Neil Perry-Food Source (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 22-Sep-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Notes-22 printable recipes
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 160:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
XYZ Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Neil Perry
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Andy Sidari

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Featuring high-profile Australian chef Neil Perry, this DVD is the 6-part Series 1 of the Lifestyle Channel program first seen on subscription television.

    The series showcases “fresh beautiful produce” available in Australia in an entertaining and informative manner, featuring restaurants, food suppliers, regions and the people in them.

    Each episode features Neil Perry cooking dishes in his acclaimed Sydney restaurant Rockpool. The cooking action is typically interlaced with visits to his produce suppliers around the country, to peer chefs cooking in their own restaurants and to vineyards producing wines to complement the wonderful food that results. Despite the parade of high profile chefs, the food is very much the star and the camera stays focussed on the food. At the conclusion of each episode there are on-screen location and contact details of all restaurants and suppliers featured, a very helpful feature.

    The episodes are broken down as follows:

One (27:55)

Neil Perry cooks fried whole mud crab at Rockpool; catching mud crabs; a visit to Melbourne’s Flower Drum restaurant; cooking Pineapple and Candied Ginger Pudding; Tippy Heng cooks Green Curry; a visit to Mount Mary Vineyard; Twilight on Lindsay restaurant in Darwin.

Two (28:30)

Fried Oysters with Red Capsicum Coulis; Salty Seas; Bethungra Park Natural Farms; Café Di Stasio Melbourne; Meet Masseria Di Stasio; Italian Style Zucchini and Parmesan Soup; Freycinet Vineyards; Damien Pignolet cooks two dishes.

Three (25:05)

Steak Sandwich; Pyengana Cheese; Rhubarb Tart; Kakadu Floodplain Pork; Simple Tomato and Bacon Sauce with Penne; Vittoria Coffee; Philippe Mouchel cooks Truffles.

Four (25:15)

Kylie Kwong cooks lobster; Mindil Beach Sunset Market; Barramundi with Thai marinade; Moorilla Estate Hobart; growing Horseradish on Thorpe Farm; Harry Schmidt cooks mussels.

Five (26:08)

Stir Fried Pork with Chilli and Mint; Bangalow Sweet Pork; Armando Percuoco cooks Risotto; Murray Cod; Pipers Brook Vineyards; Serge Dansereau cooks Barramundi.

Six (27:42)

Chargrilled Loin of Illabo Lamb; Illabo Milk fed Lamb; Jeremy Strode cooks Pheasant; Earl Carter from Luxe; Starlight Children’s Foundation dinner for 500 guests with 5 guest chefs; Rice Pudding with Gooseberries; Andrew Hood Wines.

    The DVD features stunning cinematography by Greg Kung. The close-ups of the cooking in the restaurant kitchens give the viewer an intimate view of the goings-on in many top restaurants. The camerawork when Neil visits suppliers and regions all over the country is again spectacular, gloriously capturing the beauty of the Australian countryside.

    This is a DVD to be savoured, perhaps by watching an episode at a time. Fatigue would possibly set in if all 6 episodes were viewed in one sitting, to say nothing of the appetite one would build up watching beautiful fresh produce being lovingly prepared and served by a coterie of chefs at the peak of their profession.

    For anyone even remotely interested in food, this is a must-see DVD. As a gift for an overseas friend or relative, it would be an ideal introduction to Australian produce and cuisine.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video quality on this DVD is excellent, with no video artefacts observed. The video quality actually appears superior to the standard originally broadcast on the Lifestyle Channel.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced), though the image during the episodes is generally letterboxed at approximately 1.75:1. The transfer is extremely clear and sharp. The clarity and sharpness of the picture is especially useful and noticeable in the kitchen scenes which are marked by close-ups of the cooking action.

    The series is a mixture of scenes filmed in restaurant kitchens and outdoor scenes filmed all over Australia. The restaurant scenes have been very well lit, resulting in colours that are striking for their realism and depth. The food looks spectacular in these scenes. The colours in the outdoor scenes are more naturalistic, but are again very well realised.

    There are no subtitles present.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The sound is more than adequate for this documentary-style DVD.

    There is only one soundtrack, English Dolby Digital 2.0.

    The narration was clear and easy to understand at all times. On-location dialogue in restaurants, vineyards and suppliers’ premises was also clear and easy to understand.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    Music for the series is well matched to the action by composer Andy Sidari. The score is a modern, jazz style score with an Asian influence to match the Asian inspired food frequently on offer. The music is generally in the background, as it should be, never getting in the way of the star of the show, the food.

    There is some use of the surrounds, principally for the background music, but its effect is minor.

    There is no subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu features stills from the series, which change as you move around the menu selections. Unusually, the menu options are horizontally, rather than vertically, placed across the screen. So, after the menu first loads, most of the options move off the screen. This is a little disconcerting the first time the disc is loaded, but the “missing” options are easily accessed using arrow keys. Movement around the menu options is accompanied by the sound of bongo drums, making this a very funky menu, or at least that seems to be the intention. The menu is not 16x9 enhanced.

    When an episode is selected, a sub-menu appears summarising its contents. This is a helpful tool when deciding which episode to watch.

    All extras consist of text and still pictures on screen.


    24 recipes ( listed as 22 on the DVD cover ) are detailed, grouped by episode. The recipes are printable or can be easily written down from the screen or monitor. For each recipe, Ingredients and Method can be selected. Although some of the recipes use exotic ingredients, they are nonetheless easy to follow and are written with the serious amateur, rather than professional, chef in mind.

Neil Perry

    Bare bones biography and still of Neil Perry.


    Again, brief information about Neil Perry’s Rockpool restaurant in Sydney, including a still of the interior.


    Listing of credits for the Lifestyle Channel, Rockpool restaurant and the other restaurants and chefs involved in the series. This information is also contained on the inside cover of the DVD slick.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This DVD is not available in Region 1.


    Food Source Neil Perry is an entertaining, informative, and well presented DVD of the Lifestyle Channel series. It is ideal for anyone interested in food or cooking and would be a perfect gift for someone seeking an introduction to Australian produce and cuisine.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are adequate for the type of DVD this is, with the recipes provided being a comprehensive record of all dishes cooked.

    Bon appetit!

Ratings (out of 5)


© Crosley Carpenter (read my bio)
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplayBarco Cine 7 CRT Projector. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D810S.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D810S
SpeakersJAMO left, centre, right, rears and subwoofer.

Other Reviews - Kate Esler

Comments (Add) NONE