I love food. Like so very, very much. It brings me joy to sample a carefully crafted canapé, enjoy fun and creative flavours in a dish, marvel at the wonder of fresh, local produce or be presented with an incredibly beautiful meal. Happy, happy sighs.
Chefs are such artists. And we are a lucky bunch in Perth that there is an abundance of culinary talent to cook up all sort of wonderful dishes for us. And while it is always a treat to head out to a restaurant or café, there is the added luxury of being able to enjoy expert cooking from the comfort of your home, or perhaps for a work function or even for an event on a grander scale.
For those who are on the planning side of these events there’s a new team in town that are ready, willing and entirely able to assist with these functions and make that planning process a little bit easier. Say hello to the team from SashimiLeon.
SashimiLeon is one of Perth’s most exciting ventures into the Perth corporate and private entertaining spaces. Drawing upon award winning first class chefs and industry experts, the team at SashimiLeon expertly pairs its culinary professionals at various levels with its client’s unique needs.
SashimiLeon is an entirely impressive collaboration of Perth chefs, across the entire spectrum from fine dining to street food, coupled with several beverage aficionados who can hook you up with wine, cocktails or even cold pressed juice. So you call through to Managing Director, Adriano Leon, who will work with your function requirements, including budget, theme, number, etc and will put together various different solutions for you as to who from the team would be best suited to assist. The beauty of the numerous caterers that are involved with this food solution is that there is such variety on offer for whatever your function may be.
“We will match the clients’ needs and requirements with the necessary expert or experts within our team of professionals and tailor a package to meet our clients’ ever changing needed” Adriano Leon, Managing Director.
Last week I had an introduction to some of the team members in a tucked away location in West Perth. The location is the current home of Bamboo Catering, a dynamic husband and wife duo by the names of Keri and Rhiannon McClintock. Talk about a pair with an impressive resume! It’s a dizzying array of international experience; glittered with Michelin stars and even time spent cooking for the Queen! And they were going to be making me dinner? Spoilt much! Bamboo catering have set up shop in Eden Street in an old butcher shop, right next to a crossfit gym and if you didn’t quite know the address then you could well miss it. But I loved it. It was very unassuming. I wandered inside last week and was first met with the sight of the juice van belonging to The Juicist. On this evening there would be three demos from SashimiLeon team members – Mindy Woods, The Juicisit and Bamboo Catering.
We initially milled around in the kitchen and enjoyed some very choice sparkling from Margaret River’s House of Cards, a winery I enjoy as much as I do the Netflix tv show by the same name, and also a particularly punchy fresh lemonade that had been prepared by The Juicisit himself for the SashimiLeon event. I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet and had a real zesty kick. So refreshing!
And to round out the introduction we were then treated to some entirely choice canapés from Bamboo Catering, our first taste of what their new kitchen was dishing up. Beetroot Carpaccio with Meredith Goats Cheese and Pistachio Praline. The beetroot Carpaccio was a wafer thing disk of bright beautiful rouge on top of a carefully crafted cucumber tower and a dainty dollop of creamy goats cheese. It was a divine mouthful of yum and it made you appreciate the supreme talent of those McClintocks and their knack for perfectly marrying flavours. The second canapé, as I was told, was one of their signature morsels. Szechuan Caramel Tempura Prawns. As soon as I eagerly plucked a toothpick and savoured the succulent prawn in its sticky caramel sauce and light batter l I could fully appreciate why folks insisted it was on every canapé menu that the Bamboo team were involved with. I could have eaten a dozen, two dozen, a whole lot of dozens, they were addictive.
Next up on the demo front was Mindy Woods, who is Masterchef alumni having made it to the final four in her season. She is incredibly passionate about food and on this evening was showcasing her skills in the oyster chucking arena.
It was great to get the chance to hear from her about the importance of local produce and of fresh food and she then taught the assembled audience about how to shuck an oyster. She was really endearing as she explained how the first time she had to shuck oysters she had pierced several dozen before getting the knack down pat. Now she did ask if anyone would like give it a whirl and a much braver punter than I gave it a red hot go. I had visions of stabbing myself with the little shucker knife and gracefully declined. But I did sample one of those freshly shucked Franklin Bay oysters with a generous splash of verjuice and shallot vinaigrette and it was a wonderful zesty taste of the sea and I really enjoyed it. This oyster rookie was slowly finding her feet, maybe one day she’d even have one naturale. Baby steps at this stage.
Next up Keri and Rhiannon demonstrated how to truss a beef fillet so that it all cooked through at the same rate, noting that life was made much easier but using meat thermometers when possible. They outlined how this method worked well for cooking for larger groups because it means it would all be cooked the same. Rhiannon made trussing look so easy! I suspect I’d need a whole lot of practise to make it look that easy peasy. Next up Keri talked us through how to prepare a devilishly smoky babaganoush. Carefully charring eggplants over a flame really enhances the rich, smoked flavour. With these two key components prepared they then worked together to show us how they would plate this dish. They are such a practised pair that it was such a polished process to see them add all the components. Starting with the smear, before the beef was carefully placed on the plate to ensure it was the star attraction. Some pretty potato swirls were also added along with a pour of a red wine jus that had taken an impressive three days of loving attention to prepare, so you could appreciate the depth of flavour that was going to be in this sauce. Finally a sprinkle of crispy leek and voila it was ready to go. It looked fabulous and I liked hearing why they chose to place things here or there. Always nice to learn from the experts.
After the skilled demonstration of how to prepare a beef mains and artfully plate it up we wandered outside to the Juicist’s van to hear a little of his story. I really enjoyed how down to earth Dan was. He and his partner had started the business as a means of bringing fresh, local produce to Perth folks as quickly as they could and what better way than via cold pressed juice that ensures all the nutrients aren’t compromised. But it was after they achieved this primary goal that they became more aware of the health benefits of cold pressed juice and I had actually recently read about them on another blog. But I’ll admit that I figured that someone with a cold press juice operation would be quite the purist, so when he mentioned he would be mixing up a cocktail with one of his juices and some kombocha I couldn’t wait to try it! It tasted wonderfully fresh and I quite liked the herbal kick from the rosemary infused vodka. Here’s cheers!
We enjoyed our cocktail and headed back inside to the kitchen and then the doors to the fridge were opened. The next phase was something fine dining and I’ll admit that as we stood in the kitchen earlier that mystery abounded as to where it was that we would be eating this meal. I think I thought it would be a standing affair, more cocktail style. But I was very wrong. We would be dining at an entirely beautifully decorated table in a converted cool room, which was no longer cool but still had a wonderfully industrial feel to it and I so thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to dine somewhere that was so different and a little bit funky. And we dined in style, in fine fining style and we prepared ourselves to enjoy the mains we had seen earlier prepared. It was all class. Completely perfect beef, with crisp spears of asparagus and super smoky babaganoush and the wonderfully classic spud swirls. What a pretty way to present potato! I really need to learn how to use a piping bag, that’s what I know. The beef was butter soft perfection and I really liked the smoky pairing they had matched with it.
Now the Bamboo crew had also taken care of dessert. And I love a citrus dessert. Just ask my GG. He knows I do. So a lemon curd inclusion to this meringue texture marvel was right up my alley. I just loved the beautiful dish we were presented with. I mean look at it! Bravo Kerri and Rhiannon. The splash of colours, the contrasting textures it was my kinda dessert and with the passionfruit gel, it had a lot of skill involved. Delicious!
Oh what a night, oh what an introduction. So know this Perth. Next time you are planning something from…. Board room events. Collaborative classes & demonstrations. Corporate team initiatives. Collaborative dinners. High Tea. Long table chef dinners. Personal in house expert services. Pop-up dinner. Private intimate events. Special events. SashimiLeon have got it covered. They will work with you to ensure you achieve the perfect event and with all the skilled team members they have involved, you will not be disappointed. Head to their Facebook page for more details or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
My thanks for the invitation. It was such a lovely evening!
For details about the full list of SashimiLeon team members just follow the links below:
- Mindy Woods (Masterchef Season 4)
- Yvonne Bleach (Red Hot Spatula)
- Adrian Bleach (Red Hot Spatula)
- Daniel Grochowski (The Juicist)
- Ben French (Eat No Evil)
- Ben Foss (Eat No Evil)
- Keri McClintock (Bamboo Catering)
- Rhiannon McClintock (Bamboo Catering)
- Christina Pickard (The School of Wine)
- James Connolly (Mixologist)
- Ciarn Blake (Simply Paella)
- Paul Bardetta (Simply Paella)