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society donor
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    Sydney, Australia

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  1. Can't see why myself. Wine, brandy, etc. add flavours from either fermentation or maturation in barrels that remain when the alcohol (mostly) disappears. Anyone who says don't put anything other than superior wine in your food is someone who is not used to balancing flavours in cooking. Put a reasonable drinking wine in the food by all means -- keep the good ones for drinking. Pure alcohol, suitably diluted with water, is basically vodka and is mostly tasteless: It, is a sweet, volatile, non-descript flavour. I can't see what it would add to food. Bourbon has cask flavours and sweetness -- the alcohol basically adds zip. I'm definitely open to persuasion on this one but, prove it. Someone expressing it as an opinion is less than convincing. I'm sorry, I don't believe.
  2. At a club. We use their commercial kitchen. The dinner above cost $120 per head, including the wine. Needless to say we’re not paid to cook.
  3. I have just recently finished my term as President of the Wine and Food Society of New South Wales, which was formed in 1939 as a vehicle to encourage and facilitate the association of people interested in fine wine and food. It is a male-only member club at which each week a different member cooks for his fellow members, with numbers of diners ranging from 25 to 50. I was also formerly Foodmaster. Each year the Foodmaster chooses six to eight main courses that he considers to be the best meals of the year and we hold a cook off with members rating each of the competing meals. From this, the chef cooking the top meal wins the Chef of the Year Award. We also have an award for the top seafood dish as well and, from this year, an award for the best cheese accompaniment. Winning the award is an honour, but it also brings the task of cooking at the next year's Chef of the Year Award evening. This time with appetisers, entree, main, cheese, and a dessert course. The function is mixed and this year had 67 attendees. Unusually this year, we also had three chefs as with COVID lockdowns, we have not been able to hold the function for a number of years. I cooked the main course, while my colleagues cooked the appetisers, entree, and dessert. The appetisers were: Three cheese Gougères. Prawn Cocktail on a rice cracker: Chèvre and Tartufata Tartlets: Entreé (this is not a main course in Australia) was Confit Salmon (also cooked sous vide) with a herb beurre blanc sauce: The main was duck three ways: the cheese was Beaufort (no picture) The dessert was Lemon Tart with Lemon and Basil Sherbet and Cointreau marinated blueberries: The accompanying wines were from the Society's cellar (which is around 9,000 bottles) and were served in the following sequence: Photo Credit: Paul Irwin. I also won the Chef of the Year and Seafood dish of the year with this seafood sausage dish (not cooked sous vide) so I will be cooking again next year for this function. The dish was a homemade seafood sausage made from hand diced salmon and ocean trout, smoked trout, egg white, cream, and pork back fat. Served on a Mooloolaba jumbo prawn with a tarragon beurre Blanc sauce. There was also a mango salsa, Canadian scallop, butter-glazed snow peas, and deep-fried forty-layer potato pavé with crème fraîche and Beluga caviar.
  4. Dinner for 67. Duck three ways: Confit (82C for eight hours) on put lentils with a red wine and duck jelly jus, Duck spring roll (confit plus carrot, green onion, enoki mushrooms, and peking duck sauce), and duck egg (62.5 for two hours) used as the fat component on a side salad that had been lightly sprayed with balsamic vinegar. Photo Credit: Paul Irwin.
  5. Where I grew up in South Australia, it was called Yiros. Obviously SA Greeks translated the word differently to those in Melbourne. It is lamb, chicken, or pork
  6. Kenji has a technique that I hadn't seen before, which is using a gas blow torch while wok cooking inside to give Wok Hei. I've done this and it works marvellously. With even one more tip like this, the book is going to be worth buying. For those who comment on his style, how many new techniques does he need to come up with? Even one is an advance in cooking! I see that there is an eGullet topic on this from 2020
  7. I have all methods of cooking at my disposal, including sous vide. Today I had the most moist chicken I have ever had courtesy of my newly purchased air fryer. Delicious. Next time I’m going to brine the chicken.
  8. You should have tried growing up in South Australia. In summer, the temperatures often reached 40C (or 100F). The milk left out in the playground in bottles was horrid by the time we drank it at morning recess.
  9. Your way should be fine. you are trying to achieve an outcome rather than slavishly adhering to directions. As said above, it would just take longer. Another way to achieve the same result more speedily is to ladle the liquid into a gravy separator jug. The fat rises to the top and the liquid poured off from the bottom of the jug would be similar to that achieved when skimming the fat off in the original recipe. Then return to the pan less the fat and thicken to the desired reduction.
  10. If you don’t you can get the big char marks. It’s six turns in a minute. How much faster can food get?
  11. You’re about 30 seconds over. Mine take around 60 seconds. The base is solid after 10 seconds. I try to turn around six times.
  12. After trying one peel and making a mess of it, I now use two peels. The Ooni peel has a thin edge than goes under the pizza easily. I use this to go under the pizza and bring it to the front of the oven. I then insert another round peel under the pizza at around a 30-40 degree angle. I then take the second peel off the first with the pizza on top, straighten it so the pizza is turned the angle and put it back in the oven. The whole process is very quick and allows you to turn the pizza every ten seconds or so during cooking to ensure even spots.
  13. When I was a kid, it was called a Chinese gooseberry not a kiwifruit.
  14. This was taken with an iPhone 5. In my kitchen, hand held, natural light. I'm finding composition and framing most important for presenting food. Here, for example, I've cropped it such that there is enough space for you to want to slide your hand under the oyster from the front to pick it up and eat it.
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