Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Edna’s Table native Australian lunch

Following the visit by world renowned chef Rene Redzepi from Noma in Copenhagen, who champions his native food (and wonders why we don’t champion ours … huh?), my great friends Raymond Kersh AM and Jennice Kersh AM of Edna’s Table rose to the challenge. See recent media.

Jennice and Ray set about putting together a spontaneous event using indigenous ingredients for some of the visiting chefs and media to sample.

The Royal Botanic Gardens was the obvious choice of venue and lunch in the sun dappled courtyard was preceded by a fascinating walk among the indigenous plants led by aboriginal education officers Leon Jinnabinga Burchall and Clarence Slockee. Most interesting was their explanation of regionality and the differences in plants and names for different areas, as well as the many medicinal uses for such plants.

A diverse group of lunch guests was assembled, including:
* Musa Dagdeverin and Murad Llgicioglu, visiting chefs from Turkey
* Jennifer 8 Lee, a food writer from America
* Margaret Xu Yuan, chef from Hong Kong
* Somer Sivriotlu, owner/chef of Efendy Restaurant, Balmain
* Leon Jinnabinga Burchall and Clarence Slockee
* Simon Marnie, Weekends Presenter, ABC 702 Sydney

Ray was assisted in the kitchen by chef Ashley Hughes from Alio Restaurant and Daniel Dewar, who also ran the floor spectacularly with Blair Milan.

Musa, Murad and Margaret were especially enchanted by the flavours. Margaret was avidly collecting samples while the Turkish chefs went into the kitchen to make a traditional onion salad, using Davidson Plum in place of sumac! Brilliant.

Ray and Jennice were extremely grateful to the following food producers who supported the lunch with fantastic product:
Lenah Game Meats John Kelly provided his fantastic Tasmanian wallaby
Herbie’s Spices My mate Ian ‘Herbie’ Hemphill has a very extensive range of native herbs and spices
Kurrajong Australian Native Foods

Leon Jinnbinga Burchall collecting nectar from bottlebrush

Even though Ray & Jennice's award-winning restaurant Edna’s Table closed several years ago, they haven’t lose their touch for hospitality, attention to detail and warmth and, of course, Ray’s magic touch with native food was showcased with his stunning menu.

Wines were generous supplied by my friends at NSW Wine from their recently announced Top 40 wines. They matched superbly.

Following are pictures of each course with matching wine.

Marinated emu, Mulloon Creek honey and native finger lime salad
Shaw Vineyard Estate 2009 Premium Riesling, Canberra

Magnetic Island cheese fruit & goats cheese tartlet with mango basil & lemon myrtle oil
Meerea Park 2005 Alexander Munro Semillon, Hunter Valley

Tasmanian grilled wallaby fillet filled with enoki mushrooms, La Perouse warrigal greens and pandanus leaf sauce
Hungerford Hill 2008 Epic Chardonnay, Tumbarumba

Northern Territory crocodile, corn & coriander nori parcel with hot sour native aniseed broth
Angullong Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Orange

Grilled fillet of kangaroo, kumara sweet potato, beetroot & Mulloon Creek wild rocket and ponzu dressing
Thomas Wines 2009 Sweetwater Shiraz, Hunter Valley

Sadly I didn’t take a photograph of dessert – Native Davidson plum & mountain pepperberry ice cream, Wattleseed crème brulee, Rosella buds & quandongs, delightfully matched with McWilliam’s 2008 Morning Light Botrytis Semillon from the Riverina.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a revival of interest in native flavours!

1 comment:

  1. This is mouthwatering and just shows what everyone should be doing with their native ingredients. Thinking outside of the square. The photos are enticing too.