EAN Pedrotti is excited about his new menu at Sugatrain in Palmer Street. Having been in Townsville for two years, he reckons he’s got a handle on what Townsville diners like and how they like it and this is how he’s designed the menu.
Born in Ballarat, he did his apprenticeship at GC’s cafe in the chilly city and has been gradually working his way north since, via Melbourne and the Gold Coast and then on Hamilton Island which, he said, was a big influence.
‘‘ We used to have the Great Barrier Feasts and the best chefs would come from all over Australia to cook them. I learned a lot there and I really loved it.’’
Two years ago he was offered the job in Townsville, a place he had never visited and he jumped at the chance.
‘‘ I love the weather, I love being warm a nd I r e a l l y l i ke t he lifestyle,’’ he said.
Although exactly when he gets to enjoy it is anybody’s guess since he spends about 70 hours a week on the job.
Single, in his limited free time he spends it playing guitar. ‘‘ It’s a hobby,’’ he said. ‘‘ But I would never give up cooking for music.’’
His new menu has been designed to suit Townsville palates, with old favourites delivered with a modern twist and some seriously innovative dishes as well.
His choice for the first course was his upmarket version of bruschetta which, instead of the traditional tomato topping, uses char-grilled eggplant, marinated fetta and pesto.
‘‘ It’s a nice light start to the meal with a mix of good flavours to get the palate going.’’ With it, Dean selected a glass of New Zealand’s Oyster Bay Cuvee Brut.
As an entree he couldn’t go past quince jus. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet and acidic, I really like this one.’’
With the duck he chose a 2009 Devils Corner Pinot Noir from Tasmania, a perfect foil.
‘‘ I probably wouldn’t need any dessert after all that,’’ he said.
‘‘ But needing and wanting it are quite different and most people can always fit in a Baileys creme brulee.’’
Served with toffeed pistachios and chocolate icecream this dessert is set off perfectly by a glass o f 2 0 1 0 I n n o c e n t B y s t a n d e r Moscato.