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Food

Meet your local butcher: Curtis Stone

In the May/June issue of Selector Magazine, celebrity chef Curtis Stone talks about opening up his own butcher shop in Los Angeles. "It is a pretty special joint," says Curtis, laconically. "Something I always missed in LA was a great butcher shop, and when I say great butcher shop, I mean one that sources game, does whole animal butchery and has different cuts.

But don't think Curtis has completely lost his marbles. The Butcher Shop is part of his new restaurant Gwen, on Sunset Boulevard. Gwen is all at once, a restaurant, a cocktail bar, a patio hang-out, and a butcher shop.

"My idea was, if you've got a butcher shop and a restaurant, then you can create a use for anything you buy in. I was just in the shop cutting some pheasant terrine for a customer. We bought that pheasant in two days ago and I turned it into a terrine, which I can sell in the shop or in the restaurant. So you never waste anything."

Get Curtis Stone's 80 day dry-aged ribeye with creamed corn and charred scallions recipe in the May/June issue of ​Selector​ 

A highlight of the butcher shop is beef from Australian producer David Blackmore. But to get this world renowned Wagyu to the States has been no easy task.

"When I first spoke to David I said, 'I want to buy some of your meat for the butcher shop.' He said, 'Nah, the only way I could make sense of it is if you were to become the distributor.' I didn't want to be a distributor of meat! But I loved it, so I said, 'We'll figure it out.' So here we are, 'Stones Meat Distributors'. But we are selling so much of David's Wagyu, people are just absolutely in love with it."

Read the full story in the May/June issue of Selector, out now, with Curtis Stone on the cover.

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Food
The Sweet Life with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Words by Jackie Macdonald on 20 Nov 2017
When Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh met, it was a culinary match made in sweet-filled heaven.  Yotam Ottolenghi wasn’t supposed to be a chef. He was supposed to be an academic like his father and grandfather before him. He certainly has the intellect, having written a masters thesis in philosophy and comparative literature.  But Yotam’s take on creating ‘the good life’ was fed by his lifelong passion for food and eventually he couldn’t resist his kitchen calling. After training at Le Cordon Bleu in London in 1997 and working as a pastry chef at the Michelin-starred The Capital Restaurant, two years later he became head pastry chef at Chelsea’s Baker and Spice. Another three years after that, he opened the first Ottolenghi deli in Notting Hill. Today, there are three more Ottolenghi delis in London, as well as a restaurant, NOPi. He has a regular column in The Guardian, and has written six cookbooks.  How sweet it is
The most recent of his books, Sweet, a baking tome filled with biscuits, cakes, tarts, pies, desserts and confectionary, Yotam co-authored with Malaysian-born Australian-raised pastry chef, Helen Goh. While the book is a recent release, their culinary collaboration goes back over 10 years to when Helen moved to London. At the urging of a friend to check out the Ottolenghi deli, Helen fired off an email to Yotam, they met, and a wonderful partnership began.   Helen became product developer and Yotam recalls how she would walk through his door on a Sunday afternoon, “like a gust of wind or, rather, an over-zealous dusting of icing sugar, carrying more brown carton boxes than humanly possible.” A slew of apologies would follow for how many of her cakes had failed (Helen is a perfectionist) before they would settle into a session of ‘Ottolenghifying’ her creations.   This unique process involves taking a traditional product and giving it a taste twist. As Yotam explains, “We do a lot of stuff that some might consider irreverent, but it’s just adding our traditions, a little bit of Middle East from me and a little bit of South East Asia from Helen.”  So, in Sweet, you’ll find halva and tahini in the brownies, spiced pineapple in the cheesecake and mixed spices in the pound cake. But that’s not to say the recipes veer too far from tradition. As Helen explains, “In baking, I think people still seek the comfortable and the familiar, but they want a little surprise and I think Yotam and I deliver that!”  Aussie inspiration Another thing you’ll find in Sweet is a fair dose of Australia. Having done her training and enjoyed success as a pastry chef here, Helen has been inspired by some of our greats. There are cakes based on creations by Stephanie Alexander and Belinda Jeffrey, not to mention versions of yo-yo and Anzac biscuits.  Yotam, too, owes a lot to baking Down Under. Known as the ‘king of meringue’, he says, “I’m indebted to Antipodean pavlova because it’s so easy to make and you can do whatever you like with it. It takes anything from chocolate and praline to fresh or dried fruit, the options are endless.” 
Featured image: Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh's cinnamon pavlova, praline cream and fresh figs recipe Recipes and images from  Sweet  by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh ( Penguin Random House, $55 )
Food
The art of Italian
Words by Mark Hughes on 2 Jul 2015
When Lucio Galletto opened up a restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Paddington he didn’t truly envisage that it would become a cultural icon, as much an art gallery as an Italian trattoria. But due to the warm generosity of the restaurateur and clientele, this is exactly what has happened. Adorning the restaurant’s walls are works by some of the biggest names in Australian art such as Sidney Nolan, John Olsen and Garry Shead, to name but a few. The story of how this all came about and how it has helped develop his food is detailed in Lucio’s latest book, The Art of Traditional Italian. Childhood memories Lucio has always been surrounded by food, and by art. He grew up in a village on the Ligurian coast of Italy where his parents had a restaurant. He recalls the fun and convivial nature of his parents serving both friends and strangers. Almost as vividly, he recalls being mesmerised by the ornate and detailed sculptures, paintings and architecture of his poor, but culturally rich, local church. The combination has had a long and lasting affect on Lucio. So when it came to be that he opened the doors of Lucio’s in 1981 he was determined to extend the same welcoming nature that his parents had shown at their restaurant. By chance, Paddington was home to an artists’ studio, which many of Sydney’s up and coming painters and sculptures used as their creative centre, and for many of these, Lucio’s became their second home. The art evolves “Artists started to come in and some started giving me their work because they found out that I had a love of art, and so it happened,” recalls Lucio. “We didn’t plan this, we didn’t say ‘let’s make an art restaurant’, it just happened over years. “It all started with Sidney Nolan. He was involved with the movie Burke and Wills as an advisor. When they finished filming each day he would come in to eat. One time he drew a little artwork on a napkin and left it behind. I was really taken with it. You know, beautiful gold leaf – I put it up on the wall. “Well, that was the first piece of art on the wall. And when Sidney came back he looked up and saw his art and he was really taken with the fact I had given it so much love. After that he gave me some more drawings and the other art pieces. I think from that, the artists understood that I love art and artists, I look after their work. I am really honoured that they put their work up on the walls of my restaurant. It’s a great honour for me… and it all turned up by chance. “I have some great artists that come to the restaurant and they draw on napkins, plates, or in the oyster shells. They feel really at home and comfortable, and it makes me feel good that I have created this feeling, to be able to collaborate, because of the hospitality, the conviviality of my restaurant.” The Art of Traditional Italian by Lucio Galletto with photography by Ben Dearnley (Penguin) RRP $59.99
Life
Haigh’s Chocolates – a legacy of quality
Over 100 years ago, Alfred Haigh had grand plans for his new business, but he never would have dreamed of the love the world has developed for his family’s chocolate.  While wine-lovers know South Australia as the home of multi-generational family-owned wineries – Yalumba , Henschke , d’Arenberg , to name a few – for chocolate lovers, the state is synonymous with the multi-generational Haigh family. Today, Haigh’s is in the hands of the fourth generation and in 2015 celebrated its centenary – one of only a few Australian enterprises to have family maintained continuity for 100 years. Beehive Beginnings
The first Haigh’s store opened in Adelaide’s historic Beehive Building in 1915, the dream of Alfred Haigh. Having been a confectioner’s shop, the business came with the former owner’s equipment, moulds, recipes and books – everything a budding self-taught confectioner needed to perfect his craft. Following Alf was his son, Claude, who kept the business humming through the trials of the Depression and war years, while also establishing a name in the thoroughbred racing industry. The 1950s saw Claude’s son John take over after a stint working at Lindt & Sprüngli in Switzerland. This experience was invaluable for both John and Haigh’s, as on his return, he set about revamping the family’s chocolate-making operations. John has been succeeded by his sons, Alister and Simon, who continue the family tradition of producing premium chocolate and expanding the company’s retail network, selling Haigh’s products all over Australia. A caring approach With an eye to Haigh’s continuing well into the future, the family is committed to the environment and sustainability. As such, 80% of its cocoa beans are UTZ-certified , which ensures traceability back to the grower and a fair return for producers and improving the lives of the farming community. The family also prides itself on its cultural, philanthropic and conservation work. So next time you’re savouring a Haigh’s truffle, relishing an Easter bilby or luxuriating in their Original Fruit Chocolates, consider the legacy of quality behind every bite. View the range instore or at  haighschocolates.com.au
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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