Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont + Interview

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Keen to decorate dessert like a Master Chef? Then head along to Celebration Cooking on the 1st Floor 720 New Canterbury RoadCanterbury and join Jessica Pedemont in this hands on class to explore the colourful and vibrant world of of decorating cakes and desserts. Learn the art of pastry from the industry’s finest. We always seem to see those celebrity chefs on TV and they make it all look super easy by taking a pinch of this and adding a cup of that. Then transforming the ingredients into something that makes our mouth water like as if we saw a supermodel walk across the room. At the Celebration Cooking they do the same, by providing step-by-step process at an absolute beginner or seasoned level from $220 a class and then turn you into a patisserie decorator master.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (0)Guess who made this?! Hint it’s someone who cannot cook and is VERY messy :P

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (2)Now which door will you choose today? :P

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (3)There is so many types of cacao in different processes. Check out the mini museum hidden at the corner.

We are first welcomed with our own individual notes, ganache, chocolate cake and tea towel in class. Yes did I mention you get your very own CAKE…no need to share for those who like it all to themselves *raise my hand*.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (7)Getting the wafer party started 

Starting her own business called Chocolate Artisan 8 years ago and just launched her very own Sydney based cooking school early this year AND happen to be the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015“- Jessica Pedemont, a Muay Thai Kickboxer who is highly regarded pastry chef with over 18 years of experience, runs a cooking class most weekends and offer personalised class. Classes are an ideal way to learn the basics of sugar craft and with a house-made coffee made by Jessica herself on arrival and the opportunity to take home the treats you create, who wouldn’t want to participate? Not only does this bad ass chef uses her fists and elbows along with various wrestling techniques in her own cooking classes just so she can score more points, but she already won the match for being the most sweetest chef you’d ever meet.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (9)HEY it’s Jessica Pedemont in her PINK Chef uniform.

We start off with cooking some cake lace in decorative moulds and my oh my am I impressed with how easy this looks. You so can do this at home if Jessica was next to you.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (11)DIY cake lace moulds

Spotted an EDIBLE “Food Scenepainting made by Jessica who was nominated to make an art work for Australian Cake Decorating Network gallery at the Cake Bake Sweet Show “Sydney in Cake” exhibition. The theme was “What inspires me about Sydney?”. It is clearly evident a lot has got to do with edible ingredients…and mostly sweets I believe. It’s a NO BRAINER that there is royal icing, chocolate, modeling chocolate, rice papericing, gum paste, edible paints and wafer paper. Yeah you name it kiddo.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (13)This painting is edible kids!

I knew straight away this girl LOVES her CHOCOLATE as she is so passionate and detailed about explaining the right ingredients for each type of chocolate cake. Who knew I found my chocolate soul mate. Teehee. Stepping away from the kitchen and kickboxing scene Jessica spends her time writing for the Australian Baking Business that offers an inside look at the news and views affecting today’s baking industry.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (16)True face of a chocolate lover.

All cakes and ganache are provided and made from scratch by Jessica using Swiss ‘Felchlin‘ couverture Chocolate, ‘Pepe Sayabutter and buttermilk and free range eggs.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (19)Time to set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and create sharp edges.

Tough love was seen here as we carefully place the warm gooey ganache that was re-heated to the surface of the cake. It felt like a lifetime smoothing the surface as I tried not to remove sweat off my face when dealing with something so delicate in front of me.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (21)You need steady surgical hands to create smooth surfaces for this cake. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (22)SUCCESS for Nessy Eater Girl!

We now move on to colour and handling techniques for fondant. We decided sunset orange and with confidence the cake will look even brighter.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (23)I can see a rainbow 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (24)During the roll of sugar fondant icing, we somehow created Mr. Blob. Teehee.

Minutes before we started our class we had the pleasure to meet Tommy Prosser, who worked at the 1 Michelin starred Gravetye Manor and 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn. Tommy tells us he dreams of one day eating in all the world’s best restaurants. Not just a man who knows how to cook though, it turns out Tommy’s quite the fighter as well…the sporting kind of course.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (25)Sneaky shot of Jessica Pedemont and partner in crime Tommy Prosser.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (26)I spy C-A-K-E!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (27)SPOTTED another cake display.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (28)Best quote ever for hard workers :)

NOW it’s time to cover with ready to roll sugar fondant icing. Be prepared to work-out your arms as it requires all strengths from  your upper body.

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We set-up a round cake with chocolate ganache and created a magnificent smooth edging. The beauty of this cake is its simplicity. Crisp orange edges and a comfy icing fondant are a solid go-to cake.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (30)I think my ego just boosted for making this cake look so smooth…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (31)There may have been a competition happening between four of us students in the wafer class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (32)Time to make wafer rose.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (34)Our cake lace moulds are set.

Personally the most difficult part of this class was having patience. We spent a generous amount of time outlining the shapes of the leaves, cutting out and brushing with edible glue. Sadly that wasn’t the hard part. It was making sure you didn’t glue your fingers to other wafer paper leaves. In the end we pulled through and below is what we ended up with. What do you guys think? :D

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (37)*Woo-hoo* Made a wafer paper from scratch

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (38)Did you know that this decorative lace mould is edible?!?!

We are almost finished with making our own wafer rose paper cake and now our eyes pay close attention to Jessica as she demonstrates the final steps. I swear I was DEFEATED with Jessica’s 18+ years experience as it looks easy from here as she sticks on the cake laces within seconds.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (39)Jessica teaching us the handling techniques.

Okay…I may not be the best cake decorator but the smell of the cake was astonishing. MUST not eat this cake till it is complete…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (40)Steady now…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (41)Now that’s a wrap folks of the wafer paper rose cake class.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (42)WOAHZA! How simply was that? Hehe

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (43)It’s impossible to ignore these cakes…

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (44)Incredible hard work has been put to these wafer rose cakes. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (45)You don’t leave empty handed at Celebration Cooking with Jessica Pedemont. 

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (48)Top view of Nessy Eater’s Wafer Paper Rose Cake. Suspense is killing me to show you!!!!

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (49)But FIRST let me show you “behind the scenes” …#Sorrynotsorry…yeah I am childish :P

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50)We did it GIRLS! Totes can be a pastry chef any day…*coughs*

Jessica Pedemont has an enormous range of cooking and decorating classes to choose from including Brioche Nutella Star, Macaron Mayhem, Handbag cake and Christmas Fruit Cake just to name a few. They are perfect for all ages  even catering some of her classes for the wild kids you may have. Jessica’s classes are also an excellent  gift to give or if you are impressing the family or maybe someone special *wink wink*. With less than 4 weeks to go till Christmas i’d be be scheduling classes before they all book out. Just make sure you don’t mess with her otherwise she’ll organise a Muay Thai match and we know who will win this one. Teehee.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (50 B)We had to do kawaii poses just for the sake of it :D

Tell me about yourself Jessica Pedemont

I started Martial Arts when I was 15, mostly kickboxing and Muay Thai. I’ve always been athletic. I progressed to mixed martial arts, competing on a professional world level, then eventually was asked to do freestyle wrestling for Australia and competed at Oceana. As a kid, I was a national gymnast. I’m always game to learn new things. I love to travel, meet new people, different cultures.

When did you realise being a Pastry Chef was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?

While I still also do work as a savoury chef, my passion for pastry was a natural progression. I’d trained in both, as you do. Other passions, as above, include sport, well-being and travel.

How did the opportunity at Celebration Cooking come about?

Andrew, the owner of Celebration Cakes, is someone I’ve known in the industry for many years and he offered me this space where I’m current teaching. It’s been a great opportunity to have a dedicated facility so close to my home.

Tell me about being in the FINALIST for the “Local Business Awards 2015”? What was rushing through your mind when you received the news?

It was a pretty unbelievable as I’d only just opened. It’s been a great privilege to be recognised for our work.

What personal quirks does your team tease you about?

Since fitness is important to me, I still like to balance all my cooking with a good workout…

What’s your process for coming up with a new cooking/decorating classes?

We do take a lot of student feedback, recommendations…I’m always open to new ideas. Often my students will ask for things…which is really encouraging. Classes for kids, water colour cookies, marzipan, etc.

Is there a chef that you admire?

I admire chefs who are hard-working, who have a sensitive palette, who have skill, talent, poise…who are deeply passionate and elegant to watch work…oh and and a sense of adventure, a great pedigree, amazing experiences in kitchens…it makes me think of my partner Tommy Prosser. He’s also very humble, which is a killer trait, so I don’t mind mentioning him here. I also like what Jaime Oliver has done. Doing a lot to help communities, get people to think and act, love his fresh approach to food, even making good/healthy eating easy and quick where appropriate.

Celebration Cooking_Nessy Eater (51)

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Wafer Paper Rose Cake, thanks to Celebration Cooking.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment :D

Gypsy Dining Experience at The Emporium |Parramatta

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This year Parramatta has transformed typical quiet urban spaces into a magical vibrant world of colours, sounds and tastes. The Emporium is one of many restaurants that invite people to experience unique nightlife and for food lovers enjoy everything from European inspired delicacies to Middle Eastern flavours. The vibe is rustic style eatery and has a classy edge – draped in greenery and filled with natural light. With three separate dining areas including two alfresco spaces, a coffee roaster and a bakery, this place caters for all guests.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (1)This is what I call enchanting courtyard party at The Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (2)You’ll notice handmade furniture imported from Venice.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (3)People of Parramatta you better strap yourselves in to get a glimpse of the Mediterranean Feel.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (4)Born in Italy, raised in Australia, the Purezza sparkling water

To start we had albacore tuna tartare with miso, corn and a generous spread of avocado with squid ink puffed rice paired with St Clair Gruner Veltliner 2012, Marlborough NZ. To satisfy the omega 3 lovers this may have been ridiculously addictive, we just kept dunking the puffed rice into that gloriously fragrant smell of corn and miso. I took great delight in seeing who could grab the biggest piece of tuna. Teehee.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (5)Albacore Tuna Tartare

General manager Dominic Borel (ex-Gazebo and the Local Taphouse) shares his tales of how he was contacted by the owners John and Sam Ayoub, who are also behind the successful chain The Coffee Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (6)Domonic Borel

Next we have waygu beef tartare that’s finely plated with kohl rabi, eggplant, black garlic, salt and vinegar tapioca puffs paired with Soumah Savarro Savagnin 2014, Yarra Valley Vic. To add that extra texture egg yolk puree was in the house. This was a pretty entree and had a perfect rare centre. The egg yolk had me swiping the plate clean of that precious liquid puree. What surprised most guests was the droplets of black garlic that seemed to twist a lot of people’s taste buds.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (7)Waygu Beef Tartare

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (8)Stunning Italian-villa inspired garden.

How could I resist Petuna ocean trout with a healthier option that includes thin slices of fennel, radish, apple and raspberry matched with a glass of Chateau Riotor Cote du Provence Rose, Provence FR. It is clear the highlight of this dish was the splash of pink salad. Yeah I don’t know how that happened on the one plate but I’m sure I enjoyed this. This has got to be the perfect spring colour dish. The trout was reasonably cooked and the salad married so well with the flavours. I loved the crunchy bits of the fennel and apple. It made this plate more exciting!

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (9)Petuna Ocean Trout

On a heavier side we were served with pork hock that was slow cooked for hours and HOURS in secret master stock and matched with a glass of Jed Malbec 2013, Mendoza ARG. The pork was juicy enough that it didn’t really need anything else.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (10)Pork Hock

That GLORIOUS side view of the pork hock had my heart skip a beat. My god how GOOD was the skin?! That fat could quietly kill me. The hock was so satisfying with the candied chilli and green paw paw salad but me thinks it was missing something. Coming from an Asian background I felt like I needed to order a bowl of plain white rice. Perhaps it was the salad taste that got me wanting rice. It was evident that I enjoyed this dish because I scraped the plate clean.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (11)There’s a hulk in my pork.

The menu, in the hands of Head Chef Robert Cannon (ex-Pony Lounge & Dining) is contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean taste. Trained in the UK mastering classic English dishes, Rob brings a wealth of experience and skills to The Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (12)Rob Cannon 

In addition to the mouth-watering savoury menu, The Emporium has a range of cheeses to get you into the mood for the cheesy side of you. The delice de cremier had a rich, indulgent triple cream cow’s milk texutre with a soft, sweet and buttery flavour. To accompaniment there was quince paste, dried sultans, granny apple slices and gourmet wafers. The refreshing and clean taste of Walnut Block Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough NZ was epic.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (13)Delice De Cremier

Dessert time and we had chocolate cremeaux paired with a lovely glass of Piggs Peake Suckling Pig Sticky Shiraz 2014, Hunter Valley NSW. We were SUPER cheerful to see this sweet treat however none of us wanted to share. I believe I fell in love with the honeycomb ice cream or maybe it was the chocolate soildulce de leche and espresso gel. Every spoonful I ate had a much more intense flavour and that espresso aroma was intoxicating in a good way.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (14)Chocolate Cremeaux

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (15)Front Entrance of The Emporium

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (16)Parramatta’s European inspired restaurant.

The Emporium is the perfect addition to Parramatta’s thriving food and cultural scene and might I add it’s a must-visit food destination with an enchanting courtyard party full of gypsy swing tunes, sights and scents of thriving romance! The menu is designed to be shared amongst friends so you better bring your angel side along.

In other news The Emporium will be celebrating Melbourne Cup in style on Tuesday 3rd November with surprise guests, best dressed awards, sweeps, screens, hats, heels and many more. Spoil yourself with canapes and champagne in Erby Place for $50 per head or champagne and sit down lunch in The Emporium and garden courtyard for $75 per head.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (18)Now that is what I call food styling.

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Gypsy Dining Experience at The Emporium, thanks to Stellar.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment :D

The Emporium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Made it to Muse Restaurant | Pokolbin

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Having just earned Two Chef Hats recently in this year’s Good Food Guide, Muse Restaurant is the creation of Husband and Wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades Brown. Not only has this Australian Restaurant held onto one chef hat for a consecutive three years, it has also earned catering industry awards five years straight in the Hunter Region.

Muse_Nessy Eater (1)

Worth the road trip to Muse Restaurant.

Though this award winning restaurant is a bit of a trek since it’s two hours drive out of Sydney to the entrance to Pokolbin in the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery, Muse Restaurant does offer a season driven contemporary Australian menu that is truly unforgettable.

Muse_Nessy Eater (2)

Glass door entrance to Muse Restaurant.

As with anything labeled “chef hat”, you’d first question the price tag and it’s unimaginable how worthwhile this place is. It’s reasonably worth it at $95 per person considering it’s fine-dining also for three courses. I finally understand why this is repeatedly labeled Hunter Region, and often Australia’s best in Sydney Morning Herald. Arriving 12:25pm and still begging the girls that I want to continue earning my SingStar points in the car for karaoking two hours straight, we safely arrived to our destination all thanks to the Birthday Girl Almighty Princess who turns twenty-one (?). Teehee.

With a view of the green grass and vineyard like no other, I sense a mother nature vibe. It’s the kind of atmosphere where you don’t have to wear fancy outfits and you could just walk in with denim jeans and cow boy leather boots as the the staff understands that you have travelled a long way. We had one of the earliest seatings and when we entered the restaurant it was three quarters packed already.

Muse_Nessy Eater (3)

There seems to be a bit of confusion going around when we noticed the fermented garlic butter. It was soft and squishy. You can clearly tell this butter is rich and complex. At first I thought it was exquisite mustard but when the waitress confirmed we were amused and questioned ourselves how to it eat. But luckily a waitress came over with a basket of hot bread!

Muse_Nessy Eater (4)

Fermented Garlic Butter

We were offered bread and there were only two options so I picked one of each- light rye sourdough and a very eye-catching swirl of the caramelised onion brioche served extremely warm. These were an excellent carb filler for our tummies.

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Light Rye Sourdough and Caramelised Onion Brioche 

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Cross-section of the caramelised onion brioche

At this point, we received three complimentary canapes, which was a huge surprise for us. We start off with the spiced macaron that is filled with a house made labna. The outer shell is a crunch-tastic delight on the palate with a dust of curry powder to add that little kick to my tastebuds.

Muse_Nessy Eater (7)

Spiced Macaron

Make no mistake, this tea is quite dense and almost leveled with a soup texture with the aroma of shitake mushroom, lemongrass and ginger. It’s great stuff even for my attitude towards mushrooms that I had before as I was growing up as a kid. I’ve never had liquid served quirky like this before, have you? I giggled sipping this as it instantly reminded me one of those smoking pipes in the UK back in the 1980’s. Like how would I know that…#awkward :P

Muse_Nessy Eater (8)

Shitake Mushroom, Lemongrass and Ginger Tea

Rouding out the last of the savoury canapes is the mushroom wafer. It has now become my new favourite vegetable companion to almost anything. The paper thin crunch is most welcome on my plate and generous powered flavour of mushroom is rewarding.

Muse_Nessy Eater (9)

Mushroom wafer

Other than not having enough of this magnificent savoury wafer, I was intrigued how powerful the flavour was. It was weird trying to bite into the wafer, as it quickly melted on my tongue. I had to make a lot of effort not to look like a clown trying to nom nom nom it.

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Paper thin mushroom wafer

Muse_Nessy Eater (11)

Lemongrass stuck inside the sipping tunnel.

Not long after our first course arrived. Almighty Princess was served a theatrical dish, sashimi of hiramasa kingfish served with fennel, apple, Muse’s very own verjuice and liquid nitrogen Coppersfolly wasabi yoghurt. OMGEEEEE! There’s LIQUID NITROGEN in this dish.

Muse_Nessy Eater (12)

Sashimi of Hiramasa Kingfish

My only issue was that I didn’t order this for myself, however Almighty Princess was kind enough to give away a few tiny pieces for me taste and provide a verdict. Oh, I don’t mind welcoming the thick slices of kingfish and the refreshing taste of fennel, apple and verjuice again. And of course the wasabi yoghurt involved some sort of crazy taste.

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How does this taste?

Muse_Nessy Eater (14)

Portion size for entree is ridiculously generous.

For Miss S. the cuttlefish and king brown mushroom ‘noodles’ suitably impresses a lively gothic look, with the dark cuttlefish crackle, and deliciously soft and delicate ‘noodle’. Miss S. and I were 110% fooled by the menu name ‘noodles’. Sweetness is induced by the fresh herbs which acts as a balancer.

Muse_Nessy Eater (15)

Cuttlefish and King Brown Mushroom ‘Noodles’ 

As for me and Billy, we both couldn’t resist the confit of berkshire pork jowl – presented with smoked mussels, pickled cauliflower, black garlic and buttermilk. This was quite a heavy dish considering it to be entree. The fat slice of pork jowl was at the right level of saltiness and creaminess, with a perfectly tender meat throughout.

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Confit of Berkshire Pork Jowl

So far the dishes at Muse have unconditionally pleased us four girls. Next a waiter serves us the palate cleanser that contains an apple sorbet served on a rhubarb jelly and shiso. I can confidently say this was nice and breeze on the palate.

Muse_Nessy Eater (17)

Palate Cleanser

I’m always a sucker for fish and the confit petuna ocean trout did not disappoint. Muse shared another sensational dish and it was clearly noticeable because the girls enjoyed licking their plates clean. The trout is gently cooked to retain its bright orange colour and soft silky texture. To finish a bed of seaweed risotto with pickled daikon and broccolini perfectly marries all the ingredients together.

Muse_Nessy Eater (18)

Confit Petuna Ocean Trout

A meatier choice is the milly hill lamb. It is the classic red meat dish and pleasantly ‘served pink’. Aside is salt baked sweet potato, cultured goats milk, lentils and garden herbs. I had to make a lot of effort sawing each piece of lamb but that didn’t matter because the result of the texture is a level of softness that beyond what I have eaten for a very long time when it comes to lamb.

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Milly Hill Lamb 

The signature dessert is what us four girls came here for, isn’t it? For those who don’t actually know what the fuss is, the “Muse Coconut” is a dessert of legend at Muse Restaurant, one of its jaw-dropping desserts and it’s OUT OF THIS WORLD! If ever there is a moment of silence at the table, this is the reason for it. The thin edible coconut husk is made of dark chocolate and is sitting in a bed of raw shaved coconut. Inside, you have to witness yourself this coconut cloud mousse as light as air, filled with vanilla bean and coconut thick water.

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Muse Coconut

To eat, you must tap it with power ranger force to crack open the husk, revealing the liquid water, and the fun really begins by stirring  it all together to eat. This textural and flavour sensation elicits memories of a real coconut, but BETTER. There is NO BORING BITS in this dish!

This dessert blew its way onto everyone’s radar and it’s the BEST COCONUT DESSERT tasted to date. Raise my wine glass to the chefs who have to make many of these on a daily basis.

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Under the coconut tree you dance with me.

When you think dessert is over and then comes house made chocolates filled with a malt custard. The sweetness of the chocolate, balanced out by the creaminess of the custard is essentially perfect.

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Petit fours

It is incredible Muse Restaurant provides such exquisite dishes that I think the confit petuna ocean trout and Muse coconut has already secured a special place in my heart. It’s TOP NOTCH STUFF! It is clearly evident the chef’s devotion to each dish is an eye-opening display of the finest technique. Oh it really gives some city fine diners a run for their money.

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There’s definitely a Hunter Region feel at Muse Restaurant.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment :D

Muse Restaurant and Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Smooth Festival of Chocolate & Australian Patisserie Academy

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One of the best things about being a food blogger is sampling ALL of the amazing chocolates thanks to Smooth FM. Last Saturday we had the pleasure to celebrate decadent desserts and chocolate designs from the best patisseries, chocolatiers and ice-creameries when the Smooth Festival of Chocolate had returned to The Rocks.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (0)Don’t know where to start…

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (1)Spread of “CHOCOLATE GOODIE BAG

Pssst… I have a whole stash of these Tim Tams. Who doesn’t like Tim Tam O’cloak?! Put those Tim Tams in my bag and nobody gets hurt. For the first time Arnott’s Tim Tam joined the festival at the Arnott’s Tim Tam Temptation Tent allowing chocolate lovers like me to experience Australia’s favourite indulgences.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2)Taking on the TIM TAM CHALLENGE!

It was a pleasure seducing La Renaissance chocolate tart. Garnishing this tart with chocolate included fresh raspberries, sprinkles of pistachio and a gold leaf gives this dessert a truly luxurious finish.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2B)Beautifully smooth La Renaissance chocolate tart

We looked forward to trying some authentic handmade chocolates from Australian Patisserie Academy. We indulged each heavenly chocolate pieces. DAT CHOCOLATE SCENT! :D <3

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (2C)Impress Australian Patisserie Academy chocolates

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (3)Wag-Anna’s Wagon Wheel by Anna Polyviou.

Right before we attended the 2015 Smooth Festival of Chocolate, we were invited to attend the Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class‏ at the Australian Patisserie Academy. We had not clue what to expect other then it involved something like chocolate… :D

APA_Nessy Eater (13)Excited and ready for APA’s cooking class

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (4)Impressive showpieces by Australian Patisserie Academy

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (5)Loving the selection of fine ingredients

Whilst Chef Angelo Roche from the Australian Patisserie Academy discusses ideas for our Tim Tam dish …we couldn’t wait to share our plates with you guys and here’s a hint…it involves TIM TAM BABY!!!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (6)A great pastry education leads to great pastry!

We were a little obsessed with plating our dishes and felt a little tension coming from other bloggers such as *cough* Joe from 2 Hungry Guys *cough*. But this guy sure deserves two thumbs up for the creativity that I couldn’t possibly have. I ended up letting him win so I could eat more…that’s right. Teehee.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (7)Made with love man…can’t you see?!

We had so much fun creating wicked sweet treats. I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever had so much fun creating and eating at the same time. There was so much chocolatey flavour in my dish and to balance it out I HAD to add some fresh fruits like strawberryraspberry, blueberry and orange slices.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (8)How amazing are these little babies?

OH and I couldn’t resist making my very own “Tim Tam Ferrari Car“. Totally everyone that night suffered from major envy that I made this baby. Cameron Daddo and Chef Angelo Roch was pretty impressed with my work. #nonotreally

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (9)Perfection on a plate

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (10)Cameron Daddo in the house!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (11)Perfection by Joe from 2 Hungry Guys

You don’t need a map to figure out that Chef Angelo Roch is super talented. This born Sri Lanka and raised in India chef committed to sharpening up his patisserie skills in France and America to complete his professional development pastry courses at Ecole Lenôtre France, Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil Paris and the Callebaut Academy Chicago.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (12)Chef Angelo Roch

A sneak peak of one of the dishes Chef Angelo Roch created. I couldn’t bring myself to eat this especially when it looked so special and delicate. It was everything I imagined, but BETTER.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (13)Insane presentation by Chef Angelo Roch

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (14)Smooth FM’s Host Cameron Daddo and Nessy Eater Girl

We got to work with the most talented pastry chefs in Australia at Australian Patisserie Academy. And not just because these two chefs are brothers but they are both skilled, thoughtful and original chefs who are able to concentrate solely on patisseries.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (15)Chef Joseph and Chef Angelo Roche

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (16)If only I could add smell to these photos!!

Got another sweet surprise to take home that night at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class, I call it the “CHOCOLATE JEWELLERY BOX”. The harmony of sweet flavours starts with the white chocolate pieces. Teamed with the milk chocolates and dark chocolates, this box packs a punch when it comes to flavour and texture.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (17)CHOCOLATE JEWELLERY BOX by the Australian Patisserie Academy

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (18)Another gift bag and I don’t think I can ever refuse chocolate.

It was SATURDAY 12th September and we started our Smooth FM journey at the Tim Tam Temptation Tent and guess who was in my camera screen looking all happy with candy…ADRIANO ZUMBO of course.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (19)Happy Adriano Zumbo with science beakers filled with candy.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (20)Working in progress to eat all the chocolates in the world!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (21)Tim Tam Temptation Tent Instagram Wall.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (23)Adriano Zumbo with family memebers at the Tim Tam Temptation Tent

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (24)Löwenbräu HOT Pretzels

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (25)Löwenbräu Keller hot dogs

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (26)OH MY GOD Chocolate Cronuts

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (27)Bumped into Adriano Zumbo AGAIN!!

Fast forward two hours and we were inside BAR100. The solid sandstone building at 100 George Street in the Rocks was  built as a mariners’ church more than 100 years ago. Our jaws dropped when we noticed a long table filled with…you guessed it chocolate. While I tried my hardest to try everything…I kinda failed but that’s okay I knew 15+ packs of Tim Tam were waiting for me to eat them. HAHA.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (28)Spread of sweet SWEET chocolate TREATS at BAR 100

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (29)And there was MORE MORE MOREEEEEEE!!!

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (30)Chocolate cocktail

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (31)I had a bit of this and that and this and that…

We arrived fashionably early that we managed to spot this elegant lady dressed in 1910’s style. She was hovering with her table filled with Tim Tams. It sounds crazy but she graciously moved around better than I can.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (32)Tim Tam Lady

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (33)I was so tempted to take this GIGANTIC TIM TAM home.

Well that’s a wrap! It was freaken awesome to experience a taster of the amazing talent in this year’s Smooth Festival of Chocolate. There were truly some extraordinary chocolatier’s such as Adriano Zumbo and award winning Chocolatier Jodie Van De Velden. How can we forget Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou punked up the kitchen at the Callebaut Test Kitchen. By the end of the day I realised I have a condition that makes me eat when I can’t sleep. It’s called insom-nom-nom-nom-nia.

Smooth Festival of Chocolate_Nessy Eater (34)

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater plus guest attended Smooth Festival of Chocolate  thanks Nova Entertainment, SmoothFM and The Society Group

Nessy Eater attended Smooth Festival of Chocolate Blogger Cooking Class‏ thanks to Nova Entertainment and Australian Patisserie Academy

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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Date with Vue De Monde at Rialto Towers |Melbourne

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You may have seen the acclaimed Australian Executive Chef Shannon Bennett earlier this year and that’s because his appeared on MasterChef Australia with his mouth watering and nasty surprise: the theatrical warm chocolate and orange mousse from Bistro Vue. Bennett who is one of the world’s most talented chef at his restaurant Vue De Monde is widely recognized as one of Australia’s top 100 fine dining venues and most impressively it is situated at level 55 of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building. 

For a price tag of $200-250 per person for the gastronomes menu and a commitment to have the wine pairing as well, ranging from $30+ per glass is only appropriate. Ahh, this review is going to be long because the food is too good. Continue reading and you may drool. Just a little as each dish really plays on your mind.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (1)

We start off with compressed apple crisps with macadamia pureé. The crisps were a perfect crunch. It contained a nutty and sugary taste that seemed like a crime to eat with the compressed macadamia puree being intense. You’ll be nuts not to eat this because it almost tasted somewhat like Kettle chips, but only in a “healthier” form.

As far as first impression goes, two thumbs up.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (3)Compressed apple crisps & macadamia pureé

From this point onward, the menu was on fast-forward mode.

With no menu in front of me, Vue De Monde decides to keep it all mysterious or perhaps YOLO style. Our next snack was the pine smoked salmon pearls. I had absolutely no regret eating the colourful mini vegetable garden on a plate with that heavenly intense burst of flavour from the salmon pearls. It was impossibly difficult to pretend I didn’t like this dish.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (5)Middle: Pine smoked salmon pearls

I may have studded when I devoured the CANDY COATED smoked eel with a bit of caviar sprinkled on top and tucked underneath, white chocolate. I had immense fear this would vanish quickly and I was right. I enjoyed the savoury flavour and light candy crunch, but what was mind-blowing was that delightful buttery taste coming from the chocolate. I completely lost my mind…

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (4)Smoked eel, white chocolate, caviar

Next on the entrée menu the BBQ lamb heart and duck tongue with a dash of pepper. I was utterly shocked to see these quirky parts of the animal in the menu, but that didn’t stop me from eating it. I wasn’t expecting this to be super impressive with that generous amount of caramelisation and light smokey smell, but after one bite it changed my perspective. I loved it. To accompany these BBQ meat I had to order a glass of NV Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Reserve’. This bubbly had its own personality with fresh floral notes.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (8)Top right to bottom right:  BBQ lamb hearts, Duck tongue w mountain pepper

Left: NV Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Reserve’, Reims, France

Soon after that oysters arrived with a citrus taste. They were fresh and creamy, just the way I like it, classic and simple.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (9)Oyster

Just when I was so convinced that the snacks were over, here comes a massive piece of Himalayan pink salt rock and as a bonus we get front seats watching thick slices of salt-cured Flinders Island wallaby being rolled up at our table.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (6)Prepared at the table 

The wallaby was pretty damn good with a drop of green herb puree. It almost had the same texture as a tuna sashimi, but slightly tougher and leaner. But yeah more of the wallaby would’ve been good because everything tastes better with pink salt rock.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (7)Salt cured wallaby

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (10)Vue De Monde’s open kitchen

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (11)At this point I realise that each of those rocks  were hand-crafted.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (12)Felt like I was eating with the Royal Family with these cutlery.

Now can we start on the first course? :D :D

The Spanish mackerel with cylinder potato filled with chicken puree and on top a teaspoon of caviar was simply perfect. The square piece of fish was fresh and succulent. My goodness the light crust was enough for a crunch but not enough to take over the entire dish. Now the quince sauce offered a sweet balance and tied together beautifully with the thinly sliced potato.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (14)Spanish mackerel, potato, chicken, caviar

I had no clue where the chef came from, but I was so excited to watch first-hand what he was preparing for me next. The chef explains to us that we are having Blackmore wagyu.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (15)

I know I am having meat…

Fast-forward a minute later and it’s just oh so right watching wagyu being cooked like that. VDM knows how to serve me well. Medium rare please chef.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (16)Blackmore Wagyu “steak & onions”

So okay, yes I was drawn to this dish and it wasn’t just because VDM served wagyu…*rolls eyes*. I hearted that meat with the sauce which had the right amount of tenderness and were balanced out with the smoky scent in the air with a hint of pepper. Besides that piece of meat the garden greens looked astonishing.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (17)Adding the final touches

Baby I lost my breathe at my first bite of the wagyu. I just couldn’t keep up after that. I particularly liked the texture and I wish I could have a larger portion.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (18)Medium rare is just the way I like my meat

Not sure if you can handle this but this has got to be the best theatre experience I have ever had for pallet cleansing. You can’t go wrong with a bit of science especially when it’s liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen was poured into a bed of wood sorrell and this instantly snap-freeze the ingredients.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (19)Cucumber, wood sorrel

We were then asked to pound into fine pieces then a scoop of cucumber sorbet was spooned in. The result was freaken astonishing. Definitely super refreshing and no signs of it being tooth achingly. This dish was amazing and would return for that alone.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (20)Cucumber, wood sorrel

The kitchen sent us a small black leather pouch and in it contained a warm loaf of sour dough bread and to accompany hand churned butter. Somehow this just made my soul feel all fuzzy. I had no regrets covering my slice of bread with butter, NO REGRETS! As expected the butter was silky soft.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (21)Sour dough and house made butter

Excuse me but I think there seems to be a mistake. I didn’t order breakfast. In continuation of this mysterious menu, we were served with eggs on toast! Oh how I cannot resist this, especially when you can serve it with a glass of 2006 Louis Roederer Cristal champagne. I think this is called Champagne Breakfast“. And that kids is how VDM will spoil you for breakfast.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (22)“Champagne Breakfast”

This dish was TOP of my list at VDM because the textures were incredible and satisfied my tastebuds. That duck yolk and drizzle of truffle sauce did not disappoint. The crunch of the saltbush plus paper thin toast had my head spinning. It’s crazy rich, but you will not reach the overwhelmingly sick stage. Round 2, thanks!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (23)Duck yolk, pear, truffle

OOOOZY!!! Oh how I love a good runny yolk, soooooo creamy and so heavenly deeeeeeeelicious! Gotta love me some calories. Get that calorie action game face on!!!!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (24)

I don’t think you understand…this duck yolk belongs to me. 

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (25)Butter time!

Our next course was the three way marron. I had high hopes for this and I am glad it delivered. And while you are living the high life you might as well sneak in a glass of 2013 Bourgogne Chardonnay Domaine Paul Pernot. This wine maintains a great balance between fresh citrus notes and the lively acidity.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (26)Three Way Marron

The marron was super juicy, like, fully JUICY! I tell you this course was just pretty darn addictive. I smothered the marron into the super silky brown butter like full on. This baby marron has got to be right up there on my favourite fine dining course ever! I was pleasantly surprised how well the three way marron married so well together.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (27)Top left to bottom left: Brown butter, Marron & Marzipan

You know what’s perfect about this marron sandwich? EVERYTHING! Saving the best to last was an excellent idea. Not a single crumb was left behind and we all know that’s a really good sign. This delicate piece of sandwich required to be eaten with the hands and there may have been some finger-licking in between, so be prepared.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (28)Marron sandwich

OH NO! Savoury course is almost over and to be frankly honest, food coma had already been activated, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating the next dish. Ox tongue with beetroot and bone marrow sure opened new doors of discovering something adventurous. Greeted with a white powdered creme fraiche that visually looked dry but as soon as it lands on your tongue it instantly melted like a snowman that was under the sun.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (30)Ox tongue, beetroot, bone marrow

I had a bit of trouble trying to find the ox tongue but as soon as you scoop a tiny portion into your mouth there’s an enormous amount of meaty, creamy flavour laced with shreds of beetroot. Add a glass of 2010 Joh Jos Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese and you get a remarkable flavour.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (31)Can you spot where the ox tongue?

By now I mentally imagined I had gotten up and walked off the calories that I just digested. I did say mentally. Teehee. Helllllo butternut with sunflowers and passionfruit. This isn’t your ordinary pallet cleanser as I never heard these combinations before. Crunchy crushed sunflowers says howdy to my teeth with burst after burst of butternut and passionfruit flavour.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (32)Butternut squash, sunflower seeds, passionfruit

They tasted like summer with the fresh sweet fruity taste of the passionfruit. Sydney needs more of these nice light dessert to end the meal with.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (33)A ball of happiness

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (34)Spotted the cheese trolley!!! Say CHEEEEEESE.

I should have probably invested in 15 pairs of granny pants because I felt so overweight that I would require someone to roll me out of here. The goat’s milk with blueberries and fennel was welcomed to our table. Topped with sugary crystal that you could easily break with a spoon and the texture was sooooo fine with the similarity of a panna cotta times creme brulee that was served cold.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (35)Goat’s milk, blueberries, fennel

How can you decline chocolate soufflé when you get to witness the icing in action on your table? This dusting was going on for a solid 10 seconds. Shame it had to stop…

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (36)DARK Chocolate soufflé

BELLY SATISFYING souffle I have come across. I was not quite sure how I managed to finish this dessert but I did. It was light and fluffy with a knock in the face dark chocolate and an oozy molten chocolate centre.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (38)

To celebrate the end of our degustation a selection of petit-fours arrived. Get ready to BREATHE HEAVY. It’s nothing you’ve seen before. These salted caramel chocolate seashells had me eyes tripping. With sprinkled salt added to them I honestly couldn’t spot which one was the edible ones. AHHH sugar gods why weren’t the rest of those shells be made out of chocolate?!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (39)salted caramel chocolate seashells

We were offered jelly pennies and I liked the novelty but the taste wasn’t how I pictured. There’s a teeny wenny sign of alcoholic flavour but hardly noticeable, with a hint of sweetness made with it.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (40)Jelly pennies

Have you ever had menthol lollipops? For me this was my first time ever and there was rarely any actual menthol flavour, which is alright for me. Served frosted I digged the presentation more then the flavour. It looked incredibly kawaii. I seriously thought it was a cherry. VDM fooled me again! *applause*

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (41)Menthol lollipop

The famous cherry lamington was impressive. I can’t describe how wrong was I to believe yet again what you see is not what you get. This lamington was leaning towards a mousse cake and that cherry brings everything all together.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (42)Cherry lamington

ZOMG! Our degustation is finally over. Before I left the VDM building to head straight to the airport and catch my next flight back to Sydney, we were given a mini tour and we had to stop here to look at this spectacular view.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (43)This is what the view looks like at Vue De Monde.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (44)Yeah we are on level 55!!!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (45)Tiny bubbles…

I seriously didn’t expect to visit Vue De Monde in my final hours in Melbourne. Did I mention I ran straight to the airport to catch my next flight home to Sydney after eating this degustation. I now know the meaning of gastronome. I am belly satisfied :D :D :D

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (2)Woo-hoo I can finally tick this off my bucket list!!!!

Just when the fat foodie gang were about to walk out of there, we were given a really awesome surprise package for the “next day”. It’s hard to forget Vue De Monde when they shower you with more food on your way out.

What I truly loved about this experience was the creativity for every single dish that was served to us, the exquisite service and food combined with high theatre. OH and the goodie bag on my way out, which I highly recommend every other fine-dining places should have because adults still act like kids and this big kid loves little surprises, especially when it contains food.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (46)“For the next day” – brioche, honey, digestives, granola & tea

Photos by Vanny Tang

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