Monday, November 21, 2011
A Chef's Table par Excellence
We recently returned from a 15 day trip in Australia...Sydney...took in an opera at the famed and magnificent opera house....walked the Bondi Beach outdoor sculpture exhibit...visited Melbourne for two days, where we caught a glimpse and rode the elevator with a few of the President's Cup notables (sorry mom, not Phil)...spent four very lazy days on Hayman Island and ended the trip with a great visit with cousins who went to Australia 23 years ago for "1 year" and now have a wonderful home in Tasmania with ocean views! And they have a wine refrigerator that rivals many wine cellars.
But since this blog is about food, I am sharing some of the exquisite presentations of a seven course Chef's Table meal which were accompanied by seven different wines. Each course was a work of art prepared by the Haymnan Inn's chef Anthony Healy. The winery was Majella of the Coonawarra region.
Shown here is the first course:Compressed kingfish, green apple noodles, baby radish, nasturtium, arugula caviar yoghurt(in the tube!) The vegetable entree shown is my substitute for the Beef Cheeks, which were enjoyed by the other 16 guests.
The third dish shown is the utterly awesome Hayman sloe gin martini igloo. This item took ice art to the next level.
The chef shared the history of the chef's table which originated in Europe in the
18th century, giving chef's the opportunity to invite patrons and friends into the kitchen to experience specialty dishes which were difficult and not suitable for the restaurant. The meal was served in the kitchen which had been "prepared for guests" ... complete with chandeliers which replaced the bright working kitchen lights.
The other courses included Quail, Lamb Noisette, Wagu Sirloin,and a Valrhona manjari chocolate biscuit souffle for dessert. The chef accommodated my "no red meat preference" and provided me with substitute dishes. Following the dinner we had a tour of the kitchen, the chocolate room and the wine cellar. It was truly an experience.
There probably was not one course served that I would even attempt to duplicate. Most of the ingredients are not readily available and while I do consider myself a decent cook, I am far from a cuisine artist. So this was one meal I just enjoyed with out even taking mental notes!
And the beaches were nice.....very nice.