So what does make a PorkStar? Many executive chef’s including our own wonderful Ray Capaldi were asked to sum this pertinent question up. Here were a range of their answers…
a) A culinary leader with a serious passion for pork
b) The ability to cook exquisite pork dishes by instinct, from fine dining to bistro fare
c) A chef whose pork creations always have diners’ salivating
d) A love of the pig from nose to tail and everything in between
All the chefs agreed – it’s all of the above!
Check out more about the PorkStar event at http://www.porkstar.com.au/ it turned out to be an amazing night; one we intend to have again…watch this space!
Last night in Sydney it was announced that we were the winner of People’s Choice in The Weekend Australian Magazine’s Hot 50 Awards. We’d like to thank everybody who voted to help us take the top spot and look forward to welcoming you back to the restaurant.
Below is a selection of Tweets that show how the night unfolded.
The full list of winners can be seen here and it will be published in this Saturday’s Weekend Australia.
Last Thursday Matilda Bay joined with Melbourne’s Hare & Grace to showcase the flavours of beer alongside the fine food of chefs Raymond Capaldi and Adam Liston.
Following a successful wine dinner from the Foster’s portfolio at the same restaurant earlier this year, the challenge to repeat the food matching event with beer was accepted by the Hare & Grace team. The respected chefs, known for incorporating molecular gastronomy into modern Australian cuisine, dissected the flavour elements of the Matilda Bay beers and cider to present a six course meal for food and beer fans.
Located at the base of Melbourne’ Rialto Towers, Hare & Grace comfortably fits more than 50 people in a casual and creative space. Formally the New York Tavern, a relaxed steakhouse and watering hole for the city crowd, the venue was reborn as Hare & Grace in November 2010. With the new décor designed by Joost Bakker, the rabbit warren feel of the restaurant was well suited to the characterful Matilda Bay beers, which often embrace an animal element (Fat Yak, Dogbolter, Redback, Beez Neez).
Originally billed as a “Matilda Bay dude food dinner”, the event seemed to be mostly attended by staff, associates and friends of the Fosters company, but as their first real test of the concept on savvy Melbourne diners, the organisers were happy to keep the numbers manageable and focus on crafting a menu and occasion that would make an impression for the cause of beer and food.
Raymond is feature in an article with ‘The Brit Pack’, chefs that travelled to Australia from the UK.
Raymond Capaldi says:
“I came to visit a friend in Melbourne in the late ’80s and I loved it so much I stayed for six months. I got the job at the Regent and came here at the time that the whole Brit-pack thing was happening, and so in a way, I just fell into it. I felt like there was a capacity to be reborn here – you could feel a little bit like a pop star because there was this really strong food culture and people were interested in what you were doing. It was exciting to be a part of that.”
Hare & Grace has a healthy mix of urban awareness and professionalism that is a great combination for the city worker and dweller. It is simply prepared food done with an edge and style, and is definitely a space worth checking out.
Granted, Capaldi’s menu at his latest venue is simpler and less MG-centric than at his previous restaurant, Fenix, in Richmond.
Braised beef cheek with poached tongue. Photo: Eddie Jim
There are no liquid nitrogen-poached palate-cleansers to have you puffing steam from your nostrils before the entrees arrive but you’ll still find basil chlorophyll and aloe vera jelly, tahini custard and several flavours of dust in the mix (including a walnut dust sprinkled over and about the whipped butter that accompanies the bread).
But at the same time, Hare & Grace touts itself as focusing on ”seasonal, simply prepared food done with an edge and style”. Not a whisper of MG. So what’s really going on here?
Hare & Grace’s onion soup ($16) was considerably simpler and an absolute ripper. A deep bowl contained four small braised onions, marbles of very soft white dairy protein billedas “gruyere gnocchi” and a few hair-thin snippings of onion tops, on to which was poured an exquisite clear soup.
Three or four choice bits of the best yabby tails I’ve eaten – offering terrific crunch and strong characteristic flavour – lay on a thin square of buttered and toasted brioche (“yabbie sandwich”, $22) with bits of black tomato and snippets of various greens. Sticking the yabby bits to the toast was an excellent “crustacean” mayonnaise.