Saturday, December 31, 2011

Papa Serra - Culinary Adventures in Barcelona

Now in Barcelona preparing dishes inspired by Papa Serra and every corner of his glorious Spain.

Prepared and hosted by Joel Serra Bevin

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Casa Iberica - the review

It shouldn't have taken this long for me to put up the Casa Iberica review up...blame slow-moving old media.

Currently dreaming up the next Global Gobbler menu for a table which is quite quickly reaching capacity.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Casa Iberica - food from a dinner party that never ended

Olives baked in white wine, lemon, rosemary and thyme

Steamed carrots marinated in fennel seeds, coriander seeds, sherry vinegar, orange juice, toasted almonds and mint

Salt cod salad with peppers, tomato, oregano and lemon vinagrette

Patatas bravas - potatoes with ...

Chickpeas with salsa verde

Prawns fried in paprika and served with romesco sauce

Baby cos lettuce with allioli and toasted pine nuts

Chicken slow-cooked in sherry vinegar and brown onion

Almond tart with mascarpone and mandarins marinated in saffron syrup and served with toasted pine nuts

The pre-dessert scene

Guest numbered nine and empty bottles at the end of the evening numbered 11. Is that the verdict of the dinner party right there?
Religion may have featured in conversation...

It was a pleasure and a priviledge to host such a fine group of people.
Reviews of the food and the evening to follow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Casa Iberica

A meal from Iberica.
There will be olive oil and sherry vinegar. Garlic and onions. Almonds and olives. Rosemary, thyme, parsley and oregano. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and greens. Sweet and smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds and saffron. Salt cod, chicken and prawns. Oranges and lemons.
Staples of every Casa Iberica.
Dinner will be held on Saturday 10th of April. At my house, which is sadly not on the Iberian coast.
There is limited space left at the table. Email me to reserve a seat.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Paella - the verdict

Yes, the book is called The Body is the Barometer of the Soul. It contains pearles of wisdom such as "Sore hips? Consider your relationship with your father" and "Sluggish digestion? Maybe you should be letting go of old regrets" and my personal favourite "Smelly feet? This may be due to lack of intimacy with your partner. Shower together as a way to grow closer and save water."

Yes, we all left dinner a little wiser.

The Review

I like food, a lot. And I've eaten quite a bit of it in my time. Most of it tastes good, but usually much like something I had last week/month/at an ethnic wedding. This was super yum, and unique. Smokey....tomatoey....not fishy but marinesque somehow. Great textures, popping peas, smooth rice and creamy onion-ness.

The biggest compliment I can give it is that I've never liked mussels before. ever. I ate them all. Plus prawns: heads, brains, shells, spindly legs included. Crunchy and aromatic and somehow disturbing, but fun. Queen of prawns indeed. Superb effort Joel.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Paella - farewell queen of prawns

A dinner to farewell a dear friend as she embarked on a future with no script.
Paella, a fitting farewell.

Oil and salt produced sweet, translucent diced onion and garlic. End of season de-seeded tomatoes were added together with smoky roasted red peppers and lemon wedges. Sweet paprika created a red background to which the real star of the dish was added, saffron, the stigmas of which had been infused in shellfish stock. Rice came next with more of the salty stock and parsley stalks offset the intense orange sunset filling the pan.

As the rice reached al-dente, fresh green peas bounced their way into the steaming pan. And then came the sea creatures: mussels, prawns and baby squid all played a part in lifting a pan of rice into a pièce de résistance.

Parsley to garnish and lemon wedges to serve.

At the table we had a iron woman with quads of steel, a Irish fly-in and out (four hours in Melbourne are always best spent eating in order to avoid 3,500 feet hunger pangs), a guy that can't be trusted in the presence of a smoke machine, a young lady with executive power and Jessamy, the original HLB.
Good luck with the horses, the grizzly bears, the maple syrup and the cowboys.
Verdict to follow.

Monday, March 22, 2010



Covered the streets of Rome to welcome the triumphant return of the Emperor Nero.

Enjoyed at Roman orgies as a broth to ensure Venus, the goddess of love, could be worshipped, energetically.

The colour of choice for Buddhas robes.

And most importantly, the founding flavour of the Paella.

A dinner party with only one course. Paella.

Sunday 30 March 2010. 7pm.

To reserve a seat at the table, email me

Monday, May 25, 2009

Catering in 24 hours

My first foray into catering took place at a friends exhibition titled The Future is Neon Bright.

Might give myself more than a day to prepare next time.

I could never have pulled it off without the help of MJ, Becki and Linda. Others deserving an appreciative beverage include Jessamy, Jordan and Croz.

Strawberries macerated in mint and lemon juice with a sweet balsamic cream

Persimmon wedge draped in brie and wrapped in prosciutto topped with honeyed crispy sage

Rosemary roasted beetroot skewered with goats chevre resting on crushed walnut lines

Ras el hanout spiced shredded chicken with currants, lemon and toasted almonds served on Turkish bread

Dutch carrots and parsnip spears roasted with maple syrup and served with Nigella-spiced Dukkah

Baby mushrooms filled with a roasted red pepper, white sherry vinegar pesto and thyme

Edible design – a palette of Milawa cheeses on canvas with fruit and nut accompaniments

Coconut lemon cupcakes iced with The Future is Neon Bright

Chocolate brownie cupcakes iced with Black + White

Stay tuned for the launch of a new high end catering operation. Perfect for the recession.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Master Chef Australia - The Poached Egg Guy

Not quite a MasterChef?

I made it through the tastings, the pressure tests, the mystery boxes and the invention tests. But it was the humble egg that got me knocked out. And the ongoing inability to cry on-demand also played against me.

Anyway - I had my time in the sun, chopping more fingers than onions, getting creative under the glare of the cameras with George telling me to 'clean up this mess, yeah?'

My 15 minutes may have passed but the recipe that got me through will live on in kitchens around Australia (unlikely).

Blackened corn topped with shredded chicken and a poached egg.
Chicken breast
Sweet corn
Spices (cumin, paprika cinnamon, salt, pepper)
Herbs (flat-leaf parsley, mint) Olive oil

For the chicken
Bring deep pan of water to a simmer with 3 cloves of garlic, a few stalks of parsley, salt and juice of half a lemon. Submerge chicken and poach for approx 10 minutes. Remove and rest on plate then begin shredding into strips using a fork. Place chicken shreds in a bowl and add lemon zest, handful of hydrated currants (place currants in cup of hot water for 30 min until plump), chopped parsley and mint (more parsley than mint), spices (more cumin than paprika and more paprika than cinnamon - maybe 1-2 tsp of cumin…and enough salt and pepper) and good olive oil - lots of the stuff. Go crazy on it and mix through until the chicken mixture becomes moist.

For the cornRub corn cob with oil and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Place in oven and grill for around 10-15 minutes until corn kernels begin to blacken.

For the poached eggTo poach the perfect egg, crack the egg onto a large spoon, such as a serving spoon, and gently lower into boiling water with a splash of vinegar if available. Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to hold the spoon while using another spoon to gently cover the egg (quinelle style) so the whites begin to whiten. Continue this process until the egg firms up and then allow it to slide off into the water to finish the cooking process - this final stage will only take 10-20 seconds.

To plate the dish
Shave the blackened corn off the cob and top with the shredded chicken. Carefully place the poached egg on top of the shredded chicken, dust with toasted cumin powder and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with shredded mint or parsley if you feel like it. Allow the yolk of the poached egg to 'dress the dish' as described by Matt Preston.

Enjoy with friends who don't wear cravats and forbid the use of the expression 'chop chop' or 'bags of flavor' or 'this is the most important dish of your lives.' Enough, back to my audience of two at home in Melbourne.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lunch of Gods - Sardines

In the fading days of summer I promised a couple of my favourite gentlemen the highly revered beauty from the sea. The humble sardine. Raised to new heights and worshiped.

A run and swim in the salty waters of Port Phillip Bay was the perfect preparation for the feast. KR took out the run, JB took on the sting rays while BM was too busy searching for the elusive red mullet.

First course - home grown watermelon (a horticultural success), mint, lemon juice and feta.

Next up - gazpacho (tomatoes, peppers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, soaked toasted ciabata, sherry vinegar)

And of course - the sardines. Served on garlic rubbed toasted sourdough with aioli, rocket and lemon.

Serve with cerveza while the salt dries in your hair.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Master Chef - Mystery Box - The Review

J Ho


Maker of all things salt. Most famously, the Salted Caramel Tart ™

Who would you trust more, someone with a crane or someone with a sharp knife?

Thanks for the review undercut – too kind of course.

The Review
Was it worth the battle?

The onion, the weather, the strange clucking animal with a disproportionately sized brain?

Well, luckily there were no onions involved and everything else was impressively creative, despite Joel asking for a harsh review. Oh, and the weather surprisingly didn’t throw me into oblivion, so, I might as well get to it.

First, the potato; presented as a rosti with rosemary oil and a white anchovy. There is a sign of someone who can cook (or possibly someone who can eat), and I believe that is someone who isn’t afraid to use salt. The rosti itself was a good platform for the anchovy and the oil, and despite what you usually get with rostis, not greasy. The only thing was that the rosti was too starchy and could have benefit from being rinsed in cold water after being grated.

The brussel sprouts were probably my favourite. Very simple and clean by being pan fried and served with crispy prosciutto, roasted hazelnuts and pan fried sage. The presentation of this became a little tricky, but negotiated in the end between a smash-pile and a bridge. The flavours themselves were very straightforward and, in lack of a better way to put it, ballsy. The saltiness of the prosciutto was cut by the freshness of the sprouts, which still held their crunch and mellowed by the nuts.

The next course I think was unconsciously presented. That sentence, though vague, can be explained. So, rocket, blackened corn, chicken which has been poached and shredded with raisins and a hard-boiled egg was presented as a nest; kind of fitting since, if you think about it, we were eating the mother and its unhatched spawn-ovum (not that this egg belonged to this particular bird). The chicken was a drier than Joel would have liked, but the corn and the egg hid that quite well. Quite a mild dish that followed such a gutsy second course, but its subtlety was appreciated.

By this stage, I was getting full, so I didn’t get to finish the dessert. Figs were cooked in a filo pastry with thyme, served next to salted-caramel walnuts and a goats cheese and vanilla icecream, presented in the skins of figs. A very impressively constructed dish, as pointed out, a play on a cheese board, so of course I liked it. The pastry was subtly sweet and ended with a savoury tone with the thyme, which went well with the salt from the walnuts and the goats cheese icecream. It seemed that no combination in this could go wrong, and had the textures and temperatures covered on all bases. The only thing is that the walnuts could have benefited from being toasted before covered in caramel, but that is only personal preference. Though, when I am full and keep going back, you know you have a gold star.

Oh, and I should probably mention this was all cooked on an electric stove and the oven broke. So, I say, thanks kid. I’ll come back when it is raining a second shower over me and blowing me sideways.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Master Chef - Mystery Box


Potato and lemon rosti served with white anchoy, rosemary oil dusted with paprika


Brussel sprouts pan fried in butter and sage lemon and served with crispy prosciutto and roasted hazelnuts

Poached chicken shredded with currants, roasted roasted almonds, flat leaf parsley, mint and a middle-eastern spice blend served with blackened sweet corn soft (hard...) egg and lemon rocket

Fresh figs baked in filo with thyme and honey served with salted caramel walnuts and figs filled with goats cheese vanilla ice cream.

The review to follow...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Master Chef - Mystery Box

The mystery ingredients for the next Global Gobbler menu - Master Chef style...

Potato (Potato, a mans vegetable - as George Calombaris would say*)

Brussel sprouts (Brussel sprouts, from Brussels - GC)

Chicken (Cluck cluck - GC)

Figs (Figs worked for Adam right? - GC)

*When we were doing the challenge, GC introduced our mystery ingredients with a byline as i've done above. The apple introduction was a laugh, valid point though, apples are "yummy"...

What to create from these mystery ingredients...

I'll have the timer going, the cameras focused and the host smiling, I might even try chopping onions again, without the blood loss sustained in the Master Chef studio...

Will I make it through to the next round or have to tearfully face the cameras and go home with a big fail??

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Master Chef - top 50

A week in Sydney to battle for the title of Master Chef.

And what a week it was - quality food (cooked by us, not the catering company), quality people (with the odd exception) and great TV (Channel 10 editing has a bit of work to do...)

So top 35 for Global Gobbler. Questionable given my inability to chop onions...

A menu inspired by the "Mystery Box" challenge - without pork - will follow shortly.

Let's hope the guests are as honest as the judges...although all cravats will be banned...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Master Chef - Take 2

Three dishes for Messrs Preston, Calombaris and Mehigan at MasterChef audition - day 2.

White gazpacho served Martini style with a toothpick of grapes.

Cannelini beans cooked with saffron, chorizo and thyme.

White witlof layered with aioli, marinated red peppers and white anchovies.

The food stood up apparently. The personality didn't. Advice from the judges: "More footy, less yoga, yeah?" Ha, thanks George.

No photos (cameras weren't allowed during filming) but MasterChef begins on Channel 10 in April/May and Global Gobbler may show up if the 'character' making spherical peas doesn't hog all the air time ; )

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Master Chef - First Take

A success. Soft pappardelle. Pungent pesto. Sweet confit tomatoes. And creamy labna with toasted pine nuts.

Through to round 2 of MasterChef...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Master Chef - First Take

First and only course

Homemade pappardelle tossed with freshly made basil pesto and topped with confit Roma tomatoes and homemade labna (yogurt cheese) coated in roasted pine nuts and thyme.

Basil and tomatoes from the garden (c/o JB's Vegie Patch - installing vegie patches across Melbourne. For enquiries call Joel or Jesse on 0438 329 218 or 0407 712 921. Marketing plug ends.)

Pasta from my Marcato pasta machine.

Labna made from Greek yogurt.

Global Gobbler takes on the masses.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pasta - 1st attempt - the review

Smiling happy people - review enough I think. A great group of people with many hidden talents.
-Jesse for pulling off the Don Burke beard.
-MJ for her photographer's eye.
-Jess for being most photogenic.
-Sarah for turning vinegar into wine.
-Jordan for his sense of justice.
-Annalise for seeing through Jordan's sense of justice.
These talents combined to produce an unforgettable game of Pictionary. The highlights being 'Pearl necklace', 'Pamela Anderson' and 'Psychiatrist'.
Pasta II is already taking shape...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pasta - 1st attempt - post-mortem

Loved the prawns with sidekicks of crispy sage and hazelnut salt.

Sourdough with honey and balsamic feta was ok - bread needed a good soaking in oil though.

Anchovy, almond and orange zest 'arrangement' was interesting - in a bad way...

Nice way to kick off the night - a plate full of prawns would have broadened smiles around the table.

Home-made spaghetti. The taste is almost fruity rather than simply a plate of carbs. The walnut, tomato and roasted pepper sauce was luckily subtle and the buffalo mozzerella with basil lifted the whole dish.

Pomegranate, zucchini ribbon and parmesan was an experiement that worked. Sweet, creamy and sharp.

Almost a shame to put anything on the pasta - some extra virgin, garlic, salt and pepper. Love match.

A sharp, almost too sharp, lime curd - overdid the lime juice a little I think... And if you can't decide between sour cream, yogurt, mascaporne or cream - give quark a try. Whipped with vanilla bean and topped with lime zest.

The food was good, the people were better.

On the night I fell in love with my Marcato pasta machine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pasta - 1st attempt

A pasta machine lay waiting for some attention. The first weekend without plaster on my recently-broken arm presented the perfect opportunity to test it out on friends who would either enjoy the food, or drink enough that it would appear they enjoyed the food...

No real theme behind the menu - pasta was the star.


Rye sourdough topped with feta and crushed walnuts marinated in honey, olive oil, thyme and balsamic vinegar and topped with fresh sliced cherry tomatoes.

King prawns marinated in sauvignon blanc, lemon juice, sage and olive oil then pan fried and served on wild rocked and sprinkled with hazelnut salt and crispy sage.


Fresh spaghetti dressed in olive oil and served with a walnut, garlic, tomato and red pepper sauce and topped with buffalo mozzerella and shredded basil.

Zucchini ribbon salad with mint, pomegranate seeds, shaved parmesan, olive oil and lime juice.


Baked lime curd topped with vanilla bean infused quark, topped with caramelised lime wedge, lime zest and fresh raspberries.