Well I promised photos and here they are!
This week Mark Best, owner of Marque in Australia, was in London for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants (he came in at number 61). He was also promoting his new book ‘Marque’. While he was here, he dropped in to Leith’s to demonstrate 3 of his dishes. He said these dishes represented the Marque style and showed the evolution of cooking since opening. I have to admit, when they said Mark Best, I had no idea who he was, though I was told he was ‘big’ in Australia. By the end of the demo, I was asking for work experience in his restaurant. Slightly out of my way being in Sydney!!!!
The dishes he showed us encouraged us to think about ingredients in alternative ways. Squid for example became rice in one dish and noodles in another. Every ingredient be it an onion or caviar is as important as the other. In this dish ‘Risotto’ of squid flavoured with cauliflower puree and leeks, is covered with a prawn that has been flattened and arranged into a circle, and served with a prawn broth foam, topped with crispy curry leaves. It was absolutely delicious but no longer on the menu, as apparently it is a bit dated.
A much more contemporary dish was Ike jime squid (as noodles) with smoked goats curd, young coconut and black radish.
This dish is about contrasting texture and colour. It was amazing.
But we’ve been learning to cook less contemporary dishes! We’ve roasted and jointed a duck which was served with orange and almonds (alla Prue Leith) and Pommes Anna. Apparently this was her signature dish (in the 1970s)! Remember this is about classic techniques.
I’ve also temporarily (I hope) been put off lemon sole having whizzed it in a magimix and pushed it through a drum sieve to make fish quenelles. These were served with savoury tuilles which I decorated with sesame and poppy seeds.
Do not serve with 4 squares of concasse tomato as I did – odd numbers only!
Finally a dish with a number of component parts; roasted pollock with sweetcorn puree, sweetcorn and tarragon salad and mushroom mousseline
All in all a busy week. Coming up a demonstration by Yotam Ottolenghi, gnocchi and tortellini. I’m a happy girl!
Oh and Mark’s response to work experience at Marque was positive once I’ve saved my pennies for the flight.