Published in the City Hub, Inner West Independent and City News.
Just before the end of 2012 I had the opportunity to dine on a degustation of dishes (including this remarkable red fruit sphere) from international star chef, Heinz Beck. With a swathe of cookbooks and accolades, including three Michelin stars at his Rome restaurant La Pergola, he’s a pretty big deal whichever way you look at it. Beck’s interest seemed to be captured by re-imagining Italian food to remove any sticking points. Take carbonara: on a hot day this dish is simply too heavy, however Beck’s carbonara fagottelli managed to combine all the flavour elements into ephemeral pasta with an explosive, lemony liquid centre you could enjoy any time – superb! You’re still able to sample four Heinz Beck legacy dishes prepared by Caffe Sicilia’s usual team, including the pistachio crusted veal with mortadella and Jerusalem artichoke puree (also surprisingly light), for $65/head.
If you’re looking to stretch a bit more out your holidays, head down to Sea Flavour in La Perouse on Saturday 2nd February. In a celebration of all things sea, the event offers you a little bit of fun in the form of scuba dives; some education in the form of masterclasses from top Sydney chefs like Peter Kuruvita (Flying Fish) and Hamish Ingham (The Woods); and some seafaring sustenance courtesy of sustainable seafood gurus, Joto Seafood. Keep your eyes peeled for Paul Cooper’s (Bishop Sessa) sustainable Glacier 51 Toothfish dish – I fell in love with this fish when Raita Noda (Ocean Room) turned it into miso cod.
If you haven’t already had a gut full of Australiana last weekend, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth have launched an Australian-themed high tea with matching cocktails including the ‘Mick Dundee’. This blend of Johnny Walker Double Black, Quandong and Gentian Bitters, Rosso Vermouth and Peychaud’s Bitters will definitely put hairs on your chest. If you can still see straight, on your silver tiers you can expect to find everything from lamington éclairs and pavlovas to tempting Murray River salt caramel macarons. It’s also the perfect spot to take an out-of-towner until the 10th March as the lounge has been transformed into a piece of the outback, and the cake stand is decorated with a toy koala they can keep. It’ll set you back $59/head including two cocktails apiece.
The man who likes to play with cream, Pierre Issa, has come up with another kitchen essential – Pepe Saya Ghee [RRP $10/250ml]. Whilst ghee is considered a staple in my kitchen, I’ve never tasted one made from quality, single origin Cultured Butter infused with a selection of bay leaves, cardamom pods and cloves before. In case you don’t cook with ghee at home, I like to use mine when making a curry, or if I’ve got a particularly fat-free cut of beef I might take advantage of the high smoke point to pan fry a steak. Get yours on Saturday between 8am-1pm at Eveleigh Market.