Stel­lar chefs dis­cuss their sig­na­ture dishes.

The sig­na­ture dishes of these five fa­mous chefs have proved so pop­u­lar they can’t take them off their menus.

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - CONTENT - Words HI­LARY McNEVIN

Whether it be for flavour and tex­ture, com­fort or nos­tal­gia, some meals can­not be re­moved from the restau­rants they’re served at or there would be up­roar from their reg­u­lar clien­tele. And don’t for­get the dishes that are per­fect for a par­tic­u­lar sea­son, with cus­tomers count­ing down the days un­til they re­turn to the menu. We asked five chefs about the cre­ations that have be­come as high-pro­file as they are, and why they think they gained their own fol­low­ing.

JOCK ZONFRILLO Chef, Orana and Bistro Black­wood, Ade­laide Set buf­falo milk, straw­berry & eu­ca­lyp­tus.

“This dish has been on the menu since day one of open­ing Orana and, while it has evolved, it has al­ways stayed to theme,” says award-win­ning chef, Jock Zonfrillo.

In­spi­ra­tion for the dish harks back to time he spent in Far North Queens­land, in the Ather­ton Table­lands.

“The set milk used was ini­tially cow milk, then it be­came goat milk and we now make it with buf­falo milk from a farm in South Aus­tralia,” he says.

“It’s min­i­mal­is­tic and has just three in­gre­di­ents that are silky smooth and work to­gether beau­ti­fully. There is noth­ing added to give it crunch or any of that, it doesn’t need it — it’s the ul­ti­mate Aus­tralian straw­ber­ries and cream.”

JO BAR­RETT Co-ex­ec­u­tive chef, Oakridge, Yarra Val­ley

Smoked trout, caviar, car­away pas­try.

“This dish hasn’t left the menu since be­gin­ning at Oakridge three years ago,” says Bar­rett, who, as co-ex­ec­u­tive chef with her part­ner Matt Stone, has taken the Yarra Val­ley vine­yard restau­rant to an­other level of ex­per­tise.

“It’s a per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of our re­gion and came about by want­ing to high­light in­cred­i­ble in­gre­di­ents. It’s a bal­ance of tech­nique, flavour and us­ing what is avail­able.”

Bar­rett starts by cul­tur­ing lo­cal cream to make crème fraîche. Served on top of that is Bux­ton smoked trout, which is sourced 30 min­utes from the restau­rant. Brined pearls of Yarra Val­ley caviar top the dish with pick­led veg­eta­bles, herbs, leaves and flow­ers, be­side a car­away-stud­ded crois­sant.

“This has be­come a sig­na­ture dish,” she says. “It sup­ports our lo­cal pro­duc­ers and changes with the sea­sons.”

“It’s min­i­mal­is­tic and has just three in­gre­di­ents that are silky smooth and work to­gether beau­ti­fully.”

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