Austrailia Day Wine Dinner

Here are some photos from our Australia Day winemaker’s dinner we had tonight.

“Throw a Shrimp on the Barbie” with Tasmanian Dipping Sauce , Aromatic Rock Salt and Eucalyptus Leaves.  Here the guests got to cook their own shrimp on the “Barbie” on a river stone that was 500 degrees F.  The aromatics in the salt and the eucalyptus really bloomed when the hot stone was placed on top and the aroma was enchanting.

Here we have an Australian favorite.  Apricot Chicken.  I made it with a chickpea cake and salad of frisee. 

Here we have Pan Seared Australian Barramundi with a Braised Leek and Rock Oyster Stew.  It’s finished with a light shrimp sauce and crispy fried leeks.

The entrée was Sous Vide Australian Lamb Loin with Potato Confit and Winter Beet Puree finished with a Rosemary-Mustard Jus.  But, remember…  It’s Summer time in Australia right now, Mate!

Finally for dessert was a classic Pavlova made with sweet meringue, whipped cream, kiwi, strawberries and bananas finished with toasted coconut and raspberry sauce.  All very Australian.

The evening was started with Dampers and “Mock Chicken”.  An australian version of Bread and butter.  The Dampers were a biscuit like bread that traditionally is cooked in the hot coals of a camp fire with the charred outside being peeled away and the soft middle eaten.  The “mock chicken” was a vegetarian mixture of tomatoes, onions, herbs and cheddar cheese that was meant to be a spread for the dampers.  Great fun.

All in all it was a great night.  Our dining room manager, Nathan MC’ed the whole night seeing that he’s from Australia and all.  The dining room was all done up with Australian decor and there were a lot of fun games the entire night.  We also paired all the food with some stunning Australian wines that went over real well.  We were happy when the reservations for the night reached 40 last week.  And it ended up with a sell out crowd of 70!  People kept calling and we ended up doing 78 people.  That was a lot for the room, but it was all very exciting and a lot of positive, Australian energy was flowing.  What great fun, even if Nathan kept correcting my pronunciation of Barramundi, Dampers and Pavlova!

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