SHORT OR­DER

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

DOU­GLAS El­der is the new head chef at Brown Brothers Epi­curean Cen­tre in Milawa, Vic­to­ria. Hepre­vi­ously worked at Beech­worth’s award-win­ning War­dens restau­rant. Best re­cent din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence: An­nie Smithers in Kyne­ton, Vic­to­ria; won­der­ful food and ser­vice. I pre­vi­ously worked un­der An­nie and have al­ways found her to be an amaz­ing chef. Must-buy in­gre­di­ent: Chest­nuts. It’s the home of the chest­nut here in north­east Vic­to­ria, and they are a must-have on any menuthis time of year. They are re­ally not that hard to peel, and have a great flavour. Next big thing: I hope there is a move away from sell­ing feed-lot beef in restau­rants and in su­per­mar­kets. One­hun­dred per cent grass­fed, pas­tur­eraised cat­tle is mypref­er­ence; the flavour and tex­ture is bet­ter, and the cat­tle have a more hu­mane life. Most em­bar­rass­ing pantry item: Bar­be­cue sauce (handy for a latenight sand­wich). WhatI’m cook­ing at home: Ragouts. The cold weather en­cour­ages slow-cooked meat and rich sauces with wine, herbs and spices. Sim­ple is al­ways the best: beef shin with red wine sauce is get­ting a workout at the mo­ment. Can’t live with­out: Bread. Any form and any flavour, fresh or toasted. My­favourites are the honey and oat loaf or the po­lenta loaf from Milawa Bak­ery. I hate: The overuse of mi­cro herbs as a gar­nish. While they mayadd vis­ual ap­peal, you are adding a herb flavour and it needs to com­ple­ment the dish. Favourite cui­sine: Bor­ing and a tad pre­dictable, but it has to be Ital­ian. Worst meal I ever ate: I think ev­ery­one whop­uts their time and ef­fort into cook­ing de­serves credit, no mat­ter what the stan­dard. I can say, though, that the best meal I ever ate was lunch at L’Ar­pege in Paris. Big­gest culi­nary in­flu­ence: Alla Wolf-Tasker. Dur­ing mytwo years work­ing at Lake House in Dayles­ford, Vic­to­ria, Alla taught methe im­por­tance of sea­son­al­ity and lo­cal pro­duce. Favourite cook­book: At the mo­ment it’s an orig­i­nal 1970s New Cui­sine by Paul Bo­cuse I found in a sec­ond-hand book­shop. And any­thing by An­to­nio Car­luc­cio or Mario Batali. Both have such pas­sion for Ital­ian cui­sine. My­last sup­per: It would be a huge plate of amaz­ing char­cu­terie with a bot­tle of 1996 Bruno Gi­a­cosa Bar­baresco Ris­erva. brown­broth­ers.com.au Michelle Rowe’s Food De­tec­tive col­umn re­turns next week.

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