Posted by: Sonali Velinker Kamat on June 08, 2016
We are devoted to the pursuit of good taste in all things — from décor, travel and fashion to food, food and more fantastic food. As self-confessed and unabashed foodies, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we have been addicted to ‘MasterChef Australia’ since it first began airing in India many moons ago. Matt, Gary and George have become so familiar, we refer to them by their first names only. Some contestants have survived the changing of seasons too, refusing to fade into anonymity: Reynold, Kumar, Rishi, Georgia, Amina, Callum, Marion… and the list goes on. Then, of course, there is the food.
Over the years, celebrity chefs have brought in one awe-inspiring dish after another and — fixated as we have become with a handful of truly stellar dishes — we’ve made it our ‘good taste mission’ to try each one.
From Heston Blumenthal’s Meat Fruit to Peter Gilmore’s Snow Egg, here are five dishes that have fascinated us to the point of obsession from Season 1 to date. If, like us, you are an adventurous foodie who is willing to travel to the farthest corners of the globe to sample each of these spectacular treats, here’s a guide that will help you get there…
SAVOUR HESTON BLUMENTHAL’S MEAT FRUIT AT DINNER, IN LONDON
Make plans to hop over to Hyde Park, where the posh Mandarin Oriental hotel houses Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, Dinner. It is here that you will be able to taste one of the earliest treats brought by Heston into the ‘MasterChef Australia’ kitchen — his Meat Fruit masterpiece. Slice the delicate mandarin placed before you to reveal the yummiest pâté you have ever tasted and relive a great MasterChef moment while you’re at it. Prior reservations are recommended and be forewarned, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is closed between October 17 and 30, 2016, for annual maintenance.
GET PERSONAL WITH DARREN PURCHESE, THE CREATOR OF PASSION FLOWER, IN MELBOURNE
Chef Darren Purchese wowed the world with his Passion Flower dish in Season 7. As delicate white chocolate petals fell away to expose a passion fruit centre, we gasped in wonder and made an immediate mental note to put Melbourne on the itinerary for our next jaunt out to Australia. Tucked away in South Yarra, you will find Darren’s delicacies displayed at the Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, where sweet treats of all sorts are the order of the day. Unfortunately, the Passion Flower dish isn’t permanently featured on the menu but, if you are lucky, Darren’s Banana Split from ‘MasterChef Australia’ Season 6 may be available. Either way, a meet-and-greet with the chef is sure to satisfy you to some degree and his regular line of decadent desserts should do the rest.
CRACK OPEN PETER GILMORE’S SNOW EGG AT QUAY, IN SYDNEY
Here’s another pit stop to add to your Australian itinerary and we assure you it is worth spending your nest egg on! Though Sydney is over 500 miles from Melbourne (assuming you’ve dug into desserts by Darren Purchese there), Peter Gilmore’s menu at Quay is a tribute to the best Australian produce and the finest food traditions — ensuring a meal par excellence on every occasion. From their Mud Crab Congee to Slow Braised Quail, the mains are delightful, but let’s not forget you are here for Gilmore’s eggs-traordinary dessert: the Snow Egg you saw on ‘MasterChef Australia’ Season 2. Think of it as a golden goose egg and book ahead, because Friday and Saturday evenings book out up to six months in advance for tables of 1 to 4 guests!
PS: If desserts aren’t quite your thing, why not sample sea urchin in Sydney? Guillaume Brahimi’s ‘Jewel of the Sea’ (from Season 7) can be found at the chef’s eponymous restaurant in Paddington, Sydney, and it’s a treat for the senses too!
TUCK INTO JANICE WONG’S CASSIS PLUM AT 2AM:DESSERTBAR IN SINGAPORE
When Season 7 contestants Reynold, Rose and Matthew found themselves in a pressure test, it was pastry chef Janice Wong who set the bar with her glorious Cassis Plum dessert. The herculean production of blackcurrant pastilles, yuzu caviar, yuzu rubies, flower petals and plum granita may have knocked Rose out of the reckoning, but the dessert remains a ‘MasterChef Australia’ favourite. Hit Holland Village in Singapore to sample this spectacular sweet treat at Wong’s 2am:dessertbar — open from 3 pm on weekdays and 11 am on weekends, well into the wee hours.
BEFRIEND RENE REDZEPI’S SNOWMAN AT NOMA, IN COPENHAGEN
It doesn’t matter if winter is coming; decide on Denmark as a destination if René Redzepi’s Series 3 ‘Snowman’ is still fresh in your memory. Matt Preston called it “the number one dish from the number one chef in the number one kitchen in the world,” and it is well deserved praise for both Redzepi and his restaurant Noma. Not surprisingly, landing a table is no mean feat, with reservations for October 2016 starting in July 2016. Take in the sights and sounds of Copenhagen while you are at it, and end on a cold note that is sure to leave you with warm and wonderful memories!
Image Credits: eater.com; tenplay.com.au; ‘Quay: Food Inspired by Nature’ by Peter Gilmore; harpersbazaar.my; four-magazine.com