Mosman Latest: Local producers on the menu at Bathers Pavilion Balmoral
SEASONAL CULINARY EVENTS ARE A MUCH LOVED TRADITION AT BATHERS PAVILION BALMORAL - AND THE FIRST, SPECTACULAR DINING EXPERIENCE OF 2018 IS JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY.
INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CHEF SERGE DANSEREAU HAS BEEN BUSY PLANNING A "LOCAL PRODUCE" DINNER AT THE LANDMARK RESTAURANT, AND HE SPOKE EXCLUSIVELY TO ANNA USHER ABOUT THE MENU - ALSO REVEALING SOME OF HIS KITCHEN SECRETS FOR MOSMAN COLLECTIVE READERS!
Thanks for speaking with us Serge. What can we can expect at the Local Produce Dinner?
The guests will sample food that comes from around Sydney or near Sydney; it will showcase produce from a select group of Bathers’ suppliers and highlight the incredible bounty that we can find in our local region.
With so many amazing local producers, how did you choose the best?
The starting point is to have a range of producers/farmers to create a beautifully balanced menu. We love having vegetables, fruit, fish and meat to create a tasting meal - and then I decide which ingredients work together. Like tomatoes with goat cheese - or beef with Heirloom carrots - or strawberries with yoghurt mousse.
Sounds incredible! Is there a stand out dish for you?
I am really looking forward to the fresh Hawkesbury River squid. That will be a totally new and exciting dish for that evening.
What’s in season at the moment?
Stone fruit and berries are perfect and very affordable now, but also summer vegetables like zucchini and green vegetables.
Regulars at Bathers' are accustomed to your "hands on" approach and they love seeing you on the restaurant floor, making visits to their tables and sometimes even inviting customers into the kitchen! What is your input on the night (apart from the food)?
I will introduce the food on the night and the region where they come from and the producers that have brought them to us. I will move around the tables to make sure everyone has a great time and understand the combination of flavours we have produced.
How many people have you catered for at the dinner?
We should have around 80 people which is a full house.
We have lots of tables booked already so the advice for those interested is to reserve your spot now so you don't miss out!
If we peeked, what would we find in your fridge today?
I do need to go shopping, but in the fruit bowl at home you will find new season passionfruit and plenty of them, some nectarines and vine ripened tomatoes.
In the fridge I have cured salmon from Bathers. I love having that handy at home. Also, some Le Marquis goat cheese from Simon Johnson Providore - and plenty of zucchinis that my wife Yvette likes to steam for a simple meal that doesn't require butter and oil (which I love - it's my vice!)
For those of us who aren't culinary wizards in the kitchen, do you have some top tips for home cooks?
1. Plan your dinner a couple of days ahead.
2. If at all possible, go to your green grocer, meat and fish supplier to select your ingredients.
3. If you are hosting a dinner party, don't attempt to cook too many dishes or you'll spend all your time in the kitchen and none with your guests!
4. A cheese course is always a good idea to relax after your main course, dessert can follow later.
5. Get the children to help! Ask them to clear the plates and stack the dishwasher so you can relax!
And for busy parents like me who are juggling kids – could you share a super-fast, quick and healthy, week night dinner idea?
Blanched asparagus (when they are in season) with a poached egg on top is a quick, easy and nutritious meal.
If your kids are fussy, try pasta with broccoli - and for a super, easy and fast meal - boil a few carrots or cauliflower, then blend with a touch of butter in the food processor and season it well. That can sometimes be a meal on its own!
What are your thoughts on where Australia's food scene is heading?
I see more and more of a green cuisine developing. I can see us skipping meat and protein in some meals to eat a vegetable based meal.
There are so many options now for us to eat healthily with vegetables, grains and pasta - but also try including quinoa, fregula, couscous, rice and polenta into your diet.
I've actually just suggested a full vegetarian menu for a new ship (Lindblad Expeditions) that I'm designing the food program for. I think it's going to be the new ethos for many of us!
Do you ever eat junk food?
Well, I do cook my own hamburgers at home - yes! And I also love Asian street food.
What else is planned for Bathers and your brand this year?
Our wine dinners will start again during winter at the restaurant - and I'm planning the next food trip to France in 2019.
Last year we had two gastronomic trips; one in the Luberon, France (with Sue Jenkins from Accoutrement) and a moveable feast from Monaco to Avignon, Burgundy, Champagne and Paris.
Next year will be new regions and plenty of fun eating, sampling and drinking great wines!
You're due to get another cookbook out Serge. Are you planning one?
It's true that after publishing seven cookbooks I did take a break - but there's great demand for another Café cookbook and I'm hoping to feature healthy beach cuisine that will showcase Bathers’ and Balmoral at its best!
Thanks for chatting again with Mosman Collective Serge!
It's always my pleasure Anna - anytime.
BATHERS PAVILION WILL HOST THE LOCAL PRODUCE DINNER
ON FEBRUARY 1 AT 7:30pm
BOOK NOW! 9969 5050