Celebrity chef Luke Mangan rein­vents him­self as an old sea Salt

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

Fal­ways keen on a knees-up, was pleased to re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to the launch of celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s ex­cit­ing new ven­ture’’ sched­uled for later this month. Mangan, who has restau­rants in Syd­ney, Tokyo and San Fran­cisco, and a Mel­bourne gas­tro pub set to open soon, would seem to have his hands full but it ap­pears he’s a chap who just can’t say no. So what ex­actly is the mys­te­ri­ous new ven­ture?

is re­li­ably in­formed that the Syd­ney-based chef plans to launch him­self on the high seas, open­ing an out­post of his suc­cess­ful Salt fran­chise on board P& O’s Pa­cific Jewel, which en­ters ser­vice in Syd­ney on De­cem­ber 12 this year. If all pro­ceeds to plan, four more Mangan restau­rants will be rolled out across the P& Ofleet.

As well as putting his name to the fine-din­ers, Mangan will con­duct cook­ing classes and food demos on­board. P& O’s sign­ing of Mangan is fur­ther ev­i­dence of the cruise com­pany’s com­mit­ment to ramp­ing up its culi­nary of­fer­ing. Ear­lier this month, P& O’s Pa­cific Dawn kicked off the first of a se­ries of three-night taster cruises aimed at high­light­ing Aus­tralian food and wine.

The NSW Hunter Val­ley re­gion was the fo­cus of the first gourmet mini-cruise (see next week) and will be fea­tured on two more week­end out­ings next year, from Syd­ney on Jan­uary 29 and from Bris­bane on May 12. A fourth food cruise, from the West Aus­tralian port of Fre­man­tle, is sched­uled for De­cem­ber next year.

Mangan joins the likes of Gary Rhodes ( Fe­bru­ary 21-22), Nobu Mat­suhisa, Marco Pierre White and Todd English, who have al­ready taken their cui­sine afloat. French culi­nary wiz Jac­ques Pepin, mean­while, also has waded into the world of so-called crui­sine. Pepin has just an­nounced he will open Jac­ques, his first restau­rant at sea, on­board the Ocea­nia Cruises ves­sel Ma­rina, which is due to go into com­mis­sion next year. www.lukeman­gan.com; www.pocruises.com.au.

WHAT on earth could have prompted Don Burke to let rip at Donna Hay on his ra­dio show over her parsnip recipes in News Lim­ited’s mag­a­zine? The ver­bal thrash­ing last week, in which Burke de­clared that serv­ing parsnips is an af­front to hu­man dig­nity’’ and la­belled Hay wretched for do­ing so, prompted a back­lash from veg­etable-grow­ing as­so­ci­a­tions and Hay her­self but left slightly per­plexed. Why on earth would a one-time tele­vi­sion gar­dener get on his soap­box about the work of a cook­ery mag pub­lisher?

Per­haps it’s be­cause Burke also fan­cies him­self as some­thing of a culi­nary au­thor­ity. A slim vol­ume called

(New Hol­land, $6.95), re­cently landed on desk, promis­ing to trans­late non-English menu items into words we all can un­der­stand and speak — plain English!’’. It con­tains help­ful trans­la­tions for ev­ery­thing from a la carte (‘‘to or­der from a menu’’, the guide on eco­nomic is­sues as they re­late to gas­tron­omy and the food in­dus­try, in­clud­ing sus­tain­abil­ity, fru­gal­ity, kitchen economies and food habits in hard times. We have a re­ally good se­lec­tion of pa­pers promised . . . some on eco­nom­i­cal cook­ing and eat­ing, some with more in­ven­tive in­ter­pre­ta­tions of econ­omy,’’ or­gan­iser Bar­bara San­tich says.

It’s 25 years since we had the first sym­po­sium in Ade­laide in 1984, so it’s a bit of a cel­e­bra­tion.’’

Regis­tra­tion for the event, to be held at the Noel Loth­ian Hall at Ade­laide’s Botanic Gar­dens, is $500 or $375 for full-time stu­dents (in­clud­ing meals; ex­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion). www.hss.ade­laide.edu.au/ cen­tre­food­drink/events/.

has heard of slow pay­ers, but this is ridicu­lous. Bri­tain’s news­pa­per re­ports that a restau­ra­teur was fi­nally paid for a £10 ($20) curry he served a cus­tomer . . . 13 years ear­lier. The tardy diner, ob­vi­ously suf­fer­ing a case of late-on­set guilt, sent an anony­mous let­ter to po­lice, en­clos­ing a ten­ner for the curry plus £50 com­pen­sa­tion. He couldn’t re­mem­ber the name of the restau­rant but gave po­lice a de­scrip­tion of its lo­ca­tion. Sam­sul Bari, owner of the now closed In­dian restau­rant in Swansea, South Wales, was tracked down via me­dia ap­peal and the money re­turned. won­ders what took the tardy diner so long. Per­haps he’d slipped into a korma?

FIND of the week: Queens­land Sun­shine Coast farmer Richard Mohan’s pimien­tos de Padron, also known as Rus­sian roulette chillies, have proved a hit with Aus­tralian res­tau­ra­teurs seek­ing ob­scure Span­ish crops grown lo­cally ( Jan­uary 24-25). Hap­pily, Mohan has just har­vested his first batch of an­other Span­ish favourite, cal­cots, a mild and sweet cross be­tween a spring onion and a leek best eaten sim­ply bar­be­cued on an open flame. has done a taste test and can re­port that Mohan has pro­duced an­other win­ner. He was not so lucky, how­ever, with his crop of rafs, dubbed by the Span­ish as the world’s tasti­est tomato. Ab­so­lutely bug­gered,’’ he tells of the ex­per­i­men­tal batch he planted this year. They were go­ing great, lovely-tast­ing fruit, un­til three weeks ago when we had the frost from hell. Will have to re­think grow­ing rafs in win­ter out­doors.’’ www.midy­imeco.com.au.

loves: Break­fast. But ev­i­dently not as much as Chad Haylock, who pleaded guilty in Bris­bane Mag­is­trates Court re­cently to steal­ing 360 eggs and 5kg of freshly ground cof­fee from the city’s The Point Ho­tel.

reck­ons Haylock may want a choles­terol check once he’s back on the straight and nar­row.

loathes: thought she’d seen it all when it came to in­con­sid­er­ate be­hav­iour in restau­rants. But her ex­pe­ri­ence in Syd­ney’s Haber­field last week surely takes the bis­cuit. As din­ers en­joyed their meals around her, one woman de­cided there was no more ap­pro­pri­ate place to change her baby’s nappy than at the din­ner ta­ble, even though the re­strooms were just a few me­tres from her ta­ble. nearly choked on her braised rab­bit at such a dis­grace­ful dis­play.

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