The Glenfiddich Culinary Challenge returned for 2016, a five course degustation dinner where chefs from around Australia served a dish which reflected their inspirations, using an expression of Glenfiddich whisky as a main ingredient.
Glenfiddich Culinary Challange
Held at Centennial Parklands Dining, the dinner was hosted by William Grant & Sons whisky ambassadors, Richard Blanchard and Laura Hay in aid of Soldier On, a charity supporting Australia’s emotionally and physically wounded defence force personnel. During the dinner, Sarah Bowe of Soldier On discussed the work and challenges that the organisation faced. All proceeds from this event were donated to Soldier On.
L-R: Gwen’s Garden, See My Baby
Guests on arrival enjoyed Glenfiddich cocktails of Gwen’s Garden made with Glenfiddich 12 yo, raspberry and Ginger Beer and See My Baby, on old fashioned style made with Glenfiddich 12 yo, plum bitters, sugar syrup and a twist of orange.
Upon taking seats for the degustation where each dish was paired with a Glenfiddich whisky. Guests were advised that at the conclusion of the dinner, they would be voting with a Glenfiddich token for their favourite dish.
Storm Clams with Saffron and Glenfiddich Aioli
The first course was Storm Clams with Saffron and Glenfiddich Aioli paired with Glenfiddich 12 yo. Chef Arkin Barretto of Centennial Parklands Dining in Sydney took his inspiration from his childhood of foraging for clams with his parents in the Philippines and seeing his mother prepare feasts for the family. The clams had the flavour of the sea, balanced well with the saffron and Glenfiddich Aioli.
Smoked Mussels and Roast Crab with Charred Baby Cos, Caramelised whisky barrel yeast and Glenfiddich butter sauce
Chef Duncan Welgemoed of Africola in Adelaide presented a dish inspired by his Scottish heritage and Glaswegian mother. Soft and tender Smoked Mussels and Roast Crab with Charred Baby Cos, Caramelised whisky barrel yeast and Glenfiddich butter sauce were paired with Glenfiddich 18yo. Hints of smoke with the butter sauce screamed for a piece of bread to mop it up. The mussels were smoked with heather and the yeast has been combined with toasted oats – ingredients synonymous with Scotland.
Chicken Tortellini with Scorched Corn and Glenfiddich Custard
Chef Leigh McDivitt of One6Eight in Balmain was inspired by his Scottish heritage and his wife’s half Italian heritage. Leigh’s father and grandfather often shared a Glenfiddich 12yo, which he brought into his kitchen as an ingredient. Add to this his wife’s childhood of being taught to make and hand roll pasta by her Nonna and here was a dish of two families. The Chicken Tortellini with Scorched Corn and Glenfiddich Custard was paired with Glenfiddich 14yo with the tortellini cooked to perfection, the corn smoky and the custard were delightfully moreish.
Hay-smoked spatchcock with fagioli all’uccelletto, Glenfiddich and Thyme Jus
Chef Matthew Ouwerkerk of Paddington Inn in Sydney presented a dish inspired by his grandmother and the time spent at her farm in central Victoria and his memories of horses, smell of the hay and smoke from the open fire. His Hay-smoked spatchcock with fagioli all’uccelletto, Glenfiddich and Thyme Jus served with Glenfiddich 15 yo was a tender smoked bird served with traditional Florentine beans and a jus that you did not want to miss a drop.
Glenfiddich and Maralumi Cacao with Lambs Blood Ganache
Chef Kayle Burns of Lûmé in Melbourne created his dish in honour of the farmers, the lifeblood of the nation. The dish celebrated those on the land who raise the livestock, grow the fruit and the grain and who without the country would not be where it is today. For dessert, a Glenfiddich and Maralumi Cacao with Lambs Blood Ganache was paired with Glenfiddich 21 yo, being an interpretation of the foods and their textures from the land.
L-R: Arkin Barretto (Centennial Parklands Dining, Sydney), Matthew Ouwerkerk (Paddington Inn, Sydney), Leigh McDivitt (One6Eight, Balmain), Duncan Welgemoed (Africola, Adelaide), Kayle Burns (Lûmé, Melbourne)
With the tokens cast and counted, Chef Duncan Welgemoed of Africola in Adelaide was announced as winner for his Smoked Mussels and Roast Crab with Charred Baby Cos, Caramelised whisky barrel yeast and Glenfiddich butter sauce. He will be heading off to Scotland and the Glenfiddich Distillery as winner of the Glenfiddich Culinary Challenge 2016. Second place was Chef Leigh McDivitt of One6Eight in Balmain and in third place Chef Matthew Ouwerkerk of Paddington Inn, Sydney will both be traveling to Kakadu.
Richard Blanchard, Laura Hay – William Grant & Sons Whisky Ambassadors
The Glenfiddich Culinary Challenge 2016 was held on Monday 14 March 2016.
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