Meet your Maker - SA Local Produce Dinner

Meet your Maker - SA Local Produce Dinner at Maximilian's - 15 Onkaparinga Valley Rd Verdun

 


I was recently invited to attend the ‘Meet Your Maker’ dinner at Maximilian’s by Dougal McFuzzlebut as part of the Tasting Australia festival. I was a guest and all food and drink was provided. As a very vocal supporter of the Eat Local South Australia program, and anything else that supports South Australian food, wine and produce, you can imagine my excitement when Dougal invited me.
Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
The long table
The dinner involved being introduced to some of SA’s best local producers, eating their wonderful products, and having the opportunity to meet and taste some of Maximilian’s Head Chef, Shane Wilson’s cooking. All this while enjoying the company of fellow bloggers, the producers and other passionate SA people made for a great evening. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
The menu
The meal was a 5 course degustation featuring Fergusons Australia seafood, Pangkarra Foods pastas and Wakefield Grange meats all matched to SidewoodEstate wines and a cider to try too. During the evening, the guests had the opportunity to hear from the producers, learn about their history, produce and even ask some questions. This made for some lively debate throughout the night from some very passionate South Australian producers and consumers. It made for an interesting twist and provided a great backdrop to the food and wines we were consuming. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Head Chef Shane Wilson  plating appetisers
I was also offered access to Head Chef, Shane throughout the night, and had the unique opportunity to meet Shane, watch him and his team in action, learning about some of the dishes for the evening and how they came about. Knowing this, I headed straight into the kitchen as I arrived, eager to watch some prep and have a chat. While we chatted away, I asked Shane where some of his inspiration for the nights meals had come from. He highlighted that late in the afternoon, he had the opportunity to head out to one of his local foraging spots and gather the pine mushrooms for the lamb dish along with different flowers and leaves for garnishing. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Foraged mushrooms
Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Foraged flowers
Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Foraged flowers
As things heated up, I decided that the kitchen was no place for a blogger with a camera. Soon enough, it was time to sit and get into the food for the night. First up we had the Pangkarra house-made bread, herb butter and labneh. While not wanting to fill up on bread, I could have eaten it all night. Fresh and crusty with some sourness from the labneh to cut through all that butter. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Butter and labneh
While we were nibbling on the bread, we heard from Owen Inglis of Sidewood Estate, and listened to the story of the winery and its successes, including a Top 5 Shiraz spot in the Winestate Magazine’s ‘Wine of the Year Awards’ for their 2012 Mappinga Reserve Adelaide Hills Shiraz.

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Winemaker speeches
Next up, we heard from Debra Ferguson from Ferguson Australia; learning about their history and some of their great seafood. Hearing how strict they are about their quality control got me excited about the two seafood dishes for the evening. The first was raw Fergusons kingfish, liver parfait, burnt onion and salsa verde. What came through the most here was the freshness of the kingfish and how Shane had managed to maintain the delicateness of it while matching it with the other strong flavours. This was matched with a classic seafood wine, the 2013 Sidewood Estate Sauvignon Blanc. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Fergusons kingfish, liver parfait, burnt onion, salsa verde
Once we had all demolished the lobster, we had the opportunity to listen to Katherine Maitland from Pangkarra Foods. Pangkarra are a great SA story; a 5th generation family farming wheat and legumes, sticking to traditional stone milling methods. Pangkarra Pasta aligns to this, and is dried naturally on rocks. It's made from 100% durum wheat, giving it great flavour and texture. 

Our second seafood dish was Fergusons lobster, Pangkarra linguine, lemon thyme bechamel, mustard leaf and popcorn. The lobster was again the standout here. I also enjoyed the linguine, and the dense texture it offered to balance the lobster. This was matched with the 2012 Sidewood Estate Pinot Gris. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Fergusons lobster, Pangkarra linguine, lemon thyme bechamel, mustard leaf, popcorn
The next dish was the Wakefield Grange lamb sirloin, sweetbreads, jerusalem artichoke and pine mushroom. The lamb sirloin was the star, the high quality was evident in the flavour and it was served perfectly medium rare. I could have eaten kilos of this. The artichoke puree was smooth, with a slight sweetness, balancing all the richness from the meat and mushrooms. This was matched with my favourite wine of the night, the 2011 Sidewood Pinot Noir. If this dish, with this wine, was on the menu here, I would return as often as I could. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Wakefield Grange lamb sirloin, sweetbreads, jerusalem artichoke, pine mushroom
The last producer we were to hear from was Nathan Wakefield from Wakefield Grange. I was particularly interested in hearing from Nathan, as I have bought a lot of his meat when he has been at the Lightsview Freshview markets. Nathan also takes his trailer full of meat to other farmers markets around the state, so look out for him. We were given a good education on how he treats his animals and how he can tell by the exact paddock an animal would have been grazing in. I personally love the farmgate concept and have always found the products I've bought to be fantastic.

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Pouring the consommé
Once the last presentation was over, the next dish was the Wakefield Grange oxtail, Pangkarra ravioli swede, shaved tongue and fermented kohlrabi, served with a consomm√©. This is only the second time I have had oxtail and tongue, and was again delighted with the taste and flavours. Both had been prepared by Shane using the sous-vide method and tasted soft and smooth. Combined with the slight chewiness of the Pangkarra ravioli, this was my favourite dish of the night. This was matched with the 2011 Stable Hill Shiraz, which had just the right depth to avoid overpowering the dish. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Wakefield Grange oxtail, Pangkarra ravioli swede, shaved tongue, fermented kohlrabi


Once I had finished the ravioli, and reflected on just how good it was with some of my fellow diners (all agreeing), I took the opportunity to visit Shane in the kitchen. When I arrived, he was plating the desserts. Somewhere between telling Shane how much I enjoyed the previous dish and how good the desserts were looking, we got chatting about the use of offal. Shane mentioned that he had seen an increase in consumer acceptance of the use of offal and secondary cuts.

The dessert being prepared had an interesting flavour added to it - olive. I asked Shane how the inclusion of this came about. His approach here was the salty/sweet contrast, and as I found out later, it was a definite winner. As the desserts started leaving the pass, I said my goodbyes and thanks to Shane for giving me some insights into the night, and for giving me the opportunity to observe a working kitchen.

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Plating dessert
The last dish of the night was the dessert - Chocolate aniseed cake, olive and coffee ganache with a hand made ice cream and applesauce. The cake was moist, and was well matched to the coffee ganache and olive. The salty/sweet combination definitely hit the mark. I loved the handmade ice cream and its sweetness. This was the only dish that I felt had too much going on all night, and I didn't think it needed the apple sauce. Considering how many different products and flavours were present throughout the evening, this was the exception. The dessert was served with the 2012 Sidewood Mappinga Shiraz. I was hoping that we got to try this award winner, and I was not disappointed. 

Adelaide, Maximillian's, Meet Your Maker
Chocolate aniseed cake, olive, coffee ganache
Overall, I had a wonderful evening, eating great food in good company. Nights like this remind me that we South Australian's are a lucky bunch. We are surrounded by great produce and wine, and very passionate producers, much of it some of the best in Australia. Next time you are at the shops, take a second to think about the products and where they come from. Take the opportunity to buy from a local SA producer and support great programs like Eat Local SA.

If you like the sound of the SA Local Produce Dinner, Maximilian's (as part of Aussie Wine Month) are hosting a Adelaide Hills Regional Heroes Wine Dinner this Thursday, 29/05 and the menu looks great. Check it out if you can.

Producers that were a part of the evening included;

Sidewood Estate: www.sidewood.com.au

Ferguson Australia: www.fergusonaustralia.com

Pangkarra Foods: www.pangkarrafoods.com.au

Wakefield Grange: www.wakefieldgrange.com.au

Maximilian’s Restaurant: www.maximilians.com.au


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1 comments:

  1. Fantastic wrap-up Nathan and I'm so glad you enjoyed the concept, venue, food and of course all of the amazing producers, who without their products I would not have been able to carry out these events.

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