The Beauty of a True Masterchef

For all of you missing Masterchef, a little teaser, an ‘amuse bouche’. This is only a short film, but it shows Peter Gilmore creating  & talking about a dish inspired by snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. Gilmore is owner and chef of Quay, Australia’s top restaurant and voted in the world’s top 50 restaurants last year.

I was really taken with the use of the tweezers, the surgical precision used to create something of such temporary beauty and pleasure.

I celebrated my wedding anniversary here a couple of years ago and enjoyed a gorgeous lunch on a sparkling Sydney Spring day, overlooking the Opera House and Circular Quay .I still remember the warm, friendly service and the small details that created dishes that were delightful to look at as they were tenderly placed in front of us onto the crisp linen table clothes and the melt in your mouth, exquisiteness of the delicate flavours. A perfect lunch.

It comes courtesy of, one of my favourite websites for art, fashion and the fusion of beauty and ideas.


The Rock Star Baker

On the main shopping street of my suburb there’s a hole-in-the-wall patissier  specializing in sourdough breads, quiches, traditional French Pastries, the most wonderful sweet pastries and melt-in-your-mouth macarons.


the shop of guilty pleasure

We used to wander up on weekends and choose our bread and pastries at our indulgent leisure, without any hassle. Then along came the TV show, Masterchef, and Adriano Zumbo became the Rock Star of the Dessert. Now we don’t bother going on the weekends because the queues are too long.  Our secret, guilty pleasure has become a weekday quickie.

a short Saturday queue

Not that his pastries aren’t worth queuing for, they’re absolutely delectable. And don’t think you’re going to find a cream bun, neenish tart or vanilla slice. Not only do they not look like any other pastry you’ve seen, they have wonderfully witty names. A raspberry tart becomes, Weekend at the Cross, or the chocolate-based, Zumbo-the-Kid, Quiche Sue is a scrumptious blueberry and  goat’s cheese recipe.

the macaron box

In my efforts to bring authenticity to this post, I thought it was necessary to actually purchase some pastries and macarons on your behalf. So today, I’d like to share with you, What a Great Pear – a choux pastry, pear and vanilla creme patissier, almond crunch, pear mousse, pera gel, chocolate square and marzipan. Yes that is one pastry.

the pear, the yuzu & the macarons

And Yuzu No A Nothing – a macaron, caramelized pineapple, vanilla creameux, Yuzu crème legere.

mmm.... which to have first

And of course his famous macarons, today’s flavours are liquorice, a chocolate-dipped Lucky Dip, pandan, blackcurrant, butterscotch caramel and the seasonal mandarin.

It’s been a tough assignment (I did have to walk up in the cold drizzle), and I think I’ve earned a cup of tea and the pandan macaron. Or maybe the butterscotch caramel.

You can find the original shop on Darling St, Balmain.