Sunday, October 4, 2009
The notion of being fed by the famous British chef and author Fergus Henderson (most well-known for his very first book titled "Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking") led me to drag a friend out to the grower's market at Pyrmont wharf on Saturday morning at an ungodly hour. The sky was bleak, the grass was muddy and gusty winds turned the light smattering of rain into something akin to having frozen stinging nettles brushed across one's face. Naturally we made a beeline straight towards Toby's Estate for coffee before heading to the Sydney Morning Herald stall. With our tickets for 11:30am lunch secured, we squelched around on the patchy grass, looking for breakfast and hovering at each stall for just long enough to pique interest.
Local artisan and fresh farm produce are all the rage, with a few gluten-free options thrown in. Mangoes, artichokes, mushrooms, lettuce, new potatoes, mandarins, blood oranges and spring root vegetables including kohlrabi and radishes are things to look out for at the moment.
I spotted Alpine Berry again which seems to have been at every industry event I've been to this year. The lovely ladies at Darling Mills Farm were a pleasure to chat with as usual. I signed up for the hands-on guided tour and morning tea as part of SIFF 09 which will be held on Friday, 23rd Oct at the farm in Berrilee, right by Berowra Waters (more information can be found here). We eventually joined the queue at the charcuterie stall at the far end near the knife sharpening service for a spicy chorizo roll with chunky tomato and basil sauce and for myself, confused eggs with smoky bacon and homemade BBQ sauce. Ferrero Rondnoir were being handed out by the trayful by hot promo chicks. We picked up a few for snacking later (Rondnoir are made of creamy dark chocolate ganache enclosed in a thin, crispy wafer and covered in crunchy dark chocolate coated bits - not bad, but nothing beats the original).
Fergus Henderson was of course there, along with his wife, 12 well-known Sydney chefs and their minions - Jared Ingersoll, Kylie Kwong, Colin Fassnidge, and Justin North to name a few, led by the very humble Alex Herbert of Bird Cow Fish who together with Joanna Savill, schemed and plotted a way to getting Fergus and wife Margot to fly over for the event. Fortuitously, if you happened to miss out, there is another chance to join in for a little British-inspired nose to tail eating before the two fly home. Alex Herbert has devised a degustation menu featuring rare Wessex saddleback pigs from Mountain Creek Farm as a tribute to the man himself who will be present on the night as the guest of honour. You'll need to book and make haste. Dinner transpires on Tuesday night at 7pm.