Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Avocado reviewer competition

I have been involved in the food and wine industry for over 25 years and reviewing for the Good Food Guide since 1987.  Increasingly, members of the dining public are joining the pack of critics so I thought I’d share a few quick tips that I have picked up for reviewing restaurants over the years.

  1. Like any good critical analysis a review should be honest, informed, impartial and as objective as possible.
  2. Use your knowledge of cooking and ingredients to evaluate the dish. Has the correct method been used? Has it been cooked as indicated? Look at whether or not it matches what is on the menu and if the flavours are true.
  3. Try not to be limited by personal preferences. Write a review in such a way that allows the reader to judge whether or not they would enjoy the restaurant being written about or not.
  4. Look at the actual food as well as the big picture. Consider what is actually on the plate - how it tastes, looks and smells. Then look at the menu as a whole, its balance, interest and value, the wine list, service, comfort of seating and ambience.
  5. Finally, go out with an enthusiastic attitude. Expect to find a great meal and don’t be looking for faults. When criticising, make it constructive.
  6. A professional review is written after an anonymous visit and paying for the meal just like any customer. It is not something accepted gratis.

Now that I’ve shared my tips with you, I have the perfect opportunity for you to put them into practice. During the month of November Australian Avocados are giving you the chance to put restaurants around NSW and ACT at the mercy of your palate. Due to the extraordinary bumper crop of avocados coming through, participating restaurants will be featuring a very special avocado dish. To enter the competition all you have to do is order the dish, write up your review and post it to your personal blog, Yelp, Urbanspoon, or TripAdvisor and inform Avocados Australia of the location by the end of November.

Click here for more details on the competition.  

My friends at Bayside Lounge in Darling Harbour have devised a stunning dessert of Avocado Pannacotta with Avocado ice cream and Chilli marshmallow (pictured above) for their lunch menu. Head chef, Uwe, has been kind enough to share the recipe of his Avocado Pannacotta to impress your guests with an unconventional dessert at your next dinner party.

Avocado Pannacotta

5 gelatine leaves
750ml pure cream
125g castor sugar
1 split vanilla bean
150gm avocado puree
1 cup (250ml) milk

1. Soak gelatine in 2 cups of cold water for 5 minutes.
2. Bring cream, sugar and vanilla bean to the boil. Remove from heat and discard vanilla bean.
3. Squeeze out excess water from gelatine and whisk into warm cream mix until completely dissolved. Leave mix to come to room temperature.
4. Place avocado puree and milk in blender and puree until smooth.
5. Fold into cream mix gently as to not create air bubbles on the surface.
6. Pour into desired serving glass and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Best of luck! Lyndey x

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