Executive chef, Nathan White celebrated his eighth year of conducting Master Cooking Classes at the Blacklea Vineyard last week by selecting French cuisine as the focal point.
Normally travelling from Sydney three times a year for the classes, Nathan is now a Mudgee resident having opened his new Jumbucks Bistro in the Woolpack Hotel in Market Street late last year.
However, last weekend was all things French.
“For me, the great French chefs would expect me to use fresh seasonal ingredients and to produce delicate flavours in as natural state as possible,” Nathan explained.
“When you blend this with some understanding of the romance the French have with their food, you have captured their winning formula.”
Among the eight courses, participants experienced a spectacular looking pea and ham martini served in a martini glass with a crusting of pea powder around the rim and topped with pea snow. After this and several other courses, Greg Middleton was gobsmacked “I’ve eaten all over the world and there is no question - this is so much better, simply fantastic”
Robyn Dunn said the salmon nicoise was unbelievable, “seared, sliced and served with a celeriac puree and served with the sweetest cherry tomatoes I’ve ever tasted”.
Steven Dunn raved about the duck liver parfait “a French classic tried by many, but when crafted by skilled hands, it is an indulgent experience”.
The dessert was everyone’s ‘piece de resistance’. Local, Dave Nelson said “It’s too complicated to recall in detail – a biscuit base, topped with a cherry gel, a mirror glaze (that I’ve never seen done before) and topped with cherry ice cream”.
“You could, but shouldn’t, eat this every night.” He added
The Blacklea Vineyard Master Classes are held three times year.