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Written by Lisa Moloney on June 16th, 2015

AMBASSADOR SERIES DINNER - REON HOBSON, PESCATORE, CHRISTCHURCH

It was the turn of our Christchurch based Ambassador Chef, Reon Hobson to host his Ambassador Series last Wednesday evening at the beautiful and elegant Pescatore Restaurant at The George.
 
For anyone who follows Reon on Instagram they will know that his dishes are a work of art - skilfully thought out and carefully constructed with each plate resembling a fine piece of art almost too good to be consumed.  However with each mouthful his works of art become gastronomic adventures exploding a myriad of taste and texture in your mouth and taking your taste buds on a culinary journey to be long savoured after the exhibition is over.
 
Upon arriving in the elegant white room with the floor to ceiling chandelier the scene was set for an evening of superb cuisine matched with fine wines from BlackBarn Vineyards.  As guests mingled and sipped on champagne ‘pebble’ canapés were circulated giving us a hint of Reon’s creative cuisine to follow.
 
1 1Once seated we were served an Amuse of lambs brain, pickled radish and a hot caper mayonaise delicately balanced on a beautiful river stone.  This was a taste sensation with a creamy soft centre and crispy exterior. 
2The next course was ‘Temperature’ - coffee cured beef topside with beetroot and pear.  This dish was a delight to the eye with the vibrant colour of the beetroot contrasting beautifully against the white plate.  This dish featured tiny cubes of tender topside complemented beautifully with the earthy flavour of the beetroot and sweetness of the pear.
3On to course three 'Umami' - miso lamb skirt with turnip, mushroom and cacao nibs.  This dish had a savoury aroma and the tender soft lamb skirt had a hint of smokiness which contrasted nicely with the fresh flavour and crunchy texture of the delicately shaped turnips.
4Now it was time to bring out the ‘big guns’ or should I say the prime cuts and moving away from the more delicate dishes we were served 'Texture' - lamb back strap, pearl barley porridge, seaweed butter and mushroom.  This was a stunning dish with the perfectly blushing lamb sitting atop a creamy porridge of pearl barley topped with a crispy tempura of mushroom.  The earthy flavour of the pearl barley harmonised perfectly with the subtle smokiness of the lamb and the savoury seaweed butter was a taste sensation.
5The fifth course was 'Taste' - beef fillet, peppered oxtail, morels and sourdough puree.  This was definitely a dish living up to its title of 'taste',  The flavour of the fillet was meaty and bold just as a good fillet should be, sitting atop a bed of soft and tender oxtail full of flavour with a kick of pepper tamed nicely by the delicious sweetness of the morels.  This was all tied together by the creamy sourdough puree and a vibrant swirl of watercress jus.
6Reon says he likes to take a light hearted approach to food and have a bit of fun with it and he certainly had fun putting a meaty twist on his dessert of  ‘Indulge’ – bone marrow & nutmeg chocolate rocks, suet sponge, parsnip ice cream.  Having spent the previous afternoon working in the kitchen at Pescatore I experienced firsthand, among other things, how to go about making bone marrow and nutmeg chocolate rocks (but that’s a story for another time)! 
 
The dessert was definitely indulgent and delivered with a touch of theatre as smokey vapours swirled off the chocolate rocks and was perfectly matched with Black Barn Single Vineyard Rielsing 2014 which rounded off a perfect night of experiencing some of New Zealand’s top beef and lamb dishes.
7To finish the petite fours were accompanied by an edible business card proudly displaying Reon’s achievement as a 2015 Ambassador Chef and once again showed his love of having ‘fun’ with food!

 

2 Comments

Gaby says ...
Another mouthwatering wee peek at an obviously amazing food journey. Very well written.
Gaby says ...
Another tantalizing peek into an amazing food journey.
 

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