The Sydney International Food Festival kicked off with the popular Sydney Morning Herald Growers’ Market.
Bad weather didn’t dampen spirits or appetites with large crowds braving the rain to sample culinary delights from over 80 stalls. The market showcased both local, regional and international produce from cheese, to coffee, chocolates, smoked meats, to fruit and vegetables.
The biggest draw card of the day was the ‘Nose to Tail’ barbecue with special guest Fergus Henderson, owner of St John restaurant in London, and author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating.
As the name indicates nose to tail eating is exactly that –- the scoffing down of everything from marrow, to tongue, to tripe or a crispy ear perhaps. Henderson’s old-fashioned and simple English country fare has earned him praise and offal devotees from around the world.
The Nose to Tail BBQ treated diners to a whole pig on the spit while twelve Sydney chefs and their teams whipped up a Henderson-inspired dish using cuts of pork.
I attended the morning session and started the day with green eggs and ham, prepared by Sean Connolly of Astral restaurant.
When I was told what was on the menu, I was quite skeptical and rather squeamish. However, my initial fears evaporated once the dish arrived – slow poached eggs topped with parsley dust and sea salt served with thin slices of pork neck on a sinfully crunchy piece of brioche fried in duck fat. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day nibbling on carrots.
The method of slow-poaching eggs is an interesting one. The eggs are cooked in their shells in a bath of warm water, the temperature of which is dependent on the size of the egg. For instance, a 60gram egg, would be cooked at 62°C for around 80 minutes, allowing the proteins to set very slowly. The shells are then carefully cracked and the eggs gently spill out whole and intact while remaining soft, silky and opaque.
Sydney Morning Herald Growers' Market Image Gallery Highlights.