French Chef Serge Vieira put in a guest performance at Sydney’s Bilson’s this month as part of the annual culinary festival CuisineNOW. This red hot rising star was awarded a red hat for his restaurant Serge Vieira in the Cantal by the Guide Michelin. So when talent like this makes a more than flash in the pan visit, what’s a girl to do? Three girls in fact, as we called a special meeting of our girls night out to check out his fresh French flare.
We chose the full tasting menu with matched wines (when would we get another chance?) and Sydney’s own young rising star Richard Hargreave of Bilson’s restaurant explained to us “It was a delight to match wines to Serge’s food that had an elegance comparable to his cuisine. I looked for wine with subtle nuances rather than big fruit flavours that mirrored the clean precision of his food.”
Duck and Ginger
2002 Moet & Chandon Grande Vintage, Epernay, France
Homage to the Great Barrier Reef
Roast Gambas, Oysters, Vongole, Mussels, Abalone and Razor Clams under the ‘sea’, a fine film of Citron jelly
2008 De Bortoli Reserve Release Sauvignon Blanc, Yarra Valley VIC
Crayfish, Coconut, Beetroot
Butter Roasted Marron Lobster, Varietal Beetroots and Crayfish Ravioli with Coconut Milk Pasta
2009 Chateau D’Esclans ‘Whispering Angel’ Rosé Provence, France
John Dory, Thyme, Lemon
John Dory, Kohlrabi dressed Thyme and Lemon Grass
2009 Marcel Deiss Pinot Blanc, Alsace France
Rosé Lamb Saddle with Braised Lamb Belly Croquet and Eggplant
2008 Crozes Hermitage Dard & Ribo, Northern Rhone France
Cheese from Auvergne
Cantal, Blue d’Auvergne, Saint Nectaire, Fourme d’Ambert
2009 Fleurie ‘Les Morieres’ Dom. Chignard Beaujolais, France
Apricot, Wattle Seed
Apricot Clafoutis, Apricot Cream, Cannelloni, Yoghurt and Wattle Seed Ice-Cream
2006 Pressing Matters R139 Riesling, Coal River, Tasmania
Strawberry, Szechuan Pepper
Strawberry and Rhubarb Tartlet, with Szechuan Pepper and Honey Ice-Cream
2008 Mas Amiel Maury Rouge, SW France
Partner in eating Fi Bendall loves the people side and described Chef as a “totally gorgeous, tall, dark, handsome chef that makes ladies swoon”. I’d tend to agree with Fi that he was gorgeous, and was truly delighted when he went from table to table (and … when he signed our menus) but must admit it was his cooking that made me swoon.
I think we all agreed that the Australian inspired “Homage to the Great Barrier Reef” was the outstanding dish of the night. Fi called it “meal erotica”. Of all the photographs, I don’t think I captured just how much this looked like a rockpool. It was light fresh and inspired.
The god daughter of Australian cuisine (that’s the daughter of Tony Bilson the godfather) Lily Bilson was attentive and informative and as with the food, wine and the rest of the team that night, young and light. I don’t think she knows how much she knows. How could you when you have born into such a family, know how much you just … well … gain by osmosis? She lightheartedly told us that her favourite cheese was respresented in that night’s selection. Fi was so totally delighted when she asked Lily what Tony cooks at home … and she replied … chops and mash (well … sometimes anyway …)
No photo’s of me, but I took some of the girls. I guess two out of three ain’t bad, as far as photo’s of us girls go. It was definitely three out of three for the taste of Vieira’s Cantal though : food wine and service – were all superb.
27 O’Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 8214 0496