Australia’s highly-awarded and only hatted, Aboriginal Chef Clayton Donovan along with guitarist and songwriter Darren Middleton from the iconic Australian band Powderfinger visited Mumbai to present a night of indulgence and fun with a one-of-a-kind fine food and live music experience at Grand Hyatt Mumbai recently. Suneeta Sodhi Kanga reports…
Popularly known as the “Tuning Fork”, the duo presented a unique cultural offering – Darren’s soulful voice combined with the exquisite Australian aboriginal and native Indian-inspired menu by Chef Clayton.
Executive Chef Jef Foster at The Grand Hyatt joined forces with Chef Clayton and Nikhil Agarwal from All Things Nice to create a five course dinner menu with indigenous Australian ingredients and Indian produce paired with a dozen wines – one Indian and one International label – for every course. The end result was some very interesting dishes and a whole lot of wine!
According to Agarwal, Chef Donovon who grew up in New South Wales and started learning about its native produce when he was four-years-old carried Aboriginal herbs and spices in his backpack on his flight from Melbourne. There were quaint and unfamiliar names that evening like – white lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, pepperberry, Quandong – a local peach, macadamia oils and Aboriginal salt.
Along with the above, the local Indian influence was apparent too. We tasted dishes like, “chilled pea and native mint soup with a jamun berry sorbet served with a rava dosa crisp”, “lamb loin with Indian spice rub, puréed lentils and a wattleseed jus”, “seabass flavoured with Maharashtrian dal, coconut and curry leaf topped with a pani puri” and for dessert a “pepperberry crème brulee, raspberry coulis with wattleseed ice-cream”. The dessert was served with Patrón XO coffee Tequila.
The wines ranged from Chandon Brut, York and K1 Sauvignon Blancs, Grover La Reserve Blanc, Domaines Barons De Rothschild Los Vascos Chardonnay, Fratelli Vitae Sangiovese, GMH Pinot Noir, Sula Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, De Bortoli Woodfired Heathcote Shiraz and the Nederburg Reserve Shiraz.