Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Report from … Australia Day Dinner – January 24, 2013

For Australia Day (January 26, 2013) two Australia-inspired chefs, John Placko (by birth) and Luke Hayes-Alexander (By extensive traveling) put on a special 8 course dinner series (3 nights: Jan. 24-26) to shine a light on the food/cuisine of Australia paired with a number of Aussie wines.  Described by John as an “Epicurean Walkabout” here’s how the evening went:

Opening wine was a pleasant Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay / Pinot Noir – nice up front fruit
Course 1: Beet It
“Beet in textures, goat cheese, hazelnut powder”
Wine: Served with a lackluster Sauvignon Blanc

Course 2: Coffee & Biscuit
“Warm coffee with biscuit broth, garnishes”
Wine: No specific wine for this course

Course 3:  Queensland Revisited
“Barramundi, cauliflower with dill, horseradish jelly, frozen pickled cucumber”
Wine:  Pewsey Vale Riesling – nice pear, green apple, candied lemon peel (*** ½+)

Course 4:  Blinman
“Lamb, beets, lemon myrtle, brown butter, wattle seed”
Wine: Ringbolt 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – raspberry, smoky, white pepper, strawberry and chalky; complex and flavourful (****+)

Course 5: Red Centre
“Kangaroo, pepperberry, vegemite, akudjura, Buderim ginger, potato with macadamia, wild hibiscus gel, onion fluid gel”
Wine:  A Shiraz/Viognier that added nothing to the meal

Course 6:  Sydney
“Aussie meat pie in two course; traditional and modern”
Wine: A simple Cabernet Sauvignon

Course 7:  Pavlova, deconstructed
“Mudgee honey meringue and wafers, mango cured and ice cream pearls, freeze-dried banana, carbonated strawberries, passion fruit fluid gel, berry powder”

Course 8:  The Blue Mountains
“Orange, Granny Smith apple, eucalyptus olida, chocolate, jasmine, musk”
Wine:  There were surprisingly no dessert wines served, which is too bad because Australia makes some brilliant ones.

Coup-de-Gras:  The Tim Tam Slam 

A hot beverage, a popular biscuit and a lot of fun.

These biscuits have been part of Australian culture since their launch in 1964 and are consumed at a rate of 400 million per year.

Other Pictures from the Evening ...

The Table is Set - 40 people in the room total
The wines of the evening
Chefs preparing the apps and for the evening ahead
App 1
App 2
Say hello to the chefs: Luke (left) and John (right)
This hard little pill on the plate ... just add water to it ...
And voila, it puffed up ... it ultimately unrolled to be a napkin

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