One of the country’s most esteemed chefs has spilled his kitchen secrets after designing what has been dubbed Australian racing’s most luxurious menu ever.
Adam Hall, the Executive Chef of the Star Sydney’s Flying Fish, is the ATC’s Culinary Ambassador for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and is serving up a world-class culinary race day experience across key carnival events until April 15.
On Saturday, Hall’s team are preparing for day two of the The Star’s ‘The Championship’, which features four Group 1s, including the world’s richest 2000m race, the $4million Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Primed and ready to serve up to an estimated 2,000 fresh prawns, 200 locally-sourced mussels, and 100 lobsters throughout the carnival, the seafood pro is thrilled to be introducing some of his most sought-after dishes to race-goers alongside superstar chef Gerry Maher.
‘We had some amazing Mediterranean inspired dishes at Rosehill Gardens featuring locally caught Spanish mackerel with caponata and green olives and Spencer Gulf king prawns with oxheart tomato and blood lime,’ Hall told FEMAIL.
‘At Royal Randwick we have raw bar displays hosted in the conservatory where race goers can experience our amazing appellation oysters with fingerlime mignonette, smoked Jervis Bay mussels with macadamia and fermented chilli and Shark Bay scallops with pickled desert lime and lemon myrtle.’
But for those who can’t make it trackside this season, Hall has shared some of his top tips that will have you serving up marquee-worthy dishes for your own guests at home.
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Adam Hall (pictured), the Executive Chef of The Star Sydney’s Flying Fish , is the ATC’s Culinary Ambassador for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and is serving up a world-class culinary race day experience across key carnival events until April 15
For those who can’t make it trackside this season, Hall has shared some of his top tips that will have you serving up marquee-worthy dishes for your own guests at home
IMPRESS WITH LESS – CREATE ‘WOW’ MEALS WITH SIMPLE & AFFORDABLE INGREDIENTS
‘My go to salad for autumn would be smoked river trout tossed through with steamed baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and chardonnay vinegar. Simple, full of flavour and super easy to prepare,’ Hall said.
The young chef is a fan of pantry staples and said many of them are ideal for creating a delicious meal on a budget – namely tinned and canned seafood.
‘One of my favourite dishes to make is a simple pasta that uses Good Fish Spanish Mackerel fillets in Olive Oil,’ he said. ‘The Spanish Mackerel are caught sustainably in the wild and have an incredibly rich flavour.’
‘I usually sauté cherry tomatoes in olive oil with garlic, chilli, capers and olives then add in the mackerel fillets and toss through fresh parsley, basil and lemon zest. This can be folded through any type of pasta but I find it works best with fresh linguine or fettuccini.’
The most simple pasta you’ll ever make – but only you will know that
Adam’s pantry staple pasta
1. Sauté cherry tomatoes in olive oil with garlic, chilli, capers and olives
2. Add in the Good Fish mackerel fillets and toss through fresh parsley, basil and lemon zest.
3. Fold through any type of pasta but it works best with fresh linguine or fettuccini
KNOW WHAT’S IN SEASON
Once the weather cools down and the days get shorter, Hall prefers to take his time and cook dishes that are nourishing and full of flavour so seasonal seafood is key.
‘Light broths, soups or stews come to mind. Picture heaping bowls of Jervis Bay Mussels steamed in white wine with loads of fresh herbs, garlic, tomato and chilli with crusty sourdough and cultured butter,’ he said.
‘Shellfish and crustaceans really shine as the cooler months roll around. Prices for live mud crabs, lobsters and locally caught prawns are usually more reasonable as demand drops versus the summer festive months.
‘Mussels, clams and pipis are all in good supply and they are super affordable, versatile and can suite a wide range of cooking styles.’
Once the weather cools down and the days get shorter, Hall prefers to take his time and cook dishes that are nourishing and full of flavour so seasonal seafood is key
MAKE MARINADE THE STAR
Hall is known for his mouthwatering sauces, rubs and marinades and there’s one he swears by that works with almost any seafood.
‘A quick and easy salsa verde works every time and is amazing with any seafood,’ he said.
‘You can make it by blending garlic, green chilli, parsley, basil, mint, lemon juice, dijon mustard, capers and anchovies together with olive oil and red wine vinegar.’
The biggest mistakes people make with seafood on a BBQ
– Over cooking – most seafood doesn’t take very long to cook through and can become very unpleasant if cooked for too long
– Under seasoning – most seafood loves a generous pinch of sea salt and lemon juice. It can be marinated or flavoured ahead of time and can handle strong punchy flavours. Think dry spice rubs for fish or garlic and chilli for prawns.
– Heat control – learning how to master the heat of the BBQ and properly grill a piece of fish so the skin is crispy and the flesh remains soft and delicate takes loads of practice. If the heat is too low, most seafood will start to stew in its own juices. If the heat is too high, it runs the risk of burning before being cooking properly inside
– Using too much oil – if you add too much oil when grilling or your marinade contains a high amount of oil this will likely cause flareups. When cooking delicate items like seafood I highly recommend avoiding this at all costs as the flames will likely leave black carbon marks on the seafood and leave a bitter unpleasant taste
– Not trying different things – we all have our favourite food items when it comes to cooking on a BBQ but I would highly encourage people to try new foods. We all know fish is amazing when grilled over an open flame but so too are oysters. A few minutes over hot coals and they will naturally pop open when they are cooked and still contain all the delicious natural juices which can be enjoyed simply with lemon or your favourite spicy hot sauce
PAIR OYSTERS WITH CHAMPAGNE
‘When enjoying champagne, I really can’t go past freshly shucked natural Sydney Rock Oysters. The balance of sweet, salty, umami and briny minerality are perfect for enhancing the flavour of champagne,’ he said.
…AND THEN PAIR THEM WITH THE PERFECT SAUCE
The most classic sauce pairing for oysters is a mignonette but there are endless options to tweak and change the base recipe.
At Flying Fish, Hall makes use of native fingerlime to give really great citrus notes and infuse local chardonnay vinegar with the skins of the fingerlime to enhance the background flavour profile.
They balance the acidity with a little bit of sugar and add in a mandarin infused olive oil to give a savoury richness and smooth mouthfeel.
At Flying Fish, Hall makes use of native fingerlime to give really great citrus notes and infuse local chardonnay vinegar with the skins of the fingerlime to enhance the background flavour profile
LEARN A DROOLWORTHY RUB
‘I love doing spice rubs for salmon as it really helps balance the fattiness and richness of the flesh. One of my favourite blends utilises native lemon myrtle, saltbush, bush tomato and pepperberry,’ Hall said.
Recipe: How to make Adam Hall’s favourite salmon rub
– 2 tbls sea salt
– 2 tbls paprika
– 2 tsp garlic powder
– 1tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp lemon myrtle powder
– 1 tsp salt bush powder
– 1 tsp chilli flakes
– ½ tsp bush tomato powder
– ½ tsp ground pepperberry
Combine the ingredients together. Combine 1 tsp spice mix with 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil and rub generously over salmon before grilling over a BBQ or hibachi or roasting in the oven.
The ATC Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival boasts a total prize pool of almost $41 million and includes 18 Group 1 races including the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m), $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and $4 million The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m).
For more information on the dining experiences Executive Chef of Flying Fish, Adam Hall and will be curating at the 2023 the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival website.