Sometimes it’s hard to spot the silver linings in the clouds. When one of Karen Burbury’s marketing company’s clients went belly up, she had little choice but to accept a 70-seat restaurant as payment for their outstanding debts. But Karen, whose qualifications are in business and accounting, and who has a background in publishing, marketing and property management, is also blessed with a can-do attitude and was not going to let a little thing like lack of experience in the hospitality industry get in her way. Eight years down the track, the restaurant she built from the rubble of what seemed like financial ruin employs 48 staff and has a turnover of upwards of $2.6 million.
200g scored Scottsdale pork belly, boned
600ml apple cider
½ fennel, chopped coarsely (reserve fronds for garnish)
200ml apple cider
1 stick lemongrass
1 small Granny Smith apple (or crab apple)
300ml while balsamic vinegar
500ml apple juice
300g sugar, extra
1 apple, extra, chopped coarsely
1 stick celery, chopped coarsely
½ leek, chopped coarsely
20g pork crackle
Score belly, oil and salt the fat. Add to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place belly in the oven on 220˚C for around 45-50 minutes until a nice crackle forms. Once the crackle forms fill tray with apple cider just enough to cover the meat leaving the crackle dry. Place back in oven and drop the temperature to 90˚C for 2 hours. Then empty cider out and press the belly in the fridge overnight with a tray on top and weighted down enough to place pressure on belly. (Then trim belly to size).
Place chopped fennel and cauliflower in a pot, add cream just until covered, cook over medium heat for about 15–20 minutes until cauliflower is soft. Strain off excess cream, blitz until smooth and season with salt and white pepper. (Keep the top off the fennel). Keep some for garnish and the other fronds fine chop and add the puree.
Place sugar and water into a saucepan over heat, bring to a boil and let it thicken to a syrup, add apple cider, chilli and lemongrass. Peel and core apple, poach in cider syrup on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until almost soft. Remove from heat and leave to cool in syrup in fridge.
To make balsamic and apple glaze: Place white balsamic and apple juice in a saucepan with extra sugar, tomato, apple, celery and leek. Leave to infuse on medium heat for 10 minutes, strain to remove vegetables and then return to heat to reduce and thicken to a glaze.
To make walnut and belly crumb: Toast walnuts, leave to cook then place in a mortar and pestle and crush with some pork belly crackle.
To Plate: Place belly onto plate and also the poached apple. Crumble walnut crumb across the puree, finished with the apple balsamic glaze. Can garnish with herbs.
220g venison loin
½ small butternut pumpkin
3 shallots, diced
2 zucchini flowers
4 shallots, extra, peeled
Red wine, to deglaze pan
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
100g plain flour
50g rice flour, plus extra for rolling
150ml soda water
2 Dutch carrots
Blueberries, for garnish
5g feta, for garnish
Fried sage leaves, for garnish
To make pumpkin puree: Peel pumpkin skin off, cut into dice and place in saucepan with shallot, add water until just covered. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes until soft, drain off water and blitz until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
To make stuffed zucchini flowers: Fry shallot in butter in an ovenproof saucepan until it changes colour add red wine to deglaze, balsamic and onion to the pan. Place in a baking tray, cover and cook in oven 180˚C for 15 minutes until soft. Drain off and leave to cool. Once cool mix shallot mixture with camembert.
To make tempura batter: Combine plain flour, rice flour, soda water and egg in a metal bowl, whisk until smooth. To prepare zucchini flowers, open the flower gently and remove the pollen stem, add the shallot and camembert mix. Close the flower back up and twist the end to enclose the filling when fried in tempura batter.
Oil and season venison, seal in a hot pan to colour and then roast the oven on a tray at 180˚C for 12 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and then cut in half. While venison is in the oven, roll the stuffed zucchini flowers in rice flour then dip in tempura batter. Heat a deep fryer to 180˚C gently place flowers into oil, turning every minute until golden. Heat puree in microwave and steam or boil carrots until just tender. To serve: Place a dollop of pumpkin puree on the plate, top with venison, tempura zucchini flowers, carrots. Garnish with blueberries, feta, and crumbled fried sage.
120g salmon fillet,
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
30ml lemon vinaigrette dressing
10g sliced fennel
10g sliced radish
1 sprig dill, chopped
Handful of micro herbs
½ bunch broccolini
½ bunch asparagus
10g shiitake mushrooms
10g oyster mushrooms
Combine walnut and almond flakes in a mortar and pestle and pound with chopped dill.
Combine avocado, yoghurt, lemon, salt and pepper in food processor and blitz until smooth.
To make vinaigrette: Combine pistachios, dill and mint in food processor with vinaigrette blitz until smooth. Combine sliced fennel, radish, dill and micro herbs, and dress with vinaigrette. Steam brocolini and asparagus until tender, seasoned in with salt and pepper. Cook shiitake and oyster mushrooms pan
in butter until wilted.
Heat lightly oiled pan over medium-high heat and cook salmon skin down to crisp. Place salmon on a tray in oven at 180˚C for 5 minutes, then spoon walnut and almond crumb onto salmon. Cook for another 4 minutes until medium. Smear avocado yoghurt on plate, place vegetables on top, then salmon and salad and garnish with lemon.