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 


  1. Very good got a good memory, hope you got all the bloopers moments written down. We have an email full of them.

  2. Can I just point out it twas Braz who put the paua in HIS blender and left it going until it started to smoke and melt plastic parts...Chef Chicken would have said to "pulse pulse pulse"...Chef Braz and smoke were a common couple that day/night OMG....thank goodness the kitchen is still intact...AND let the record state it was Chef Braz trying to cut pasta squares on Shaza's GRANITE bench without a chopping board.....that boy has alot to learn!!!!