Rhodes to renown
FOODDetective has been off on a foreign mission that took her to the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, where she learned that Michelin-starred Brit chef Gary Rhodes had recently been in town. To much fanfare, Rhodes is taking over the kitchens at Mezzanine, the very classy restaurant on the mezzanine level at Grosvenor House, West Marina Beach, where the decor mixes neo-baroque with modern splash. The cuisine, too, aims at tradition with modern overtones, which is why they’ve netted Rhodes, perhaps triggering a touch of superchef rivalry with fellow Michelin-decorated British chef Gordon Ramsay, who controls the kitchens at Hilton Dubai Creek’s Verre restaurant. Setting the scene, Rhodes told TimeOutDubai , in language more familiar from his old sparring partner, ‘‘ that cheeky bastard’’ Ramsay had stolen his analogy about consultant chefs and Armani suits (that the master clothes designer is not the hands-on creator of each of his suits). Detective thinks there’s something odd about dishing up bread and butter pudding, which Rhodes plans to put on the menu among other British classics, in the middle of the desert (inRhodes into Dubai), but the place is, after all, liberally dosed with fantasy. Rhodes has a five-year contract and plans to visit this consumers’ oasis at least twice a year. www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com.
WITH Nobu Matsuhisa’s latest global link in Melbourne, the phenomenon of the chef without frontiers is also making inroads at home. A few Aussie chefs, such as Neil Perry and Luke Mangan, are aspiring CWFs, but generally our kitchen stars are proud to be local — whether their specialities are Middle Eastern, Thai or Italian — understanding our regional produce and knowing about seasons and sources, always a good thing.
MORE global moves: Vanuatu is staging the region’s first international barista competition on October 19-20, as part of the republic’s annual Salon Culinaire, which culminates in a grand gourmet dinner at Le Lagon Resort Vanuatu. Prizes for the baristas are a beautiful blend. Visiting espressoistes will be eligible to win a return trip to Tanna Island’s west coast coffee plantations, plus a visit to Mt Yasur, the world’s most accessible active volcano, while local entrants have the chance to win a return trip to the cosmopolitan coffee shops of Sydney. Entries close on October 14 and the local tourism industry is cooking up some great travel packages for the occasion. www.baristavanuatu.com.
FRANK Camorra, chef at Melbourne’s MoVida Bar de Tapas Y Vino (a favourite of Detective ), has written a book with food writer Richard Cornish, appropriately called MoVida . The team held a launch party at Jared Ingersoll’s Danks Street Depot in Sydney this week, with Camorra in the kitchen. One previewed recipe is for marinated olives, something that will interest anyone who has visited a Spanish or Italian greengrocer and not known how to approach those hard little fruit fresh from the tree. The book blends recipes with food history and will be on sale in November. www.murdochbooks.com.au.
SPICE boys Serge Dansereau, chef at Sydney’s The Bathers’ Pavilion, and Ian Hemphill, expert guiding force of Sydney institution Herbie’s Spices, are drawing up a special herbs and spices menu for a dinner that aims to educate the palate and challenge the senses of diners. Participants will savour the aromas and learn about the taste, smell and feel of the different varieties the duo is carefully selecting for the meal. And the dishes will retain Dansereau’s signature style, the team says. At The Bathers’ Pavilion, 7pm, Wednesday, September 26; $125 for a three-course meal, with matching wines. Bookings: (02) 9969 5050. www.batherspavilion.com.au; www.herbies.com.au.
Detective loves: The Olive Grove, McLaren Vale’s traditional kalamata olives, vacuum-packed for perfect picnics; hand-picked and chemical free. From 150g ($4.95) to 10kg. www.olivegroves.com.au.
Detective loathes: Airline bread, which still often tastes like cardboard and is frequently stone cold, just when airlines are starting to serve food that comes with nice sauces and decent olive oil that needs mopping up.