Earlier this month I took a trip back to my old stomping ground, William Angliss Institute, to enjoy a three course lunch prepared by the Institute’s final year cookery students. The Great Chefs program gives these students the chance to cook under the guidance of some of Melbourne’s best chefs and on this occasion, the Great Chef was Joe Grbac of Saint Crispin – the venue which took out the “Best New Restaurant” award at this year’s Good Food Guide awards.
Slippery jack and pine mushroom, slow cooked pullet egg, goats curd, parmesan consomme, black venere rice
Wine match – Devil’s Lair ‘The Hidden Cave’ Chardonnay
Two of the three dishes we were served are actually available right now on the Saint Crispin menu – the entree and the dessert – which is good news, because this entree was incredibly moreish (the flavours were lick-the-plate good). It would be a great dish for vegetarians, with those rich, robust slippery jack and pine mushrooms the star of the show. A great example of how different textures are just as important as different flavours, we were treated to soft, creamy egg and goats curd, the meaty texture of the mushrooms, and the crunch of the black rice.
Wine match – St Huberts ‘The Stag’ Pinot Noir
This was a beautiful main that combined modern-day favourites like fennel and crispy pork with old school flavour combinations – the raisins and carrots reminded me of a comforting, home cooked meal that my Mum or Nana might cook. The pork was perfectly cooked; the meat was soft and moist and came with plenty of golden, crispy rind.
Wine match – T’Gallant ‘Juliet’ Moscato
A great mix of delicate flavours resulted in a dessert that was subtle and just sweet enough – and again, an example of textures being used well. My favourite part was the compressed apple, little balls of green fruit that were nice and tart and refreshing at the end of the meal.
Three course lunches with wine are $50 per person, while dinner consists of four courses and wine for $80 per person. At that price, the Great Chefs program gives diners a great opportunity to try menus designed by some of our city’s best and most-loved chefs, support Angliss students, as well as have the chance to meet the chefs themselves and hear them speak about their specially created menus. Still to come in this year’s program – Movida’s Frank Camorra, Spice Temple’s Ben Pollard and Union Food & Wine’s Stuart McVeigh.