One of the small perks of running this food blog is that sometimes I get invitation to cool events that makes me realized that there are actually people who read this column.
Things got real a week or so ago when I got to meet one of the most recognizable faces on TV, especially for those who loves food. Yeap, we got to sample a four course dinner prepared by Chef George Calombaris, one of the judges of MasterChef Australia.
MasterChef Australia Judge George Calombaris in KL
First, the important bit.
The latest season of MasterChef Australia is aired on Lifetime (Astro Channel 709) every weeknights at 7 pm and 11 pm. If you’re a fan of this show, be sure not to miss it.
George was brought in by A+E Networks who runs Lifetime for a promotional tour of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta, and a lucky few of us got the privilege to be invited to this event.
A once in a lifetime chance for us to judge the judge, I guess?
chicken parfait with bitter chocolate baklava
The first dish of the night was chicken parfait with bitter chocolate baklava, coffee, cumquat, pickled onion and pumpkin seeds.
Yeap, a pretty weird combination of ingredients, and you could mistaken it for a dessert since the parfait actually looks a bit like a scoop of ice cream in the photo. However, they do compliment each other to offer a pretty interesting experience that I find myself enjoying.
green Greek salad with stir fry abalone
Second dish was green greek salad with stir fry abalone, George Calombaris has a Greek heritage, and Australia produces quite a bit of abalone, so put two and two together, you get this dish.
I love the contrasting texture of the puree, slices of asparagus, crispy kale, and of course, those abalone certainly contributed to add a dimension of richness.
poached chicken with miso hummus and green mango salad
The chef certainly does not shy off from experimenting with food. Our main dish was another creation that has elements of different cuisines all rolled into one.
The chicken meat is marinated before rolled into a cylinder and poached while secured in cling wrap, then there’s the miso hummus that has a hint of horse radish (or wasabi?) to it. Together with the green mango salad, you basically get to taste at least 3-4 different cuisines all in one.
This is a dish that I sorta struggled to enjoy, but I admire the bravery and adventurous nature of the chef, without the trailblazers like him, food would not progress.
My favorite dish turned out to be the dessert, what George Calomboris refer to simply as – chocolate cake. The richness of the chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, dark chocolate soil, chocolate ice cream, and some sweet foam all worked in a wonderful harmony that left us with a very sweet and fond memory, where can I order one of this?
babeinthecityKL and Kelly were among the audience to go up on stage with George Calombaris
The good chef also answered some questions from the audience, with my partner of the night and colleague Kelly asking George about his favorite dishes sampled in Malaysia (rojak). It was a wonderful night and yeap, this guy definitely is very well qualified to be judging anyone’s food.
I would like to thanks Rubini, Janet, Hui Jun, the good people of A+E Networks Asia for this opportunity.