Posts Categorized: Carlton

A special vegan dinner with Nic Poelaert

What: A vegan dinner with Nic Poelaert of Embrasse and winemaker Neil Prentice When: Wednesday 7th September 2011 7pm Where: Embrasse, 312 Drummond St,Carlton Vic 3053 How much: $85 for five course and a shared carafe of wine. Additional wines available at a reasonably price. How to book: SOLD OUT Book here with Eventarc. Booking fees apply as we use a booking service to help manage the event to save me days of dealing with emails. This is a very special meal with chef Nic Poelaert and winemaker brought together by Ed Charles as part of the Melbourne Fringe Food Festival. The food world is awash with meaty events but there are few catering for the ethical eater who chooses to avoid animal flesh. I chose to do this with Nic because I have been inspired by his beautiful treatment of vegetables and his abilities to use modern techniques to pack in flavour and play with texture and temperature. There is no reason that vegan food should be treated with distain as any non-meat dish prepared well can pretty much match the flavour of any meaty or dairy dish. But it is a challenge and one that I think modern chefs should attempt to meet. Neil in turns though a meat eater, makes wines with minimal intervention and no animal products and have a unique character. Nic in turn will be offering some additional nibbles to the menu below. This meal is five courses including at shared carafes and additional reasonably priced carafes of Neil’s wine available. We’ve tried to keep the costs down as far as possible. Menu Pumpkin, Bergamot Taste of the sea.Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sugar beet, grilled zucchini, hazelnut Burnt carrot, burnt potato, golden raisin Forest floor….Pickled, cooked, raw and smoked mushrooms, fried bread Avocado and chocolate mousse, red pepper jam NB: Taste of the sea does not contain fish.

M. Truffe goes Willy Wonkers

M. Truffe: now open at 351 Lygon St (in addition to Smith St, Collingwood) It’s a dream come true, Thibault Fregoni aka Monsieur Truffe tells me. It’s the first day his new cafe and chocolate factory (351 Lygon St, near Blythe St, behind a red door but without any signage yet) is open and he is excitedly showing us his new toys. When I say factory I should explain. To date most people in Australia are chocolate melters, including M. Truffe himself. That means they create chocolate by blending and tempering pure chocolate and cocoa butter to make bars and various ganaches. In M. Truffe’s case his chocolate, labelled by percentage of cocoa solids and country of origin, seems to be of higher quality and more elegant than available in other chocoholic venues. What is new is that he will be roasting the actual cocoa beans, starting with the beans from fermented cocoa pods. He’s only just starting out and is experimenting with beans from Tanzania and far North Queensland, which he says are of a higher quality.The big change is that he will be able to label his chocolate from single plntations, much like we are seeing in specialty coffee nowadays. Monsieur Truffe talks chocolate. The big red machine is M.Truffe’s roaster, similar to the sort of roaster used for coffee. He bought it from Tcho, a technology start-up blended with chocolate maker, which has Louis Rossetto, a co-founder of Wired, as chief executive and chief creative. The company, famous for its open source recipes, had to stop roasting in San Francisco when strict environmental protection laws were introduced. I’ve a crush on the melanger The melanger, which was found abandoned in a factory in Paris and cost more to ship back than purchase, crushes the beans and grinds them to a paste. There is a smaller version which he plans to use on nuts to make praline and his own version of Nutella. This, and all the equipment, including varios conches, vacuum flasks and all manner of things, are on open view to the public. The whole M. Truffe story is a brilliant one. Discovered and made popular by bloggers,he started off with a mobile stall on Sundays at Prahran Market in 2005, sharing a commercial kitchen to make his ganache (see what I wrote in The Australian). He then moved onto a permanent stall, eventually establishing his… Read more »