Visa Wellington on a Plate Sydney launch: Stag Night

By Mariam Digges

Visa Wellington on a Plate Sydney launch: Stag Night
New Zealand’s coolest culinary festival, Visa Wellington on a Plate enjoyed its Sydney launch last night, with an adventurous degustation dinner not for the faint at heart.

Throw out any preconceived notions you ever had about stag night – the clever folk at Visa Wellington on a Plate have teamed up with Wellington head chef and owner of The Larder, Jacob Brown to breathe new life into the term. Serving up six courses of venison offal, a menu “deer” to Brown’s heart, Sydney-siders enjoyed a taste of The Larder’s nose to tail philosophy at renowned Bondi restaurant Sean’s Panorama. A former employee of Sean’s, Brown worked alongside his former boss Sean Moran to dish out a carnivore’s dream menu.

Kicking off with a fragrant, smoky venison broth with marinated heart, faro, celery and velvet (the soft, cartilaginous tissue inside the antler), the pace for the evening was set, reflective of Brown’s passion and ingenuity in the kitchen. Each course was teamed with a handpicked premium craft beer thanks to Wellington brewers The Garage Project.

Next up was ‘tongue and cheek’ – and quite literally so, with a salad of grilled tongue, braised cheek, capers, chervil and orange arriving in front of us. A finger-licking slider was dished out next, bursting with seared liver, baby beets and onions, followed by a crumbed sweetbread toast topped with gooey quail eggs and venison heart tartare.

And if you were expecting respite from the meat for dessert – think again; Jacob presented us with a nougat and tendon parfait with praline, thyme poached pear and prune oil – the caramelised tendon providing a crafty textural element to the sweet end note.

It was the perfect way to showcase the culinary festival, and just three three hours from Sydney, it’s never been easier to grab your knife and fork and head over to this celebrated food region this August.

Visa Wellington on a Plate is returning for its fifth instalment this 9-25 August, with more than 110 events on offer. For more details and to buy tickets, visit VisaWellingtononAPlate.com.

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