Archives for March 2016

Guanciale – Carbonara – part four – Journey with chef ‘D’


Simple Ingredients for Carbonara

For our chefs table dish we are making a home-made linguini with a Carbonara sauce, I was brought up believing that it must have smoky delicious bacon in the sauce and with-out it, it was not worth it. Of course this was bastardised form many versions of the original, probably because pancetta or guanciala was not available, but that is not the only part, as a youngster cooking in my mothers kitchen we added lots of cream, which is also an insult to this great classic, I think the only thing we got right was the addition of the egg and pepper not even the garlic and parsley I loved in the sauce was correct.

For this recipe the linguini was rolled slightly thicker so it almost resembled a spaghetti

Pecorino should be used instead of parmesan

This recipe is for four small portions

80g cubed guanciala

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
50g grated pecorino plus extra for serving
Fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp Cooking liquid
1 small garlic clove – at own risk
1 tsp chopped parsley – at own risk

250g home-made linguini


Bring water to boil, add salt
Over moderately high heat. Cook guanciala in olive oil until slightly coloured and fat has rendered but still soft, this is where some recipe differ as some people believe the pork must cooked until crisp. I keep the rendered fat in the pot when adding the pasta, but if you find it excessive pour some off.

Boil linguini in salted water and cook to al dente, then drain. Reserve some of the liquid.

In a bowl whisk the eggs, reserved cooking liquid add grated pecorino with black pepper

Pour linguini into pot with guanciala, remove from the heat and add the egg mixture and stir to combine thoroughly until all the pasta is coated. It is very easy to make a mess of this if done on the heat, turning the lush creaminess into scrambled eggs.

Serve immediately with extra helping of pecorino and pepper and enjoy


We present- Carbonara!

Next we will have to make another sauce, that demands the addition guanciala, a simple sauce not disguised with herbs, onion and garlic – Amatriciana




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Ross the bearded man


and he is back, taking a break from climbing mountains. Last time we saw Ross was when he brought us porcini, this time beautiful chestnuts. With autumn in full swing the season just starting, they will feature all over for the next two months, but the best is still toasted over an moderate open fire or roasted. These sweet Spanish chestnuts have a beautiful soft texture once toasted. Last night we featured them as part of a vegan menu where we normally would have used a cashew cream we made a chest nut puree. Tonight we are looking at doing a candied version with a seared duck starter.


April 2012 108







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Guanciale Part Three – Journey with chef “D”



Guanciale hanging around!

Just hanging around!

So in preparation for the final dish which is going to be a linguini with a carbonara sauce we are deciding for how long we need to dry the cheeks, what is the ideal time? It is a fine balance having that concentrated flavour vs a soft cheek that has not been dried to long. As this is the first time we are making Guanciale in this kitchen, we will have to feel our way through this process. We have only had about a 15% weight loss, with a great weather report in the room at 16 -17 °C, ideal air circulation.

Up to now the curiosity has killed us, it has been over two weeks since we started. With the cheeks wrapped in cheese cloth, suspended from the ceiling we continue to wait another week


I can not wait – Guanciale


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Angry Pudding

Angry Pudding

With all the hot cross buns coming our way in the next couple of months why not try this angry recipe.

We first did this for a shoot a couple years ago for Crush online when chef Vix was in pastry.
Serves 12

Angry pudding

12 hot cross buns
10 ea egg yolks
1 l cream
1 ea vanilla pod
1 ea cinnamon stick
¾ cup castor sugar
5 ea egg white
¾ cup castor sugar
1/3 cup roasted shelled peanuts
100 g milk chocolate chopped
100 g peanut snack broken into chunks

● Bring the cream to the boil with the vanilla and cinnamon stick
● Whisk the yolks and 150 g castor sugar, when the cream has boiled temper it onto the yolks and strain through a chinoise
● Cut the hot cross buns in half and arrange in an oven proof dish, sprinkle the peanuts and chopped chocolate in between the slices of hot cross bun
● Pour the hot egg custard over the hot cross buns and let it soak for 20¬30 min
● Place in an oven at 170 C for 20¬30 min until there is no more liquid custard
● Whisk the egg whites and 150 g sugar into a stiff meringue and pipe onto the warm pudding, burn with a blow torch or under a hot grill until golden brown
● Garnish with the peanut snack, serve warm with cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream

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Guanciale Part Two – Journey with chef “D”

Smelling Guanciale

Smelling Guanciale

Oh what a smell, after one week in the cure we smelled the cured cheek and the excitement was killing us, we had to taste it. What a taste, I was ready to cook, next we will be dry aging, by hanging them in the butcher for the next couple of weeks. We tried something slightly different in the cure this time adding wood chips, one to see how much of the taste would be influenced and to see how much liquid it would soak from the cure.

In this recipe we have added more fragrant herbs and spices than would be necessary, but then we are on a special journey making guaciale, we want this jowl to be extra special.


4 pork cheeks whole cleaned and trimmed
100g black peppercorns whole
40g sichuan peppercorns whol
100g garlic whole
30 bay leaves
20g thyme fresh
10g rosemary fresh
1kg salt coarse
500g sugar granulated white
5g pink salt


Toast the peppercorns.
Combine the toasted peppercorns with the herbs and garlic.
Pulse in a blender until coarse.
Combine the coarse mixture with the salt and sugar.
Rub the cure mixture all over the pork cheeks.
Allow to cure for 5-7 days depending on how thick the pillows are.
Gently remove the cure do not wash just rub off.
Place on a wire rack and allow to sit in the fridge for 24hrs until it dries out completely.
Tightly wrap the cheeks individually in cheese cloth.
Truss with butchers string.
Hang in cool place for 1 -3 weeks

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Credit – Crush Online magazine


With tomatoes still in season, why not try this refreshing tomato dish at the mezze table. Great vegan dish, we sometimes add little smoked paprika for a twist. It almost reminds me of tartare. I did a meze shoot last year with crush online with this beautiful fresh meze dish.


Yield: 500g before strained


6 large fully ripe tomatoes- (350g tomato flesh)
1 ea roasted red pepper seasoned (80g)
½ small red onion (30g)
1 spring onion
1-2 chili
1 tbsp chopped parsley (4g)
1 tbsp mint (4g)
20ml olive oil
10 ml lemon juice
Zest lemon (pinch)
10ml white wine vinegar
5ml tomato paste

Skin tomatoes, by placing whole tomatoes in boiling water and refreshing in ice water.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove inner juice and seeds, chop the tomato as fine as possible, do the same with the peppers, onion, parsley and mint.
Place everything in a bowl and season. Allow to stand for 1 hour. I strain my salad before serving, but this is not necessary and it can be left as.

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Guanciale – Journey with chef “D”


Guanciale curing



We are always looking for new and exciting suppliers and products. These two go hand and hand.

“The product is the only truth and the only star of the kitchen, not the cook, whose sole task is to enhance it and respect the truth” (Chapel/Ducasse)

Without a great supplier we will never have great products. These people essentially form part and is an extension of our kitchen team. As in my kitchen the most important philosophy and rule, is to respect the ingredient.

So last week we received three beautiful pig heads from Terra Madre, this always creates as stirs excitement. What are we going to make? Consensus was reached, Chef D will be making cheese head and with the cheeks for an extra special treat, Guanciale!

The first thing that comes to my mind is, Carbonara. The journey of this beautiful story and will be told over the next couple of weeks as Chef D looks and takes us through the process from start to finish, when we present our final dish at the Chef’s Table.

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Finding Burger Heaven Part 7 – & now for something completely different

Seafood burger

Image credit – Crush online Magazine

Up to now I have only focused on beef burgers, currently I am working on my personal top 10 burgers, seeing that I am eating so many. But while this is happening I decided to include something different. I did this recipe with Crush online last year.

A couple of years ago I was asked to come up with a fish cake recipe, I kind of forgot about it at the time, until I had to present my dish, so as one does, at the last minute we scrambled through our mise en place and just added things as we went along. (see we make it sound easy) problem is, that when it came to putting the recipe on paper it meant that it was almost the whole mise en place list.

Everyone loved it, it was a hit! This recipe for the actual burger patty is loosely based on that original recipe. The influence is a little all over, but it works. All sub recipes not included.


60-80g Japanese mayonnaise
80g fresh bean sprout and spring onion salad
4 fish burgers (recipe below)
80g kimchi
30g dressed mustard leaves
80g avocado mashed with lime and salt
4 steamed buns

sriracha sauce as needed


Steam buns and cut in half
At base decorate with avocado, followed by mustard leaves
Place fish burger on top of leaves followed by kimchi, sprout salad and mayonnaise

SEAFOOD BURGER PATTY (Makes 4x160g fish burgers)

140g raw tuna cut into pieces
140g raw salmon
200g raw prawn meat
80g cooked crab meat
2 egg whites
1 tsp chopped coriander root
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped lemon grass
1 tsp fresh chopped coriander
1 tsp chopped chilli
Few drops fish sauce (to taste)
Few drop sesame oil
¼ tsp lime zest
½ tsp lime juice
50g roasted butternut cubes
10g rough chopped spring onion


Once again keep the mixture as cold as possible at all times
In blender blitz raw fish or chop roughly by hand and add all spices, do not blend to a fine paste, must be alike a rough mince
Add fish sauce to taste
Add sesame oil to taste, add lime juice
Add roasted butternut and spring onions
Check seasoning
Split the mix into 4 and shape into round cakes approximately 8-9cm wide
Pan fry until just cooked, be gentle when turning

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