The sunlight-drenched, vinyl-soundtracked Woollahra institution, Chiswick, is a where elegance meets intimacy. It's a kitchen evolving the planted-to-plate ethos of its founder, Matt Moran, for the inner-city foodie – and now, it's under the helm of a newly appointed head chef named Daniel Cooper.
Cooper’s culinary origins stem from his hometown of the Hunter Valley (NSW), where he quickly fell deeply in love with the hospitality world upon finishing school. In the years since, the chef has worked in top restaurants in bothand internationally, and was most recently executive chef at St Kilda’s The Prince.
The new head chef will be making his first mark on the menu by curating their special Chiswick'sCollective Menu (available from Monday, 27 November), continuing to draw inspiration from great produce, grown in the establishment's own on-site kitchen garden, and driven by the changing seasons.
While we anticipate Cooper's gustatory festive-season takeover later this month, Chiswick has generously shared with RUSSH a recipe for one of their classic spring dishes: Chiswick's Spring Zucchini Flower Recipe.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 fresh zucchini flowers
- 50g buffalo or goat’s curd
- 20g Chiswick marmalade (ingredients and recipe below)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 lemon
- Tempura batter
- 50g rice flour
- 50g corn flour
- 75ml cold soda water
- 2 oranges
- 2 grapefruit
- 2 lemons
- 2 limes
- 500g sugar
- 1 bay leaf
Fried zucchini flowers
- 50g plain flour
- 100g tempura batter
- 500ml cooking oil (rice bran or canola)
Prep time: 12 hours (this includes the preparation of marmalade the day before)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
To make our house-made Chiswick marmalade, start by peeling the oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. Dice these citrus peels into 5mm x 5mm pieces, and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice from the peeled fruit, and then roughly chop the remaining fruit into pieces. Add the juice and fruit into the bowl with the peels. Add 500g of sugar and massage with the ingredients for two minutes. Cover this mixture with cling wrap and let it set overnight. The next day, transfer the mixture into a medium saucepan and over a low heat cook slowly until the mixture has thickened (like jam). Once thickened, you have made marmalade – transfer into a jar, and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
For the tempura batter add rice flour and corn flour to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together. Gradually whisk in your cold soda water until you achieve a light batter (this will be able to coat the back of a spoon). Adjust the thickness as needed by adding more soda water. Once at the level you desire, refrigerate the batter until use – give it a quick whisk before using.
On the stove top, heat cooking oil to 180 degrees celsius in a deep pot. Dip your zucchini flowers into a bowl of plain flower, coating them lightly. Shake off any excess flour, and then dip into your tempura batter – ensure they are evenly coated all over.
Hold the flowers above the batter bowl and let the excess batter drip off, before placing them gently in the hot oil. Fry the flowers for 1-2mins, or until they become crispy and golden. Remove from the oil and drain on a tray lined with paper towel. As they drain on the tray, season the fried flowers with a pinch of salt, and the fresh zest of a lemon.
To serve, choose your favourite serving plate, place two spoonfuls of the curd onto the plate. Create a small well in the centre of the curd using the back of a spoon. With a new spoon, scoop 1 teaspoon of your Chiswick marmalade into the well of the curd. Carefully place the crispy fried flowers on top of your curd and marmalade combo, and enjoy!