9.16am, Wednesday 3rd October, Louisville near Denver, Colorado, USA
OK, folks, we’re just going to slip back two days to our Monday up in Vancouver, Canada. We had the opportunity to catch up with what’s going on at definitely one of the top restaurants on the North American continent – Hawksworth – home stoves for native Vancouverman chef David Hawksworth. He did 10 years of Euro kitchen training in Michelin star spots like L’Escargot, then came home and caught everyone’s attention with what he did at West restaurant, which is also recognized as the training ground for a whole raft of current culinary talent across Canada.
Now, it’s Hawksworth and a no-compromise attitude with respect to quality local produce, not to mention an all-star supporting cast – Kristian Eligh in the kitchen and Terry Threllfall – nothing short of celebrity sommelier – running simply one of the best wine lists in the world.
So there we were, Monday lunch, discussing the relative merits of the grand old blend of the Australian wine world – Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. We opened the 2004 Yalumba The Reserve – the barrel selection from Cabernet and Shiraz vineyards earmarked for the 2004 Signature – and with only a handful of barrels bottled off and allowed to settle, The Reserve has just been released as an aged wine. All I’m going to do is say that it’s in really good shape … and will be for the forseeable future.
And the food?
How can it look so good on the plate, be healthy, and taste so jolly sensational!? I’m half Italian, so couldn’t resist the ’18 month aged proscuito di Parma, smoked burrata, crispy polenta, tomato, basil’. Just salt, sweet and smoke, and greens! Can’t go wrong.
Then, chasing the local produce, I went with the ‘crispy Maple Hills chicken, sweet and sour vinaigrette, bitter greens, lemon confit, jalapeño’. This actually makes it OK in a big way to eat fried chicken! I’m afraid you’re just going to have to go to Hawksworth yourself, or if David H is doing a guest spot near you – go. And if you are dining out at Hawksworth, talk to Terry about the wine. You never know what he might introduce you to … but it will be worth the leap!