We were a small group of 8, all seated at the workbench where we watched chef Luke Croston at work where he explained to us some of the science experiments whilst at the same time fed us with some delicious food.
This was followed with Freeze Dried Vegetables and John Dory. The veggies have a foam like texture and intense flavour and sweetness which was matched with a brandade of John Dory and potato. Where the Tomato Tea and salad were light and fresh, this course was intense with very savoury and salt intensive notes of flavour.
Poached marron, saltwater, rice and caviar was a sublime course and the omission of abalone in its title is really an error as the abalone elevated the dish to supreme levels. The beautiful piece of marron was sweet and delicious all the way from Kangaroo Island. I wonder if it came from the marron farm we went to. The almost crunchy abalone and caviar added a salty sea flavour.
Steamed Wagyu, pickled Jerusalem artichokes was a rich dish packed with meatiness. The Wagyu was actually tongue which isn't my favourite texturally but I get the flavour.
It was a thoroughly entertaining evening where we learned and tasted some really impressive things. The great thing about the concept of Press Club Projects is that it bridges that divide between diner and fine dining and makes it so much more real and clever. It takes away that shroud of mystery yet it doesn't degrade it unlike when it was revealed deep fried crispy seaweed is actually deep fried cabbage and disappointment ensued. Here, even when the mystery is taken away, there is still a sense of respect for the work and produce and it fosters and nurtures that relationship between diner and masterchef.