the tasting menu

THE SIX-SEAT CHEF COUNTER | SKETCH BY AMANDA HORN

It was a privilege to be deprived of the luxury of choice in this intimate dining setting. Denied a menu to preview, the meal became a conversation; a sensory exploration of the succession of flavours and the stories of each plate told by their creator, Chef Matty Cowan. As the…

garnish

his fingers were caught in the sticky aftermath from gnawing on my baked, sugar-coated skin. he teased me, his sinful confection, like taffy — biting me, playfully pulling and stretching my softened peel with his teeth.

WHISK TOGETHER 2:1 ratio of white sugar and water in a small saucepan. ADD…

|afəˈgɑːtəʊ| Drown me in a warm bath of coffee and cream liqueur, for I am an icy scoop of gelato longing to be an affogato.

She pours herself over me — a scalding flood of espresso; shockingly soothing as I take the shape of my cup — my skin softens and slowly slips away. Drown…

So, how do you cook an octopus? Hot and fast? Low and slow? Cork, no cork? Whatever you do, remove the beak and curl the legs. Watch them coil and curl — retreating into themselves as if touching the scalding hot water breathes life and colour back into their body one more time.

Have you ever hovered near an octopus den and seen one glowing eye stare you down? The mound of clean, picked-over seashells was your first clue that you are not alone on the reef. Have you seen her wobble across the ocean floor, like a waddling old lady dressed in…

Hey chefs, I’ve got one simple question for you.

I thought that it was a simple question and expected simple answers. What is your favourite sound in the kitchen?

I should not have been surprised, given you chefs are a self-reflective, introspective bunch that can translate memories, emotions and experiences into deliciousness. With each Instagram DM I sent, I…

It was my first time knowingly poaching something. I boiled a two-to-one ratio of sugar to water and toasted cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves in the cast iron brasier to release their aromas before cascading the bubbling syrup over them. Slowly stripping each of the fruits of their skin, I floated them on the surface of the warming, glossy lake of cinnamon-infused syrup. The pears stood upright, bobbing like buoys under a sunset glow, while the colour from the plums’ skin seeped into the liquid sugar, colouring it a pale candy apple red.

The pursuit of a pomegranate

Had I blindly reached into the bowl of fruit, I could’ve mistaken her for a worn leather baseball. I could barely palm two-thirds of her round, rough and thinning surface as I rolled her onto the counter and drew a knife across her midline. The halves toppled away from each…

From now on it shall be referred to as dinosaur kale.

The torch roared and spat hot ribbons of fire. Flickering streams of blue, orange and yellow intertwined, setting the waxy, leather surface, like that of a Jurassic reptile, ablaze. It crackled and snapped on the tray as it scorched beneath the flames — like a lizard, changing from a shamrock…

Amanda Horn

Food & Drink writer and stylist. Curating and capturing a life inspired by taste. Table for one, s’il vous plait.

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