When I get invited to a seafood dinner, I usually shut up and don’t question it. But when it’s hosted by two gentlemen I’ve never heard of, research must be done.
Kindly invited by the fine folk over at Drysdale Communications to a special dinner filled with incredibly fresh seafood by John Susman and amazing butter by Pepe Saya with the seasonal set menu especially created by Chef Justin North.
So who are these gentlemen?
John Susman of Fishtales is regarded as the foremost authority on seafood, not just in Australia, but all over the world. With over 22 years experience in the seafood industry and a number awards and acknowledgments, John Susman is the definitely the right man for the perfect seafood.
Pierre Issa aka Pepe Saya, a Lebanese-Australian connoisseur with butter running through his heart and into his veins. Operating since July 2010, Issa’s Tempe kitchen churns out three tonnes of butter a week and 6000 litres of cream. Even more appealing is that Pepe Saya is made and delivered daily, not frozen like imported boutique butters.
Intimately set on The High Table at the recently refurbished Hotel Centennial in Woollahra, we were all seated and ready to devour this succulent 5 course menu with matching wines.
Each dish was carefully thought out by Chef Justin North, putting together a wondrous and magical mix of John Susman’s fresh catch and Pepe Saya’s finely churned butter. All three gents explained each dish, where the ingredients came from and how it was made.
1st Course: Fresh and succulent sliced Mooloolaba tuna with Fraser Isle Spanner Crab drizzled over with Pepe Saya’s mouthwatering buttermilk. Paired with a glass of 2010 Croser Brut Vintage, Picadilly Valley SA
2nd Course: Juicy and well cooked Cloudy Bay diamond shell clams slathered with Pepe Saya’s bonito butter and albacore mojama. Paired with a glass of 2013 Garfish Pinot Grigio, Adelaide Hills SA
3rd Course: A Flavoursome Poached Cone Bay barramundi, new season Kinkawooka petit bouchet mussels with a ragout of leeks, cider all topped with Pepe Saya’s creme fraiche. Paired with a glass of 2013 Glenguin Semillion, Hunter Valley NSW
4th Course: Crispy skin North Queensland cobia palatably roasted in ghee over a spinach puree and a marvellous oxtail jus. Paired with a glass of 2012 Nova Vita “Firebird” Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills SA
And for dessert, 5th Course: Marinated mandarins, strawberries and topped with an unbelievably incredible mandarin sorbet, which is hands down now my most favourite sorbet I’ve ever had. Well done Justin! Paired with a glass of 2012 Fonda Moscato D’Asri, Piedmont Italy
A remarkably curated seafood dining experience put together by a chef, a fish monger and a butter maker. Hats off to all of you and to Drysdale Communications for making sure the night went perfectly. Definitely looking forward to their next dinner event.