"Simon Arkless - Head chef Terrace Restaurant

Simon Arkless is the head chef at Terrace Restaurant at All Saints Estate in Rutherglen. The winery is celebrating its 150th anniversary next month.

When I was growing up food was not so inspiring in northeast England in the early '70s. Our house was an exception to the rule, as my mum was a very good cook and quite adventurous. Eating out was a very rare treat (apart from dreadful school dinners, Monday to Friday).

The reason I became a chef was because I didn't quite make it into a hotel management course, but I was offered a place on in the catering course instead. I quickly found out that the kitchen was a much more fun, interesting and exciting place for a 16-yearold to be (that was 30 years ago now).

My daily eating and drinking almost always includes too many espressos, fresh bread and butter from the restaurant kitchen and invariably a glass of All Saints Estate.

My current food crush is luscious Myrtleford Butter Factory cultured Australian butter, which we cold smoke with alder wood. We chill it down almost to freezing point, and then place it in our Bradley smoker for around 45 minutes.

One of my favourite food memories is of my wife taking me to L'Arpege, a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris and being in awe of the waitress carving suckling pig at our table and presenting it better than most chefs could.

The next food trend I'd like to see take off is a return of some of the more classic dishes that have disappeared from today's menus because they have gone out of fashion. Things like a traditional steak au poivre, or tuna nicoise.

The eating wisdom I'd like to share with the world is having moved to a regional area after living in bustling cities for 25 years, growing your own vegetables and cooking them straight after they've been picked from the garden makes a world of difference to the flavour.

What I know about wine is very little but I get very thirsty sometimes and working at a winery makes it easy to quench that thirst. Our Wahgunyah shiraz and the lamb we raise here on the estate are a marriage made in heaven, so much so that they are featuring together on my menu for the 150th anniversary of All Saints Estate in May.

If I was hungry and only had $10, I'd buy... a banh mi (Vietnamese baguette) filled with a mixture of roast pork, pork pate, pickled carrot, coriander, sliced chilli and hot chilli sauce. Heaven.

The 10 ingredients I always have in my pantry are sea salt, capers, Australian extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, copious amounts of dried pasta, tonic water (I am very partial to a gin and tonic), Heinz baked beans (English recipe, of course), anchovies, palm sugar and my lovely wife Cait's homemade tomato relish.

Information in this article is correct as of 8 April, 2014."

Source
Taste.com.au - April 2014

Author
Dan Stock