AO Chef Series 2019 (14th-25th January)
You probably don’t need me to tell you about the Australian Open, which will return for its 50th Anniversary in 2019 with a record $60.5 million prize money pool! But there’s not just only great tennis on offer as AO 2019 is set to be even more of a foodie’s paradise than ever before, and one of the foodie jewels in the Australian Open Crown has to be the Chef Series.
After it’s 2018 debut, where Michelin Star Chefs served up some awe-inspiring food, this popular pop-up event at The Glasshouse will be back from 14-25 January, hosting some of the world’s most respected chefs. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak with two of this year’s chefs – Alejandro Saravia (17-19 Jan) and Duncan Welgemoed (23-25 Jan).
From Alejandro Saravia’s a Farmer’s daughter menu – highlighting all that’s great about Gippsland’s coastal seafood. The first dish we we sampled was the pickled sardines from Lakes Entrance. They had such a delicate flavour that was certainly not as strong as we have previously experienced with sardines. They were paired very well with the sour yoghurt (from a small dairy producer in Warragul called Butterfly Factory), and the coriander tiger’s milk, which also helped maintain the Peruvian heritage of this ceviche.
The second dish we tried from Alejandro was the smoked barramundi. Sourced from the first barramundi farmed in Victoria and utilising mineral water from Hepburn Springs, the fish is grown to its full potential to create a very light, delicious and delicate barramundi with a well balanced fat content. Suffice it to say, this was a great piece of fish that literally melts in your mouth. The dish also had good mix of flavours thanks to the accompaniment of the green lip abalone and charred pickled radicchio.
From Duncan Welgemoed we got a taste of modern African dining inspired by his Africola restaurant, recently voted 5th best in Australia. The wagyu was delicately sliced and rich with flavour, and was presented on a bed of toum (a kind of garlic cream finished with egg whites to give it the whiteness), slow roasted triple cooked beetroots compressed in fermented beetroot juice, and pickles and radicchio. The beetroots had such a wonderful texture, and along with the toum and other ingredients made this a very tasty dish.
For dessert we enjoyed the pistachio ice cream which had a great consistency and a lovely taste. The brandy snap style wafers were a great choice to pair with it – adding a good texture and a smooth, complementary flavour. The strawberries added a good little zestiness, and the white chocolate and sea salt custard tart made for the perfect sweet accompaniment.
Designed to be a highly intimate event, with personal stories from the chef’s and paired wines presented by well-regarded sommeliers Silvano Giraldin (Le Gavroche) and Justin Jenkins (Fleet Wines), it’s definitely one not to be missed.
Completing the line up at this years AO will be Simone Zanoni (14-16 Jan) with a Mediterranean line up from Michelin starred Four Seasons George V, France, and London’s Le Gavroche’s Albert Roux, OBE (20-22). Prices start from $195 and you can grab your tickets here.
Where: The Glasshouse, Olympic Park, Olympic Blvd, Richmond
When: 14th-25 January