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Stars align for Ferment feast

 

A stellar line-up of chefs and a table under the stars. It’s a combination that should deliver a spectacular opening to Ferment the Festival, the new event that will celebrate the transformative power of this process in many of our favourite foods and drinks.

The dinner, set among the majestic trees of Rundle Park on October 19, will be overseen by Festival patron Jock Zonfrillo, the award-winning chef from native food specialist Restaurant Orana.

He will lead a team of eight chefs that includes near-neighbour Duncan Welgemoed (Africola), Karena Armstrong (Salopian Inn) and Matt Lindsay from lauded Sydney diner Ester.

“We have put together a collection of chefs who work in amazing restaurants around the country,” Jock says. “It’s a bunch of like-minded individuals using fermentation in a way that is unobtrusive and delicious. And they will utilise things that are at their best while they are here. It’s a feast so there will be no tweezer food. The format is much more fun than fine dining.”

As one of the key elements of fermenting is time, preparations for some dishes are well under way. Oliver Edwards from the Summertown Aristologist started producing the vinegar that will feature in his dish a few months ago, while Ferment director Kris Lloyd and son Mitch started steeping their cheese in wine and must during this year’s vintage.

Jock’s own creation, using Spencer Gulf prawns, is also underway, and he says he isn’t certain yet exactly where it will end up. “The thing about fermentation is that it changes,” he explains. “It goes through dormant periods then it wakes up. We’re working with the prawn guys and we will be creating something special.”

The eight-course dinner will be matched with naturally fermented wines from eight producers including Ochota Barrels, Charlotte Dalton and Shobbrook Wines.

“We have 16 amazing people coming together,” Kris says.

“They’ve been very gracious with what they are putting together. It’s like a whole lot of friends joining in and cooking with a common theme.”

In keeping with the occasion, guests will be asked to dress cocktail style. But Kris says she wants the meal to be a true feast, with “a little bit of table chaos” and “lots of fermenting fun”.

Original Article: The Advertiser