Thanks to the people at MLA and
An opening Crave event of course has to start with a bang. There were eleven Sydney chefs, eleven dishes, six barbecues, seven sittings, the highly respected David Tanis - cookbook author and head chef of Alice Waters's restaurant Chez Panisse in California, with two Southdown Lambs from Oberon slowly rotating over spits for five long tantalising hours thrown in.
I got to hang out with Matt Kemp for a bit (he's an ex-Banc boy who ran the highly successful Restaurant Balzac which has since closed and re-opened as Montpellier Public House). Nice guy. Awesome skills. While most other chefs had a supporting chef or apprentice by their side, Matt was all lonesome and a total gun behind the grill. He whipped up epigramme of veal breast with crushed carrots, watercress and madeira jus; a dish which he described as a playful rendition of a fancy veal schitzel. Gotta love the man! (A little birdy tells me that there's a recipe on the way!)
The remaining talent pool included: Alex Herbert (Bird Cow Fish), Alex Kearns (Glebe Point Diner and ex-Billy Kwong chef! What a small world this is), Dan Hong and Jowett Yu (Lotus & Ms G's), Darren Robertson (The Table Sessions), David Tsirekas (Xanthi), Joe Pavlovich (Glass Brasserie), my awesome ex-boss Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong), Lauren Murdosh (Felix) and Martin Boetz (Longrain)...
... ... ...Sorry, I was just you know, reminiscing about all the mouth-watering dishes I got to stick my fingers into over the duration of the morning.. I love that it's held at the Pyrmont Growers' Market every year where the farmers, growers, bakers, artisan whatevers pride themselves on sourcing fresh, local and seasonal produce. It just fits in so well with the sustainability flag that was being waved around this year.
The importance of sourcing sustainable produce and supporting the people behind the sustainable agricultural movement is being dragged into the limelight in a timely fashion. An increasing number of Sydney chefs are on-board with boycotting GMOs, and sourcing local, seasonal produce but sustainably produced organic fruit and veg still only make up a tiny minority of the present market. We can change that you know. Consumers have the ULTIMATE POWER! Ask for it, demand it, buy as much as you can afford. It's damn delicious!
But back to serious business.. I just can't get over how succulent that spit-roasted Southdown lamb was... Droooool... There's no need to fret if you missed it. There are only 359 days to go before Barbecue Madness comes around again next year... Could someone please tell the woman upstairs to stop sobbing so loudly? It's distracting, and you can breathe a sigh of relief (I can't help being cruel sometimes). Crave Sydney International Food Festival runs for the entire month so there are plenty more opportunities to get some tasty meat in ya! :P~
Sydney Morning Herald Growers' Market
Pyrmont Bay Park, Pirrama Road
Pyrmont NSW 2009