Saturday, 16 August 2014

Chef's Signature Dinner - 15 August 2014

Let me start off by saying this was definitely NOT in my kitchen. Rather, this delicious dinner was created in the kitchen of the Canberra Southern Cross Club's Yacht Club premises... and what a dinner it was. Two girlfriends and I were quite anticipating the awaiting feast, having purchased tickets over a month earlier.

So, the scope of the dinner was for the chef to use ingredients available within a 200km range of Canberra, and make them shine. Each course was also paired with a selected wine.  We knew were in for a fancy offering, as seen from the number of wine glasses, and the sheer volume of cutlery set on each table.  All up, there were nearly 80 guests.

So... the first course. A 'pre-entree' to whet the appetite juices, was a capsicum stuffed chicken roulade. Two pieces, delicately balanced on the place, paired with a crisp, sharp Terra Felix Pinot Gris.  A great way to start off the night. We could each have eaten more, however knowing what was to come, it was just the right amount. Petite, tasty and delicate.

Second course... second wine poured. This one a Sandalford Classic Dry White. One sip, and you just knew it would be perfect for seafood.  The entrĂ©e was indeed from the sea and consisted of a duo of scallops, served with a caviar cream sauce, potato rosti, and a crustacean bisque. The chef later revealed his bisque was made with roasted crustacean shells, which definitely added to the full rich flavour.

After the scallops, came a palate cleanser in the way of a sorbet. Twas not any fruit based sorbet, but a capsicum based sorbet! The taste was unusual on first mouthful, as it is so unexpected, but it certainly was tasty and each of us finished it in record time.

Palate cleansed... bring on course No. 3, the main course. The new wine arrived, this one the Angove Chalk Hill Shiraz Cabernet, which was light, fruity and soft. The main course arrived, on a huge square white platter.  Two soft, juicy, melt by the touch of a fork beef cheeks, portabello mushroom, duo of asparagus, duo of potato, and a fabulous jus. Hearty, meaty, comforting, delicious.  The chef advised the beef had been marinated, then sous-vide'd for 17 hours at 70 degrees.

Last but certainly not least > dessert.  First the pouring of McWilliams Hanwood Estate Port, which was mouth smackingly sticky and sweet, lingered longingly on the tongue and made it a joy to go back for another sip.  The dessert course arrived and it was creatively presented. It consisted of three offerings, a lightly textured, sturdy square of berry cloud mousse, a perfectly poached pear atop a small almond based morsel of cake, and two pieces of decadent chocolate terrine that had been enveloped in chopped pistachio pieces.

Tea and coffee were served to complete the evening.

My girlfriends and I will definitely look out the for next Chef's Signature dinner.

Thank you to the Southern Cross Club for such an enjoyable evening.


  1. Boom! Looks like a tops night out. I haven't dined at the Southern Cross Club for yolks, but looks like I better get on a visit. Love food & wine dinners, especially when the chefs are working with all local produce. :)

    1. Thanks Anna! I'm soooo looking forward to the next one.