I was told there are some tickets left for both dinners. I'd gone to last year's (a lot of fun) and got to check out this year's (preview). Just an FYI if people were interested.
For those of you who had participated last year, many courses will be familiar or the same. Dishes seemed improved upon, either in taste or execution (or both). The only thing that could not be topped was John’s passionfruit pavlova from last year. I may have made him shed a tear when I told him that, but I do mean it only as the highest compliment that it is now the standard to which I compare all pavlova’s against. Even John’s other pavlovas.
Dukkah & Damper with a liquid roasted garlic interior and on roasted sesame. Pro-tip: eat it in one bite!
Salmon cured with lemon myrtle and wrapped around a pepperberry sponge. Topped with olive oil “dust” and dehydrated olives.
Beet It – Beet in textures, goat cheese, hazelnut powder. I liked the meringue a lot on this.
Coffee & Biscuits – Warm “coffee” with biscuit broth and garnishes. Very dessert-like.
Queensland Revisited – Barramundi (fish), cauliflower purée with dill (and a “secret” ingredient), apple horseradish jelly, and frozen cucumber cubes. The puffed rice gives the dish a great toasty taste. The skin of the fish has quite an interesting texture – a crunchy chew.
Blinman – lamb, beets (two ways), lemon myrtle, brown butter, wattle seed. Great lamb flavour and crunchy exterior. A dish I remember well from last year; now even better this year.
Red Centre – kangaroo, pepperberry, vegemite, akudjura, Buderim ginger, potato with macadamia, wild hibiscus gel, onion fluid gel. The meat was very tender and (very) mildly gamey.
Sydney (traditional) – a delicious and piping hot meat pie. The pastry was really nice.
Sydney (modern). Delicious beef cheeks and deconstructed pie elements. Loved the little butter balls and the “pastry” the onion sat on.
Pavlova; Deconstructed – Mudgee honey, passion fruit, mango, banana strawberries. A landscape of fruit in textures. Tart, sweet, and effervescent. Lots of delicious fun.
The Blue Mountains – orange, Granny Smith apple, eucalyptus olida, chocolate, jasmine, musk (a type of candy in Australia). A surprising and crazy combo of flavours and textures.
A Tim Tam and a long black. Getting ready for the slam!
The dinner itself is a great voyage of heritage and discovery as these chefs take you through their story over the evening. Tickets may initially seem dear at $150, but it's (more than) 8 courses, (free-flowing) pairings, tax, and tip. There’s also a take home treat – love extending good meal into the next day(s)!