Join The Newport and Coogee Pavilion executive chef Jordan Toft and Merivale creative stylist Sophie Thé, as they explore the rugged Tasmanian wilderness to spark inspiration for refined Melbourne Cup menus and installations. This two-part series is produced in partnership with James Boag.
Embracing the Wilderness
Jordan and Sophie get back to basics in the pristine wilds of northern Tasmania. Follow their progress as they camp, forage, experiment with new cooking techniques and meet local producers. Don’t forget to tune in later this week for part two.
For styling an event at home
Inspired by Sophie’s trip to Tasmania? Add a touch of magic to your next dinner, barbecue or cocktail party with her expert advice.
Paint stuff and make things. The best way to be original is to make things yourself; you don’t have to spend much money. Use what you can collect from around you- whether it’s the bush, sea or your garden. Pick up stones, driftwood and leaves. Paint tins for vases, collect jars and use wine bottles for candle holders.
It’s a great way to make a statement, especially if you’re on a budget. But don’t limit yourself to fresh flowers: use lots of leaves and greenery. Forage for things and use them in an interesting way. Raise serving platters on your table to different heights and use green between the platters.
Evoke a Sense of Place
Say you’ve just come back from a trip to the south of France, you could use the colours and the vibe of summer as a theme. Maybe incorporate a few things you’ve brought back with you? Instead of doing a sit-down dinner, create a buffet inspired by traditional French market stalls.
Bringing the Experience Home
They’ve made it back to the big smoke rejuvenated by nature and armed with new ideas. Watch how Jordan and Sophie use what they’ve discovered to plan the best Melbourne Cup day yet.
With Jordan Toft
You don’t need to be roughing it to achieve the smoky flavour of cooking over a campfire. Jordan shows you how to achieve it at home, using a kettle-style barbecue.
1 star anise
1 tsp coriander seeds
200g rock salt
60g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
3⁄4 cup dill fronds
1kg salmon, skin on
Apple woodchips, for smoking
Crème fraîche, lightly pickled seasonal
vegetables, and crusty bread, for serving
1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the star anise, coriander seeds, and rock salt. Combine in a small bowl with sugar, zest, and dill.
2. On a plastic tray, press mixture into salmon and refrigerate for three hours.
3. Soak woodchips in water and set aside. Light a small charcoal fire to one side of your barbecue (you don’t want too much heat; you want a temperature of approximately 110°C).
4. Place salmon, skin side down, on the grill, away from direct . heat. Squeeze excess water from woodchips and place them directly over the hot coals. Close barbecue lid, allowing smoke to develop.
5. Grill salmon for 15 to 20 minutes. The salmon is ready when it reaches 40°C or when the flakes move gently when you press them.
6. Gently remove fish from grill; serve hot or cold with crème fraîche, pickles, and bread.
*Note: You’ll need a charcoal, kettle-style barbecue for this recipe.
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Win the Ultimate Melbourne Cup Weekend
Merivale have teamed up with James Boag, the official beer of the Melbourne Cup, to give you the opportunity to partake in the ultimate four-day gents’ weekend in Sydney. Make this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival a memorable one by experiencing the best dining hotspots, hottest venues and activities – all without leaving the (great) city of Sydney.