Monday, September 20, 2010

What makes the confit duck pies at the Bayside Lounge so delectable?

That’s a good question and one that I hope to discover ...

As you may know I’m the newly appointed Food & Beverage Ambassador for the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, the home of the stylish new Bayside Lounge. As such I get to work with some truly lovely people: Ton van Amerongen, Chief Executive; Simon Lomas, Director of Food & Beverage and the uber talented Uwe Habermehl, Executive Chef.

I’ve long been impressed with the food and service at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, especially at the annual Australia Day lunch. You can read my post about Australia Day this year here.

I’m also very happy to be presenting The Magic of Spices at the Bayside Terrace (the event is part of the Sydney International Food Festival) on 12 October with my Just Add Spice co-author, Ian ‘Herbie’ Hemphill. For event details click here.

Executive Chef Uew Habermehl feeding (!) me that pie

Now back to that pie … Uwe is keeping his recipe secret … don’t you hate that? I know that the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre promotes Australian produce so we know that it contains good stuff. But what?

If you’ve ever made duck confit (confession: I haven’t for quite a while) you’ll know that it is a bit of a process. Two to three days to be precise. First you have to rub the duck with spices. What spices does Uwe use? My palate detected thyme, garlic and pepper, but what else? Think I need to sample a few more to sure. In the interests of research you understand. Uwe?

Oh, and the duck is lovely and meaty and melts in the mouth. Uwe buys his duck from the Macleay Valley in New South Wales. Gotta love regional New South Wales produce.

Once I’ve figured out the confit flavourings, I’ll begin work on the pastry. Two types I think – one for the base and another for the top. Might need a few more research samples … Uwe?

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