What We Learnt at Taste of Sydney In Partnership With Electrolux This Year
It’s the annual foodie event that sees Sydney’s top chefs leave their hatted restaurants and TV show commitments for a weekend long extravaganza. Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux is where you’ll eat, drink and be merry to your hearts content surrounded by nature in Centennial Parklands. This year was no different with the return of popular restaurants 4Fourteen, Biota Dining, Movida, Porteño and Otto. Meanwhile hot new restaurants including Kensington Street Social, Firedoor, Nel., Thievery and Salaryman were added to the line up.
Amongst all of the pop up restaurants and produce stalls was the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets where people were invited to join intimate cooking masterclasses with renowned chefs. The pop up designer kitchen saw those lucky enough to secure a seat get up close and personal with culinary superstars including Peter Gilmore (Quay), Colin Fassnidge (4Fourteen), Luke Mangan (Mojo Wine Bar), Nelly Robinson (nel.), Rob Cockerill (Bennelong) and Mitch Orr (Acme), where they learnt how to cook one of their signature dishes before sitting down to enjoy the meal together.
We managed to learn a few secrets from them at the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets and not just their secret recipes. We wanted to know what hot food trends we can expect to see more of in 2016.
Ingredients Chefs Are Loving Right Now
Sorrell Colin Fassnidge, 4Fourteen loves using this common garden herb/leaf vegetable. The leaves may be puréed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries.
Abalone and Marron, a special shellfish native to Western Australia, are two ingredients Peter Gilmore from Quay and Bennelong loves using. In fact he loves any really good Australian shellfish.
Hiramasa Kingfish Robert Daniels, Kensington Street Social
Oysters are great to use at this time of year according to James Viles, Biota Dining
Finger lime is an ingredient Jacob Davey from est. is loving.
Buttermilk, not just used in pancakes, this is the go to ingredient for Mike McEnearney of KITCHEN by Mike right now.
Current Food Trends in Australia
Foraging and old fashioned methods such as preserving and pickling are continuing to dominate, according to Nelly Robinson (nel.) and Peter Gilmore (Quay and Bennelong).
Fried chicken according to Thievery’s Julian Cincotta. This is one we’ve definitely noticed with places such as The Paddington, Butter and Lucy Juicy recently opening.
Seaweed has taken hold of the current food scene according to Darren Robertson from Three Blue Ducks.
The Next Big Thing In Cooking
According to Colin Fassnidge “It’s going to be Arabic and that side of the world”, after the wave of Nordic cooking.
It seems a back to basics approach to cooking will continue to shine. Mark Best from Marque and Pei Modern notes that there will be a resurgence to using native ingredients and native cuisine. This is backed by Darren Robertson and James Viles from Biota Dining.
Vegetables! According to Julian Cincotta from Thievery vegetables will be the next big food trend. What a relief after all of the recent dude food, “frankenfood” we’ve seen recently.
Chef Secrets (and Tips) From the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets
Luke Mangan – Even the plumpest WA Sardines need no more than 30 seconds (skin down, in a griddle) on the induction cooktop. A high heat will seal in the flavours and they’ll continue to cook after they’ve been taken off the cooktop.
Mark Best (Marque and Pei Modern) – Fresh fish should smell of the ocean, not like fish. Signs of rigor mortis in fish (bent, unnatural state) is actually a sign of freshness as the muscles contract for around 24+ hours after death. After this the fish will return to its relaxed state which is best for cooking. When making the mayonnaise which accompanied his mackerel, Mark Best recommends using soy milk to add a nutty flavour.
Chris Thornton (Restaurant Mason) – When (deep) frying, cook with vegetable or grapeseed oil. Never use olive oil which smokes and ‘drags down’ the flavours of the food.
Jacob Davey (est.) – The best way to showcase fresh ingredients is to leave them alone as much as possible. This applies to the core ingredient of Jacob’s dish, the sashimi-grade (Moreton Bay) bug – the secret is to cook them a little bit under so that they are still a little bit opaque.