Paul’s Caul… South American Quest part 5… Gustu

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Gustu, La Paz (Bolivia)

When a couple of chefs from the worlds best restaurant decide to move to the other side of the world to open a new restaurant purely because the local produce is so different, then we should definitely take notice. Gustu is just such a place. It’s found in a La Paz (Bolivia) and the chefs are from Noma (should need no explanation) as well as several front of house staff. These guys and gal’s have started the same food movement that they kicked off in their Nordic homeland. The concept is to use produce found only locally and prepared keeping traditions alive, and what is blatantly obvious is that this concept works so very well.

I know it’s not rocket science and to be honest most of us try our hardest to follow the same simple rules, but without the financial backing and pure grit and determination it’s a lot harder to achieve then first thought. Gustu are not only pushing the food integrity they have also set up a training school to educate locals on all aspects of 5 star cuisine and all of its many careers. They have gone into the poorest neighborhoods and areas, and then given numerous amazing individuals an opportunity to achieve goals that were before out of reach.

For this I salute them from the bottom of my heart, it makes me proud to be part of an industry that is evolving, as the world is starting to look more with reverence at the creators of food, the leading champions of the food to face industry are stepping up and performing acts that are worthy of such an honour. You could see the pride that the young Bolivian staff had during our experience at Gustu, without being condescending in any way it was beautiful to see individuals grateful for a chance and embrace it with gusto (see what I did there?).

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Now with all that aside you still need banging dishes to be leaving the kitchen if you want anyone to take you seriously, and with an extremely modern and shiny open kitchen with all the bells and whistles us spoilt chefs like… even with all that expectation Gustu still really do deliver. The food was original yet traditional, it was creative without be ridiculous and it considered flavour above all else and in my opinion that is what makes a quality restaurant.

With dishes like ‘freeze-dried Q-ahti potato with duck skin’ & ‘homemade bacon with chankaka, cacao and lime’ starting the proceedings we knew were onto a good thing…. The cocktail menu was no secondary thought either, with tobacco cocktails and basil and coconut beverages arriving at our table, we were happy little campers.

As the more sizable dishes which were matched with beverages started to arrive, I was pleased to see that the simple motive had been continued as bowls filled with flavour but exempt from confusion started to flow… these were matched with wines and on occasion lovely little numbers like a local quinoa beer which was matched with a ‘Native potatoes cooked in salar salt, elderflower, capers and flowers’ one of the best matches of the day.

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Before I forget I must take a second to mention the bread and butter, three breads and three butters arrived early in the piece… I love anything a bit different and gluten free bread, served with the gluten that had been removed then fried crispy much like pork crackle is effing superb in my world, this was accompanied by another sour dough roll and the butters. One of butters was not for me and strange as it reminded me of eating straight mull butter but with none of the benefits or side effects depending on how you look at it. It was coca butter, so dried coca leaves churned in butter. Another butter was organic butter with salt flakes and we all know that’s delicious. The final butter of sorts was possible the greatest triumph of the night… it was a quinoa tofu and it was exquisite, I would of quite comfortably eating the crispy gluten smothered with quinoa tofu until the proverbial cows came home, but alas it was just a bread course and it came to an end far to quickly.

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A couple of stand out dishes are par for the course (pun intended) and this nights winners were a uber rich in texture and flavour Chicken Fricassee, which G-money was so close to ordering a full dish off. It sat on a buttery crouton and was bathed in a pristine jus, which was finished with so much butter it shone like a black star. Butter was most definitely ever present in their cookery, they used burnt butter a little too much as its so strong and should be used with a little more subtlety but that’s just me nit picking. The fricassee was so rich I don’t think much more than the 1-2 inch block would have been needed, which is just another reason that I love the dego style of eating, lots of dishes that leave you wanting.

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Lauren and I both loved the same dish, it was ‘Palm marrow, dried Alpaca and poached egg yolk’ it was served much like a Bolivian take on carbonara, strands of palm marrow, a cured alpaca that held a meaty punch, poached egg yolk and a drizzle of beurre noisette, in this particular case the butter was well at home and made this one of the most interesting I’ve eaten in a while. Four simple ingredients treated with respect, and once together and set free from the confines of the prep section become best mates on your palate ready to live the rest of their life’s out in your belly. My god I want to eat it again now, but I will have to wait until I recreate it myself once I’m home, a prospect that excites me no end, as what I will create will be a homage to said dish, but will inevitably change or evolve into something new… food is without a doubt the best shit ever.

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The entire evening was seamless with everyone from the sommelier to the food runner playing his or her part in this well orchestrated performance. We were all well full and ready to be rolled home, but then the coffee course came along and took me by surprise… I didn’t expect any thing to be done with my coffee, how wrong I was, it had theatrics, it used many senses and it delivered in the taste department. They brought out a local wood (I forget the name) and set it on fire only to put out and place under a glass as for the smoke to fill said glass. Then a pre brewed strong coffee, that had been shaken over ice once brewed and brought to the table in a science beaker, then poured into the smoky glass. It was delicious and went really well with the chocolate ganache tart it was served with.

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Sounds like a great way to finish this evening… yes it would have been but we had spotted a bacon and onion cocktail on the menu and we thought
“We must try that, how can it not be tasty?”

What we were served next was the worst tasting liquid to pass my lips, it tasted like liquid bad breath and didn’t possess any of the great characteristics of either bacon or onion. If it had the sweetness of the onion with any one of bacon’s magical flavour properties then it would have been a victory for food cocktails worldwide, instead sadly it was a swing and a miss.

But we didn’t leave with a bad taste in our mouth, in fact it was smiles all the way back to our hotel, Gustu is a shining light in the world of restaurants and I feel we will be hearing a lot more about them in the next few years.

Paul’s Caul… Cuca, Bali

Cuca

The final chapter in the Balinese adventure for 2014, the final day of holiday and the final meal to be had in Bali. As if this wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, we where meeting my sister and two very good friends Bec and Mal for this last supper as it were… but with a noticeable absence of a messiah and about 6 disciples, we opted for the less holy and much more enjoyable lets get drunk and not die approach to our dining experience.

We set off that morning with our very own driver for the day, a great guy called Ivan, which made me laugh as with his broken English accent, it did seem he was explaining what he owned in the way of transport as much as he was introducing himself, but regardless of the what nonsense goes on in my head, we set off to pick up my sister.

My sister Zoe is not only hilarious and a shit load of fun, but she loves food and drink as much as me, in fact if I was to be fair she may like drink a little bit more… Zoe was in Bali with three friends for a week and it just so happened to coincide with our trip, which was brilliant, as we just don’t get to see enough of her. We arrived at her massive hotel around noon after picking up Bec & Mal, another lucky coincidence that more friends were not only in Bali but able to join us for a bit of foodie frivolity. We pulled up to see Zoe and her friend Joy waiting for our arrival, Joy informed us that her day was going to consist of massages and hopefully finding Mr. Package… now straight away I thought Mr. package could be a courier or a guy with a massive knob, its turns out it was the latter, so we left her Joy with her day well plotted out.

Today’s restaurant of choice was ‘Cuca’, it’s a reasonably new eatery and other than the glowing review from my Boss/chef/friend Herb, I really hadn’t heard anything about the place. But herb had been in Bali weeks before cooking at a local resort for a valentine’s dinner, and had eaten at Cuca and hadn’t stopped singing its praises, which is quite unusual for Herb. He’s not a hater, its just he has a very high standard and not many people/places can please him, so when he was excited, I was excited and got him to book me in and select the chef’s table.

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The grounds of this hard to find treasure are like stepping into different world, you drive through the noisy hustle bustle of Bali to enter a tranquil setting, quite minimalistic, but extremely well maintained. Upon arrival we were shown to the chef’s table, which looked down onto the most pristine kitchen, filled with all the newest toys, paco-jets, combi ovens, dehydrators and a god damn fairy floss machine! As the restaurant was dead quiet it was a tad awkward as we sat in a row looking at 4-5 chefs who quite frankly were doing fuck all. But for every awkward situation there is always alcohol to fix the problem, so we asked for the cocktails menu.

The concept of Cuca is based on Tapas, desserts and cocktails… this is exactly what you get, there isn’t a large extensive drinks/wine list and the menu doesn’t read little a shit novel filled with 1980’s cuisine much like the rest of International restaurants do… No it is a very well thought out collection of immaculately crafted dishes, desserts and cocktails, all with as much love and effort put into them as the last… These guys cared and it showed, these guys where good and it showed and believe me when I say that these guys spent a lot of money to pull an operation like this together… and when we where the only people in there, you have to feel for them.

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The cocktails were effing amazing, presentation like I’ve never experienced before, from flavoured ice cubes, special bottles and custom labels to the coolest glasses and vessels to serve said drinks in… the flavour was great as well, the chilli hit from the bloody mary was killer and the mojito with the lime ice sphere was very cool (pun intended) but being a creature of habit I did feel that after we tried all 6 cocktails we would of liked a grey goose caprioska or two.

The head chef wasn’t on premise the day we went, but he had told his staff to look after us, and they may have taken that a little to seriously, we had opted for chef’s choice, so the kitchen chooses the dishes and you get to relax, but as they had fuck all else to do, they decided to cook us most of the menu and see just how quick us large white folk can eat… this was quantified by the fact that we were eating the food quickly so we could chat and catch up but before we knew it there was more amazing food being served to us… I know it sounds awful doesn’t it, but I really do feel this style food is about relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere and flavours. So next time my young chef friends at Cuca please slow down with the food, maybe use that time to go polish your ridiculously clean kitchen some more.

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First to come was a spun sugar coated in a traditional Balinese chicken seasoning…

So it was fairy floss with chicken salt on it!

But do not for a second think this wasn’t cool, it was extremely cool, extremely tasty and a great was to start proceedings. Next to follow was onion rings with a green chilli aioli, this was simple but like everything it had its own cool bag for the rings and a trendy little bottle for the aioli, so it was fun and it worked.

Then the plated goodness started to flow from ceviche of snapper with watermelon and corn textures to smoked fish with beetroot foam then the most kick arse pumpkin and goats cheese salad with granola… the dishes were seasoned well, looked stunning and had plenty of body about them. Crispy chicken with picked red onion and olive powder was everything I like about modern cuisine, its was old flavours done with a new twist, molecular gastronomy that worked, not contrived bull shit, servicing nothing but some twats ego, this stuff was good food, and we were loving it.

We decided after dish number 12 that we needed a break and would like to sit in the restaurant as staring down a bunch of nervous chefs only entertains you for so long… so we adjourned to the main floor area which was simple and elegant, at this point that was the only thing simple and elegant as we had all drank quite a bit, laughter was ever present as we regaled each other with Balinese tails and past experiences, good times were had and finally we had room for dessert.

The desserts that arrived looked as you would expect, stunning, picture perfect and colourful… something I have forgotten to mention is just how colourful, vibrant and playful Cuca’s food and drinks are, think willy wonka meets Heston…. The egg dessert which consisted of mango, coconut and lychee flavours was a true marvel and one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten, the chocolate dessert with choc clusters, soft set choc and peppermint ice cream was extremely spectacular, not really to my taste but brilliant non the less. The final dessert was a take on the classic strawberry shortcake, they managed to achieve a very tasty version, although probably their worst plate up.

To finish the lunch we were show through to the cocktail bar, which was positioned at the end of the building on the out side, there they poured us a digestive infused Arak drink, a vanilla Arak for the ladies and a pineapple flavour for the lads, both were the best Arak I’ve ever tasted… but that’s not saying much as I hate the stuff and feel it would best be used powering lanterns or cleaning engines.

All in all I loved Cuca and would highly recommend going there, its awesome to see people trying something different and I really hope it works for them. I feel for it to be a continued success that they would need to change the limited selection of drinks quite often, but other than that they are flying the flag for modern cuisine, and I salute you all.

Paul’s Caul… Mozaic, Bali

Mozaic

We have two more days left here in our Ubud abode and tonight we are going to what our dear friend Che rates as the best restaurant in these parts… its called Mozaic and as with every dining experience we are incredibly excited. I have even started of late to not research menu’s as much as I used too, well not for good places anyway, as I love the surprise of what might come next, how its prepared and served and in what order are what makes a good dinner great and I can sometimes overthink the whole process given all information before hand.

So all I know is that you can choose 6 courses in their dego style and then you can add matched wine with that… so you guessed it we will most likely go for the most food possible with wines please and thank you.

I will continue this tale tomorrow morning once the details of our adventure have actually occurred, I find this the best way to tell a story, other wise it’s fictional bollocks, plain and simple.

So its now 9am the morning after and without putting to much of a fine point on it, its been a long night for my bum, not like jail days more like holy shit what’s happening inside my body days… come to think of they sound rather similar. This I’m sure has nothing to do with our meal last night so we shall leave it there.

We set off with Katut (actually is the name of our driver) to find Mozaic and luckily we didn’t take Laurens advice and walk there as it is rather far up a big hill… we arrived to a beautiful entrance guarded by a very polite security guard who doubled as a valet/host, the entrance was very cool, it was a picture frame that you walk through, very Narnia, very cool and very different.

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We where then shown through to the cocktail lounge where we were offered drinks and to browse the 4 dego options they have available for our dining experience, there was a local ingredient based 6 course dego which had versions of beef cheek rendang, mangosteen sorbet, snake fruit and crispy duck, all things we have seen on local menu’s… then there was chef’s tasting menu which blended the local produce with international flavours and it looked amazing with manchego gnocchi, foie gras and aussie lamb making up a bevy of dishes I really wanted to sink my teeth into.

But then there was the chef’s selection dego made up from all of the above and using what’s freshest at the time (even though I hope this would be his ethos with all menu’s) and we wouldn’t get the same dish as each other for each course, this for a pair of food sharers was a dream come true, 6 courses just became 12… Magic.

The fourth choice was a vego dego, which although I’d never order it, I do love to see it. Vego’s are the closest living animal to humans so we should care for them.

The entire menu was chocker’s with local flair, from the cocktails to the desserts the chef had obviously embraced his new found home with vigor. I started the night with a cocktail consisting of Absulut, star fruit, ginger and ginger syrup… so I changed the absulut for grey goose and bam I was very happy, Lauren had a similar drink with absulut, strawberry, lime and something very sour… she was equally as happy as me, especially when a canapé of edam cheese profiterole and truffle came to the table.

As we where lead out the cocktails lounge and through to the restaurant I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of roof the restaurant had, in fact we where out doors and never had we experienced such fine dining in such a relaxed and beautiful beer garden setting, they had put thought into every component of the dining experience and I guess that’s how you get into Asia’s top 50 restaurants. We never saw the same style of plate twice, everything was custom bought for its very own purpose.

We decided to not go with matched wines as we like what we like and prefer to have a few glasses of it rather than a thimble of deliciousness that is never to be seen again. So a 2008 Chilean malbac was just what the doctor ordered, a really great drop and reasonably priced at about 80 Australian dollars.

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The first course or amuse bouche as it were, was my favourite, it was a cornetto filled with beef, truffle and parmesan ice cream and Lauren had a similar cornetto with salmon and parmesan…. The cornetto was made form a savoury tuille biscuit of sorts and was eloquent, tasty and well measured cuisine… if only the rest of the courses to follow were as tasty.

Did you sense I slight bit of negativity in my wording? Well if I was to be honest about everything else that followed I’d have to say it didn’t all measure up to my expectations, these where expectations that I had before arrival and then they where magnified once I entered this very slick world. I will add some photo’s for you to all look at, and with out a doubt the execution of his dishes was superb, the ingredients where top notch and the obvious love for the art was ever present… but for me what was lacking in nearly all dishes was the magical 2% of flavour which makes or breaks dishes.

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This 2% could be salt, it could be spice it could come from the actual heat of a dish, it’s the thing that makes you salivate, it is unfortunately the thing that makes you move food around your mouth like a creepy person as you want to gain every last drop of the goodness from said dish… and even more unfortunately it was the thing missing from last nights dinner.

This isn’t to say that the crew are Mozaic aren’t talented, quite the opposite I think they are extremely talented and worth a visit as my photo’s show they create some amazing dishes, I am however overly critical when it comes to such quality restaurants as they are selling an experience not just a meal. And when these dining experiences come at such a high price tag, I want to leave with my mind going over time with memories of flavours and textures, I want to regale folks with tales of my favourite dish the one you must have if you ever go there… and a cornetto of beef with parmesan sorbet is not worth such a long journey.

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The entire bill was the equivalent of about $500 and when ever this amount of money is handed over for a meal, shit best be top notch, make sure your team is on it’s A game, and make sure every member of your team knows why they are adding ingredients, its not good enough following a recipe and executing the dish to perfection… if you don’t know the reasons for the steps, procedures and the need for certain ingredients then it will never be memorable.

I would go into more details about the dishes but I kid you not, I can’t remember most of them and with the breakdown of communication between us and the floor staff, it was hard to work out what was what… molecular gastronomy (MG) are words that get chucked around a lot and I for the most part love it when and only when it is used for a reason and used with restraint, they did seem to want to have some component of MG in all dishes and it was un-necessary. The large gel filled caviar they made was left for too long in their chemical bath and the skin was way to thick and as with shit loads of places they over used crumbs, soils and powders.

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Lauren and I still had a magnificent evening as we never look for fault at the time and left really happy, I went and had a chat to the chef and complimented him on how he called a pass with an international crew, we tipped the wait staff as they where so attentive and friendly the entire evening and we went home reveling in each other company, so please don’t think me a hater, I’m just calling it how I saw it.

Paul’s Caul… The Vue de Monde experience…

Vue de monde/Beautifully measured elegance

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Entrance to Heaven
Entrance to Heaven

Its been over twenty four hours since we entered the private lift that takes you to Vue de monde and I’m still buzzing from the five and a half hour experience, and yes that is what it is, its not just dinner, its not just sustenance, its not just a theatre show… it is every one of these and much much more. Fair enough it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but those people don’t read this blog and quite frankly they are weird.

Lauren and I have been on holiday now for a few weeks and have had our fair share of good food, lots of quality wine and an abundance of incredible company. In fact it was on the morning before this that we where treated to what will most likely be the best breakfast we will ever eat, this is for several reasons… firstly because the 5 course breakfast dego at Lilianna’a was mind blowing in execution, flavours where jumping from the plate, visually it was stunning and if you know my girl Lauren then you will know she takes breaky very seriously and she was as happy a pig in the proverbial poo. What made this particular meal extra special was that my very good friend and co-blogger is the head chef there and cooked the whole thing for us… without being condescending in any way I couldn’t be more proud of what Graeme has achieved both in the kitchen as a chef and at home as a father and husband, we had a ball staying with the Stocky’s.

But this post is called Vue de monde, not we love G-bags, so back to the story at hand… so given all the culinary delights we have been privy too it is always hard to impress us and when expectations are so high in the case of such a restaurant, its even harder to match expectations. But they didn’t just match them they blew them out of the effing water, from the first person to greet us to the person that loving laughed as we couldn’t see the lift to leave the place as there was just too many mirrors for our inebriated minds, so we tried to look cool as we spun around at the end of a corridor pushing walls hopping they where doors.

This is what makes a restaurant special, its not the food, its not the service, its not the setting…. It HAS to be all of them and more to make it memorable and special. The cocktail bar we sat in to start of with was cool but being that it was daytime, it did have that strange vibe and if you’ve ever been in a nightclub in the day you’ll know what I mean. But then they handed us the cocktail menu, it was a mother fucking POP UP BOOK. Now, most of you won’t know this but I fucking love pop up books and for the love god have no idea why they’re not used more. It was simply the tits!!! A brilliant story for every well planned drink, but me being me, I simply ordered a grey goose caprioska, because that’s what I do, Lauren how ever tried a champagne/gin number which was delicious, as was mine.

I don’t know about you lot but I love to check out toilets, not in a glory hole kinda way, and definitely not in a no toilet seat, metal public toilet arrangement… but when in flash joints I like to check out the lav. So off I went not knowing what to expect, well it was dreamy (yes that’s right) like the toilets in heaven will be like, the sink was so cool I got my phone out to take a photo, and as you all know there is an unspoken rule about taking photo’s in public toilets, but I had to and luckily I wasn’t caught in the act. They don’t even have soap as all there water both in the toilets and kitchen is a special water with a saline solution added that cleans dirt with out chemicals and the kitchen it has ph of 9 for normal cleaning and a special setting for sanitizing that comes out at a ph of 2…. SCIENCE

Time to have some food me thinks so I signal to the bar man that we are ready to enter the restaurant… I at this time have no fucking idea where the restaurant is mind you, there seems to be no doors leaving the small bar in which we are sitting. Then our waiter arrives seemingly from thin air and leads us back towards the lift, for a second I thought they’re onto me and my photos in the toilet and we’re being booted out… but then he presses the wall on his right and a door magically opens on our left, it leads into a climate controlled wine cellar which I could of stayed in for ever, but alas I was lead straight through into the restaurant and sat at our table over looking Melbourne, which is a great city but lets face it not that pretty. But the table was massive for two people and had a selection of rocks on it. Yes I said rocks. This seemed strange at first but by the end of the dinner all of said rocks had a purpose, from containing salt and pepper, to holding cutlery, to being used for plates… later on our tour of the kitchen the sous chef explained how the theory is the restaurant is meant to feel like a camp fire… this however is bollocks and I pretty much told him that (in a nice way of course)

Then food started to arrive instantly, before we even got a glimpse of a menu, in fact we never did get to see a menu at all… this was very cool and different as I’m a control freak and like to know what going on… but it was a revelation to not know anything that was coming. But of course, we also had no idea how much it was all costing and since we went for the 10 course dego with extra’s like the freshly shaved White Hungarian White Truffle and a bottle of 98 shiraz then you can all imagine that the bill was large. Now what ever you just imagined the bill to be, you should double what you thought and you might be correct now… it was a lot of coin, but in my humble, got no kids or mortgage opinion it was worth every penny.

We ate truffled marshmallows, white chocolate coated eel, salt and vinegar crisps with macadamia cream and wallaby cured on a hot salt rock in front of us and rolled by one of the 15 chefs with micro herbs. This was all before we had even told them we wanted the 10 course dego and all of the above was to die for, flavours where bang on!

There was many staff aiding our dining experience from a wine consultant to a tea sommelier, which we thought was amazing. She would match tea with any course instead of wine, pure brilliance… of course we tried her out on one course and she hit the nail right on the head, a great matching and a very novel idea I feel we will see a lot more of. But along with our waiter and several runners and chefs coming to prepare dishes at the table there was a bevy of people which in many cases could be too much, but it wasn’t they showed restraint, in both service and food preparation, it all could of quite easily been over the top but it really wasn’t. It was beautifully measured elegance.

As the experience went on, we where served amazing dish after dish, Laurens favourite was a slow cooked duck egg with black truffle paste, toast crisps and fresh white truffle. Mine was the French onion soup that came to the table in a coffee syphon cona thingy and was then poured into a bowl with onion three ways and a foam of something (seriously cannot remember what it was but was incredible). Theatrics where ever present but not ridiculous, all was magnificent and I only seasoned 2 out of 16 courses… yes that’s right we ended up eating 16 separate courses, fair enough some where just a mouth full but all worthy of being called a dish in its own right.

We where there, as stated, for 5 ½ hours which is a record for us, as we generally eat and run, but even then we where not rushed out near the end we where offered more wine, drinks and even taken on a tour of all kitchens, functions rooms and bars… take note all of you fucktards in Perth that kick you out at 8pm so the next sitting can come in, you can fuck right off with that attitude. I have decided from now on to make a booking at both 6pm and 8pm and when they kick me out, I’ll simply move to my next booked table… check and mate!

One happy little man with a big wine list
One happy little man with a big wine list
Salt and vinegar crisps with macadamia cream
Salt and vinegar crisps with macadamia cream
Truffled marshmallows with bread crumbs & white choc coated eel with caramel & caviar
Truffled marshmallows with bread crumbs & white choc coated eel with caramel & caviar

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Wallaby cured on a hot salt rock with micro herbs
Wallaby cured on a hot salt rock with micro herbs

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Iced Tea aperitif
Iced Tea aperitif
Beetroot Ox tongue with powered cream fraiche
Beetroot Ox tongue with powered creme fraiche
French onion broth in a coffee cona
French onion broth in a coffee cona
French Onion Soup on steroids … incredible!
French Onion Soup on steroids … incredible!
1998 Shiraz
1998 Shiraz
Slow cooked duck egg, crisp toast, black truffel paste, dehydrated herbs and freshly shaved hungarian white truffle! Lauren's favourite!
Slow cooked duck egg, crisp toast, black truffel paste, dehydrated herbs and freshly shaved hungarian white truffle! Lauren’s favourite!
Liquid nitrogen and violet flowers
Liquid nitrogen and violet flowers
Grinding liquide nitrogen and violet flowers into powder before cucumber sorbet is added. Very cool!
Grinding liquid nitrogen and violet flowers into powder before cucumber sorbet is added. Very cool!
Torched Barra with potato ribbon, roulle and lemon infused oil
Torched Barra with potato ribbon, rouille and lemon infused oil
Pigeon 2 ways. Pigeon breast with chocolate & beetroot crumb. Crispy pigeon leg with chicken fat emulsion
Pigeon 2 ways. Pigeon breast with chocolate & beetroot crumb. Crispy pigeon leg with chicken fat emulsion

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Marrow with fresh herbs
Marrow with fresh herbs
Kale & mint shot with coconut cream
Kale & mint shot with coconut cream

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Passion fuit fizzy drink with puff pastry, white chocolate cream with passion fruit, lemon curd & malto
Passion fuit fizzy drink with puff pastry, white chocolate cream with passion fruit, lemon curd & malto
Petit fours
Petit fours

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For the morning after" - the take home gift of Vue Tea, Granola, Brioche, Choc chip cookies and Heide Honey!
For the morning after” – the take home gift of Vue Tea, Granola, Brioche, Choc chip cookies and Heide Honey!
The amazing bathroom sink!
The amazing bathroom sink!

As we finished our day off in the cocktail bar in which we had started, but now eating the cheese which signaled the end of our experience, they still managed at this point to blow us away… they gave us a bag of freshly prepared goods for us to have for breakfast the next day… this contained a loaf of brioche, honey, muesli, cookies and tea, all of the finest quality…

Hats off to you Vue de monde, you guys are the best of the best and worth every god damn penny.

Paul’s Caul – food thievery and a nice walnut tart

Food thievery

Food thievery is our bread and butter, it’s the building blocks of our cooking lexicon, it’s page 22 of our next book, it’s the new chicken dish on the winter menu and to be exact, it’s the recipe in this post I’m about to write.

So is it wrong?

No absolutely not!

And for all of those twat chef’s out there with little to no confidence and extremely small penis’ (or vagina’s? not sure what the correct female version of small penis would be? Most likely, huge vagina?) get over it… it is such a complement for me if someone enjoys one of my dishes so much that they want to emulate it. I’m not saying I would like the restaurant next door to copy my entire menu, but to think you actually created something completely new is absurd…. Unless you’re a crazy Spanish son of a bitch with a test tube and way too much time.

I took my good friend and chef out for dinner the other week. This is something you should all do (I don’t mean I want you all to call up Alex and ask her out as that get weird real quick. What I do mean is if you work In a kitchen and you don’t all hate the sight of each other, go out for dinner every now and again).

This has many purposes…

  1. You get to steal heaps of ideas
  2. You can talk about food a lot with out boring the tits off of your guests
  3. You get to learn what your colleagues ethos on food is

And the most important…

  1. You get to eat delicious food and drink tasty wine

We choose ‘Jackson’s’ restaurant here in Perth, it has for many years been a favourite of mine and it still delivered (not like with a scooter and heat bag).

The menu was a 8 course degustation which we added a few extra courses onto, because quite simply we could, so we did J. Along with the superb food and exquisite company we partook in several alcoholic beverages, I won’t go into great detail about the food as It was all good but nothing really stood out… this is not to say it wasn’t superb, but the wheel wasn’t reinvented on this particular night.

My favourite dish was a simply cheese course, which I liked so much I’m actually using it on a menu for this weekend… it was a ‘walnut tart with gorgonzola’. There were a few other items on it, but this is how I steal things… I liked the concept so I have made up my own take of it. I’ve made a walnut tart (recipe below) and for the recipe I looked through my books and the interweb and found a few versions, so I took the bits I like from all of them, one said to put in raisins… “Raisins are so effing last year I’m gonna use currents” I said (plus I already had currents and couldn’t be bothered going back to the shop, you just witnessed how a dish is created J), and as for the remaining components of this dish I know I will put gorgonzola with the tart and an apple balsamic glaze I made a while back, but I’ll leave final assembly to the last minute and hope I can channel greatness or at least bluff my way through (most likely the latter).

Blind baking the shit out of my pastry... like a boss!
Blind baking the shit out of my pastry… like a boss!
Yummy mixture
Yummy mixture
Pre oven tart
Pre oven tart
Finished tart
Finished tart

Walnut tart

For this you can make individual tartlets or one big fuck off tart, like I did J

I hope by now you all know how to make pastry, roll pastry and blind bake pastry… if you don’t then I suggest you go to you-tube and learn that shit as I have no time or the inclination to teach you all… plus I’m pretty sure we taught you already, unless this is the first time you have been to our blog… then in that case where the hell have you been?

So here is the filling recipe to whack into the tart case/cases…

  • Beat together 1egg, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter until it is pale and creamy
  • Add the scrapings of 1 vanilla pod and ¼ cup currents
  • Crush 1 & ¼ cups of walnuts by hand or with a rolling pins and whack that in the mix
  • Finish it off with a small amount of orange zest (about a ¼-1/2 of an orange depending on size)
  • Now mix well and place in still hot blind bake pastry case
  • Bake at 160c for 25-30 minutes
  • Sorted!

I reckon this would be delicious with ice cream, with cheese, with poached peach or quince as a small starter… it can be whatever you want it to be….

“No body puts walnut tart in the corner”

*It’s seriously good to have you back bro, Grazza McFilthy Mouth