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Chef challenge: Sunny Gilbert & Florent Gerardin

This month’s chef challenge saw Prahran Market regular Florent Gerardin return to the stage with another old favourite – Sunny Gilbert, whose previous turn as chef at Movida Next Door has put him in great stead to transform the menu at Austin’s at Prahran’s Mt Erica Hotel into a Spanish fiesta.

Both chefs used fish as their protein, accompanying it with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables like fennel, figs and pears.

Sunny Gilbert & Flo Gerardin’s Recipes:


Salt-Baked Garfish & Prawns

By Sunny Gilbert

4 garfish, whole and with scales on
8 prawns, whole and with shell on
1kg coarse salt
Olive oil to dress

1. Preheat oven to 230C
2. Place garfish and prawns flat on a baking tray and cover with salt.
3. Bake for 10 mins
4. Brush off salt, place on a serving plate and drizzle with good quality olive oil.

Caramelised figs with Creme Fraiche & Fresh Honeycomb

Sunny Gilbert

6 ripe figs, halved through the stem
Caster sugar (for dusting)
Creme Fraiche (for quenelles)
Fresh Honeycomb

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan until smoking (about 3-4 mins)
Toss the figs in the caster sugar until well coated
Place the figs flesh-side-down on the pan and grill until caramelised.
Assemble on the plate flesh-side-up, spoon honeycomb on top and finish with small quenelles of creme fraiche.

White anchovies with cucumbers and sherry vinegar dressing

1 jar of good quality pickled white anchovies
2 lebanese cucumbers, thickly sliced
Fennel fronds to garnish
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
4 tbsp good quality olive oil
Salt flakes & cracked pepper (to taste)

Mix together dressing ingredients – vinegar, olive oil, salt flakes, cracked pepper
Assemble cucumber slices on the plate, top with anchovies and fennel fronds
Drizzle with dressing and serve

Baked trout with aromats
Florent Gerardin

1 side of ocean trout
1 bunch spring onion, finely sliced
1 fennel, finely chopped
100g firm white mushies (like baby King brown)
20gr ginger, finely chopped
1 punnet kaffir lime leaves, torn
100ml white wine
4 cippolini onions, quartered
3 finger limes, deseeded
Succulents (like beach banana or samphire)

1. Season the trout generously with salt.
2. Start in hot olive oil, spring onion then fennel, ginger. Sauté until soft.
3. Add the 1/2 or 1/4 Mushies (bite-sized pieces), lime leaves and white wine and cook with the lid on for 10min.
4. Pour over the salmon and place in 130*c oven for 15-20min

Pear Crumble

For 8 pax
Florent Gerardin
8 pear
100gr dry sugar caramel
150gr sugar
150gr almond meal
150gr flour
150gr butter
200gr whipped sour cream/creme fraiche

1. Peel and chop the pears into cubes
2. Toss them in the hot caramel and cook for 5min without moving them
3. Mix the ingredients for the crumble and and sprinkle it on the pears in a pie dish
4. Cook til golden brown @180c
5. Rest for 10min and serve with the whipped sour cream

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