Friday, March 27, 2009


It's over for another year. The one, two and three star celebrity chefs and aspiring star gatherers have gone back to where they came from, and the star gazers can now sit back and slowly digest a most extraordinary banquet of food and wine, talks and discussions. For us this was a seriously stimulating gastronomic event encouraging us to think about adding such things as cooking sous vide to our repertoire and also to think about the relationship of technology and technique, talent, training and imagination to the creation of memorable meals. We will write about Rene Redzepi and his astonishingly successful concept restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and about the Neil Perry moderated discussion withThomas Keller

Heston Blumenthal in another post.

For now a few words about Dan Hunter.

Starting in Melbourne Hunter moved to Spain where he worked at El Bulli before moving to Muigaritz. Working with Andoni Luis Aduriz in a kitchen staffed by 25 he became head chef, one of only four actually receiving a salary! After moving back to
Australia and a stint in Melbourne he decided that it made more sense for him to realise his philosophy in a kitchen in the country rather than in a large Metropolitan centre. he chose The Royal Mail about 3 hours out of Melbourne, with a population of about 200! Hunter was aware that many of the very best restaurants were well away from large metropolises. He wanted to be close to the products he uses and immediately started a garden which has now grown to be quite large. His chefs all work in the garden and someone is usually working there for some four hours every day. Going back to nature does not stop him using all the modern technologcal stuff so constant tempeature water baths allow for cooking sous vide and at his demo/talk we got to taste some Hiramasa kingfish cooked for 12 minutes at 68 degrees with cucumber two ways and wild rice, saffron which was fantastic. After that a Pacific oyster, gree lip abalone, marine essence, actually a fabulous hot consomme provided in a test tube for us to pour over the seafood, was another great palate pleaser. The oyster had been seared on one side for one minute - so easy so delicious.
Comments Of course not everything about the MFWS was fantastic. Some of the chefs were almost unintelligible, some of the sessions ran late making it hard to get to the next one if it was at another venue, and the lunches were terribly dull but all in all it was agreat weekend and I am already looking forward to next year!
Finally a score: 17.5/20

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