Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents 200 SCOOP SUMMER 2010
FOOD + WINE cookbooks
by Russell Blaikie, $49.95,
o Russell Blaikie, the word ‘bistro’ conjures up imag es of Paris
and “bustling, busy and noisy mini-epicentres of great, simple
food being consumed with crackling baguettes and copious
quantities of Vin de Table”. For most West Australians,
however, ‘bistro’ means Must Winebar, the buzzy Highgate
hotspot that’s been packing them in for years. Proving his generosity extends
well beyond the flavour department, Russell has decided to tell all with Must
Eat, a 300-pag e homage to French comfort food, amazing wine and local
produce and producers. Thoroughly bitten by the book bug (Russ says he’s
got another book in him and is itching to put pen to paper), the celebrated
chef talks to Scoop about all things Gallic.
Q. Despite all the culinar y change taking place, bistr o-style food and dining ar e still
as popular as ever – why do you think this is? Bistro food is classic food and,
like fashion, the classics always stand the test of time. To me, a plate of
perfectly cooked duck confit with crackling skin, the fat rendered out and
with flesh that falls from the bone with the merest dab of your fork, is like
that expensive pair of Italian shoes I’ve worn for years. They’re comfortable,
timeless and always make me feel great when I slip them on.
Q. What’s the one staple any self-r especting bistr o should ser ve? Every great bistro
has a great charcuterie plate. It’s a rich indulg ence of porcine pleasure, and
Andre Mahe, head chef here for 10 years, is the best charcutier in Australia.
Q. How can you tell you’r e in a good bistr o? When the service, baguette
and Sancerre are all crisp.
Q. What’s the most important sentence one should memorise befor e entering a
Parisian bistr o? Je voudrais une assiette de charcuterie et une pichet
de bourgogne blanc. Mer ci. (I’d like the charcuterie plate and a jug
of white Burgundy. Thanks.)
Q. What’s your favourite part of the Must wine list to peruse? I’ve developed an
expensive red and white Burgundy habit. I’m amazed by the flavour and
textures chardonnay and pinot noir can take on, so I’m a constant student
of wines from that region – with lots more study to do.
Q. We’r e all envious of your physique – what’s your secr et? Having a wine bar
in Margaret River means I get to regularly indulge in one of my favourite
sports – surfing. I surf a 2.8m longboard. On most Margaret River trips,
I’ll call a g ood mate and spend some time in the water before g etting the
whites on and spending time with my great kitchen team down there.
It’s the ultimate combination of work and pleasure. S Must Eat by Russell
Blaikie ($49.95, UWA Publishing).
Russell Blaikie from Must Winebar launches his
first cookbook, packed with signature French flair
“Russ says he’s got
another book in him
and is itching to put
pen to paper”
words Max Veenhuysen
Chef Russell Blaikie shows
his expertise in the kitchen.
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