Last year in October I was lucky enough to secure tickets to the fifth Largesse Dinner. It was held at Divido and it was divine. Essentially it’s a gathering of 6 of Perth’s top chefs, who each prepared a course for a degustation style dinner in an effort to raise money for a chosen charity. We are talking the crème de la crème of Perth eateries with Kieren Mainwaring – Dear Friends Restaurant, Scott O’Sullivan – Red Cabbage Food + Wine, Jason Jujnovich – Divido, Shane Middleton from Clarke’s of North Beach and Hadleigh Troy – Restaurant Amuse.
Initially when these dinners were held there was a “No Second Helpings” policy, to ensure that as many folks as possible where able to experience such a culinary treat. However for the 6th and ‘final’ dinner this policy was no longer in place and it was every man/woman for themselves!
It almost felt like a radio competition when the clock struck 12 on the Monday prior and tickets went on sale. I must have hit redial on the phone at least 20 times, but thankfully I persisted because I made it through and was almost giddy as I passed along my details and ordered my two tickets. I couldn’t wait!!
The 6th Largesse dinner was to be held at Petite Mort on Monday June 25 and was in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a very worthy cause.
We arrived just before 7pm and were welcomed and given our table number at the door. Then once we were inside we were shown where that table was. The lovely ladies at the door were, for the most part, the better halves of the fellows in the aprons in the kitchen and they were doing a wonderful job of keeping things on the floor running smoothly – the perfect balance of professional and friendly. Largesse has a long table element to it in that different groups are mixed, which isn’t a bad thing when you are in the company of other passionate foodies. I also knew there was a fairly solid blogger set in attendance. Always a treat to run into people who I often tweet to or follow their food blogger adventures.
We were on a table of six, so perched ourselves at the end. We had been given a glass of bubbles on arrival, which was hitting the spot quite nicely for a Monday night and they were most generous in providing refills of this sparkling goodness. Before too long though, Petite Mort’s precious lil brioche were being brought to people’s tables, along with some indulgently salty butter. There first course for the evening came courtesy of Kieren Mainwaring from Dear Friends Restaurant with Air-dried ham, Swan Valley yolk, ajo blanco, foraged herbs . I had been spoilt and GG had taken me to Dear Friends for my birthday last year. I had loved it. Amazing food and such a warm and welcoming restaurant – I do love the Swan Valley. Visually the first course just looked amazing. So colourful and entirely precious with the addition of the nastertians. The deliciate combination of flavours was just delicious, especially with the richness from the yolk. The evening was off to a flier!
Up next was a dish that looked a little familiar to me. We’ve visited the Red Cabbage crew for GG’s birthday in March and what a fabulous evening that had been! Always looking to test the boundaries with creative flavour combinations, that somehow just always manage to work! Chef Scott had prepared a dish we had actually first sampled on our last visit in March and I was in no way disappointed to get to relive the magic of it! Smoked trout, chilli squid, saffron. It is a wonderful dish, with a well considered balance of flavours – the smokiness from the trout and the refreshing crunch of the cucumber. Just fabulous! I really want one of those cucumber cutters.
Roll up, roll up, it was time for a tribute to all things Italian from Divido’s own Jason Jujnovich. His dish Radicchio tortellini, Fontina fonduta was sensational. Melt in your mouth pasta and this wonderful creamy sauce with its rich, cheesey goodness. He’s a pasta master and I thought the inclusion of radicchio was inspired, adding some colourful glam to the plate.
Next up was something for the meat fans among us with Braised venison shin, foie gras espuma from Clarke’s of North Beach. Perhaps this dish wasn’t quite as pretty as the others, but still the care that had gone into that delicate parcel of meat was apparent and it was delicious. The venison just fell apart in your mouth and what a perfect partner the foamy foie gras espuma was. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what an espuma is before this meal, but after some quick iphone googling on the evening I now know it is basically a foam. A very tasty foam at that.
Now perhaps I had decided to make June a particularly lavish month and had actually visited Petite Mort’s the week before, for a wine dinner they held with Single File Estate. I mention this because there was a particularly tasty course that night that I got to experience again at Largesse. Todd Stuart from Petite Mort’s course was Pressed duck thigh, chanterelle, cep. I love duck, especially when its well prepared and this completely hit the mark, with the decadent inclusion of some of the more top end mushroom set. Yum. I would eat that every Monday given the option 🙂
Finally the savouries came to an end and the evening was concluded with dessert from Hadleigh Troy of Restaurant Amuse with Chocolate, caramel, sorrel. Ahh sorrel I remember thinking, I don’t know what you are, but I’m sure you are delicious. Sorrel is a type of herb I believe and it had been included in a meringue of sort, set up in shards on top of the most decadent pool of salty caramel, then capped off with chocolate. It was an epic combination of flavours, with creativity synonymous of the Amuse kitchen.
Oh what a night it was! There is definitely no faulting these chefs. They have seriously perfected the art of a dish that is both visually stunning and a complete joy to eat. Plus there is the added bonus of enjoying an incredible meal such as this and know that in some small way you are helping a good cause.
Big thank you to everyone involved for such an incredible evening. If it’s really the last one, I feel incredibly grateful I got to be there for.
Here’s to the Chefs.