Luv-a-Duck Dux Kitchen with Adam D'Sylva
Adam D'Sylva is one of Australia's premier chefs and he has got behind top notch duck producer Luv-a-Duck for a pop up sensation in Melbourne. For one night only The World Loves Melbourne was treated to a stunning 8 course degustation featuring Luv-a-Duck dishes with a twist.
Of course Adam has distinguished himself as executive chef of Tonka and Coda, just to name a few. He is someone we see at many Melbourne events and is as much a Melbourne identity as he is a chef.
Thanks to Rising Wines in Yarra Valley for top notch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Plumm Glassware.
The pop up restaurant was located at Rokeby Studios an event space in Collingwood. Some 40 of Australia's top influencers were present from celebs to food bloggers to lifestyle bloggers and the like. It was great to catch up with foodies from interstate
The event took a twist when Adam D'Sylva announced he had been mentoring 8 amateur chefs in the kitchen to produce the first class dishes for the dinner - showing that anyone can make excellent duck dishes at home with Luv-a-Duck.
First dish was Tea-smoked Duck Breast Rice Paper Rolls. These were delicious with smokey flavours shining through and tender duck breast. The rice paper casing was delectable itself and the fresh hit of basil leaf welcomed, as well as the rewarding hoi sin sauce and crushed peanuts. A nuance of fresh chilli gave a slight "kick". Dip the rolls in the sauce.
The Hoisin Mayo Duck Baos were compelling. As a bao lover I was keen to try this dish, showcasing the versatility of Luv-a-Duck. Fresh tender bao with filling of tender duck, coriander and onion, as well as hoisin sauce and the surprise ingredient of mayo. With a spare bao on the table I managed to reach across and devour it. So delicious.
An exciting dish easily created at home is the Peking Duck Soba Noodles. In fact we were given the ingredients in a goodie bag to make this dish at home (along with Rising Wines Pinot Noir and Plumm red stemless wine glass). Soba noodles are light and when combined with the Asian sauce are the perfect accompaniment to the duck.
Extraordinary also was the Duck Bolognese with Gnocchetti Sardi. Here we were in fusion territory. This was my first experience of a duck bolognese that I can recall and I want more! A rustic dish that I could eat all year round. Judging from the groans at the table it was a real crowd pleaser. The cheesy element added to the rustic pleasure.
Crispy Skin Duck Breast with Ponzu Dressing was another chart topper. The key is the crispy skin and we all love crispy skin duck. Of course you also want the duck flesh to have a pink tinge. Ponzu dressing is tasty and zesty and we were able to dip the duck in the dressing.
Along with the crispy duck was Duck Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Anything rendered in duck fat is a hit in my view. These brussels sprouts had a crunch and were firm not overcooked. A great combination.
A dish that many felt was the pick of the evening was the Red Duck Curry. Adam is known for his red duck curry prowess. Presentation was top notch - are we sure these were amateur cooks?
Crispy skin duck served with a rich looking and tasty curry sauce with crunchy lotus root chips. Some of the diners commented on the heat of the dish - some spice and chilli kick. When you cook at home you can always add your preferred amount of heat of course. I like to dial it up. The dessert of Chocolate Pot withCoconut and Duck Foam was compelling. I didn't get a photo because I was at another table swanning around talking to other Influencers when the desserts came around. Although I did manage to partake and it was top notch.
Amateur cooks were sensational! We can all do it!
Thanks to Adam D'Silva, the amateur cooks, Progressive PR and Luv-a-Duck for a sensational evening.