The pop up restaurant Good Fat By Australian Avocados in Surry Hills is the latest of my consulting gigs. It was in the old Marque restaurant site. The revamp looked amazing, from the green neon to the fun feature wall of avocados, a great deal of thought and work had gone into the look of this project.
I was called four days into the event, after the opening Saturday was busier than expected and the pop up was left without enough food to open on the following day. I managed to manoeuvre some of my existing commitments, but of course, I had to jump at the opportunity to have arguably the most popular ingredient to any Australian cafe menu as one of my largest clients. To be able to showcase the avocado in a manor fitting for such an incredibly diverse and versatile ingredient was important to me. The beloved ingredient is often the victim of just smashing and spreading on toasted sourdough.
It has been a really long time between writing blog posts so I shall give you a brief run down on the previous year as you can see it has been really quite busy which is great. I will be writing posts about some of the different experiences I have had. Some of which will be coming up as blog posts over the next few months.
There is another half to my specialist savoury side, that would be my specialist sweet Queen Jess AKA The Chocolate Artisan. Since delving into the world of smoking and curing she has been by my side throwing ideas and ingredients into my smoke box…
Growing up in the south east of England I was spoilt with amazing produce to the south is the sea and in all other directions within a 10k radius there are farms, butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers. Of course England is the motherland of bacon we have been producing it since the Middle Ages.
When I first built my cold smoker, we were chucking everything in there, from bacon to tomatoes, flour to oil and sugar to apples, among a plethora of other ingredients just to satisfy our inquisitive minds.
Some things worked perfectly, others needed some refining, some things didn’t work and others just kind of sat there waiting for the right time to experiment further with the product.
The flour was one of said products, I had used it for a couple of applications like, dusting my chicken with it before frying to get a smokey crust, or using it to thicken soups or sauces. The main vision I had for this smoked flour was to make a French country style loaf, the pane de campaign.
As some of you may already know we did our first BMB Black Market Bacon and egg roll pop up hosted by our friends at Textbook Patisserie, John Ralley and Steven Anderson. Who we have collaborated with on other projects, and continue to do so with a very exciting "Bacon Festival" stay tuned to my social media pages to see more details.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody, now that my schedule has quietened down a little I will tell you about my live cooking demonstration, showcasing what the great produce suppliers down at Miranda Westfield have on offer, this was on behalf of the guys at the Hospitality Establishment who do an amazing job, it is always great to work with such a professional company who have exacting standards! The demo kitchen is well stocked with great equipment from DeLonghi, Kenwood and Braun.
I created a recipe for a chicken liver and apple parfait, after we had an unforgettable experience on Fiona and Adams family farm, Buena Vista down in Gerroa, it is just amazing how they relocated from the city to live the country life dream, on land that has been in the family for generations.
The day was focused on poultry, how to raise, care for and process chickens, there are two types "layers" and "meat birds". These Guys embodied Free Range with a passion, they rear the happiest animals, they put in huge amounts of care, love and attention into every stage of the animals life, and have the animals well being at the top of their agenda, I mean check out the view that all their animals get!!!
Our day was focused on the later! After spending the morning learning so much about what goes into the life of these birds, we were served up a delicious lunch, consisting of a beautiful chicken liver parfait, an amazing chicken salad and a delicious apple and rhubarb crumble with clotted cream!!!
The recent trip back to the UK, apart from seeing my family, was powered by my passion, in what some would describe as that holiest of meats - Bacon.
With the limited quality of bacon made available to the average Australian, they are not given the opportunity to fulfil their God given right to dine on the king of meats, prepared with centuries old technique for making traditional dry-cured, cold smoked bacon, understanding that hot days are not your best friend for cold smoking might explain this. It doesn't explain the imported pork and sped up process.
We’ll cover some of the pitfalls later, and try and come up with ways to keep the temperature and humidity down inside my own custom built chamber.