Hunter Valley Chateau with style

I lunched at 1889 Enoteca in that quirky top end of Logan Road at Wooloongabba last week and the meal was outstanding. However the credit goes this time to Executive Chef of the yet-to-open Château Élan at The Vintage, Tony Maher.

Set in the Hunter Valley, Château Élan is a new, five-star golf and spa resort opening in February 2010.

And if I wasn’t sold on features like special menus to entice teenagers, sky walk ways that provide a less public way of entering and leaving the spa, and beds that move at the flick of switch, I would go for the food alone.

Tony whipped up two courses that had everyone at the long table in the Enoteca cellar commenting on the flavour. Generously, he is sharing the recipes (see below) so do give them a try. I was most impressed.

The $30m development, just two hours north of Sydney, has been co-conceived by the group behind the prestige Château Élan brand in Atlanta, Georgia.

Offering luxury retreats for up to 200 guests, the resort comprises a new ‘Destination Spa’, a collection of super-luxury spa suites and a series of private lifestyle villas. All rooms include original artworks, spa baths, Nesspresso Essenza coffee systems, French Thalgo bathroom amenities, digital entertainment and online connectivity – my sorta place.

It sits among the celebrated fairways of The Vintage – the Greg Norman-designed golf course and home to the NSW Open. Its elevated position means views over valesand vines as standard.

Chateau Elan

Seared chilli salt tuna
with a salad of apple, fennel and spanner crab, lemon dressing

Wine match - 2008 Brokenwood Semillon

Ingredients 1pax
Tuna sashimi grade 100g
Chilli salt 20g
Caramel dressing 20ml
Spanner crab cooked 40g
Green apple julienne 20g
Fennel shaved 20g
Pickled lemon julienne 5g
Eshallot julienne 5g
Micro celery cress ¼ punnet
Micro Basil ¼ punnet
Lemon dressing 20ml

Lightly coat tuna portion in chilli salt, sear in hot pan on all sides, and reserve at room temperature. Mix together salad ingredients. Slice tuna, dress with caramel, place crab salad on plate and dress with lemon dressing.

Chilli salt 20pax
Fried eshallots 100g
Fried garlic 100g
Dried chilli 40g
Sea salt flakes 75g
Castor sugar 75g

Toast dried chilli, in a robo coupe process eshallots, garlic, chilli and salt to fine powder, mix in sugar and reserve for use.

Caramel dressing 20pax
Palm sugar 100g
Dark coconut sugar 50g
Black pepper corn 20g
Garlic clove 2
Red wine vinegar 100ml
Fish sauce 50ml

Lemon Dressing 20pax
Lemon juice fresh 100ml
Forum chardonnay 50ml
Pukara lemon evoo 100ml
Grape seed oil 200ml
Castor sugar 50g

Pickled lemon
Lemons 6
Rice vinegar 100ml
Caster sugar 100ml

Julienne lemon peel without pith, bring to the boil, refresh under cold-water repeat process two more times.
Bring sugar and vinegar to the boil, add blanched lemon. Remove from heat and allow to cool reserve for use.

Hunter Valley duck breast
with confit leg parcel, celeriac and pear puree and steamed gai lan

Wine match 2006 Tyrrell’s Stevens Shiraz

Duck breast cleaned and scored 1
Confit duck parcel 1
Celeriac and pear puree 40g
Truffled pears 5pc
Gai lan ½ bunch
Duck jus

Sear the duck breast on lightly salted pan without oil, cook to render out fat, lightly sear bottom and finish in oven. Duck to be served medium rare.
Roast duck parcel in the oven for approx 10minutes, reheat puree and spoon on plate, reheat pears and jus. Steam gai lan and season with salt flakes.
Slice duck along the grain and fan out, place pears on top and finish with jus. Place parcel on gai lan.

Confit duck
Duck Maryland 10
Rock salt 400g
Garlic 3clove
Star anise 8pc
White peppercorns 20g
Cinnamon 2
Juniper 20g
Thyme 1bunch
Bay leaf 3fresh
Tarragon 1bunch
Parsley stalks 2 bunch
Duck fat to cover

Rub salt with half quantity of all herbs and spices to release flavours. Lightly salt duck for a minimum of four hours and no longer than six. Heat fat & remove salt from duck and place in fat with remaining spices. Cook at 120C for 11/2 to 2 hrs or until soft to the touch. Remove from fat and shred while hot, place in a shallow gastro norm tray that has been lined with greaseproof paper place another sheet on top and press overnight under weight. Once pressed remove from tray and cut into rectangles.

Duck parcel
Confit duck
Tunisian brik pastry
Roll as per spring roll wrapper.

Celeriac and pear puree
Celeriac cleaned and diced 800g
Pears peeled cored and diced 6 each
Pink peppercorns dried 20g
Thyme 1/2bunch

Place thyme and pepper in cheese cloth and tie, place the celeriac, pear and cheese cloth bag in a pot and cover with equal quantities of milk and water, simmer to soft and puree in a bar blender, pass and season, reserve for use.

Truffled pears
Corella pears pealed cored 17cut into 6th
Butter 100g
Castor sugar 100g
Truffle oil to taste
Sea salt

Sauté pears in butter and sugar until lightly caramelised add oil and salt remove from heat and reserve.