It’s always a little sad when summer ends. This year, saying goodbye was easier, though, with Clyde River rock oysters, Spring Bay mussels and Skull Island tiger prawns at the Pei Loves Summer seasonal dinner.
There was a lot of seafood served as part of the five-course summer menu; the cold spanner-crab gazpacho, the thin-yet-firm pieces of line-caught mackerel and the yellow-eye mullet with salt bush and ever-so-slightly-burnt onion. Dessert was mango sorbet with a hint of ginger and a rustic meringue with fresh fig and gooey white chocolate.
“It’s the philosophy of what we do in the kitchen on a weekly basis,” says Matt Germanchis, head chef of Pei Modern Sydney. “In summer I eat more seafood. It’s the natural progression.” If you missed out on this one don’t panic, there are still three seasons to come.
Suppliers have a huge influence on the Pei Modern kitchen. “I’m happy to move with what suppliers have. When you know the quality is there you don’t have to do too much to a product,” says Germanchis. “You can treat it with restraint. I believe restraint is respect for something as well.”
The seasonal dinners are a way to celebrate ingredients at their best. “We want our guests to understand the reasons why we’re doing it,” says Germanchis. “Our next dinner for autumn will be about knowing how game need to plump themselves up for winter, and that’s why autumn’s the best season to eat it.”
It’s the autumn dinner, with the rich game meats and wild mushrooms that Germanchis says he’s most excited about. “It’s probably the least-known of the seasons and in some ways the most delicious. It’s interesting working with little poultry and game birds.” Luckily it’s next up, so there’s not too long to wait.