San Francisco's Best New Restaurant 2013, State Bird Provisions, a two-year-old restaurant that sells out 45 seconds after bookings open, has just finished three dinners in Brisbane for newly established Flugente.
Chef proprietors Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski say State Bird Provisions started as a recipe for serving quail, but has slowly evolved into a restaurant without any programmed elements. The quirky name came from California's official state bird, the California Valley Quail which is known for its hardiness and adaptability.
What's Flugente? Marc Sheldon's Flugente dining concept is to help people experience the food world with no jet lag. He has spent nine years travelling the world organising private dinners with great chefs and listening to their dreams about visiting Australia. Now he plans to bring them here to let them play with our great produce and mix with local chefs.
The Flugente dinners aim will give Brisbanites a chance to see why the best chefs want to come to Australia to work with local products and a chance to surprise local palates with their innovative creations.
Then there's the wine - the dinner includes wines that you have never heard of before, perfectly matched to each course.
Marc plans to hold the dinners four times per year, bringing the best young (and young at heart) chefs to Brisbane - the ones who are shaking up the food world in their home town, delivering new food and restaurant concepts. The chefs will also run industry seminars and talks, establish connections and relationships, expanding the horizon of Brisbane's food industry.
It was fabulous to see the stellar line up of talent in the kitchen helping out and learning along the way. The chef's panel included Richard Ousby, Head Chef, Stokehouse; Ben Devlin, Head Chef, Esquire; Ben Williamson, Head Chef, Gerard's Bistro; and Alejandro Cancino, Executive Chef, Urbane Restaurant.
On to the food - it was a marvel from start to finish with a host of familiar and unfamiliar flavours presented in unusual combinations.
Exquisitely marbled wagyu beef, which I saw sitting in trays in the kitchen, was a star in two courses. Guests at the dinner included the man behind the beef, Pete Cabassi, who owns Cabassi & Co at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
Here's what we ate -
|Wagyu beef tartare with spicy fermented kohlrabi|
|Raw bonito-avocado-seaweed cracker|
|Sourdough, sauerkrout, pecorino and ricotta pancakes|
|Duck liver mousse with almond biscuit|
|Guinea hen dumplings with aromatic broth|
|Spicy kimchi yuba with smoked egg bottarga|
|Spanish mackerel, mandarins, hazelnut-garum brown butter|
|CA State bird|
|Wagyu with brussels sprouts and umeboshi-rosemary viniagrette|
|Coconut tres leches cake, passionfruit|
|Coco rib-raspberry 'ice cream' sandwich|
The venue was Wandering Cooks, an innovative cooking space at South Brisbane.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at the dinner.