2 May - By Paula Rose Castronova
Simon Bryant is not only creative director of Tasting Australia; the celebrated chef also tackles the hot topic of food waste.
After Monday night’s sold out dinner at Glasshouse Kitchen, he produced a delicious lunch menu in Town Square on Tuesday from the kitchen’s produce scraps – and a long queue of patrons were hungry for a serve.
Against a pounding soundtrack from the Town Square DJ in the background, Simon put a steaming pot of rice aside on his small charcoal grill while fielding phone calls, directing staff, and fielding public questions with generous energy.
Making a statement that leftovers are not bad for you, Simon’s lunch menu of chili garlic fish with basil and rice, for $18 a serve, contained discarded and edible pieces of Coorong flounder, Kangaroo Island marron, sustainable Albacore tuna, Murray mulloway – and the dish tasted fantastic.
It felt like being at an Asian market. While listening to the sound of sizzles from Simon’s wok and watching him stir fry in a haze of smoke, customers could select their seafood preference, then have olive oil, smoked salt, organic white pepper and shallots added, to make a perfect dish in which the clean-tasting fish shone through. Simon said there would be now waste, as any leftover pieces of food from this pop-up restaurant were going to his dog.
Tasting Australia’s focus this year is on sustainability, underlined by the Town Square site’s use of discarded items within its architecture, design and food. And in a true sense of leadership, its creative director is showing the way with his food scraps feast for lunch.