How Chefs Eat

Image by Samantha Schultz

This week we delve into the archives to gather these impressive recipes written by some of our most-adored chefs. Let this menu carry your next dinner party, beginning with oozy burrata & fennel jam, followed by a whole rainbow trout with burnt butter and finishing with a simple - yet show-stopping - olive oil cake. No one will be able to resist an invitation…

Jacqui Challinor, NOMAD

Our first recipe is from Jacqui Challinor, Executive Chef of NOMAD Sydney and Melbourne, where Jacqui muses ‘we use great ingredients, we cook with fire and we create and serve with love’. Her recipe elevates the humble burrata to a restaurant-level dish that requires just a few simple ingredients, served with fresh slices of your favourite sourdough.

We use great ingredients, we cook with fire and we create and serve with love.

Entree: Burrata & Fennel Jam
Serves 4


500g fennel, thinly sliced
500g ALTO chardonnay vinegar
500g caster sugar
60ml ALTO robust olive oil
Sea salt flakes (I use Olssons)
2 x 150g Burrata (I use Vanella) 

Sourdough, to serve (If you’re in Sydney, Iggy’s is the best!)


Trim the stalks off the fennel, pick and wash the fronds and set aside for garnish. Thinly slice the bulb approximately 2mm thick, a mandolin is the best way to achieve this.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar. Gently bring to the heat and allow the sugar to dissolve. Increase heat and reduce liquid to 1⁄4 of its original volume then add sliced fennel.Cook on high heat, stirring continuously to prevent the sugar from burning. The fennel is ready once it appears glassy and you’ve got a sticky, jam-like consistency.

Remove fennel from saucepan and refrigerate to cool.

To serve, spread fennel jam onto a plate, top with burrata, drizzle the olive oil over the fennel, season with sea salt and garnish with the fennel fronds.

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Francois Poulard, Chiswick

For the hero, we turn to the Sydney restaurant institution that is Chiswick Woollahra and chef François Poulard and a recipe he says ‘reminds me of a dish my grandmother used to make during my childhood.’ While cooking a whole fish might sound intimidating, François shows us how it’s done with ease (and perfect for a crowd) - treated to a classic combination of lemon, capers, burnt butter & steamed greens.

This reminds me of a dish my grandmother used to make during my childhood.
Main: Wood fired Rainbow Trout, Capers & Brown Butter
Serves 4


1 whole rainbow trout butterflied and pin boned (500g whole weight)
30g toasted almond flakes
50g unsalted butter
20g capers in vinegar
20 ml lemon juice
1 bunch broccolini
Olive oil


Burnt butter

In a warm copper pot, gently melt the butter, continuously stirring until the butter is lightly browned. Remove from the heat, add lemon juice and capers. Set your burnt butter aside.


Chop the broccolini into 1 cm pieces then blanch them in salted boiling water and set aside.


Dry the skin of the trout with absorbing paper to avoid the oil spitting. This will also help the skin to retain crispy and to not stick to the pan.

Season the fish with salt and pepper.

In a non-stick pan, fry the fish in a little bit of olive oil on a medium heat (skin down).

Once the fish is placed in the pan, do not move the fish at all. You won’t need to flip it either at any time.

Keep an eye on the colour of the fish to check on how it is cooking. Once it’s turning slightly white, remove the fish from the pan and place on your plate.

Garnish with the blanched broccolini and toasted almond flakes.

Dress generously with the burnt butter.

Eat straight away and enjoy!

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Poppy & Frederico, Cafe Trucha

Poppy and Federico, co-founders of Cafe Trucha in Mexico City are led by the seasons and their hearts when it comes to cooking, admiring ‘the power that food has to unite people, create conversations and enjoy the pleasure of informality.’ Their recipe for olive oil cake is the perfect send-off for your guests, and open to your personal touch: allow to cool and fill with whipped cream & seasonal jam, serve with fresh fruit or chocolate ganache - or lay it on the table just as it is, straight from the oven

We really want to help educate people about the broader food system, so our ingredients play a part in telling those stories.

Dessert: Olive Oil Cake 


140g flour
175g refined sugar
5g salt
5g baking soda
5g baking powder
140ml good-quality olive oil
170ml whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Your choice of whipped cream & jam, fresh fruit & edible flowers or chocolate ganache, to serve 


Preheat your oven to 180* celsius. 

Line an 8 inch cake mold with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat the eggs well, and add them to the liquids. 

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and gently stir in the wet ingredients. 

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the center springs back and the top of the cake is slightly caramelized.


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