Noodlies, Sydney food blog was lucky to attend the innaugural Whet Your Appetite to celebrate New South Wales’ hottest culinary talent. It’s a dinner to celebrate talented young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs of the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Awards. The event was held at the very swish Electrolux Showcase building in Mascot.
Guests were treated to a three three course menu with matching wine created by the chefs and waiters working in collaboration.
I’ve written recently in the Sydney Morning Herald about the dire state of some fine dining establishment so I was keen to come along to support these emerging stars.
The fish and chips with tartare sauce was so cheeky with a nod to Heston’s unique chemistry inspired flair. While it didn’t look like fish and chips, the dish was still visually stunning and upon first bite the savoury flavours were very unmistakable.
Beetroot cured ocean trout, horseradish mayonnaise, fennel salad and dill kipfler potatoes just spelt Sydney for me; casual and colourful, the trout a brilliant capsicum red. It’s an excellent entree, strong, crunchy salad with a zing prepares the palate for more.
Pot roast pork neck with lotus root, sweet potato and wilted greens delivered a bit of the traditional with a touch of eastern exoticism. Easily the most stunningly presented dish of the night. It’s also a nice contrast of textures; oh-so-tender pork, ‘wilted’ greens and crispy sweet potato and lotus root crisps. The pork pieces were pretty varied in size, I was lucky enough to get a medium one, Tina next to me wasn’t so lucky; her pork would have easily been 800gms.
I nick-named the roasted grain ice cream with pancetta powder, parmesan and sweet persimmon dessert as the “three p’s of sweets” – pancetta, parmesan and persimmon. Again, the presentation was casual, free flowing – very Sydney? The sweet and salty combination was interesting. It wasn’t a bad combo, the persimmon is an inspired choice, though my ice cream was a tad too soft. I had the right amount of parmesan, poor Tina ended up with a mountain of cheese, it obviously wasn’t her night.
Our waiters for the evening was faultless, pleasant, friendly and very professional, each ‘thank you’ from me elicited and immediate ‘thank you’ in return.
At the end of the night, I really wanted to say it was an unreserved success, certainly the waiters were fantastic and I loved the cheeky earlier courses but inconsistencies in the latter courses niggled a little. Overall though, I left with more smiles than frowns.
The team of Electrolux Australian Young Chefs and Waiters for the evening:
- Alexander Tuckett | Pilu at Freshwater | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Waiter National Finalist
- Anthony Moore | Bentley Restaurant & Bar | 2011 Electrolux Australian Young Waiter Runner
- Christopher Rose | glass brasserie | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Waiter National
- James Audas | BLACK by ezard | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Waiter National
- James Sexton | Oscillate Wildly | 2011 Electrolux Australian Young Waiter
- Jay Lee | Mosaic Restaurant | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Chef National
- Matthew Bugeja | Becasse | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Chef National
- Sarah Knights | Uccello | 2012 Electrolux Australian Young Chef National Finalist
Electrolux Appetite for Excellence is a national restaurant awards program judged by some of Australia’s most successful chefs, restaurateurs, and industry leaders.
It was founded in 2005 by Luke Mangan and Lucy Allon as they recognised that the hospitality industry needed to support the next generation. The awards program has evolved to now include young chef, young waiter in 2007, and young restaurateur in 2009.
It’s aim is to inspire, educate and nurture the emerging talent. It’s vision is to increase the recognition and support of young emerging talent and the hospitality industry in conjunction with partners and the general public.
This noodlies, Sydney food blog’s Whet Your Appetite experience was courtesy of Sarah Mason PR and Electrolux Appetite for Excellence.