Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Summer Pudding with Mascarpone

A Christmas-time classic, this recipe is incredibly simple and presents beautifully. The vibrant, fresh summer berries make it the perfect way to round off any Christmas feast.

Ingredients: serves 4
1 loaf white sliced bread
1 punnet each of summer berries: could include raspberries, red or white currants, blueberries, mulberries, blackberries, strawberries or logan berries.
250g good mascarpone
Mint tips
500ml mixed berry coulis: Blend leftover or frozen mixed berries (3 cups) with equal parts water and sugar, adjust consistency and flavour by adding more/less of each ingredient or a squeeze of lemon.

4 x soufflé moulds / deep ramekins
1 x large tray

Step 1: Preparation
Cut 24 slices of bread to the size of your soufflé mould or ramekin and place on a large tray. Cover with three quarters of the berry coulis, or until it absorbs most of the sauce and changes to a deep red.
Step 2: Assembly
Line souffle mould with cling film and place a disc of bread on the base. Place a few mixed berries on top and drizzle with coulis from bread tray. Repeat this layering until the souffle mould is full, finishing with a layer of bread.
Cover each mould with cling film and place a light weight on top of puddings to compress. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve:
Remove the puddings from the mould by turning upside down. Garnish with mixed berries, a dollop of mascarpone, remaining berry coulis and couple of mint leaves.

Turkey tenderloins with chestnut, cranberry and sage farce

See a video of this recipe at:

By using only the tenderloins (or breast fillets) of the turkey, this recipe prevents you having to buy, store and roast a whole bird on Christmas Day, making it a great time and space saver. The ‘farce’ (French for “stuffing”) is on the outside of the breast and keeps the breast tender during cooking. You can prepare the fillets the day before by “stuffing” and steaming them, then covering and storing them in the fridge over night.

Ingredients: serves 4
4 x turkey breast tenderloin (skinless)
10 x peeled, chopped chestnuts (fresh, if available, or frozen/tinned are a good alternative)
3 x tablespoon cranberries (dried or fresh, if available)
Handful of fresh sage, chopped
4 x cups of chicken mousse*
1 x medium-large sheet crepinette **
Roast potatoes, sautéed spinach, roasted chestnuts and glazed onions to serve

Step 1:
Pre-heat oven to 200˚. To make chicken mousse: using a food processor, blend four chicken breasts, four eggs and 200ml cream until it resembles a thick, creamy paste.
Step 2:
Stir chopped chestnuts, sage and cranberries through chicken mousse until evenly dispersed.
Step 3:
To prepare crepinette, cut into squares approx. 20cm x 20cm and lay flat on cling film. Place fillet in middle of crepinette and spread a generous amount of farce on top. Peel crepinette away from cling film, starting at the top, wrap it over the breast and tuck in to fillet underside. Fold all edges of crepinette in under the breast to make a neat, contained package.
Using the crepinette can be avoided altogether – simply wrap the breast in cling film and steam until the farce has bound to the breast, which should take 8-10 minutes.
Step 4:
Place wrapped fillet into a steamer for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from steamer (and take off cling film if used) and panfry with a tablespoon of olive oil or turkey stock (can be substituted for chicken stock) until golden brown. Place in oven and cook for a further 6 minutes, or until firmly bound together.

To serve:
Remove from oven and slice into four rounds. Serve with roast potatoes, sautéed spinach, oven roasted chestnuts and gravy, and fried sage leaves and fresh cranberries to decorate.

* Chicken mousse: a binding agent for the stuffing
** Crepinette: pig’s stomach lining – a traditional way to keep ingredients together, for example in sausages, it can be bought from most butchers. Crepinette should be kept moist by storing it in brine or its own juices.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Summer's Coming...And it's Best Enjoyed with Fresh Seafood!

Well, summer's almost here (three days, and counting!) so I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite summer recipes with you... Aussie crayfish is always a favourite and this dish, laden with citrus as it is, really brings out its best flavours. I've also added a nice Asian lime dressing - it's so easy and is a great match for most summer seafoods. I've paired it with oysters here, but it's also make a nice dressing for a summer salad or ceviche.

Grilled King Island crayfish and summer citrus salad

One crayfish (approx 500g per person)
1 x lime
1 x orange
1 x ruby red grapefruit
1 x lemon
1 x mandarin
1 x blood orange
1 bunch watercress
Medium-sized witlof (red or yellow)
Mixed fresh herbs: your choice of chervil, tarragon, chives, parsley or dill
1 fennel bulb (shaved finely)

75ml mixed citrus juice
200ml quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar

Split crayfish lengthways using a long sharp knife. Remove the "inners tube" and rinse crayfish clean. Brush the meat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a char grill or directly onto the BBQ. Cook for approx 7-8 mins, turn and cook shell side down until meat comes away easily from the shell when touched. The flesh should be slightly opaque at the thickest point – you want it cooked to "medium" not overcooked or dry. In a bowl, combine citrus segments, picked herbs, shaved fennel and witlof dress. Dress with citrus vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:
Place 1/2 a crayfish per person, flesh side up on a large plate
Place citrus salad into head cavity and drizzle the remaining citrus and olive oil dressing directly over flesh. Garnish with a lemon or lime cheek.

Fresh shucked oysters with Asian lime dressing

3 limes; juiced
150ml peanut oil
25ml Mirin
30ml rice wine vinegar
30ml good light soy sauce
Knob grated ginger

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Drizzle over oysters and garnish with fried shallots and freshly chopped coriander.

Our Sommelier, Tim Cohen, tells me these dishes are best enjoyed with a zingy Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Best Steak Restaurant in Australia - well done boys!

At the risk of looking like a bit of a bragger, I just had to tell you all about our most recent win at the Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence, who crowned us "Best Steak Restaurant in Australia".

As you can imagine, the boys and I were stoked with this recognition, particularly as it is judged by the general public. They're the people we want to impress - everyday people who walk through our doors - and I feel that this award is a true reflection of what we are acheiving in the restaurant everyday.

We're pretty serious about our meat at The Point and really strive to deliver the most diverse and in-depth beef experience to guests. We source premium-grade meats from some of the country’s most reputable suppliers, dry age them in on-site facilities and prepare the cuts in a range of traditional and contemporary styles.

As you can tell, I'm pretty proud of our craft! And am stoked to see that our customers are too. Thanks to all those who voted....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congrats to my team...

Last month the boys and I entered the Fonterra Food Services Culinary Challenge at Fine Food Australia and I'm thrilled to say we won!

No small sum either - we shared the $10,000 between us (Jade Brandreth, Alan Davies and myself) and I was quite happy to spend my share on a holiday in Sydney.

We were up against the best in the business, competing against teams from Hotel Sofitel and Atlantic Group, and were judged to the highest standards. Our temporary kitchen was no larger than 10m squared and we had to prepare everything from scratch - nothing was allowed to be brought in from off-site aside from the odd condiment.

Whilst the boys and I are certainly accustomed to preparing top-quality food for large functions, doing it in a small, temporary kitchen with judges hovering near by certainly tested our under-pressure skills!

For the two-course a la carte menu for 30 pax we chose:

· Butter poached Western Australian marron, foie gras and chicken liver parfait, apple jelly and Sauternes reduction

· Assiette of new season lamb, white asparagus, minted pea puree, rosemary and morel velouté

The dishes are on our spring menu, so I invite you all to come in and sample the winning dishes!

Monday, August 18, 2008


How many people could say that they have ever prepared beef tartare (or have prepared it and confidently served to guests...)? It's a dish that lots of people shy away from, following the logic of "it's raw; it must need a professional to prepare it", but I've got to tell you it's so easy! (And don't stress with the number of ingredients - I guarantee you'll have at least 95% of them in your cupboard already...)

2 anchovy fillets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup shallots-finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp barbecue sauce
2 tbsp chopped fine herbs
Splash Tabasco
1 tbsp soy sauce
500g freshly diced grass beef tenderloin

Put anchovies, garlic, capers and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a chilled medium-size mixing bowl. Mash to make a paste. Whisk egg yolks through paste with fork first, then mustard. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. Stir through remaining salt, black pepper and all sauces.
Add beef and mix well with a wooden spoon. Taste to determine seasoning.

To serve
Mound beef tartare in the center of a large cold plate, place an egg yolk in the centre and garnish with croutons or chargrilled sourdough.

It is also delicious with a simple mesculun salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
This is a slight deviation from a classical recipe, if you like your tartare slightly spicier, just add more off the different sauces!!

about 8 appetizer servings

Top Tips for a Tops Steak

I've got a bit of a secret that I want to share with you guys, because honestly...everyone deserves to know how to cook a good steak. I've had my fair share of average steaks, so hopefully sharing some tips will ensure that fewer people have to suffer through that chew-it-fifty-five-times-before-you-swallow-it agony... So here we go:
  1. Season meat: a smear of olive oil and a nice grind of salt and pepper blend (I recommend using black, white, pink and green peppercorns)
  2. For medium-rare: cook it 3min lengthways on a fairly hot grill, then turn it at a right angle across the grill to get the criss-crossed charcoaled pattern. Cook for another 3 mins. Repeat on reverse side. Cook for 12 mins tops.
  3. Rest: loosely wrap in foil and rest of 7-8 mins before serving.
  4. Eat! Alyways with a great cab. sauv. or a nice Bordeaux