I do enjoy the indulgence of a long lunch. The sublime loveliness of spending some quality time with some of your nearest and dearest, with a cheeky vino in hand and an impressive menu ahead is one of my favourite things. And for many years now I’ve been lucky enough to procure tickets to the Breast Cancer Care WA Long Table Lunch. It’s a fabulous fundraising event held annually at Claremont Showgrounds, right in the middle of the grassy arena, under the cover of a marquee that has been done up to the nines, as have all the fine fillies in attendance. It is an amazing day and this was the 6th time I have gone along.
Basically the way the day works is you arrive and in true glamazon fashion, strut your way down the red carpet into the marquees. Now weather permitting, when you first arrive you are presented with a glass of bubbles and treated to some choice canapés (with thank to the creative and tasty work of Fraser’s own head chef, Chris Taylor).
There were a range of tasty morsels going around….. Beetroot risotto cake with fig and cardamom chutney, Caramelised duck and seared scallop on pineapple, Pork lychee and coriander wonton (these were great!) and my personal fave, the Beef cheek popsicle pie. A little pie on a stick – both delicious and adorable.
From there you proceed inside and find your seat and one of the many looooong tables. There was a French theme on the go this year so once folks had found their seats the Can-Can girls emerged for a raucous introductory dance.
Definitely set the mood for a fun afternoon ahead. The way they manage to transform the marquee is truly amazing. From the lighting to the flowers on the table, to the little Eiffel tower topped wine toppers that we each got to take home, they always go all out to ensure it’s a special day.
So after an introduction from our host for the day, The Big Couch’s own – Dean Clairs, we were then presented with our entrée, with thanks to Herb Faust. Now I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of any reality cooking show, but one I didn’t quite get into was Iron Chef Australia. Perhaps if I had I would have been more excited about my first foray into food by Mr Faust, but as it was, the unknown held an exciting aspect too, there was all the anticipation about what his food would be like….
It was an alternate drop and you either got a Chicken, pork and date terrine, onion confit and melba toast
or Queso manchego fritters, corn textures, candied jamon, green mojo. Given there was five of us, it allowed us to sample some of both kinds – all for variety! Deep fried cheese, always going to be a winner, so I favoured the manchego fritters slightly over the terrine, but for each the presentation was just beautiful and I loved the creative mix of flavours on each plate. Way to go Herb!
Up next was the mains and I knew more about the chef behind this course – Restaurant Amuse’s creative genius Hadleigh Troy. I couldn’t wait to see what he served up! Lamb, ricotta, onion.
Simplicity in its description and simplicity in its neat presentation and clean flavours. Always a pleasure! Now perhaps news that Restaurant Amuse was my favourite in Perth and I could be a little excited about the opportunity to meet their Head Chef had found its way to a lovely young lady with the magical powers to get me behind the scenes into the kitchen. Now I’d like to think that I wasn’t over the top gushy when I happily bounded up to Hadleigh Troy and asked for a photo, but the Xanadu wines were flowing, so I may have been slightly over animated. But he kindly obliged and I now have this photo for my collection :) Yay! And thanks to the lovely Sentara for making it happen – much appreciated.
Dessert looked all very French when the tiered plates were bought out.
Adorned with an indulgent selection of Petite fours – strawberry, mixed fruit, forrestier, lemon, raspberry and lemon, chocolate ganache - all from La Galette de France, as well as a decadent array of French cheeses served with fresh fruit and crackers (From Blue Cow Cheese). Yum!!!!! Always a tough call between the two so I sampled both – no regrets there! Fabulous way to finish the meal.
Thanks have to go to the amazing team of volunteers who keep the day flowing so smoothly. All the meals are expertly delivered and a refill on beverages was never far away. They do such a wonderful, wonderful job and my hats go off to them – many thanks for their friendly smiling faces throughout the day and generosity in giving up their time!
So what a day it had been. A beautiful lunch with good friends, spoilt by exquisite cuisine from some of WA’s top chefs and the chance to reflect on the preciousness of life as we listened to the story of Maria, the honouree for this year’s lunch. So the remainder of the afternoon was spent celebrating the memory of Maria and anyone else that we held in our hearts that had been taken from us far too soon in the best way you can…… we danced. Til next year ladies.