You know that you're winning when it no longer matters
It may have been a 25 year struggle, through industry ups and downs, culinary trend cycles and business challenges but the use of a growing number of Australian ingredients on international menus with scarcely a mention in restaurant reviews, apart from their suitability with the wine or complement to the dish, proves that our efforts are paying off.
The TasteDC folks have lined up 13 area chefs to cook some interesting dishes, many of which are reminiscient of that Marlon Brando-Matthew Broderick movie, The Freshman.
In the animals-you-don’t-see-on-the-menu-everyday camp, Bryan Davis of Chef Bryan’s Kitchen will prepare llama “sliders” and grilled crocodile tail, while James Phillips of the Fairmont Hotel’s Juniper restaurant will try his hand at rattlesnake gumbo and wattleseed-crusted ostrich leg roast.
Wait a minute…
Wattleseed-crusted ostrich? Yep. It’s the ostrich that’s weird so to make it appealing the chef used the magic Maillard mix that is Cherikoff Wattleseed to give the meat a richer roasted, nutty flavour. Read more about it in Jake Slagle’s Baltimore blog, Unique Culinary Adventures.
I also recently saw scallops in Wattleseed on a menu by Dewey Delosso’s Miami restaurant North One 10. Again, the dish was reported in the local rag without even a qualification or explanation as if everyone simply knows what Wattleseed tastes like.
And there’s my point. Authentic Australian ingredients are slowly becoming mainstream enough to not even warrant the focus they used to need. Go to Tocqueville in New York and their Wattleseed cheesecake screams out the door. Head over to Vosges Chocolates in Chicago or Las Vegas and order a Wattleseed and macadamia nut ice cream or look out for the Vic Cherikoff Downunder brand Wattleseed infused oil soon to appear in retail all over the USA.
So watch out North America. We expect you to adopt these little-reported ingredients as though they were the oldest known foods in the world. Oops. That’s right. They are just that.