12 September 2012

Fenix Restaurant

This is an incredible establishment.
Not only is it set in a stunning location on the Yarra River in Richmond with a décor that is comfortable and welcoming, but the food is delicious!

The menu has been designed by Gary Mehigan 
(yes our MasterChef Gary J who is also the proud owner of Fenix) 
and Executive Chef Dan Javier Szwarc...

And for one special night…
I got to cook in the kitchen!

Gary invited me to create a dessert for a special event that Fenix was hosting- what a privilege!

So with the brief to create something ‘Salted Caramel-ee’, and with guidance from the salted caramel master himself, Darren Purchese dessert took the  form of a salted caramel and banana explosion!

But first the savouries….

 Foreground working to the background….
Slow cooked quail eggs, spiced dukkah, organic quinoa & pomegranate
Yellow tail kingfish, crispy rice gomashio mayonnaise, Jelapeno
And crispy sweetbreads, leatherwood honey and pain d’epices

Yumm! A great bunch of canapés- my favourite, the sweet breads. 
Technically they are offal, (offally good!). 
but with the slight sweetness of honey, this dish was just amazing!

Amuse was Pacific oyster custard with seaweed salad, sea urchin and red pepper sauce.
With the theatrics of dry ice!

Some people think that using dry ice is just about the show, but in this case not at all…
The dry ice aided in accentuating the flavours of the dish by bringing out the aromas of sea weed and dashi- like being by the sea!

Next up was the entrees….
Head chef Dan showed us how he wanted the dishes plated up.
 … I loved the visual way of getting the plating across!

For a visual person like myself this was a great way of sharig his vision of how he would like his creations plated up- something I will use in the future!

Tortalenni ( hand made!) with Spanner crab, garlic cream, chestnut puree and chestnut crisps.

I will have to apologise here…
I was enjoying the thrill of service (and the added bonus of sampling the food along the way – chef snacks!!) that I didn’t snap too many photos of the rest of the dishes.. but by the descriptions on the menu and the look of previous dishes you can trust me when I say they where delicious!
Head chef Dan hard at work…

Right – o!

Dessert time!
Salted Caramel & Banana Explosion!!

I could have eaten about 10 of these desserts-
But then again
I suppose I could eat anything with salted caramel in it in excess…

The dish involved caramelized banana cream sphere with a gooey salted caramel center with was then rolled in pop rocks ( the explosion!!) and sprayed in caramelized white. Banana ice cream, and a few hidden treasures hidden underneath a specula crumb.

It was very well received!

In celebration of this salted caramel dessert.... the recipe for this blog is a cracker...

Salted Caramel Ice Cream!
Now I can't take credit for this ice cream recipe, but I have made it heaps of times
And it is amazing!

But i can claim the Salted Caramel Sauce that goes with it!
Salted Caramel Sauce
150g caster sugar
250mL thickened cream
Pinch of Salt

Place the sugar into a heavy based pan over a medium heat. Leave until the majority of the sugar has melted, then stir in the remaining sugar. Cook until the sugar has turned a deep golden brown. Whisk in the cream. If there are any lumps of caramel, whisk the sauce gently over a low heat until they have dissolved. Add salt, and leave to cool slightly before serving .

I would just like to say a huge thank you to Dan and his tea for having me the kitchen...

To Ross (in the middle) and Darren Purchese for all their help!

...And to Gary & Matt for all their support and encouragement!

I am loving working in a kitchen!
There will be some more exciting things to come on the blog...

Stay turned....