There are some opportunities that present themselves but rarely. Opportunities you just can’t say no to. Recently, one of those opportunities landed in my inbox courtesy of Electrolux. Dinner at Quay with a demonstration/masterclass with Chef Peter Gilmore. The essentials: Peter Gilmore along with Tetsuya have custom built kitchens using the latest technology from Electrolux. This was an opportunity for Gilmore to demonstrate the use of these appliances in the restaurant.
We were treated with NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée as we milled around the stunning room taking in the twin vistas of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Vistas I failed to capture as I enjoyed the canapes and Champagne! But really the most important feature of the night was the food: the beautiful, expertly handled food.
The highlights for me started with the BUTTER POACHED marron. Yes, BUTTER POACHED. Oh Yes. Once more? BUTTER POACHED. Sealed Sous Vide style with butter and steamed for mere minutes. Reminds me of a similar technique Tetsuya used with some fish, cooking it covered in glad wrap in a 90º-100º oven. According to Gilmore, the advantage of cooking the delicate shellfish like this is not losing the juices to any poaching liquid as the butter naturally seals the marron.
The Marron was paired with Natural Selection Theory Pear Cider, Coromandel Valley (makers of my fave quaffing wine)
If this was it, if this was the extent of the demonstration and subsequent meal, with the view and the company I would’ve been perfectly content. But there was so much more to come.
The next dish to be demonstrated was another POACHED in BUTTER: BUTTER POACHED Coturnix quail breast, pumpernickel, morel and ethical foie gras pudding, walnuts, quinoa, truffle custard and milk skin:
The quail was matched with a 2008 Terravin Pinot Noir from Marlborough, NZ
I think by this stage we were all rendered speechless by the lushness of the individual ingredients: The ethical foie gras, the new season chestnuts, MORE BUTTER, the truffle infused custard…oh my….Gilmore gave us an outline of how the ethical foie gras was produced, and how it’s used in the restaurant as more of a flavouring. It’s produced just once a year, when the geese naturally gorge themselves before the cold winter weather sets in, and in preparation for migration. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of this new style production of foie gras, the dish as a whole was a feast of textures from the crunchy “popped quinoa” to the spongy cakiness of the pumpernickel, to the rosy pinkness of the quail.
The next and last highlight for me was dessert: Those who follow on twitter would know that my background profile image is the 8 texture chocolate cake from the old menu at Quay. Not as glam or famous as the Snow Egg, but unbelievably rich and lush..So I was ecstatic to see a chocolate based dessert on our menu: Preserved Wild Cherries, Coconut Cream, Chuao Chocolate Crumble, Cherry Juice and Chocolate Sorbet…um, yes more please!
Dessert was paired with Claude Courtois Vin de Mistelle, Sologne
As you can see from the picture below, I thoroughly enjoyed dessert. It’s diminutive size hid its powerful flavours.
If I’d been at home, I would’ve picked up the beautifully sculpted dish (it had hand/finger grooves along it’s underside) and licked it clean. But I kept my head, and managed to get home un-disgraced.
Quay is one of those singular food experiences where it all comes together: The food, the ambiance, the views. If you get an opportunity to go and experience the magic take it. It’s worth every second.
I enjoyed this experience courtesy of Electrolux