Monday, June 28, 2010

Cooking with Zumbo

I have long been a fan of Adriano Zumbo, the fantastic pastry chef based in Balmain. I found a cooking class he was taking at the restaurant under my building - Signorelli. An evening with Zumbo? Who could resist?

The unlikely celebrity, Adriano Zumbo.

The class fell on an evening with torrential rain. Many people were running late - including the star of the night. Adriano arrived, full of apologies and bearing several trays of intriguing looking ingredients.

Adriano demonstrated two desserts that he had created just for the occasion. A new version of tiramisu and a lemon curd tart with olive oil sorbet.

Watching Adriano in action was fascinating. The softly-spoken man had the room's attention with his every move and word. Several members of the class were scribbling down notes furiously, asking questions that would help them re-create the recipe at home. I happily know what my baking limits are, so was content instead to photograph and listen to the words of wisdom the great chef had to depart on us.

As he cooks, Zumbo shares his tips and stories of his childhood. He tells us about his time in France and his dislike for their huge food wastage. After he mentions this I notice as the night goes on that nothing goes to waste. Any extra material is boxed up in plastic containers for re-use. Burnt pine nuts are salvaged.

Most interesting is watching Zumbo crack open eggs on handed, with the reflex of one who has cracked more eggs than I shall ever consume in my lifetime. He shows us how to separate the yolk using our hands for a cleaner separation (some recipes require the yolk and egg white to be cooked at different temperatures, so having bits of white left on the yolk can spoil the dessert).

Zumbo whisks up the first of many frothy components.

The finished product, "tirimisu".

Lemon curd tart with olive oil sorbet.

After the two-hour class, we get the chance to speak with Zumbo. He is humble about his success and thanks us sincerely for coming to his class. We bow in worship a few times before heading out into the cold night.

I meet the genius.

Ground floor of Accenture/Google Building
Trouton Place Pyrmont NSW 2009
(opposite Metcalfe Park)
P: 02 8571 0616

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Doyles; Watson's Bay

I had a rare fancy lunch out at Doyles on the Beach restaurant at Watson's Bay with work colleagues.

We caught the ferry from Circular Quay and had a touristy trip across the harbour.

30 mins later, we were at Watson's Bay. The restaurant is right near the ferry dock.

We found a table outside under a heater where we could still see the stunning view.

Cute little butters.

Super-tasty bread. Warm and crunchy on the outside.

Fresh oysters.

Seafood chowder.

Salad with Parmesan and pear. SUPER delish.

Pasta marinara - the only vegetarian option on the menu.

Stuffed prawns, fish, salmon, chips. Be warned, the stuffed prawns contain bacon.

Seafood marinara.

Cute coffee.

The food was all delicious - very fresh, tasty, with quick service. The only downside of the lunch was the politeness of our waiter. He was very unhelpful, especially when our fish-etarian found bacon in her fish. A word of advice - the customer is always right!

Storm rolls in as we leave the restaurant.

Ferry ride home.

Sydney, you are so beautiful!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pizza Olla; Cammeray

The rainy weather made me crave pizza, so we tried a new place recommended by a friend in Cammeray, Pizza Olla.

It was a great night for a quick, cheap, tasty dinner. They have a large pizza menu and cater well for vegetarians with several vege sections on their menu.

The restaurant is casual and modern. Simple, bright decor, with a large wine bar. The service was friendly and fast, the food fresh and delish.

Garlic bread.

Personalised pizza - BBQ sauce, bocconcini, pineapple, tomato.

The pizza was great. I had a regular size, which was the prefect size for me without overly stuffing myself. The base was crispy, the toppings plentiful. Yum!

Mmmm melty cheese!

Alec's pizza - love the basil leaves.

Pizza Olla

Stockland Cammeray,
450 - 476 Miller Street
NSW 2062
Ph 9776 6552