Olive Long Table Lunch at Whispering Brook: Saturday, June 2.
The Whispering Brook Olive Long Table Luncheon is a celebration of great food, great company and friends. Sunshine or rain, it is a brilliant day to enjoy a long lunch of gorgeous Mediterranean-inspired food with matching wines, olive oils, live music and a special guest speaker.
Chef Andy Wright, of The Cellar Restaurant, is designing the menu and cooking on the day.
Here, he shares one of his recipes with Weekender readers.
Chargrilling gives the octopus a lovely smokey flavour that goes well with the heat of the nduja and the sweetness of the tomato.- Andy Wright
Chargrilled octopus, nduja, roast tomato, parsley and olives
The octopus and tomatoes can be prepared a couple of days before. Chargrilling gives the octopus a lovely smokey flavour that goes well with the heat of the nduja and the sweetness of the tomato. Best served with a chilled glass of great Hunter Valley Semillon.
Serves 4 to 6
1kg octopus hand
200g nduja (this is a hot spreadable salami that you can buy from most good delis)
10 ripe tomatoes
1 bunch thyme, chopped
1 bulb garlic, halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
A few bay leaves
1 glass white wine
100 gms kalamata olives
1 bunch flat parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Cut the tomatoes in half and gently score the flesh. Drizzle with olive oil, season and sprinkle with half of the chopped thyme. Place on a wire rack and place in a 120°C oven for an hour.
2. In a snug fitting pot with a lid, place the octopus, bay leaves, garlic, lemon juice, white wine and 1 litre of water. Slow cook for an hour and a half. Check that it’s tender.
3. Leave to cool, clean the tentacles of the dark skin.
4. Marinate with the remaining thyme, lemon zest and a glug of olive oil. Leave overnight.
5. To serve, season and chargrill the octopus for a few minutes on a hot BBQ. Serve with local olives, little pieces of nduja, warmed tomato and flat parsley leaves.
Andy Wright grew up in London and worked at an Italian restaurant after school and on weekends. Summer holidays were spent travelling around Europe with his family, in particular rural France where he loved to taste the local delicacies.
Completing his apprenticeship in 1983, he worked at various London hotels and restaurants and was head chef at the House of Lords in 1994. In 1995 he ran a private dining room for the directors of J Walter Thompson in Mayfair, London, before migrating to Australia in 1996.
He was sous chef at the Nikko Hotel, Darling Harbour, before moving to the Hunter Valley in 1997 where he was head chef at Roberts Restaurant. He also worked at Pipette at Cypress Lakes, then Seasons Restaurant at Hunter Valley Gardens.
He became a part owner of The Cellar Restaurant in 2002, and full owner in 2005.
Wright is passionate about sourcing the freshest and best quality local ingredients, combining contemporary Australian fare with European traditions.
Information courtesy of Hunter Culinary Association
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