The past few weeks have flown by and I finally have time to share with you about the beautiful dinner I attended on the 18th of December. ALMA – The International School of Italian Cuisine, INTERNATIONAL EXTRAVIRGIN OLIVEOIL AGENCY in collaboration with INTERNATIONAL OLIVE OIL ACADEMY – Australia presented the “Young Chef’s Showcase Dinner”.
This event followed the Armonia International Olive Oil Competition and the dishes were prepared by the winners of the professional chefs category. When I arrived at the Cammeray Golf Club I had the opportunity to mingle with some of the EVOO producers that I missed during the excitement of the awards ceremony a few weeks back.
A selection of EVOO was on offer to sample with bread, baby vegetables and champagne before we were seated for dinner.
I sat with Alese who joined me as a winner in the enthusiasts category of the competition and Mr and Mrs Joslyn – the parents of young chef Alex who also won with his chocolate mousse. I was dying to try it since he showed me a picture!
We began with an Amuse Bouche of Asparagus with Dehydrated Olives.
Entree was by Elizabeth Fiducia from Jamie’s Italian Sydney
Crudo of Hiramasa Kingfish, lemon jam, peaches, apple and EVOO served with 2010 White Label Hawkes Bay Pinot Grigio
Main was by Kevin Nguyen from Quay Restaurant
Confit of Hapuka fillet, squid noodles, Shitake Speck Italiano, olive oil broth, seasonal vegetables, olive oil emulsion served with 2010 White Label Hawkes Bay Chardonnay
Dessert was by Alexanda Ian Joslyn from Ormeggio at the Spit
Olive oil white chocolate mousse, EVOO biscuit, yoghurt and rhubarb jelly served with 2011 Grant Burge Alfresco Moscato Frizzante
I wish I could begin to explain the harmonious flavours, the crunches, the way a rich looking emulsion and elements of the dessert simply melted like air on my tongue leaving behind the pure essence of extra virgin olive oil. No description could be vivid enough to convey how immensely delightful this meal was! The wines were superbly matched – too bad I was driving.
Congratulations to all the chefs involved. They had barely slept for 48 hours in preparation and their dedication was evident.
To top off the evening, Jamie’s Italian in Sydney was announced as an Extra Virgin Olive Oil Restaurant and is only the 2nd restaurant in Australia with this title following Pilu at Freshwater. This is an exclusive circle open only to those restaurants who use certified extra virgin olive oils of excellence that have gone through the very stringent selection process of the ARMONIA competition.
It’s been a fantastic journey since entering the olive oil competition and I’m very excited to see what these talented young chefs will be doing in the restaurant scene over the next few years.