Food. Philosophy. Harmony.
Three key ingredients that make up Cuizen’s inaugural dégustation canapé event with Chef Patrick Dang.
Victor Churchill, Woollahra
Inside the luxurious premises of Victor Churchill Butchers in Woollahra, amidst a dry aging room with a Himalayan salt brick wall, guests are gathered for what promises to be an exciting and curious event.
Flutes of Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Blanc de Blancs NV get conversations flowing among an eclectic guest list of politicians, restaurateurs, food critics and people involved in the hospitality industry. There is a sense of natural curiosity floating around the room. The exclusive invitation with the menu has each canapé described as ingredients separated by ellipses, as if we are meant to be filling in the blanks.
Hong Kong born chef Patrick Dang’s culinary career has taken him to all corners of the globe. Growing up in Australia and cooking his way around 45 countries, his experience spans Hong Kong’s 2 Michelin-starred Amber Restaurant, Shanghai’s T8, the Viceroy Hotel Group in the Caribbean, Los Angeles, Miami and Mexico and a stint in the Inter Continental in Oman just to name a few. His most recent venture is as Executive Chef of Concrete Blonde Restaurant in Potts Point where I had met him earlier this year.
Executive Chef Patrick Dang
“My goal is to trace all cultures through a journey of food. Using my continuous food steps I will promote balance between philosophies and food, as well as harmony between human beings.” Patrick Dang is quoted on the invitation.
A sense of mystery is evoked about Cuizen, its philosophy, its direction and what it represents. Yet I sense there is more to the dégustation event showcasing Dang’s culinary talents.
And so the journey begins.
A round the world dégustation with produce from the land and the sea, coming together in harmony on the plate, on the palate and in the glass, culminating in a rare European mystery dessert wine.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota – Cuttlefish noodle – Heart of Palm Vinaigrette
Pickled Calf’s Tongue – Eggplant – Apple – Smoked Balsamic – Manchego
Veal Carpaccio – Sushi Rice – Yuzu Ponzu – Sea urchin from Tasmania
“Mountain and Ocean” – Langoustine – Cured Venison – Jerusalem Artichoke / Wine: Gerard Boulay Mont-Damnés Sancerre 2009 France, Loire Vallée
The Cuizen team in the kitchen
Foie Gras Royale – Smoked Eel – Raw Beet – Blueberry
Le Mont Sec Vouvray 2010 – Prepping for the next canapé
Chicken Wing – King Prawn Stuffing – First Season Apricot – Madras Curry
Wine: Pierre Gaillard Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminailles 2009, France Rhone Vallée / Wine: Bodegas Tinto Pasquera Reserva 2007 Ribera Del Duero, Spain
Kuro Bota Pork – Cured Celeriac – Vanilla Oil – Pineapple
Prepping Lamb Sweetbread – Pancetta – Feta Mustard Cream – Green Cauliflower
Duck Dumpling – Spiced Duck Consommé Tea – Garlic Shoot – Water Chestnut
Glenloth Squab – Cherry – Chai – Chanterelle
Ranger Valley Angus – Artichoke – Brined Lemon – Green Olive / Wine: Massolino Barolo Parussi 2007, Piemonte Italy
Blackmore Wagyu Short Rib – Turnip Pudding – Truffle XO Sauce
1993 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú
Amidst conversations and new connections, the menu dubbed as le voyage reaches completion. But for Cuizen, it is the beginning of the journey.
Richard Young, Director of Cuizen
In his brief welcome, Richard Young, Director of Cuizen, hints at the bigger picture. Dressed in a black T-shirt with an eye catching logo, Cuizen’s image has a classical feel but remains simple in an approachable way. He introduces Dr Jim Frazier, inventor and cinematographer who, with Nicole Kidman, are the only Australians to have won an Academy Award and an Emmy.
Dr Jim Frazier Cinematographer and Emmy Award Winner
Dr Frazier is renowned for innovation in imagery, and is known as the king of depth of field. He has invented the Frazier lens, the results of which are seen in the series of Sir David Attenborough and National Geographic. Among his other projects that have major implications for the planet, he is the associate producer of the Cuizen television pilot which will be filmed in Sydney in January 2012. He is building special lenses for the production that will be used at front end of the camera, giving a unique viewpoint and depth of field never seen before.
Anthony Puharich (third from left) of Victor Churchill
Richard Young, Cuizen Director and Cr. Dominic WY Kanak of Waverley Council
The Cuizen team: Richard Young (Director), Patrick Dang (Chef), Ian Barr (Wines)
Chris and Jim Frazier
The Chefs: (L to R) Mark Chapman, Dominique Heitz, Patrick Dang, Stevenson Su, Jason Kuo
Dry aging room
The inaugural Cuizen experience succeeded achieving the philosophy of “harmony between human beings” and united individuals under the banner of masterfully crafted food, hand-picked selection of wines, conversations and connections in an open and welcoming environment. But this is only the beginning of the journey.
“We’re about a story,” Richard Young tells me. The television show is not about the chef but revolves around the philosophy and “what we want to tell” by presenting how food relates to culture, society and nature, coupled with stories behind the raw ingredients, the farmers, the growers and the fishermen.
“The dining table is where cultures come together and that is what we want to capture,” Patrick Dang explains. Dubbed as the “Bruce Lee of the kitchen” in the promotional video, the concept will not be to show him, kung-fu style, in the kitchen but to relay a philosophy, an “Asian guy and his disciples”, combining eastern and western spirituality on a plate coupled with an entertainment factor.
The global project comprises more than a television show and future dining events. As to the next step for Cuizen, that is…
To be continued…
132 Queen Street
Woollahra, NSW 2025
Photography by @MrGourmantic
The Cuizen Dégustation Canapé Event with Chef Patrick Dang was held on Monday 7 November 2011 at Victor Churchill in Woollahra in association with Vic’s Meats, International Fine Wines and Bibendum Wine Co. Gourmantic attended the event as media guests.
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