Thursday, June 17, 2010

La Bella Vita (or something like that...)

Now that things have settled down for the year (for me anyway), it's time to get back in the kitchen to wrangle with some mean flavours. In light of the fact that I'm hotly anticipating a new dining table (selected by the expert eye of the wonderful Missy Bell, this vintage banger will no doubt see some Texas Holdem' action too), it's time to highlight some decadent fare for the winter months which'll keep your arteries well and truly blocked - yet your soul well and truly satisfied!

I'm putting it out there; there are few better combinations than fat, potato and cheese. The dish pictured isn't mine, it's probably French and I don't know what it's called, but who cares! When it's as easy to prepare as slicing potato thinly (but please, please use the guard on your mandolins!), and layering that alternately with sliced onion and cheese before dabbing with thick cream and a healthy sprinkle of seasoning you're on a winner. Provided each component is kept in a respectful proportion, 45 minutes later your moderate oven will yield up a tantalizing result, which in this case I served with green beans, a baked field mushroom and some grain fed porterhouse. Graaaaaavy (that means good, by the way!)

Not to be outdone, and because I really should include some drinks banter, our accompanying wine almost stole the show and made me look bad...damn you Ten Minutes by Tractor! We had their Northerly facing Mcutcheon single vinyard '07 pinot, and boom -what a stunning wine! I really know very little about wines, but this magnificent drop was beautifully structured, with perfect red berries, a bordering-on-minty herbaceous lift and gorgeously fine tannins. Go find some right now. Really...right now.

At some stage I really should make some desserts lest the Gnomes of Zurich strip me of my pastry cooking veil, but until then, have a great weekend all!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Brewster Takes it Home!

After an exciting and innovative couple of days of competition, 2010's Australian World Class representative has been crowned in Sling's Adam Brewer. Adam competed strongly and consistently both days smashing out a fresh Luxury cocktail list, a solid exam, blind tasting and luxury drinks presentation and wrapping things up cleanly with a great live bar round.

I'm stoked to hand the mantle over to Ad, who's gonna have a pimp, pimp experience in Athens provided he can duck any flying masonry or molotov cocktails given Greece's current political climate.

For myself, I'm chuffed to swing in a cheeky second ahead of my comp nemesis and good mate, 'ol Widgey. Amazing presentations went down at the stupidly maxxing Lavendar Bay mansion, and I decided to handycap my second day's competition by slicing the top of my finger off with a killer sharp mandolin - better was the decision not to incorporate the piece into my garnishing!

Thanks go out to Cat Lyon who kept me from whiting out, and ceasing the flow of the crimson river! With large bandaged comedy finger on my right hand, the day's comp was great - especially the live speed round!

Big ups to the Behind Bars kids and Dee-ag-ee-o with all their fancy booze.

The mansion was sick for the awards night, and everyone had a bangin' time hob-nobbing and drinking delicious cocktails and canapes. The crazy buggers even set up a blazer station outside on some barrels which fueled the banter, and left me with a contented Johnnie Blue glow.

What went down on the bus and Eeu de Vie afterwards....that's not for your eyes!

Adi. x