Saturday, June 15, 2024

Weekend Cooking: Masterchef Alumni

Last weekend we splurged and went for dinner in a new pop-up dinner which was run by a former alumni of Masterchef Australia. We justified this by saying that it was a special occasion, but really we loved the idea of eating a menu that has been put together by a former contestant on Masterchef.

Over a period of a couple of months, there are several different chefs who are hosting the Alumn restaurant at the casino. The first chef was Kishwar who appeared on Masterchef Australia in 2021. The third chef is Khan Hong from 2018, and then there is a mystery chef who will be announced later in June which I am assuming will be the winner of the current series. We chose to attend the second pop-up which was hosted by Calum Hann, who was in the second series of Masterchef Australia in 2010.

The dinner was a four course set menu, which means that there were several things on the menu that I wouldn't normally pick if I was going to choose items off a menu.

The first course was Rosemary Foccacia with Brown Butter Hummus and Oysters with Cherry Vinaigrette and Chive Oil. Now I don't love oysters, so it isn't something I would normally choose but I did enjoy these ones. The hummus was amazing, especially the roasted chickpeas which added a really crunchy element to the dish


The second course was Venison Tartare with Black Garlic and Artichoke Chips, which is something I wouldn't normally pick from a menu.  The other dish was Kingfish Crudo with blood orange and ponzu. The chef recommended eating the fish first as it was lighter.

The main course was a slow roast lamb shoulder with zhoug and pearl couscous, served with a persimmon and fennel salad.

The final course was a chocolate cremeux with a mandarin sorbet and a salt and pepper chocolate bark. The bark was really interesting. In addition to the salt and pepper, there was something herby included in the bark and I haven't quite figured out what it was. Maybe lavender, but that is a total guess.

One of the cool things about this pop-up was that the chef, Calum, came around to talk to every table. In our case, he delivered the second course, asked us what our favourite parts of the first course was.

It was only later in the night that I realised that there was a table nearby which had 4 of the competitors from the current series of Masterchef on it. It's not the first time someone from Masterchef has wanted to eat with us. When we were in Broome a while ago, Mel Leong, one of the previous judges, was at the same restaurant we were. What can I say....we're trendsetters.

This definitely counts as a memorable meal! I am tempted to book in for the mystery chef but we'll see

I am away this weekend and so no Mr Linky. Please leave your links in the comments..

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. OMG I am a HUGE, HUGE fan of MasterChef Australia, it is by far the best of the franchises. I usually have to wait to watch a season, but season 15 and 16 I managed to find a way to download and watch in almost real time!! I am even saving the S16 downloads to watch again with John, who even enjoys it! I am enjoying this year's judges.
    I liked Mel too, and watched the series Dessert Masters, although I did not care for the other host.

    1. Dessert Masters is coming back soon too!

  2. OOPS I was so excited I forgot my link!