The right bal­ance

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

SEBASTIENLu­taud was re­cently ap­pointed co-head chef at Syd­ney’s Felix restau­rant. Best re­cent din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: L’ate­lier de Joel Robu­chon in HongKong. I went to Robu­chon’s Tokyo restau­rant six years ear­lier and the dishes were the same. Con­sis­tency is one of the hard­est things to achieve in a restau­rant. Must-buy in­gre­di­ent: Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes — served raw in a salad, roasted with fresh herbs, boiled then pureed, or in a sim­ple soup with poached eggs and crou­tons. It’s in sea­son now. Most em­bar­rass­ing pantry item: Two-minute noo­dles: cheap, fast and easy for a lazy Sun­day din­ner. Can’t live with­out: Espelette pep­per. I put it on ev­ery­thing in place of black pep­per. It’s fruity with a hint of spice. WhatI’m cook­ing at home: I hate cook­ing at home. I don’t have all the fancy equip­ment that I have at work, nor do I have the time. If I do cook, it is usu­ally a sim­ple pasta. Next big thing: Get­ting to know pro­duce bet­ter. I think the re­la­tion­ship be­tween con­sumer and farmer or pro­ducer will be­come stronger, per­haps to the point where you can ask your farmer to grow a rare prod­uct that, say, your grand­par­ents used but to­day’s food­ies have for­got­ten. I hate: Frozen peas should be il­le­gal. The sweet­ness you get from fresh peas is amaz­ing and I love to eat them raw. Favourite cui­sine: Ja­panese. I love howthe seafood is re­spected and the flavours are never over­pow­er­ing. Worst meal I ever ate: WhenI was 13, my­brother cooked my mu­mandI spaghetti meat­balls for din­ner. He­burnt the tomato sauce and the meat­balls so badly that I can still re­mem­ber that bit­ter, burnt taste. Sur­pris­ingly, he is a great cook now. Big­gest culi­nary in­flu­ence: Pas­cal Bar­bot. I worked with him for a year, and what he did with in­gre­di­ents and flavour com­bi­na­tions blew meaway. It in­spired meto use all kinds of in­gre­di­ents and en­abled meto bal­ance flavours prop­erly. Favourite cook­book: Larousse Gas­tronomique, a must-have for all chefs — it’s the bi­ble of cook­books. My­last sup­per: Fresh sea urchins from the ocean off Hvar, Croa­tia. Heaven.

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