Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 Wise Men - The Big Dinner Part 3: Bloopers - The Not So Wise Moments...

Unarguably the big dinner was a raging success, but there were many not-so-wise moments from the 3 Wise Men...

1. That hair... 50% rocker, 50% hippie, 100% GAY. Chef C, hoping to look like Jamie, but behaving like Gordon... Good god did someone deep fry his hair, it looks oilier than the leeks.

2. The first casualty of the day, Wok #1 meets its end courtesy of Braz. What a surprise... Braz explains that he was trying to smoke the duck "but the sugar gets really hot you know!"... So how did Braz destroy Wok #2? By doing the EXACT. SAME. THING. You know what they say...if you make a mistake more than once, its no longer a're just an idiot Brazza!

3. The mystery of the red dot...where are Braz' red dots on his Jamie Oliver pans? The great mystery of the night...According to Braz, Shaz burnt them off. 

4. Ralph in the kitchen, causing more havoc than help.

5. Special mention to Ralph who shirted up for the occasion, impressive! Chef C and Chef Chicken should take note - no point in shirting up if you're going to wear jandals (Chef C)...or worse, bare feet (Chicken - see below)! Ralph shows 'em how its done. Classy!

6. The paua incident was quite literally a "slip-up"...but no one seems to accept the blame. Chef Braz and Chef Chicken were cooking paua fritters side by side, when Chef Braz accidentally dropped some paua fritter mixture on the floor...Chef Chicken then proceeds to slip on the paua fritter mixure and fall flat on his ass. But thats not all...he THEN stays on the floor and clean his TOES while Braz continues cooking... Rumour has it he didn't wash his hands after playing with his feet. Chef Chicken claims its Braz' fault because Braz dropped the paua but Chef Braz says that's what you get for not wearing shoes in the kitchen!!!

7. The cauliflower we even need to say who burnt it? So how did Braz burn this one? For once, it wasn't because he turned on an element and walked away. No, it was because he turned on the WRONG ELEMENT and didn't realise. So while the cauliflower puree was quietly burnin' up, Braz was wondering why his sauce was not heating through like it was meant to...

8. Ralph being Ralph...

9. Braz...its not all good when you have to make a sauce 5 times. FIVE TIMES! So much effort, so little success.

10. Ralph eats so much he splits his shirt...

And that brings us to the end of the 3-part Big Dinner Series on BRAZ CAN COOK! I hope you enjoyed it...Please feel free to add to these bloopers... Tried my best to remember but think I missed some. I asked Braz if he remembered any but all he did was look at me blankly, shake his head and say "I don't make mistakes?"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3 Wise Men - The Big Dinner Part 2: The Dinner

The professional setup

The refreshing French Lemonade cocktails made by Ralph and Vaughan

Sharon and Bronwyn

Lee and Ang

The First Course
Sashimi tuna
marinated in soy/mirin w edamame beans salad and a wasabi dressing
Had no idea what edamame beans were until now...

Chef C applying the finishing touches

The colourful plating of the tuna...mmmmm! 

Yee Manor transformed into fine-dining heaven

The 3 Wise Men sit down to feast on their hard work...the start of a long night boys!

The Second Course
Paua fritters
w baby rocket and spicy chilli dressing
Paua fritters came at the price of a destroyed blender

Plating the paua fritters...rocket had to go on top or it would have been crushed

Paua fritters courtesy of Chef Chicken's mate! Thank you!

The Third Course
Caramelised sea scallops
on cauli purée served w baby peas
The Chefs had a big debate over how many scallops to plate...4 seemed right but 4 is bad luck in Chinese. Braz suggested "3 and a half!". Good one Braz!

My personal favourite of the night!

The Fourth Course
Oxtail ravioli
and crispy pancetta w wilted baby spinach and a rich beef jus

And the obsession with microgreens continues...

Beautiful presentation - looking sooo much better than the Test Kitchen trial!

Ready to eat!

The Fifth Course
Tea smoked duck breast
on wild mushrooms w deep fried julienne of leek and an orange sauce reduction
Heavy-handed Braz strikes again...

Crisped to perfection

Chef Chicken in the zone...A+ for effort and diligence

Braz genuinely believing he is Jamie Oliver

Sharon reassures Colleen that Greg and C are not having an internet affair despite them both sending pxts to each other at 12am, 2am and 4am in the morning...

Much to C's disappointment, Chicken and Braz banned Whitecliff from the kitchen

Antipodes...water for the pretentious

This time the fried leeks were actually fried and not burnt

A very generous helping

The Sixth Course
Beef fillet
and a beef port jus w poached prawns and a mango and avocado salsa
Everyone wants to be a Masterchef...

Eye-fillet cooked to perfection

The girls and Merv

The final main dish...a good old surf and turf.

The Seventh Course
Coconut pannacotta
w Seatoun vanilla bean ice cream 
Presentation by Murray and Lee

Always have a second stomach for dessert! Chef Chicken's home made ice cream was very impressive!

Colleen's home made macarons (yeah right!)

The 3 Wise Men and their lucky guests

3 Wise Men, 2 long months of preparation, 1 night to put it all together...And what a brilliant night it was. Great food and great company, I don't think any of the Chefs could have asked for more.

The night kicked off with a glass of French Lemonade, a refreshing cocktail now mastered by Vaughan after Ralph's quick training. 

The first course got underway with a little speech from Braz, who for maybe the first time in his life actually THANKED Shaz "because she says I never thank her...". Braz you probably should have mentioned that Shaz went out and brought all the ingredients, cleared the lounge and even moved in the tables, i.e. everything that was Braz' responsibility, Shaz took care of.

The wine started flowing, and it didn't take long for some of the girls to get a bit pissy, evident from the rising volume levels and shrieking laughter (Lee!). Stories from the past and accusations were flying...but we'll just say what's said on the table stays on the table.

Each dish was beautifully presented and well-received by all the guests. My personal favourites were the scallops with the yummy cauli puree, and the oxtail ravioli which was a refreshing change from the 'hunk of meat + garnish + sauce' formula. Although I can't get over how gross cooked spinach makes your teeth feel, so I had to avoid that!

If there was one criticism to be made, the portion sizes were slightly too big for a 7-course meal; by the end some of the girls were struggling to get through their plates. Big ups to Greg who consistently licked his plate clean!

Overall a highly enjoyable night was had by all...bring on the next one! Rumours are its in Jafa-land!

Coming Soon:
3 Wise Men - The Big Dinner Part 3: Bloopers - The Not So Wise Moments...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3 Wise Men - The Big Dinner Part 1: The Prep

Edamame beans and seaweed

3kg of freshly caught tuna!

Fresh paua courtesy of Dave's mate

The ingredients for the tea-smoked duck breast...oolong Chinese tea, orange peel, brown sugar, sichuan peppercorns and star anise

Shazza making worteps for the 3 Wise Men and their helpers...getting in her 11% effort score

Perfect! Every one looks the same

Before and after

Greg manning the deep fryer

Beer-battered tarakihi for lunch...CHOOOOICE!

...And deep fried kumara chips...SOME of which Greg peeled (duh...)

Sashimi tuna

Back to prep! Chopping the seaweed

CC's obsession with microgreens....

The eye-fillets getting tied and perfectly shaped

How many Wise Men does it take to make pasta???

Chef C chopping the ox tail for the ravioli

Intense concentration from Chef Braz making ravioli....without rice!!

The big day kicked off at 10am when the 3 Wise Men descended on the Yee Manor in Good Old Lower Hutt. Braz would like to point out that he was actually up at 6.30am slaving in the kitchen making the wortep filling. Not to be outdone, Shaz was also up at the crack of dawn at the markets and traipsed through 6 supermarkets to find 5 dozen oysters for lunch.

It was clear that each Chef naturally slipped into a certain role: Chef Chicken became THE WORKHORSE, relentlessly chopping paua, peeling prawns and making pasta; Chef C became THE DIC(K)TATOR, steering the ship and scolding Braz 80% of the time; Chef Braz thought he was THE LEADER but really he was just THE GUY WHO DOES WHAT HE'S TOLD - and even then he managed to destroy two woks (more details in the upcoming 'Bloopers' post, in which Braz plays a part in about 95% of all mistakes made...). Ralph, naturally, spent his time on the couch.

Lunch was quick and simple - beer-battered tarkihi, kumara chips, sashima tuna and Shazza's worteps. Despite Ralph's troubles with making a beer batter that satisfied Braz, and Greg's refusal to peel or scrub the kumaras (eww), lunch was beeeeeautiful. 

After the lunch the prep work was back into full swing. The two biggest tasks were the pasta making (which went horribly wrong in the first Test Kitchen) and blending the paua for the paua fritters. It soon became clear why the pasta was such a disaster in the Test Kitchen when Chef Braz started measuring the flour for the pasta. According to Braz: 1 and bit cups of flour (Braz' measurement) = 2 cups of flour (the recipe requirement). He then attempted to justify his sloppy measurement skills by insisting that "Jamie Oliver doesn't measure things!!!! He just chucks ingredients in like that!!".....Yeah Braz, cos they are pre-measured for him you dork! After a more accurate measure, the pasta turned out far better than the Test Kitchen run, much to the relief of all the Chefs.

After the pasta dramas, Chef Braz and Chef Chicken then went on to melt the plastic on Braz' food processor by stuffing hunks of coarse paua down the food chute...apparently lawyers don't do instruction manuals. 

After almost 8 straight hours of prep, the tuna was cut, the ox tail mashed, the microgreens split into colours, the edamame beans shelled, the pasta made, the prawns shelled, the eye fillet sliced, the duck tea-smoked and the chefs were ready to put it all together.

Coming soon...
3 Wise Men - The Big Dinner Part 2: The Dinner