Jimmy Cook’s food reaches a new level

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

Jimmy Cook’s Restau­rant at The Copthorne has taken the world of con­tem­po­rary din­ing to a new height.

In ad­di­tion to in­tro­duc­ing a new menu, Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Jono Maw­ley has added a touch of theatre to two of his pop­u­lar dishes.

The en­tic­ing menu was launched ear­lier this month to fur­ther en­hance the qual­ity of food and to in­tro­duce new flavours and ideas.

Jono has al­ways sought to iden­tify with the Manawatu and his dishes con­tain the bounty of the re­gion.

His lamb and beef comes from a se­lec­tion of Manawatu farms, his veg­eta­bles have been grown lo­cally and a land­mark cheese­board demon­strates the work of food ar­ti­sans from the Po­hang­ina Val­ley and Tararua.

Jono is sourc­ing his cheese from Cart­wheel Cream­ery from the Po­hang­ina Val­ley.

‘‘The cheeses are amaz­ing. The four we of­fer are the Marama Camem­bert, the Blue Rhapsody, an ab­so­lutely won­der­ful Feta and the Cop­per­mine Washed Rind,’’ he says.

‘‘They’re ac­com­pa­nied by Ruahine Fruit Port. The se­lec­tion in­cludes Roar­ing Red Boy­sen­berry Port, Plump Pheas­ant Plum Port and Tawny Tahr Cherry Port.’’

The cheese­board is an ideal way to com­plete the meal and comes with crisp­bread and Manuka hon­ey­comb which drips on to the cheese.

Jimmy Cook’s won the Peo­ple’s Choice award in the re­cent Plate of Ori­gin com­pe­ti­tion.

In con­junc­tion with a Marl­bor­ough restau­rant, Jono and his team cre­ated an Ora King Salmon dish to­gether with Cloudy Bay clams from Fox­ton.

The dish has proved de­lec­ta­ble and very pop­u­lar with din­ers so Jono has re­tained it and added ‘‘some ex­cit­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tions like ed­i­ble sand.’’

It’s a dif­fi­cult choice to iso­late two en­tre´es from the ap­petis­ing line-up, but Jono is par­tic­u­larly proud of his hand­made Chatham Is­land cray­fish and saf­fron ravi­oli and his Tahi­tian vanilla cen­tred At­lantic Sea Scal­lops.

The cray­fish comes with ‘‘lights, ac­tion, cam­era’’ as when the con­somme is poured over the ravi­oli, the en­tree is lifted to re­veal the to­tal dish.

His Manawatu An­gus Pure Eye Fil­let and Smoked Short Rib would win the Beef Bafta.

This iconic main dish is fur­nished with parsnip puree, creamed pars­ley, caramelised black gar­lic, porcini wafer, horse­rad­ish es­puma and Ruahine Boy­sen­berry Port Jus.

His Blood Or­ange Par­fait is also re­served for five-star the­atri­cal treat­ment.

When the hot caramel sauce is poured over the cho­co­late sphere, the cho­co­late melts, re­veal­ing the blood or­ange par­fait in­side. It’s heav­enly and the com­bi­na­tion of tastes is divine.

Any­time this dessert is served, din­ers at other ta­bles have re­quested the del­i­cacy, Jono says.

‘‘We’ve gained the rep­u­ta­tion of pro­vid­ing and pre­sent­ing qual­ity food and more and more lo­cal peo­ple are com­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence our dishes,’’ he says.

‘‘Jimmy Cook’s is based within the Copthorne Ho­tel, but it’s re­ally a lo­cal restau­rant for lo­cals where we’re com­pet­ing with the best in town.’’

Jono is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to ring and book to try out his new suc­cu­lent menu.

‘‘If they ring and say they’ve read this ar­ti­cle in En­joy, we’ll give them 15 per cent off their food un­til the end of June.’’

Like Jono’s food, that’s an of­fer you can’t re­sist.

Jono has al­ways sought to iden­tify with the Manawatu and his dishes con­tain the bounty of the re­gion.

Hot caramel is poured on to a de­lec­ta­ble Blood Or­ange Par­fait, a dish cre­ated by Jimmy Cook’s ex­ec­u­tive chef Jono Maw­ley.

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