An­dre Kropp

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

AN­DRE Kropp, ex­ec­u­tive chef at Henry’s Res­tau­rant, the sig­na­ture res­tau­rant for the Henry Jones Art Ho­tel, has just re­turned from rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia in the In­ter­na­tional Culi­nary Olympics in Er­furt, Ger­many. His team fin­ished ninth of 36 teams from around the world.

A vet­eran of the Culi­nary Olympics, Kropp has com­peted four times – twice for his na­tive South Africa, and twice for Aus­tralia.

‘‘ Peo­ple ask me why I do it, and there are cer­tainly el­e­ments of the event that are tor­tur­ous, like hav­ing to prep ev­ery­thing from scratch with very lit­tle sleep in the 48 hours be­fore com­pe­ti­tion,’’ he says.

‘‘ But the ca­ma­raderie of the team and the ex­cite­ment of com­pe­ti­tion, and very tight dead­lines, are ter­rific.

‘‘ Plus, as com­peti­tors, you learn through ex­po­sure to new tech­niques and culi­nary trends and in­gre­di­ents from around the world that per­haps you’ve read about but never seen.’’

Kropp ( pic­tured) and the team ex­hib­ited 22 dishes in the cold ta­ble sec­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion, and then, for 110 guests and judges, a three- course menu con­sist­ing of a con­fit of cold- smoked Tas­ma­nian salmon with wild fen­nel pollen, pea salad and cit­rus dress­ing; three cuts of West Aus­tralian dor­per lamb; and a choco­late bar dessert filled with yuzu jelly and hazel­nut mousse.

He de­scribed dor­per lamb as a ‘‘ meatier, breed with beau­ti­ful ten­der, sweet meat’’.

The Swedish team won this year and Kropp said al­though we don’t hear much about the Culi­nary Olympics here, they re­ceive huge cov­er­age in Europe and the Scan­di­na­vian teams’ travel ar­range­ments were also gen­er­ously fi­nanced by their re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments.

Kropp said apart from the com­pe­ti­tion it­self, he en­joyed tasting an amaz­ing ar­ray of Ger­man sausages, salamis and cold cuts, par­tic­u­larly as there was a par­al­lel In­ter­na­tional Bratwurst Olympics run­ning in Thuringer at the same time.

He also learnt that bratwurst should never be cooked in a pan but in­stead ‘‘ cooked slowly over an open fire where it can take on the smoke’’.

‘‘ And once again it came home to me just how much more re­spect­ful the Ger­mans and Euro­peans gen­er­ally are about their food than we are here,’’ he said.

‘‘ They don’t waste or throw away any­thing, from turn­ing stale bread into dumplings to the uses they make of an­i­mal blood and of­fal and all the fat and trim­mings that go to pro­duce their sausages. And, for all that, they don’t ap­pear to have the same obe­sity prob­lems as we do in Aus­tralia.

‘‘ We’ve still got a bit to learn.’’

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