Sous chef to the stars, Katia Zanutta, is the only human on this earth I can tolerate in the kitchen when I cook. Anybody else should get the fuck outta my way. If you so much as pierce the meniscus of my paella while it's cooking, I'll at least, stab you repeatedly in the throat.
We work well together. There's yelling and swearing and accusing and shit and we love it. Okay, the time we made Teague Ezard's prawn paper rolls, things got a little testy but we did eventually get the job done. Spectacularly.
Every six weeks or so, we put on a big themed meal for 8-10 lucky invitees.
The most recent: A Day At The Races: The Melbourne Cup BBQ.
This is not how we do it.
On Cup Eve I suggested to Katia we add to the menu, the AMAZING fairy bread with Nutella I learned a couple weeks ago from another lovely young chef, who I reckon I could almost tolerate in my kitchen.
Katia's SMS reply?
"I am mortified by that suggestion."So here's the line-up we agreed on.
Moro's White Gazpacho. Yeah, chilled Spanish blanched almond soup with lotsa garlic, sherry vinegar, ice and grapes, yes grapes in soup ferfucksake!
Home made falafel (Katia excelled with this, with cries of "best falafel ever" coming from the stands), with tahini (which I thought was great but unfortunately Katia copped a grilling from the one fine Muslim fella at the table who claimed it was "nothing like what my mum makes.")
Salads: Beetroot, goats cheese and leaves; black bean and corn; and asparagus, avocado and crazy leaves.
Pork and fennel sausages and Greek sausages (Kokkoretsi i think).
Spanish marinated overnight (smoked paprika, lemon, fresh thyme, dried Spanish oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and red wine vinegar), lamb cutlets.
Also marinated in all the salad dressings and some brown sugar, some bbq calamari, followed by a fruit platter.
There was also this delightful tiramisu made by guest, Pere who being Spanish shouldn't be permitted to nail a tiramisu like this.
Here's the marvelously bourgoise eating scene, reminiscent of Stephanie Alexander's Shared Table TV series when we om nom nom nom nom the food while discussing Proust's earlier work, whether opera goers will ever dig Massenet's stuff again and homosexual drinking establishments that permit and encourage sex on the premises.
Two of our guests, who I had executed by firing squad, crossed the kitchen border "just having a taste" and one guest had the temerity to suggest I might have been overcooking the cutlets. He was cut to pieces and fed to Milo the cat.
So apart from a few quibbles with me making a mess while grinding the almonds for the gazpacho, and the little blow up over the nutella fairy bread which could have got quite nasty, Katia and I again teamed nicely in the kitchen.
Note: The people in this photo are actually friends of ours and not actors hired to make it look like we have mates. Hello Jamie Oliver!