Pete Evan's Menu at Heirloom

Moving from strength to strength Pete Evans has never been too far from the media eye, so we couldn’t help getting in contact with him in regards to his new partnership with Heirloom restaurant in Perth.  

The paleo movement will be the influence of Heirloom's breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, all designed by Pete Evans.   

WIN A DINNER FOR TWO AT HEIRLOOM - CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

Heirloom will be using sustainable WA ingredients as well as fresh local produce and will endeavour to keep dishes simple, delicious and flavoursome. 

“The aim at Heirloom is to create beautifully crafted food with an emphasis on texture, harmony of flavours and balance,” Pete said.

“It’s about food that tastes great and takes you on a journey.”

Menu items such as steamed wild barramundi with sweet potato, lime, coconut sauce and chia seeds, along with king prawn and avocado salad with preserved lemon, piquillo peppers, fennel and pepitas will be signatures of the restaurant.

Pete said that he wanted to create an experience that lasted long after the meal has left the table.

“At its heart, food is a celebration and an opportunity to sit down and enjoy great flavours with great company – this is the foundation of our approach at Heirloom. 

For those that are paleo or those wanting to search out a restaurant that does great healthy options for a great price, Heirloom is your restaurant to try. 

Viva Mexico! Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day

Grito de Dolores (Mexico's Independence Day) is on September 16. 

On September 16, Mexicans around the world will celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. On this day in 1810, the Grito de Delores (‘Cry of Dolores’) was declared from the Mexican town of Dolores by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest. His passionate speech encouraged thousands of impoverished Mexicans to rally against the Spanish colonists, thus signifying Mexico's independence movement.

The special day is a major celebration in Mexico. The unmistakable sounds and sights of vibrant fiestas create a carnival atmosphere all over the country. Statues erected in memory of Father Hidalgo are decorated with red, white and green flowers, the colours of the Mexican flag. Popular activities on the day include attending and participating in rodeos, parades and bullfights. 

 Celebrate with Pork Tamales, photo by Ryland Peters and Small. 

Crowds of people also gather on Independence Day Eve (September 15). In Mexico City, the city square is filled with peddlers selling whistles, horns and toys. The square is also vibrantly filled with flags, flowers and street sellers offering snacks.

When the clock strikes eleven o’clock, the president of Mexico walks out onto the palace balcony and rings the historic bell that Father Hidalgo rang to the crowd more than 200 years beforehand. After the president gives the Grito de Delores and shouts ‘Viva Mexico’ and ‘Viva la independencia,’ the crowd erupts in cheers.

Melburnians can partake in their own Independence Day celebrations at the Mexican Festival at Federation Square on Sunday September 14. Although president of Mexico won’t be in attendance, festival goers can still enjoy the best of Mexican culture through live music by the likes of Chicano Rockers and Abbie Cardwell, drinks at the designated bar area and food from popular Melbourne Mexican restaurants, Mamasita and Touche Hombre.

Can’t make it to the festival? Have your very own Independence Day celebrations at your local Mexican restaurant. Sample the chargrilled corn with chipotle mayo and Texcoco-style braised lamb tacos at Sydney hotspot Mejico. Meanwhile, sweet tooth's in Brisbane will enjoy Pepe’s Newmarket’s steamed Mexican pudding and lime margarita cheesecakes.

 For more restaurant ideas, head to the AGFG Mexican cuisine section.

A Real Food Approach

Join Christine Manfield at the Sunshine Coast's Real Food Festival, 13-14 September 2014. 

With over 100 exhibitors and 50 presentations, Real Food Festival on the Sunshine Coast is sure to offer up a wide range of ready-to-eat culinary delights. In it's fourth year the Real Food Festival endeavours to offer a paddock to plate experience for all that attend, while showcasing quality local produce and food products. 

Enjoy cooking demonstrations at the Real Food Kitchen sponsored by Kunara Organic Marketplace, discover kitchen tips and techniques at the Food Craft venue sponsored by Budgerim Ginger and learn how to grow your own food at Our Kitchen Garden sponsored for Forage.  

Christine Manfield will be showcasing some of the region's local produce by sharing recipes and cooking techniques with the crowd at the Real Food Kitchen tent.

“I strongly believe in the complementary and sustaining nature of good food, wine, people, pleasure and learning and I think the Real Food Festival embraces all those things,” said Christine.

The Real Food Festival will be held at the Maleny Showgrounds, 13 Stanley River Road, Maleny on 13 & 14 September from 9am to 4pm daily and will showcase an abundance of good foods from Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants. Entry is $20 for a daily adult pass and children under 16 are free.

A Capital Shiraz from Canberra

The Canberra wine growing region is interesting in that while it doesn’t always leap to front of mind, it does boast 140 vineyards and 33 wineries, and produces cool climate wines that are more often than not, wonderfully rewarding. 

While it was first planted in the 1840s, those early pioneering efforts around Gunning and Yass didn’t last long, and it took a long-awaited 1970s “rebirth” to lead to today’s many successes there. Amongst them is Shaw Vineyard Estate that, at Murrumbateman, is amongst the highest-elevated in the region, and has been producing exceptional and affordably-priced premium cool-climates since the 1990s. 

A particularly rewarding, just-released 2012 Shaw Shiraz (a variety the region is renowned for) is possibly one of owner Graeme Shaw’s best-yet – despite coming from one of the region’s wettest and more-difficult vintages. Graeme has coaxed wonderful ripe berry-fruit aromas and forward Shiraz spice and pepper notes from this, and these are reflected nicely with ripe tannins on the smooth palate.

Pay $25 and enjoy with barbecued red meats and a side of pan-fried mushrooms.

One to note: Jacob’s Creek has added an interesting new drop to its diverse portfolio of Aussie sparklings that it has been making for some 40 years – a “less bubbly” called Sparkling Lightly that it says will “dance lightly on the palate.” 

The wine is the result of surveys revealing there are some amongst us to whom the enjoyment of sparkling beverages can, sadly, have a down side: it results in some-what of a full feeling. So by limiting the sugar in the second fermentation, Jacob’s Creek have achieved a very delicate sparkling character that has fewer bubbles.  

Made from grapes as diverse as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Frontignac and Fiano, there’s a choice of a Sparkling Lightly White that’s all about suggestions of peaches and lychees, and a Sparkling Lightly Rosé that’s more raspberries and strawberries. Pay $14.99 if you like your bubbles, but with a less-full feeling.

Sea, Land and Earth with Daniel Wilson

Huxtable was born out of the idea to create a restaurant that is comfortable with delicious but simple food. Huxtable is the expression of Chef Daniel Wilson's style while his other restaurant, huxtaburger, was created to serve old school burgers the right way - simple, tasty and delicious. Check out our book review of Huxtabook, Daniel's latest book that houses all the recipes for Huxtable's success. AGFG talks to Daniel about Huxtable, Huxtaburger and Huxtabook. 

You started cooking when you were 5, can you tell us your favourite dishes from your childhood that still remain with you today?

Sweet and sour pork, Sunday roast of any kind as well as homemade pizza.

How was Huxtaburger created?

We felt that there were no decent old school burgers in the area. I did my chef training in America for 3 years and during this time I gained an insight into what makes a good burger, we wanted to replicate this in Australia. So we kept it simple and tasty, we decided to keep the offering limited so we could focus on doing one thing well.

Is there an ingredient you couldn’t live without?

Chilli.

What do you love most about your businesses?

I love that I am able to share my knowledge and inspire people to be the best they can.

What has been your greatest career highlight so far?

I would say that it would be opening successful businesses and also being asked to write a cookbook. A book is such a nice reminder of a place and time but also a result of a lot of hard work over a long career so far.

Where did the idea for huxtabook come from and how many hours did you spend creating it?

I was approached by Hardie Grant as they like what we do at Huxtable and thought it would be great to share it with the world! I am very honoured to have this opportunity. It took about 6 months in total from being asked to it being published. It was such a lovely walk down memory lane with some of the earlier dishes that I had created. 

The design of your book is very appealing and significantly different from others we’ve seen, can you explain how the design was thought out and created?

We wanted the book to reflect the style of the restaurant, which is simple, delicious, considered and elegant. We wanted the tone to be a little more serious as it is the grown up sibling of the more fun and hipster Huxtaburger.

Is there a particular dish in your book that resonates with you more than the others?

I do love the John Dory with smoked mussels and peas (page 78). It is such a simple dish but with so much flavour and fantastic juices to be mopped up with the crusty bread! That’s what eating is about - enjoyment and sharing.

What is your most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item (from Huxtable or Huxtaburger)?

Probably the ‘Douche Burger,’ we did at Taste of Melbourne last year. It was a mini burger with wagyu eye fillet, foie gras, cherry ketchup and green peppercorn mayo.

If you could choose your last meal what would it be? 

It would be a grazing meal over many hours starting with amazing sashimi and sushi, then moving onto Thai and Vietnamese salads. I’d then enjoy a luxurious French meal of foie gras, crayfish, duck, cote de boeuf and amazing breads, finishing with a selection of the world’s best cheeses!

Our Top Recipe Picks for Father's Day

Here at AGFG we really enjoy cooking, eating and drinking - really anything that involves food and we're in. Although there are a number of great places to take your Dad this Father's Day, if you're not feeling up to it and love cooking like us, why not put on a feast or just some great lunch for your Dad? We have the perfect recipes for you to do just that! 

Fried Duck Eggs with Chilli Braised Ham Hock by Daniel Wilson from Huxtable: 

This is a champion's breakfast or a great lunch idea - especially when paired with Dad's favourite beer. From Daniel Wilson's latest book, Huxtabook, this flavoursome dish incorporates eggs, braised ham hock and pickled okra as seamlessly as the marriage of bacon and eggs. 

If you're Dad's into seafood, why not start dinner with Oysters with Vietnamese Dressing

This is a contemporary Vietnamese take on your everyday freshly shucked Oyster. Accompany the oysters with a garnish of coriander and ginger for a knock-out entree. 

Following oysters, we suggest Sticky Smoky Pork Ribs by Adrian Richardson: 

From Australia's iconic carnivore, these ribs will take your Dad back to Summer, Barbecues and great family memories. So enjoy Adrian's nose to tail philosophy as well as his love for barbecues and put this recipe to the test. 

Book Review; Huxtabook by Daniel Wilson

“Try these recipes without fear, and share the result with those you cherish” - Daniel Wilson

 

Huxtabook; Recipes from Sea, Land & Earth

America meets Europe (with a sidetracked trip to Asia) and the results are some sort of wonderful within the pages of Huxtabook, where two hard back covers sandwiches together 200 odd pages of mouth watering contents. Originating from chef Daniel Wilson’s well famed Huxtable and its burger baby, Huxtaburger, this book takes inspiration from land, earth and sea to create a selection of internationally inspired fare.

Far from the likes of Jamie’s 15 minute meals, most of the recipes featured within Huxtabook are multi step and multi component, much to the delight of those who know their choux from their katiafi.  Dishes like spicy dory with Sichuan eggplant, mushroom and garlic chips are relaxed yet sophisticated – perfect for entertaining guests and pretending you didn’t spend long preparing it (aka, casual master chef).  If you’ve got time on your hands and you desire something a bit more challenging than your usual sausage and mash, then get on board with dishes such as fried duck eggs, chilli braised ham hock and pickled okra, perfect for Father’s Day celebrations.  

 

 

Just like the Huxtable menu, Huxtabook is divided into ‘Bites’, ‘Sea’, ‘Land’, ‘Earth’ and ‘Sweet’, allowing you to immerse yourself within each section, where striking photography captures the eye and decadent descriptions send your appetite into overdrive. 120 recipes take you from honey roasted carrots with goats curd, za’atar and pomegranate, through to finger licking Korean barbecued pork ribs with spicy slaw and chilli gherkins.

 

 

For a seriously sweet finish, try your hand at Huxtabook’s desserts like Sri Lankan love cake with Turkish delight, mint ice cream and ginger, or perhaps get busy with the dark chocolate delice with jaffa sauce,raspberry sorbet and pistachio. Sorry sticky date. You’re just not making the cut this time.

 

 

Aaron Carr - Vasse Felix's Unique Culinary Creator

Since 1995 Aaron Carr has wittingly delighted customers of the Vasse Felix Winery Restaurant in Margaret River. As AGFG has $150 up for grabs this month to spend at Vasse Felix, we thought we'd have a quick talk with Aaron about his inspirations and highlights from his long career. 

Who are your greatest inspirations?

Anyone that respects the produce they are serving and that is not scared to think outside the box. I would much rather dine somewhere that is pushing the boundaries than a Restaurant that just serves the same food all year round.

If you weren’t offered an apprenticeship at restaurant Jessica’s would you have been a Chef and where do you think you would be now?

I would have probably followed in my Father’s footsteps and become a painter.

How do you reinvent yourself as a chef (and the Vasse Felix menu)? Is it a lot of pressure?

We have an amazing kitchen team at Vasse Felix and everyone is encouraged to come up with ideas for the Menu. I think pressure is something that you get used to as a chef and if you believe in what you are serving and use the best quality produce available then it becomes a lot easier.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?

Travelling and working with some amazing chefs that I have now become friends with has been a highlight.

For those just starting out and finding their passion for food what would be your advice to them?

Never stop learning and asking questions, once you stop learning you may as well give it up.

What are your feature flavours these days?

It always changes but Japanese techniques and ingredients have always been something we use a lot in our menu design.

What ingredient could you not live without?

Gas.

What does the future hold for you? 

Hopefully a long and healthy life, working and living in the South West and surfing every day!

Five Vietnamese Dishes to Enjoy on Vietnam’s National Day

September 2 commemorates Vietnam's Declaration of Independence from French colonisation in 1945 by Ho Chi Minh, leader of the communist Viet Minh organisation. To celebrate this special day, why not tuck into one of these delectable Vietnamese dishes? 

1. Gỏi cuốn (rice paper rolls): A popular entree at Vietnamese restaurants, these cold rice paper rolls are also versatile enough to be served at summer barbeques or enjoyed by the handful as a healthy lunch. Filled with anything from prawns to lemongrass beef to tofu and then laced with vegetables and herbs, these rolls are best enjoyed dunked in a special hoisin dipping sauce sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

2. Phở (noodle soup): Known as Vietnam's national dish, the word ‘phở’ is derived from the French beef stew pot-au-feu (literally ‘pot on fire’). When it comes to flavours, beef has traditionally been an enduring favourite but chicken is also popular. The aromatic beef phở stock is made by simmering beef bones, steak, oxtail, charred onion, ginger and spices in water for hours. Garnished with onions, basil, bean sprouts and chillies, phở warms both the body and soul. 

3. Bánh mì (Vietnamese baguettes): Skip the Subway breakfast sandwiches and try the less calorie-inducing Vietnamese baguettes. A nod to Vietnam’s French colonialist past, these crispy baguettes are filled with ingredients such as ham, pork belly, grilled pork, chicken, pork meatballs in tomato sauce and tofu. Throw in a few slices of cucumber, coriander, shredded pickled carrots as well as daikon, and breakfast is taken care of.

Try it at Great Aunty Three. 

4. Cơm tấm (mixed grilled pork on broken rice): Prefer rice over noodles? The ever-popular cơm tấm may do the trick. Marinated grilled pork is mixed with shredded pork, pork skin and accompanied by cooked broken rice, cucumber, pickled carrots and fried egg. Popular additions also include prawn paste cake and grilled prawns. A sweet and sour fish sauce usually accompanies the dish for extra flavour.  

5. Bánh xèo (savoury pancakes): The name ‘bánh xèo’ literally means ‘sizzling cake’ and refers to the loud sizzling noises the pancakes make when they are being cooked in the hot skillet. Unlike your standard flapjacks, these Vietnamese pancakes are made from rice flour while turmeric gives them their vivid yellow colour. The pancakes are stuffed with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts and spring onions while mint leaves and basil keep things in balance.

Try it at Thanh Ha 2. 

A Taste of Spain in the Murray

By David Ellis from vintnews 

When Spanish winemaker Freixenet decided to look seriously at the Australian market and invested in the purchase of a mixed fruit farm on Victoria’s Murray River, it wasted no time in using the vineyards there to put out a couple of 2012 sparkling wines under its already internationally-recognised Azahara label.

Both were an instant success and Freixenet has now followed-up with a non-fizz Azahara Pinot Grigio and also a Shiraz.  Eakin Estate Winemaker Dr Phil Spillman is delighted at their reflection of the character of the Victorian property’s orange groves (Azahara in fact is Spanish for orange blossom,) together with the avocado and mango plantations that are criss-crossed by the vineyard blocks.

“We’re serious about having a good go at making something really special here,” a proud Dr Spillman says.

“Wines in a style befitting the Spanish dining and entertaining experience, whilst still staying true to the qualities naturally expressed by the Australian farm.”

The 2013 Azahara Pinot Grigio has certainly reflected that aim, with a wonderful palate of crunchy apples, fresh lemon and spiced pears, and a creamy mouth feel. Add some nice acidity and at $15 this makes a marvellous drop with Mediterranean-style salads, and seafood like salt ‘n pepper squid or barbecued white fish fillets.

One to note: Another rewarding vino from Victoria is a 2010 Shiraz from hand-harvested, low-cropped fruit off Toolangi Vineyard’s Dixon’s Creek in the Yarra Valley. 

The nutmeg, violets and varietal Shiraz peppery-spice aromas, highlighted from the inclusion of twenty per cent whole bunches in the ferment, are reflected nicely on the palate with complimentary fine-grain tannins and a light acidity. With just 1,400 cases made, and at $20 a bottle, this is quite a lovely medium-bodied drop that goes well with rare eye fillet of beef, roast duck – or our favourite with this style of Shiraz, a freely herb-sprinkled roast leg of lamb.