Want to know the trends Australia's leading chefs are embracing? Here, the country's best share their favourites, as well as their insights and observations on how to make them work.
At the recent Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux, chefs such as Colin Fassnidge of Four in Hand, Shaun Presland of Sake and Massimo Mele of La Scala on Jersey, shared their insights and knowledge on the trends to watch for 2015.
This year it was all about bringing good quality food back-to-basics and letting the flavours speak for themselves. As Colin Fassnidge of Four in Hand said, “people want to see real food cooked properly. They don’t want molecular anymore. They just want flavour.”
This year’s Taste menu was hugely flavour-driven with Brent Savage of restaurants including Bentley Restaurant & Bar revealing his tips for creating your own mint oil as featured in his Smoked Salt Cod. By blanching mint leaves and blitzing with half olive oil and vegetable oil, you achieve a simple yet delicious dressing with a wonderfully minty aroma.
Fresh, seasonal produce
Richard Ptacnik of Otto Ristorante identified one of the biggest trends as being the use of seasonal produce. Ingredients are the heart of cooking and this commitment to sourcing fresh, sustainable, even home-grown produce was widely recognised by chefs in the Electrolux Taste Theatre. Often picking ingredients from the kitchen garden and working closely with local farmers, Biota Dining
was awarded ‘Best in Taste’ for its dish of Smoked Taramasalata with picked lettuce and charcoal cracker.
Autumn is the perfect time to incorporate fresh greens into your cooking with kale being one of the best ingredients, as recommended by Massimo Mele of La Scala on Jersey. Using the whole animal – Colin Fassnidge and Carla Jones of Four in Hand and 4Fourteen showcased how to carve a whole pig from the nose to tail. Colin and Carla also explained the different cuts of meat and best cooking techniques for achieving moist, tender meat that melts in your mouth.
Cooking over charcoal
We saw it from the likes of MoVida, Porteño and 4Fourteen, cooking over charcoal was the latest trend for cooking meat. From Frank’s Pinchitos Morunos to Carla’s slow roast pig, foodies were greeted with mouthwatering aromas of the succulent meat rotating over an open fire pit. 4Fourteen’s Carla Jones said, “it’s one of our favourite things to do especially at an event like this, it really draws a crowd.” So
what’s the secret to cooking great tasting meat? According to the guys at Porteño just use “good produce, smoke and heaps of salt.”
The new wave of healthy eating trends, as Shaun Presland of Sake puts it, is lean cuisine. Drawing influence from Europe and the Peruvian regions, ceviche is the perfect example. Demonstrating how to make kingfish ceviche, foodies were shown how to correctly fillet a fish and plate up using lime juice, sea salt and jalapeño chilli. Shaun summarises its benefits in a sentence; “it’s the ultimate protein one-hit course, it’s good for you, it’s healthy, it’s lean cuisine.”