May 5th, 2010

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Column - Comps, Congrats & Caterers

Published in the City Hub and City News.

Iron Chef Prize

Chef’s Armoury, the specialist knife store for chefs and home cooks, is offering a coveted backstage pass to the upcoming 2010 Iron Chef Event in Sydney on Sunday 6th June. The lucky winner will get to meet both Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai and Iron Chef Chinese Kenichi Chen in person in the Hilton kitchen; and be offered the chance to help prepare a dish for the six course degustation menu. The prize also includes a dinner ticket (valued at $385) to the much anticipated event. You’ve got to be quick though, entries close on the 15th May, 2010.

Golden Egg
Accor Hotels have come up with an innovative in-house MasterChef style ‘mystery box’ competition to challenge staff to be more creative in their cooking, and to try out new techniques. Teams from ten of Accor’s Sydney hotels were pitted against each other to make and deliver a three-course menu using the ingredients in the box. Chef Ryuji Yashiki from The Menzies, ably assisted by his front-of-house team-mate, Donna Peoples, took out the prize for a menu that was the most balanced and creative. Karen Sainsbury, Champion of Accor’s Food & Beverage Committee, said: “While it’s a fun day it really allows them to see what chefs at other hotels are doing and to improve the marriage between chefs and wait staff”. What a wonderful way to inspire staff with training!

Forte’s Feast
The clever folk at Forte’s Catering and Events sure know how to throw a party! Last Friday they enthralled the taste buds of Sydney’s finest with a showcase of their catering menu. The event took place at CarriageWorks where they’ve recently scored one of three exclusive catering spots. Hoeing into canapés like soft shell mud crab with light palm sugar dressing, and celeriac soup with roasted chestnuts and cold pressed lemon oil, can get messy; so guests were given a stylish apron to cover their glad rags and encouraged to eat with abandon at four feasting tables! The most popular was the Japanese-inspired raw bar with sashimi chefs carving up Yellow-fin Tuna and Hiramasa Kingfish to complement a range of sakes. This could be just the thing for your next corporate do...

Tenth Birthday Celebration
Tracey and Ashley Hughes deserve a prize for getting their restaurant Alio to the big ten year hurdle. They’ll be celebrating for the whole month of June with a ten-course degustation menu that takes a dish from each of Alio’s ten years in business. For $80/head (or $110 with matched wines), diners will enjoy dishes like the 2006 favourite, Barramundi baked in a bag with black mussels, thyme and vermouth on cavallo nero. My own interest is piqued by the chance to remind myself of where we have come with dishes over the last decade. I remember the winter of pork belly rather fondly...