Orange food­ies watch­ing their Man­ners as an era ends

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence - Ju­dith Elen

FOODDe­tec­tive caught up with NSW food leg­end Michael Man­ners this week in the kitchens of his 10-year-old Orange restau­rant, Selkirks, which is set to close its doors on June 17. Ex­pect­ing to have a chat about past glo­ries, De­tec­tive in­stead found her­self im­mersed in ex­cit­ing news of the next Man­ners man­i­fes­ta­tion.

Ex­tract­ing his hands from the trout gravlax he was pre­par­ing for the lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­ket, and tak­ing the phone, Man­ners told De­tec­tive about Man­ners and Borg, the ven­ture he is launch­ing in part­ner­ship with his Orange butcher, Michael Borg.

They’re build­ing a shop in Orange, where they’ll pro­duce restau­rant-qual­ity heat-and­serve meals (mous­sakas, lasagnes, and more com­plex dishes, at a range of prices), sauces to go with Borg’s meats (the butcher is an Orange in­sti­tu­tion) and dress­ings. Next year, there’ll be a line in gourmet sausages. At least un­til Christ­mas, they will pro­duce batches of value-added meals to sell only from the new shop.

If it goes well, Man­ners says they might look for back­ing and ex­tend their reach, but he wants ev­ery­thing to be per­fect be­fore go­ing down that path, so un­til then res­i­dents of the re­gion will be the win­ners and a visit to Orange will be well worth the trip. Man­ners and Borg ex­pects to open mid-July; watch this col­umn for dates.

As for the restau­rant, it will be con­tin­u­ing, though Man­ners can’t yet say with whom; again, watch this space. The last sup­per at Selkirks, on June 16, will fea­ture dishes from Man­ners’ manors past: from the late 1960s to now, in­clud­ing gar­lic brains.

WIN­TER fes­ti­vals are un­der way around the coun­try: McLaren Vale’s 15th an­nual Sea & Vines Fes­ti­val is on this week­end. Less than an hour’s drive from Ade­laide, the vale will be of­fer­ing food and wine tast­ings at 24 winer­ies (or­gan­is­ers rec­om­mend no more than three a day). There will be mu­sic of all kinds and lots of ac­tiv­i­ties for the an­kle-biters. www.seaand­vines.com.

A PRE-FES­TI­VAL seafood ban­quet, Seafood by the Stars, will lead in the an­nual Dar­win Seafood Fes­ti­val to be held on Sun­day, June 17. Seafood dishes will be pre­pared by chefs from Dar­win’s Hanu­man Restau­rant, Char Restau­rant @ Ad­mi­ralty and Roast & Noo­dle, with desserts and cof­fees from The Roma Bar. Fish­er­man’s Wharf will be a prom­e­nade of fresh seafood for the fes­ti­val on the Sun­day, pro­fes­sion­als of­fer­ing ad­vice on buy­ing, catch­ing and cook­ing it. www.trav­elnt.com; Seafood by the Stars tick­ets: (08) 8941 1153.

WINE novices and en­thu­si­asts alike will be able to brush up on tast­ing tech­niques at McWil­liams Wines’ free wine tast­ing tu­to­ri­als at Syd­ney Good Food & Wine Show on June 15, 16 and 17, at the McWil­liams stand, bay K36, Syd­ney Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre. McWil­liams prom­ises the 45-minute ses­sions will be great fun and you’ll learn lots. A range of daily times and top­ics, from bub­bles to cel­lar­ing; book­ings are es­sen­tial (02 9722 1233; www.mcwil­liams.com.au.

DE­TEC­TIVE chat­ted this week with Andrew Skin­ner, ex­ec­u­tive chef at the new Bul­gari Re­sort Bali. Skin­ner, ex the Ritz-Carl­ton in Wash­ing­ton, Syd­ney and Aman­dari (Bali), and Oberoi Mau­ri­tius, was in Syd­ney for the open­ing of the new Bul­gari store in Castlereagh Street, where he cre­ated a spe­cial menu for launch events. He also cooked a re­port­edly mem­o­rable de­gus­ta­tion din­ner at FortyOneRes­tau­rant.

In Bali, Skin­ner says the re­sort is at­tract­ing more and more Aus­tralians, re­cently wel­com­ing a group of Perth VIPs, who must re­main un­named.

He says, while Bul­gari Re­sort sources its high­end spe­cial­ity pro­duce from around the globe, as is the way with re­sorts — pro­sciutto from Italy, fish from Tas­ma­nia and Paris’s Rungis mar­ket— or­ganic farms high in Bali’s vol­canic moun­tain coun­try, Kin­ta­mani and Be­du­gal, are grow­ing herbs, salad veg­eta­bles, toma­toes and more and are a fab­u­lous source of dew-drenched lo­cal pro­duce for Bul­gari. There is even an Ital­ian res­i­dent of Bali who is mak­ing fresh moz­zarella, ap­par­ently.

ON the Vic­to­rian slopes, Falls Creek’s sex­i­est new bar, oishii go! (free fives), is de­signed to suit the re­fur­bished Silverski Lodge: free green tea and dashi soup at 5pm; Kirin beer on tap. The sea­son runs from June 8-Oc­to­ber 1.

ONE of De­tec­tive’s favourite cook­books, Arabesque, by Melbourne’s Greg and Lucy Malouf, in its deluxe man­i­fes­ta­tion de­signed by Gayna Mur­phy, has won The Aus­tralian Pub­lish­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Book De­sign Awards for Best De­signed Cook­book of the Year, an­nounced in Syd­ney last week. Mur­phy was on a win­ning roll, hav­ing also de­signed Lake­House by Alla Wolf-Tasker, which was highly com­mended in the awards, as was Teague Ezard’s Lo­tus:Asian Flavours, de­signed by Ryan Guppy.

RESTAU­RANT col­lec­tor Aus­tralian Hos­pi­tal­ity Group (own­ers of Liq­uid­ity and Syd­ney Tower’s 360 Bar and Din­ing) has snaf­fled one of Syd­ney’s long­est run­ning es­tab­lish­ments to add to its col­lec­tion. La Gril­lade, mecca for top TV suits, in Syd­ney’s Crows Nest, has been op­er­ated by its orig­i­nal own­ers for 30 years. The group’s ex­ec­u­tive chef, Greek-Aus­tralian Ge­orge Di­a­mond, is al­ready work­ing with the restau­rant’s head chef Roger Barstow.

The word is that staff will re­main in place, but one de­vel­op­ment will be ac­cess to the group’s food sources, in­clud­ing its own Tas­ma­nian oys­ter lease.

BARISTA Jack Hanna from Syd­ney, pho­tographed above by Nick Cub­bin, was this week named World Latte Art Cham­pion, ahead of 19 cof­fee artistes, in the cham­pi­onships in Bel­gium. Hanna puts his win down to the de­signs he cre­ated es­pe­cially for the day, and to Di Lorenzo cof­fee (from Jones the Gro­cer, where Hanna whips up brews for his day job at the Wool­lahra, Syd­ney, store). Judg­ing is based on taste, tex­ture, tem­per­a­ture, and aes­thet­ics. Six cof­fees in eight min­utes, each with its ex­quis­ite de­sign.

MEAN­WHILE, Syd­neysiders should pre­pare for a sense of Orange com­mu­nity at Bondi Beach on Sun­day, Septem­ber 17, when NSW coun­try will come to town. With a range of wine and food stalls in the Bondi Pavil­ion, it prom­ises to be a taste of the very best of coun­try life. Stay tuned to De­tec­tive for full de­tails closer to the date.

FIND of the week: Wai­w­era In­fin­ity Wa­ter from New Zealand ther­mal springs; pris­tine and in beau­ti­ful one-litre bot­tles ($8.50 for a pack of three, from Mof Mof del­i­catessen, Shop 17, 8 Green­knowe Ave, El­iz­a­beth Bay, Syd­ney). www.wai­w­era.co.nz.

DE­TEC­TIVE loves: The quiet emer­gence of new-wave Ital­ian restau­rants in in­nerSyd­ney: La Sala, In­ter­mezzo, Lo Stu­dio.

DE­TEC­TIVE loathes: The pep­per-grinder wield­ing waiter (she’s en­list­ing in the Chaser’sWar on cracked pep­per); what’s wrong with a small grinder on the ta­ble?

Best barista: Hanna

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