Broadsheet’s new cookbook, Home Made, is all about home cooking. Specifically, the things Melbourne’s top chefs cook at home for themselves, friends and family. But we wanted it to be more than a straight-up cookbook. That’s why, in addition to 80 diverse recipes, the book contains features on how to organise a pantry, shop for kitchen essentials and more, including some first-drink inspiration for when you’re having people over. Here’s what a dozen top chefs recommend serving.
Hugh Allen, Vue de Monde
Champagne popped open with a sabre (sword). It started off as a bit of a joke at work, but now we always do it when we’re having drinks at someone’s house, without thinking about it. We just use the back of a bread knife. I like Ulysse Collin.
Andreas Papadakis, Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria
I love champagne. You can drink a nice one – like Larmandier-Bernier – all evening. Yes, it’s expensive but it’s always consistent, always amazing and actually goes with most meals.
Shane Delia, Maha, Maha Bar, Maha East
I’m always a gin and tonic guy, just because it’s nice and clean and easy to put together. At the moment I really like Four Pillars’ Olive Leaf Gin. But I’ve always got bottles of champagne in the fridge. The path of least resistance is the one that I like – something nice and quick.
Chavalit Piyaphanee, Soi 38
I’m a gin man. I have it straight with ice, or with tonic if someone doesn’t like it neat. It’s refreshing and complements Thai food – all spicy food, actually – really well.
Eileen Horsnell, Napier Quarter
A cucumber Martini. I do like an olive Martini, but if it’s to start a meal, it’s a bit much. Cucumber is nice and fresh instead.
Victor Liong, Lee Ho Fook
I’m a huge fan of a super cold gin Martini. Here’s a tip: pre-batch them, and pour them from the freezer directly into frozen glasses. When it comes to Martinis, the colder the better. The freezer Martini is dangerous, though, because it’s too easy to say, “I’ve had a hard day,” then later wonder why you’re suddenly quite so happy, and it’s because you’ve had three Martinis.
Jesse Gerner, Bomba, Añada, Nómada and Samuel Pepys
Manzanilla, which is a really light sherry. It’s quite minerally and works well with cheeses and oysters. It’s a great kick off. At home, I do this play on the original idea of tapas: I pre-pour all the glasses of manzanilla, then put a slice of bread with some jamon or cheese on top of each one. So if you have a dozen people coming over, you can have it all set up on arrival so everyone gets a bite to eat right away. And if it’s a hot day and there are flies around, the bread keeps them out of the glasses. Look for La Goya manzanilla, which is easy to find.
Dave Verheul, Embla
I’m a bitter drink nerd. I actually have my own vermouth label – Saison Vermouth. So it’s vermouth on ice, with a wedge of citrus. It’s sweet, bitter and the ABV isn’t too high. And you can chuck a bit of soda or tonic in there and make it even lighter again. It’s aperitivo for a reason – it’s there to whet your palate and make you hungry.
Joey Kellock, 1800 Lasagne
It’s funny, I don’t have people over very much, but when I do I’m a sucker for a Negroni. It knocks a good solid edge off in one go. It just tastes so good, and it’s so simple and so nostalgic – it’s filled with so much feeling. It’s just the king of cocktails, the king of mixed magic.
Almay Jordaan, Neighbourhood Wine and Old Palm Liquor
I’m plain, simple and very much inspired by Elizabeth David’s book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine when it comes to eating and entertaining. But I have my husband Simon [Denman, co-owner of the two restaurants above], who is literally my personal sommelier. The last wine I liked was Anne et Jean-Francois Ganevat Chardonnay, from the Jura in France. I don’t like typical chardonnays, which are big, buttery and heavy. This one is really different.
Matt Lane, Mamasita and Hotel Jesus
A classic Margarita shaken up with tequila, Cointreau, agave syrup and lime, then poured over ice into a tumbler. It loosens the lips and reduces social anxiety among the group quickly. But if it’s a daytime thing, an Aperol spritz or another spritz. They’re a bit lower alcohol; not as intense. You can drink a few and they don’t knock you for a six. And for guys and girls alike, everyone enjoys a spritz.
Shannon Martinez, Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli
I generally like to start the party off with shots of tequila, just because that gets everyone in the mood. Then maybe a gin-based cocktail, like a White Lady or something. They’re pretty nice. Then move onto wine, and then back into the shots.
This is an extract from the Broadsheet cookbook Home Made, which features 80 diverse recipes for home cooking, sourced from Melbourne's best cooks, chefs and restaurants. Published by Plum, the book is available for $49.95 at shop.broadsheet.com.au