Kinfolk dinner on the Pittwater

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Kinfolk Sydney Dinner, l'Esprit de la Mer, was held recently at The Avalon Sailing Club on the Pittwater, which just so happens to be down the road from me.  This was an opportunity I couldn't miss, a Kinfolk Dinner on the edge of the beautiful Pittwater, I wasn't disappointed.

The weather that day was perfect, although more like summer than autumn with a temperature of 25 degrees.  We have had the warmest, driest Autumn on record this year, in fact it couldn't have been more perfect.

We were treated to Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut on arrival which was wonderfully refreshing given the warm temperature, inside the boat house a shared table of hors d'oeuvres was beautifully laid out which gave the guests an opportunity to mingle and get to know one another, some of whom followed each other on Instagram and were meeting in person for the first time.  I was delighted to meet some people living locally, that I didn't already know, and to catch up with friends.

Our individual place settings were a gift which included Mario's recipe for boneless lamb loin and seasonal vegetables together with a sachet of his thyme, rosemary and lavender salt all packaged up in a lovely little jar.  A hand written poem was also attached which in my case was an excerpt from Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

"The fair breeze blew,
The white foam flew,
and the forrow followed free
We were the first
to ever burst
into the silent sea."

All in all it was a wonderful evening.  We were all seated out on the wharf on one extremely long table beautifully styled for the main dinner.  We started with onion soup with cheesy croutons followed by shared dishes of fried whitebait, roasted chickpea salad with za'atar, rosemary straw potatoes with lemon salt, cloudy bay diamond shell surf clams with homemade pasta and whole baked cone bay saltwater barramundi in salt with basil mayonnaise.

The whole barramundi was not only delicious it also looked most impressive having been baked in a salt crust, a dish definitely worth trying at home.  Champagne continued to be served throughout the meal courtesy of The Champagne Bureau and was perfectly matched with all the seafood dishes.  I particularly remember the Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs Brut before finishing off with 2004 vintage Moet!

Then to finish off this wonderful feast large apple crumbles were placed along the table to be shared.  The warm apple and cinnamon hung in the evening air.  The sun set over the Pittwater and the candles burned into the evening, the evening remained warm and balmy and no one seemed eager to leave.  This is the magic of the beautiful Pittwater and the Northern Beaches of Sydney, to me it is the perfect place to be.

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