  • Couples that cook together stay together. To me, this shows that food, cooking and eating are such an important element to relationships in general. So why not do it in style!
  • Eating out (according to lots of websites) increases the risk of all sorts of horrible things. But I love it! Eating out is social, it’s enlightening, it’s educational and you don’t have to do the dishes!

Welcome to Stars and Cloves. I’m delighted to be able to include you in my exciting culinary journey. My parents will tell you that my love for food started when I was very young, from picking and eating whole capsicums from the garden, combing the fridge for whole cooked chickens that I would tuck under my arm like a rugby player, then attempting to devour the thing in one go before Mum and Dad could snatch it off of me.

I have a lot to thank my parents for. One thing I’m thankful for is how they have inspired my passion for food, cooking and I shouldn’t forget wine. Growing up close to the McLaren Vale wine region has been a true privilege. We were fortunate enough to be exposed to new cuisines all the time due to Mum and Dad’s own passion and interest in global foods. When my sister and I had finished we would simply crawl under the table and sleep until the oldies were ready to head home.

Mum and Dad are also fantastic cooks. From Australian bbq, to French inspirations, Italian delights, Indian spices, Thai aromas, Moroccan fusion, good old Australianised Chinese sweetness and what would life be without the Sunday roast? My parents introduced us to so much, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

I started cooking making deserts when I was young, then started cooking anything I could when I was in my early teens. I had a real problem with touching raw meat (I know, what a softy!) and took to using latex gloves to prepare it. I now find it quite funny to look back and think about what I cook and eat now, no problems these days.

When I went to uni I had so many people tell me that I was wasting my life away studying psychology and that I should be doing something with food. One of my fondest memories was our massive pot luck dinners in the student village. Dozens of people bringing dishes from their country of origin to share. Ill share some more about this in a separate post.

As time has gone by, I have continued to develop my passion for food, and my travels overseas and even interstate have primarily revolved around food. I have started to make my own sauces, condiments and pickles with great success (touch wood). I have made hot sauces, chilli sauces, barbecue sauces, pasta sauces, relishes, pickles and kasundis, preserved fruits, jams, apples, pastes, mayonnaises’, cured olives and a plethora of other creations. I have been unleashing my experiments on unwilling unsuspecting friends and family members. So far I haven’t had a failure. I have experimented with over 30 different creations and I keep going. I’ll keep you posted as to my new ventures, and I promise they won’t all contain deadly habanero chillies! I’m a little partial to the hot stuff!

My log of everything gastronomy will excite, inspire, educate,  open up dialogue, and in the future it will create a vehicle for me to add value to the culinary experiences of everybody who joins me on a lifelong pursuit of gastronomic bliss. This blog is for me, and it’s for you.

Welcome to my blog.

Mark Owen


3 Responses to About Mark

  1. Mike Mate says:

    Hey Mate,

    I think it would be cool to get a series of blog posts on ‘Mark’s All-Time Greatest Hits’ I’m not sure if you were looking for ideas but you have a number of dishes you’ve made a million times and you should throw up a couple of How To blogs so that we can follow along and replicate. For example, I’d love to see your Best Chili Mussels blog so that I can make them the same way! Anyway, I’m sure you’re really busy and it’s getting into the summer there so How bout those Dockers? Huh, second round of the finals? That’s pretty good for Freo!

    Take it easy mate,


  2. Mate, i think you are onto something there. This is the second suggestion tonight and i think im going to take them both up. Its fun making these obscure dishes but in all reality, does anyone know where to find spelt whole meal flour or purple kohl rabi? Probably not, but it is fun to make something a little different. You are on with the chilli mussels. Im going to rip a few classics in the coming month.

    Maybe a how to eat smelly chilli jam as well?

    Cheers mate!

  3. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..

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