Update (16 March 2018): This event is now fully booked, but there’s still one last opportunity to attend. Enter below for the chance to win a seat for you and three friends at The Family Table by Broadsheet and Brown Brothers.
Update (19 March 2018): This competition is now closed. Broadsheet would like to thank everyone who entered. The winner will be contacted on 20 March.
When chef Peter Gunn moved to Australia in 2009 from his native home in Wellington, New Zealand, he spent his first year working in a pub in the tiny town of Dunkeld, Victoria. He missed his mum and grandmother’s cooking every day.
“Mum was a single mum,” says Gunn. “She was always working and we lived with my nanna, so they both shared cooking duties. We were a meat-and-three-veg kind of family. Nothing was ever prepared at 10am to be served at 6pm, the way I do things now. But their food was always honest, clean and simple.”
Today Gunn is considered one of Australia’s most impressive chefs. The former Attica sous-chef and winner of the 2015 San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Pacific semi-final, now runs his own restaurant Ides, on Smith Street, Collingwood. On March 22 he’ll use the techniques honed there to host The Family Table – a one-off dinner party at the nearby Weylandts furniture store in Abbotsford on March 22.
Presented by Broadsheet Melbourne in partnership with Brown Brothers’ new release Patricia collection, named after Brown Brothers’ family matriarch Patricia Brown, the dinner will see Gunn revisit the food of his childhood with a five-course feast. Each dish will be paired with wines from the Patricia collection.
Gunn’s Family Table will begin with a glass of 2011 Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on arrival, followed by two unique dishes. First is a serve of Ides’s peanut butter on sesame toast, a riff on Gunn’s favourite “kiddie” breakfast. “We serve this in the restaurant and it definitely came from my childhood,” he says. “It’s cultured butter with peanut paste and copious amounts of Murray River salt. You’ll have to pass the jar around, it’ll be very familiar.”
This will be followed by a controversial inclusion for Gunn, a dish inspired by an ingredient he would dread seeing on the kitchen table as a kid: tinned beetroot. “We used to have salad nights,” he says. “Lots of raw ingredients were laid out and you’d make your own. I didn’t even know what beetroot was. A pickle? I never touched it but mum used to force us.”
Gunn’s reimagined take uses delicate spiralled sheets of beetroot, layered with horseradish sheep’s milk yoghurt and egg-yolk puree. They’ll be roasted and then fanned into a mille-feuille-like arrangement and served with smoked herring. “It’s going to look like a thousand slices of canned beetroot,” says Gunn.
A main of barramundi with black garlic and sweet corn, follows. Inspired by his mum’s fritters, it’s made from homemade creamed corn. “It’s still one of my favourites to this day,” he says. It will be paired with the 2015 Brown Brothers Patricia Chardonnay. “The dish is quite creamy from its buttery sauce which pairs well with chardonnay,” he says.
Gunn will add nostalgia with a lamb neck wrapped in parsley, that nods to his Sunday roasts, matched with both the 2013 Brown Brothers Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon and 2013 Brown Brothers Patricia Shiraz served side-by-side. Finally Gunn will cap the meal with a reincarnation of his grandma’s Eton mess, only this time the plate will be an elegant assembly of balls of macerated strawberry and elderflowers, served with coconut yoghurt, elderflower jelly and the 2014 Brown Brothers Noble Riesling to accompany its sweetness.
The Family Table by Broadsheet Melbourne and Brown Brothers Patricia range will be held at Weylandts in Abbotsford from 7pm, March 22. $90 per person covers five courses by Peter Gunn with matching Brown Brothers Patricia wines.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Brown Brothers Patricia collection.