Louise Warren, Showroom Manager, Black Pearl Epicure

Life is too short to spend your days doing something that you don’t enjoy ...

Local gourmand wonderland Black Pearl Epicure was built off a base of caviar and saffron by Babak Hadi in 1990. Today it not only provides imported delicacies and hard-to-find products to restaurants, hotels and delicatessens between Byron Bay and Cairns, but also gives local closet foodies access to the same products at the showroom in Fortitude Valley. Just like the most gourmet of delis, Black Pearl Epicure’s shop space sees cheese from France, Spain, Australia and the US alongside foie gras and an extensive selection of oils and vinegars from around the world. Valrhona chocolate, Maggie Beer’s range and Jamie Oliver’s Jme kitchenwares and condiments range are also in store, while a cooking school operates upstairs. Showroom manager Louise Warren worked in banking and town planning before throwing it all in last year to pursue her gastronome desires at Black Pearl Epicure. The Weekend Edition caught up with Louise to chat weekend essentials.

How do you like to start your weekend?
My weekend starts late on a Saturday afternoon. It is usually a race to get home to get ready for whatever birthday dinner, engagement party or friends catch-up that I am meant to be at.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Saturday mornings are spent at Black Pearl Epicure helping my lovely customers prepare for their weekend entertaining. I get a kick out of selecting cheese for people to create their perfect cheese platter. As for me, I can’t leave work without buying a big hunk of Dehesa de los Llanos manchego, Rogue River Creamery special reserve blue, some Ortiz Anchovies and packet of Leila Gluten-free Pasta for the weekend ahead.

How do you like to unwind?
With a good workout at the gym – I run to eat and drink!

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
I don’t care where I am; so long as there is good food, good wine, family and friends around I am a very happy person. Of course, I usually have to supply the good food from Black Pearl – Maggie Beer Pates, anchovy-stuffed olives, Joseph Olive Oils and Tetsuya’s Truffle Salt and French cheeses are regular requests!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
There are so many good restaurants that I want to try. Currently on my list are ARIA, Stokehouse Q, Gerard’s Bistro and Montrachet.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
I like to have a family get-together so that I can see my gorgeous nephews and try out a new recipe or two. Last weekend I cooked a roast chicken with French Lescure sea salt butter under the skin and rubbed with Maldon Smoked Salt. It was simple but amazingly delicious because of the quality ingredients used.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
My birthday celebrations!

What are you reading at the moment?
John by Cynthia Lennon. I love a good biography. Raphael Nadal’s autobiography (Rafa) is the one that has really stuck with me. His dedication and passion for his craft is truly inspiring.

What inspires you?
Music, cooking shows and travel. I am in my element when I have a plane ticket in my hand.

What was your childhood dream?
To one day visit Graceland. I finally made it in 2007.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Earning a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning while working full time.

What is success to you?

What are your words of wisdom?
Life is too short to spend your days doing something that you don’t enjoy.

Only a local would know … Black Pearl Epicure is the best place in Brisbane for life’s little indulgences – cheese, chocolates and caviar.

Perk up …
My local German bakery – King of Cakes at Graceville.
Relax … My beach house at the Sunshine Coast.
Dine … At the moment I love Harajuku Gyoza or authentic Vietnamese at Darra.
Indulge … Black Pearl Epicure, of course.
Shop … The iTunes Store for endless inspiration.
Catch-up … Canvas, Woolloongabba.
Be inspired … Any of the farmers markets around town.


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