Michael Spence: My Day on a Plate

Every week, our dietician chats with a different standard-bearer of culture about what they eat in a day.

This week, we caught up with USyd Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence BA (Hons.) LLB D.Phil (Oxon) P.Dip Theology, to find out what fuels the fight for Western civilisation.

6.00 am

I’m an early riser—which helps with my busy schedule. To start the day, a triple shot ristretto, a naughty habit I picked up when I lived in Piedmont. I only drink kopi luwak, the world’s most refined single origin. The beans are gathered from the excrement of the Vietnamese weasel, which sniffs out and eats the ripe fruit.

8.00 am

I arrive in the Inner West, where I’m booked in for a working breakfast at the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay. It’s an unassuming spot, with the bustle of the fish markets a few hundred metres away. But I thrive among these simple dockland people, and their hearty food: I order a Coromandel yellowbelly flounder roasted on the bone with tuscan cabbage, pinenuts, currants.

12.00 pm

The driver whisks me into the city for a quick lunch break at Quay, one of my regular haunts. The harbour sparkles, like my bottle of Krug. I take a light meal of southern swimmer crab, smoked pig jowl and crystalised oloroso caramel. Peter Gilmore can’t be faulted, now that he’s taken that demotic snow egg off the menu.

5.00 pm

My driver decides to take me home through the Cross City Tunnel, which is a traffic nightmare. I box him about the ears and reach for the caviar in the onboard fridge. Ariel Sharon never travelled without caviar and champagne.

8.00 pm

A quiet dinner at Hubert, a little subterranean fin de siècle joint on Bligh St. My wife loves the dainty little escargots here, but I prefer the lobster platter myself. We both ardore Hubert—it is a charming canteen for us when the cook has a night off.

11.30 pm

A sneaky Macca’s run on the way home. I order a Grand Angus burger and a diet fanta.

Our dietician, Dr Cindy Brosko, says:

Top marks for….

Making the best out of what you’ve got. We don’t all have time to cook, or go grocery shopping. Some of us have to get by on a corporate credit card and $1.4 million salary.

If you keep eating like this you’ll….

Have the energy to roundhouse kick student protestors all the way back to the USSR.

Why don’t you try…

Eating a lamington or a meat pie, so Ray Hadley won’t accuse you of betraying Australia for the international students.