Recipe: Ian Curley’s Duck Ravioli (theweeklyreview.com.au)

Duck ravioli, grapes, ricotta, walnuts and sage
Serves 4 {4 ravioli per person}

Ingredients
600 g confit duck leg, meat only shredded down and lightly chop through
1 whole Egg
1 yolk
¾ cup ricotta
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped finely
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
300 g red seedless grapes
150 g walnuts, toasted and crush slightly
½ bunch sage, picked
150 g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Pasta dough:

2 whole eggs
4 yolks
300 g ‘00’ pasta flour
½ tsp olive oil
½ tsp fine sea salt
100 g semolina, to use while rolling out pasta

Method :
1. Firstly, for the grapes we will dry them out overnight to add a different texture to the
dish. To dry them out place in an oven on 50°C, on a cake rack to allow air flow.

2. Leave them in overnight or for a few hours depending on how dehydrated you wish
them to be. When done take them out and save for the assembly of the dish.

To make the pasta in a food processor
1. Place all ingredients in the processor and close the lid.

2. Blend until you see the mixture resemble bread crumbs. Touch the mix and squeeze
some together to check the consistency. It should come together well, then take out
and transfer onto a clean bench surface.

3. Bring the dough together and knead gently. Wrap in cling film and place to rest in the
fridge for an hour or more if you have time. The longer the better

To roll out the dough and form the ravioli:
Put a large pot of water to boil to cook the pasta in then…

1. Take the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before you wish to roll. Cut the dough
into manageable pieces that will fit in your pasta machine.

2. Roll out on the largest setting twice, in between each roll you can sprinkle the semolina
to prevent sticking as needed.

3. After each feed through the machine, fold both ends of the pasta into the middle to
overlap. Repeat this process on every number decreasing until you reach the desired
thickness.

4. Once you have your sheets to work with {30cm in length is good, by 10cm wide}. Make a
fold in your sheets length ways to determine the center of the sheet.

5. Place the mixture of approximately 20-25 g filling along the length of the sheet on one
side. Leave a gap between the filling of about 2cm. Brush the pasta around the
filling with a little water then fold over the other side of pasta.

6. Working gently, encase each ball of filling with the sides of your hands to push out the
air and join the pasta together. Cut them with a serrated pasta cutter to form each
individual ravioli.

7. To cook the pasta, have the water boiling then turn down just a little and place in the
ravioli, 6 at a time. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the ravioli float to the surface.

8. Gently take them out and place on a tray with some paper towel to drain off the excess
water.

To assemble the dish:
1. Place a large fry pan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and butter – this in turn is our
base sauce to place the ravioli in.

2. Once the butter beings to foam and turn slightly nutty, add the sage leaves and fry off to
release their flavor.

3. Gently add the ravioli and fry off gently to give a slight crisp outer layer.

4. Toss through the walnuts, grapes and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish. Add salt and
cracked black pepper to taste.

5. Serve 4 ravioli per person.

6. You could accompany this with a lovely fresh crisp witlof, watercress and orange salad

Duck Dishes – 5 Faves – Ian Curley (Herald Sun)

CRISPY DUCK LEG
Code Black Coffee.
15-17 Weston St Brunswick
Crispy duck leg comes in a potato and spring onion waffle sandwich with chipotle-infused syrup and a fried egg. I love the fact that you can have this dish for breakfast or lunch. Who doesn’t love a classic waffle?

DUCK RAGU
Thirty Eight Chairs.
4A Bond St. South Yarra
This duck ragu is called reginette ricce al ragu di anatra. I taught the chef, Mirco Speri, how to make pasta so whenever I’m there. I always order it.

DUCK DEGUSTATION
Simon’s Peiking Duck Restaurant.
197B Middleborough Rd.
Box Hill South
“Eating Duck 3 ways” includes Peking duck pancakes, stir-fry duck and duck soup. This place is the benchmark for how Asian duck is treated and for the use of the whole duck from nose to tail.

ROAST DUCKLING WITH SPATZLI
Cafe Di Stasio,
31 Fitzroy St. St Kilda
l’ve been having this dish at Cafe Di Stasio for the past 25 years and it’s still hands down my favourite.

CONFIT DUCK LEG
France-Soir.
11 Toorak Rd, South Yarra
Better known as cuisse de canard gras confite. France-Soir is as classic as the confit duck leg itself.

From traditional Italian fare to “Australian freestyle” cuisine (Il Globo)

At 30 years of age, Jarrod Di Blasi has already etched his name into Australia’s list of culinary greats.

Di Blasi appeared on our screens earlier this year as a guest chef on Masterchef Australia, where he showcased the immense skill and finesse which earned him The Age Good Food Guide’s coveted Young Chef of the Year award in 2016.

This March, the talented Di Blasi celebrated five years at Melbourne’s EZARD, where he began as a Sous Chef in 2012 and, under the direction of Teage Ezard, progressed to become Head Chef in 2014.

While Di Blasi has absorbed Ezard’s highly acclaimed “Australian freestyle” cuisine over the years, and is known for his signature dish sashimi, the young chef’s earliest memories of food featured very different flavours.

Di Blasi’s grandparents migrated from the southern Italian island of Sicily to Melbourne in the 1960s, settling down in what was a vibrant hub of Italian arrivals, the suburb of Carlton.

“The best food I ate in my childhood was always at my grandparents’,” he recalled.

“They had the standard Italian sprawling backyard filled with herbs and veggies, and every year the family would get together to make traditional sauces, with the kids helping make pasta, biscotti and lasagne.”

Those days in the garden and kitchen with his grandparents introduced Di Blasi to the wonderful world of food through the tastes and aromas of traditional Italian fare.

At the age of 15, Di Blasi decided to leave school and pursue a career as a pastry chef, inspired by the pastry company his mother worked for.

Di Blasi soon learned to love the craft and visual aspect of food; in 2003, at the age of 16, he began his apprenticeship in a bistro-style kitchen at the Glenroy RSL in Melbourne’s suburbs.

After just eight months, Di Blasi developed a hunger to expand his horizons and moved on to The Deck in Melbourne’s CBD, working under chef Ron O’Brien.

“This role really opened my eyes to the fierce world of proper cooking; I had a burning desire to learn and grow, and to make mistakes to learn,” Di Blasi said.

“It’s also where I really started to become fascinated with Michelin.”

Di Blasi’s fixation with Michelin grew as he completed his apprenticeship at The Point under the guidance of English-born chef Ian Curley, and his desire to travel to Europe was stronger than ever.

In 2017, after 18 months at The Point, Di Blasi returned to his roots, working as Chef di Partie at Italian restaurant Bottega in Melbourne’s CBD.

The young chef had pushed his urge to travel aside for far too long, however, and six months later he packed his bags for British Columbia to continue his career at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

Twelve months on, Di Blasi purchased a one-way ticket to the UK with one destination in mind: Tom Aikens’ the one-Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name.

Di Blasi had long been fascinated by Aikens, another young talent who conquered the culinary world at an astonishing age.

With his first restaurant Pied à Terre, Aikens became the youngest chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars at the age of 26.

It was Di Blasi’s dream to work for Aikens and, at the age of 19, the rising star successfully completed a gruelling 18-hour trial to become the new Chef de Partie at Tom Aikens.

Di Blasi spent two years at the London restaurant, where he quickly worked his way through the ranks and learnt some of the most crucial tricks of the trade.

“Tom taught me about creativity, seasonality, passion, drive, consistency, stamina – he engaged my real cooking brain,” he said.

“His energy and intensity were a huge influence on me, and today I pass down these values to my aspiring chefs.”

Working between 85 and 90 hours a week for a modest yearly salary of £14,000, and eating toast for dinner despite serving Michelin quality dishes for a living wasn’t easy; at the end of 2009, Di Blasi decided to return home to Melbourne.

However, his career as a chef was far from over.

Upon returning to his hometown, Di Blasi continued to hone his skills at the famously experimental restaurant, Verge, focusing on techniques associated with the refined Japanese-Euro cuisine.

When Verge closed in 2012, Di Blasi landed a job at EZARD, where he continues to work to this day as the restaurant’s Head Chef.

Di Blasi has seen and done a lot since commencing his career at the Glenroy RSL just 14 years ago, and his success has not come without its challenges.

“Obviously having both high career aspirations and working in hospitality come with a sacrifice of a work/life balance, and that’s twofold when you combine them,” he explained.

“Whilst getting to where I am now has taken a lot of personal sacrifice, it’s easily made up from the satisfaction I get from what I’ve learnt and where my career has placed me.”

Di Blasi seems to be well and truly in his element at EZARD, describing his role as challenging yet rewarding and his workplace as a happy, healthy environment.

“It’s probably evident from the presentation of EZARD dishes, but the artistic expression that I get to exercise in my food is really important to me,” he said.

“Beyond that, being a key part of people’s special occasions is really rewarding; to know that you’ve played a significant role in your customers’ celebrations and subsequent memories is really gratifying and motivating.”

With plenty of fuel left in the tank and a burning passion that is far from being put out, we can’t wait to see what Di Blasi will bring us next.

Long Room dinner with Ian Curley

The popular Long Room chef dinner returns in 2017, with members and guests given the opportunity to experience the culinary delights of Ian Curley.

Ian is a highly regarded Australian chef and media presenter whose humble food philosophy, classic culinary skill and affable no-nonsense approach have seen him win the respect of diners, critics and colleagues alike.

While most chefs might cite exotic travel experiences or a childhood spent tied to matriarchal apron strings for their obsession with food, UK born Curley simply saw cooking as “a way out of the bleakness” of industrial Coventry, where he grew up in the 1970s.

Ian is currently the executive chef at The European, City Wine Shop, The Melbourne Supper Club, Siglo Rooftop Bar, French Saloon and Kirk’s Wine Bar.
BOOKINGS

Due to the popularity of this event, a ballot will be held. The ballot will be open from Wednesday May 24 at 9.00am until Wednesday May 31 at 5.00pm.

Registrations are open only to Full and Restricted members, and there is a limit of one guest per member.

Note: Only VISA and Mastercard will be accepted.

Read more about Ian at the Long Room here.

Chef’s Secrets – Ian Curley (The Weekly Review)

IAN CURLEY is the executive chef of The European Group and owner of Kirk’s Wine Bar. Besides overseeing 10 venues and 12 kitchens, he is an ambassador for Golf Australia, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. He also helped establish Youth Projects, a drop-in centre that provides medical care and support for the mentally ill and homeless. A crusader for local produce, he loves golf above just about everything — except his wife and two daughters.

I LOVE …

GO-TO CAFE \ The Pantry in Brighton is my go-to place for pretty much everything. It’s great from breakfast to dinner and covers every base, whether you’re dining with friends or family.

LATE NIGHTS \ Paradise Alley, Collingwood. Laura Twomey, the owner, worked for us for ages and she’s fantastic. I really like what she’s doing with her place in Collingwood. I recommend checking it out!

DUCK\ I really like cooking duck lasagne — as the meat goes a long way, it’s excellent value, and it has great flavour. You can use all cuts of the meat; it’s delicious.

GOLF FEEDS \ The food at the National Golf Club by Craig Gorton is as good as anywhere on the Mornington Peninsula. Try his Asian menu, you will agree.

NEW HOT SPOT\ I’m looking forward to trying Chris Lucas’ new place, Kisume, his Japanese restaurant in Flinders Lane. I admire what he’s doing in Melbourne restaurants.

COOKING AT HOME \ My best meal of the week is eating with my kids. It reminds me why I do what I do for a living and puts a smile on my face.

Kirks Wine Bar – Melbourne’s Top 5 Bars Where You Can Taste The Local Wines

Melbourne is the coastal haven of Australia and is renowned for an array of different bars that are located throughout the city.  Each of these bars is unique in their own perspective and all of them have their own persona, which attracts people from all around the world. There is no doubt that the Australians take their booze very seriously!

However, all of them have one thing in common, they all serve local wines that are made to perfection! Since people complain that they are spoilt for choice when it comes to bars in Melbourne, we have articulated a list of the top five bars in the area that you simply cannot miss. These bars are:

You can read the full article here.

French Saloon – What’s On In Melbourne

French Saloon Bar & Bistro

French Saloon Bar & Bistro sits above Melbourne’s buzzy Hardware Lane in an elegant loft-style conversion – effortlessly chic in a way only the French seem to pull off. The menu is classic bistro style with a few twists. Dry aged Cape Grim beef is a superb choice as is the house-made charcuterie plate.

Read the full article here.

French Saloon – FoodFocusz

Another visit to French Saloon with friends who hadn’t been previously and really wanted to dine there. Needless to say, they were not disappointed! Our preference is to share dishes and everything on the menu seems to cater for this whim. While we loved all our choices we were particularly impressed with the pumpkin roasted in seaweed butter and the roasted cauliflower. Seems quirky as we are not vegetarians!

Read the full article here.