My cel­lar

Halliday - - Contents -

We talk to LA-based, Aussie chef and restau­ra­teur Cur­tis Stone

Cur­tis Stone has carved his place in the US as an in-de­mand chef, TV pre­sen­ter and restau­ra­teur of LA venues Gwen and Maude. He shares his love for food, wine and a few favourite, nos­tal­gic Aussie treats.

You’ve been in the US for a long time. What do you miss about Aus­tralia?

I miss AFL, vanilla slices and my mum, who still lives there.

What’s your go-to food and drink when you’re feel­ing home­sick? Sausage rolls with a Coop­ers.

What are some of your favourite wine and food mem­o­ries from Aus­tralia? My gran’s pork roast and my mum’s sweets.

What’s been one of your most ex­cit­ing wine dis­cov­er­ies from the US? Har­lan Es­tate in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

What are some of your favourite wine re­gions? Mar­garet River and I’ve al­ways loved the wines of Bur­gundy.

How im­por­tant is wine for you when it comes to the din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence? Very! At times, a great wine can el­e­vate a dish, ac­cen­tu­ate the avours and nu­ances on the plate, and take it to a whole new level.

Was there one wine or a par­tic­u­lar mo­ment that reeled you in to a love for it? My rst trip to Provence was a game-changer. I now al­ways have a bot­tle of chilled Proven­cal rosé on hand.

How do you de­scribe your own wine col­lec­tion?

My big­gest col­lec­tion is the wine at the restau­rants. We fea­ture clas­sics, but also high­light smaller pro­duc­ers and lesser-known va­ri­etals that play o the cui­sine.

Since Gwen is also a butcher shop, syrah from Aus­tralia, France and the US all nd their way promi­nently onto the wine list.

Do you re­mem­ber the rst wine you cel­lared?

It was a Penfolds Grange.

What’s your most re­cent ad­di­tion to your wine col­lec­tion? I re­cently added some vin­tage Cham­pagne – Jacques Selosse, Krug and the 1989 Le Brun Ser­ve­nay, which is drink­ing fab­u­lously.

What wine styles are you lov­ing right now? It’s been so bloody hot in LA that I’ve been en­joy­ing rosé, as well as gruner velt­liner, a su­per-dry white.

You have two thriv­ing restau­rants in LA. What’s your food phi­los­o­phy? Food and wine should com­ple­ment each other without over­shad­ow­ing the other. e best menus are con­ceived us­ing sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents and let­ting those avours shine. Wine pair­ings just en­hance that ex­pe­ri­ence.

What’s your post-shift drink of choice? A Coop­ers beer or a re­fresh­ing rosé – both ex­cel­lent choices af­ter a long day be­hind the re.

Is there any wine you can’t learn to love? Or­ange wines. Is there a par­tic­u­lar wine you cel­e­brate with? Cham­pagne. Al­ways.

What’s been your best-ever bar­gain wine? It de­pends on how you de­fine bar­gain. You can get great deals on wine, but still spend hun­dreds of dol­lars on a bot­tle. If we’re talk­ing in­ex­pen­sive, Por­tu­gal is pro­duc­ing in­cred­i­ble, qual­ity wine. e pro­duc­tion costs are low be­cause the es­tates have been in fam­i­lies for years, and the land in re­mote ar­eas is in­her­ited and passed down, keep­ing prices down – a great thing for the con­sumer.

Your all-time favourite food and wine match? A 90-day dry-aged steak with a Barolo.

Do you have any guilty plea­sures when it comes to wine or drinks? I can’t go past a 20-year-old tawny port.

Is there a wine that isn’t great, but you love any­way? A wine is never bad – use it for cook­ing!

Are there any US drink or food tra­di­tions that you can’t get your head around? I’ll stick with or­ange wines on this an­swer. ey are re­ally on-trend in the US and else­where right now, but I just can’t get be­hind them.

What do you be­lieve is the gen­eral US per­cep­tion of Aussie wines? I don’t think much of the US knows about the smaller wine re­gions of Aus­tralia, so I work on get­ting those rep­re­sented on the wine list at my restau­rants. Some of my own per­sonal favourite pro­duc­ers right now are Si Vint­ners, Blind Cor­ner and Voy­ager Es­tate.

What do you think Aussies should be pay­ing more at­ten­tion to from the US? I think Aus­tralians are fa­mil­iar with Napa, of course, but maybe not the fact the cen­tral coast of Cal­i­for­nia pro­duces some in­cred­i­ble wine. Cu­ri­ously, Michi­gan is also mak­ing some in­ter­est­ing wine.

What are you most ex­cited for on your visit to Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape? I’m look­ing for­ward to us­ing the in­cred­i­ble in­gre­di­ents of the re­gion.

What food and drinks would you serve for your ul­ti­mate meal? I’d make the ul­ti­mate meal and share it with my wife, Lind­say [ac­tor Lind­say Price]. She loves lob­ster and Cham­pagne, and

I’d work tru es in there some­where too. I’d then pair a great Mar­garet River caber­net with a funky, dry-aged steak.

IT’S BEEN SO BLOODY HOT IN LA THATI’VE BEEN ENJOYINGROSÉ, AS WELL AS GRUNER VELT­LINER, A SU­PER DRY WHITE.

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