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Chefs’ lunch

Ceviche & Pink Grapefruit Salad, see recipe on page 5XX.

Luca Villari and three of his chef friends joined forces to create this stunning celebration lunch Photographs by Todd Eyre

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t’s not often that these four Auckland chefs have the chance to get together and talk food. So, in the festive spirit, they decided to make a meal of it – each contributing a course – and invited Taste to their sumptuous table. Thanks to Grahame Dawson of Dawsons Catering, we gathered at historic Pah Homestead and enjoyed a long lunch in the garden.

Scallops, pancetta & parsley soup Ready in 40 minutes Serves 4 To eat Luca Villari's appetite teaser, simply nibble on the scallop and sip the soup! 2 slices smoked pancetta 4 large fresh scallops, roe removed 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp for garnish (or truffle oil for garnish) 2 tsp mascarpone or sour cream 1 tsp salmon roe (optional) 1 Tbsp finely chopped chives Parsley soup 250g Agria potatoes, peeled and diced 80ml olive oil 250ml fish stock 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Luca Villari's scallops, pancetta & parsley soup


Michael Meredith's ceviche & pink grapefruit salad


Sal Grant's confit lamb, pancetta & summer vegetables


Luca Villari's orange & ricotta gnocchi with caper butter


• •

Carlos Atkinson's rhubarb trifle with jelly, custard & rhubarb sorbet

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Opposite page. Clockwise from top left: Many hands make light work, as (from left) Sal Grant, Michael Meredith and Carlos Atkinson plate up. Luca Villari enjoys the fruits of their labour. Sal and Michael deal to the veg.

1 Make the parsley soup first. Combine potatoes, olive oil and fish stock in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add half the parsley and simmer for a further 8 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. Add remaining parsley, then purée in a blender. Strain through a sieve and set aside. 2 Preheat oven to 180°C. Lay pancetta on a tray lined with baking paper and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. Cool, then chop into rough crumbs. 3 Pat scallops dry on paper towels and season with salt and white pepper. Heat oil in a pan, add scallops and cook for 15-20 seconds on each side. Drain. 4 To serve, reheat parsley soup and pour into 4 shot glasses. Top with a dollop of mascarpone, then a little salmon roe, if using. Skewer each scallop on a cocktail stick and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil. Serve on shot glasses and garnish with crumbed pancetta and chives. Taste 73


Ceviche & pink grapefruit salad Ready in 40 minutes Serves 4 Michael Meredith’s ceviche salad includes the fresh flavours of unripened green strawberries and pink grapefruit. 320g tarakihi or any white fish, sliced thinly with a sharp knife 2 Tbsp chopped chives 1 Tbsp finely sliced coriander leaves 2 shallots, finely diced 12asparagus, ends removed, blanched, then refreshed in iced water 6 medium green (unripe) strawberries, thinly sliced 2 radishes, thinly sliced 2 baby turnips, thinly sliced 2 pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments (if unavailable, use oranges)

Micro greens, for garnish Fresh horseradish, for grating Dressing 200ml pink grapefruit (or orange) juice 30ml white wine vinegar 50ml olive oil Salt and sugar, to taste

then arrange the asparagus, strawberries, radishes, turnips and grapefruit segments on top. Spoon over a little bit of the marinade dressing. Add the micro herbs, then finish with some freshly grated horseradish. Serve immediately.

1 Make the dressing first. Mix together the grapefruit juice and vinegar, then whisk in oil. Season with salt and sugar to balance the flavour. 2 Put the slices of raw fish in a cold bowl, and add salt to taste, dressing, herbs and shallots. Leave fish to marinate for a couple of minutes. 3 Place the cured fish in serving bowls,

An artful drizzle, a stylish garnish and carefully considered presentation are all part of a chef 's approach to food

Alex Ross from Dawson's Catering was among the guests who enjoyed the chefs' waiting skills as well their wonderful food.

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Confit Lamb, Pancetta & Summer Vegetables. See recipe over the page.

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Confit lamb, pancetta & summer vegetables

Orange & ricotta gnocchi with caper butter

Ready in 7½ hours (lamb can be cooked a day ahead) Serves 12 Sal Grant, executive chef of The Mulberry bar and restaurant in Mt Eden, Auckland, provided this stunning confit lamb for the main course. Confit lamb 3kg lamb shoulder rack 2kg duck fat 2 cinnamon quills 2 star anise 2 bulbs garlic 5 Tbsp rosemary leaves 5 Tbsp sage leaves 500g sliced pancetta 2 Tbsp sea salt Extra virgin olive oil Sauce 400ml beef stock 200ml red wine Garnish (optional) 4 sticks rhubarb Oil, for deep frying 1 Tbsp caster sugar Summer vegetables 100g beetroot 200g baby carrots 500g green beans 1 bunch broccolini 200g sugar snaps 2 Tbsp truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 Preheat oven to 150°C. Put lamb shoulder in a deep oven dish and drain off any blood juices. Heat duck fat in a saucepan. Once fat is translucent, pour it over the lamb, adding cinnamon quills, star anise, garlic bulbs and herbs. Cover with tinfoil and cook in the oven for 6 hours. 2 When lamb is cooked – it will be tender and falling off the bone – remove from fat. Strain fat into a clean container and set aside for later use. Reserve garlic bulbs. Remove bones and sinew from lamb. 3 Put 3 x 60cm-long pieces of plastic wrap on top of each other on a clean bench. Gently lay strips of sliced pancetta side by side over the plastic wrap, up to a length of 50cm and width of about 10cm, leaving each end clear. Place warm confit lamb on top of pancetta, pressing the meat

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down firmly. Squeeze out garlic bulbs, rub garlic over the lamb and season with sea salt. Starting from a long side, roll up the meat and pancetta, using the plastic wrap to help. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and twist ends to seal. Put in fridge to set for an hour or more. You can prepare the meat to this point the day before serving. 4 To reheat the lamb, remove plastic wrap and cut in half or into portions to fit into a large roasting pan. Preheat oven to 200°C. Gently heat meat on stove top in a little bit of duck fat and extra virgin olive oil until crispy and golden brown, then finish off in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a tea towel to drain any excess fat. 5 Make a sauce by bringing the beef stock and red wine to the boil with a couple of pinches of salt. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half. 6 If using the rhubarb garnish, peel the rhubarb into thin strips, then slice into slivers using a potato peeler. Deep-fry for 10-15 seconds, drain, then coat with caster sugar.

Ready in 1 hour Serves 4-6 Luca looked to his Italian origins to create gnocchi with a hint of orange, tossed with herb and caper butter.

7 To prepare the vegetables, peel the beetroot, cut into quarters and roast at 200°C for 20 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool. Peel baby carrots, clean dirt off stems then blanch in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Refresh in iced water and pat dry. Do the same with green beans, broccolini and sugar snaps. Combine all vegetables with truffle oil and seasoning. 8 To serve, arrange the vegetables on serving plates. Slice the meat and place on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with sauce and, if using, garnish with rhubarb strips.

A beautifully laid table transforms outdoor dining into a special occasion – and of course fabulous food and wine helps!

1kg Agria potatoes, peeled 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 3 large (size 7) eggs, whisked ¾ cup ricotta ½ cup grated parmesan Zest 2 oranges ¼ tsp grated nutmeg 1 tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp olive oil 180g unsalted butter, diced 2 Tbsp capers, drained 1 bunch basil leaves 2 Tbsp chopped chives 4-6 Tbsp shaved good-quality parmesan 1 Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 40 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a 160°C oven for 5 minutes to dry completely. Put potatoes through a ricer or mouli, or mash thoroughly. 2 Put the flour on a clean bench, make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs. Add the potatoes and ricotta and gradually work them into the eggs. Add parmesan, orange zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Working in circles, gradually incorporate the flour into the potato mixture to form a dough, then knead until smooth and soft. 3 Roll dough into small skinny cigar shapes, then cut into 1.5cm-thick slices. Keep dusting the gnocchi with flour so they don’t stick to the bench. Blanch gnocchi in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes or until firm. Refresh in cold water, then toss with a little olive oil to stop them sticking. 4 Put the butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Let it foam, then add capers and cook until light brown in colour. Toss in the gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden. Add 2 pinches of pepper with the basil and chives and toss well. Serve with shaved parmesan. Taste 77

The chef brigade (clockwise from left): Sal Grant, Luca Villari, Carlos Atkinson, Stuart Hodson from Bowmans, and Michael Meredith.

Grahame and Alex view art at from the Wallace Art Trust at Pah Homestead where their company Dawson's Catering runs a cafe.

Farro fresh

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Rhubarb trifle with jelly, custard & rhubarb sorbet Ready in 1 hour Serves 4-5 Carlos Atkinson from Bowmans restaurant put together luscious layers of plum jelly, toasted brioche, custard and rhubarb for this sensational trifle. Custard 60g sugar 4 egg yolks 40g cornflour 350g milk Rhubarb 400g rhubarb 2 cups sugar 2 cups water Juice 2 lemons Plum jelly 2 cups sugar 2 cups water 1 small tin Black Doris plums and juice, stones removed 7 gelatine sheets To finish 2-3 slices brioche (or croissant), toasted then crumbed Whipped cream 1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted then blended to a fine crumb 1 To make the custard, combine sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a medium-sized bowl. Bring milk to the boil over a medium heat. Slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer to a clean pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a spatula, until thick. Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap on surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming, then refrigerate. 2 Chop rhubarb into 1cm-thick pieces. Put the sugar and water in a pot, stir to combine, then bring to the boil. Turn heat down to low and add the rhubarb. Gently cook until just tender, then remove half the rhubarb and place on a tray to cool. Continue cooking the rest until soft, then drain in a sieve over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Purée the soft rhubarb until smooth. Add lemon juice to the reserved liquid and

place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool. 3 Put the cooled rhubarb liquid in an ice cream machine and churn to make a sorbet. Or pour into a tray and freeze, stirring with a fork every half hour to break up the ice crystals, until it has all frozen. 4 To make the plum jelly, combine sugar and water in a pot, add the plums and plum juice and bring to a near boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain over a bowl, reserving the liquid (let the plums drain naturally, don’t push on them or the plum stock will not set firmly enough). Discard the plums. Measure 330g? plum liquid, put in a pot, bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Soak gelatine in cold water until soft, then squeeze out excess water. Add gelatine to the hot plum liquid and stir to combine. Pour plum jelly into a container and set in

the refrigerator. Once set, remove from the container and chop roughly. 5 To assemble, put 1 Tbsp plum jelly in the bottom of tall serving glasses, sprinkle some brioche crumb on top then add layers of poached rhubarb, custard, rhubarb purée and more jelly. Top with whipped cream and macadamia nuts. Serve with a scoop of rhubarb sorbet (see Cook’s Notes).

Cook’s Notes

• To stop sorbet moving on the plate, put a small amount of icing sugar down first then sit the sorbet on top. • If you do not want to make the sorbet, serve trifle with a tart fruitbased sorbet or ice cream.

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chefs lunch  

christmas lunch