WITHOUT A SNAG
For anyone interested in the state of Our Nation in terms of grilling expertise, this may help. Or not. But the steak – an aged, grass-fed ribeye – which I ate, was magnificent.
AN ALL-DAY, ALL-SMOKING MASTERCLASS
At the insistence of ABA graduates keen to take their barbecuing to the next level, an all-day, all-smoking masterclass will be held at my home on December 1.
Little arm twisting was required, as there are few legal pleasures in life greater than watching and smelling the smoke rise from chunks of hickory tossed on charcoal in a Weber Smokey Mountain or off-set barrel smoker.
This specialised class will cover hot smoked salmon, ribs, pork shoulder, brisket and other smoking sensations.
For the same price as other masterclasses, this December 1 class will start early (9.30am) and finish late (6.30pm) – with a break in the middle – to give the smoke time to work wonders.
All other classes for this year, up to December 8, are sold out. I am now taking bookings for 2013, when classes will resume from February 9.
HART TO HART AT BALGOWNIE ESTATE
The weekend at Balgownie Estate, which comprised a pair of unique barbecue masterclasses followed by barbecue-inflected degustation dinners on Saturday April 28 and Sunday April 29, 2012 — was a delectable, smoky triumph.
Both masterclasses sold out, and the degustation dinners that followed — prepared by the exciting new Balgownie Estate kitchen team and hosted by Bob Hart — were sensational.
There will be, we can promise you, more of the same. And barbecue, henceforth, will find a place of its own on the glorious Balgownie menus since the resort purchased, after the masterclasses, the amazing Saffire Grill on which Bob demonstrated a range of dishes, and on which executive chef Mathew Hart (no relation!) seared hickory-smoked, spice-rubbed eye fillets for the main course each night. A triumph, and all washed down with magnificent Balgownie Estate wines.
Smoke, in fact, will become something of a fixture at this extraordinary winery resort as a result of the barbecue masterclass weekend, so keep an eye on the menus. And if you have not yet visited Balgownie Estate - home of the magnificent range of Balgownie Estate wines - do so soon, and remember:
"Barbecue is the enlightened application of heat, smoke, spices and ingenuity to protein, fruit and vegetables ... out of doors."
- Bob Hart
Where: Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, cnr Melba Hwy and Gulf Rd, Yarra Glen.
Bookings: Kate Fraresso at Balgownie Estate — (03) 9730 0724
IT'S EARLY DAYS, BUT...
December 7, 2011
IT'S TRUE: I will be hard at work over the coming weeks, and into the New Year, on a six-part barbecue series which takes me around all the top food production spots in Victoria. It would be fair to say there has never been a series quite like this one before. So watch out for it. And if you happen to bump into me somewhere in the state, behind the wheel of my Scoda Scout, or cooking on the amazing grill wagon I tow everywhere, and which allows me to travel with a range of gas and charcoal barbecues, give me a wave. Or join me, and I will grill you something...
MORE HEAT & SMOKE ACTION...
UNORTHODOX book signings will be a feature of the launch campaign surrounding the arrival of Heat & Smoke: mastering the dark art of real barbecue. The first of these will take place on Saturday, December 10, at Enoteca Sileno, the incomparable Italian food store in Lygon St, Carlton. And on Sunday December 18, from 2pm, the action will move to the magnificent Books for Cooks – surely one of the world's finest foodie book stores. At both venues, I will be on hand to sign books, and Melbourne's latest food craze – my barbecued 'shroom burgers, will be served.
SPEAKING OF WHICH...
FOR anyone who has not yet come to grips with a legendary 'shroom burger, lovingly developed over several years of seriously indulgent barbecuing, they are on sale at Market Lane, the brilliant coffee shop at Melbourne's Prahran Market, from 11am every Saturday. But get there early because they always sell out. And when you try one, you will understand why...
THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS...
US barbecue guru Steven Raichlen, a genuine master of his craft and a charming and erudite man, will, in 2012, once again be hosting his Barbecue University, an intense three-day workshop on the art of live-fire cooking at the luxurious, five-star Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Steven, also, is hard at work on a new book which acknowledges the contribution of top international chefs to the development of new barbecue techniques. And one of the chef's Steven will feature is Melbourne chef Ben Shewry from the outstanding Attica restaurant in Ripponlea.
Stephen, incidentally, has authored some of the best barbecue books money can buy — notably his How to Grill, an A•B•A favourite, and the fascinating Planet Barbecue, to which I contributed recipes.
May the smoke be with you.