Recently I had an up close and personal encounter with a British celebrity chef – Gary Rhodes. As one of the UK’s leading culinary masters, Gary Rhodes is not only a chef’s chef, he is also a cookbook author and restaurateur (an extremely successful one too). He has earned 6 Michelin stars for the restaurants he worked in as well as his own restaurants. He has also starred in countless tv culinary shows in the US and UK like the original MasterChef of USA way back in 2000/01. Gary Rhodes is well known as an ambassador for British cuisine and it is for this very reason that he was present in the GREAT British campaign held in Hilton Kuala Lumpur recently.
With such a long list of credentials to his name, it’s rather awe-inspiring to meet the man himself. It was at the 1-Night-only “Dinner & Audience with Gary Rhodes” at Level 7even in Hilton Kuala Lumpur. The hotel’s Executive Chef Warren Brown had drawn up a special menu inspired by Gary Rhodes. The 5-course dinner was graced by the British High Commissioner too.
“An Evening with Gary Rhodes” kicked off with an appetiser from “The Sea” – Cured Loch Fyne Salmon with fennel & red radish slaw, buckwheat blinis and light horseradish cream. A crisp white wine Misha Dress Circle, Pinot Gris 2012 from Central Otago, New Zealand was served with this.
The Organic Celeriac Soup from “The Ground” was interesting. The soup was poured at table side over a Caramelized Apple & Walnut Timbale and stilton crumble – a combination of unique textures and flavours. This was paired with Ohau Vineyards Magenta Rose 2011 from Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.
We had the Classic Beef Wellington with mushrooms, pommes fondant, baby spinach, glazed carrots and jus from “The Land”. Paired with this classic dish was the Mitolo Angela, Shiraz 2013 from McLaren Vale, Australia.
After the mains, guests were ushered out of the dining hall to the foyer where Gary Rhodes shared a session showcasing his culinary mastery. He demonstrated three simple dishes: pan-seared salmon, grilled chicken and a berries tart. He made everything looked so easy to prepare and explained that the simplest freshest ingredients were all that are necessary for great tasting food.
After the cooking demonstration, we returned to the dining hall for dessert.
Dessert was a typical British sweet: the Deconstructed Eton Mess, which was really messy! Interesting presentation, I’d say. This was served with Wooing Tree Tickled Pink Late Harvest, Pinot Noir 2012 from Central Otago, New Zealand.
So that was my brief encounter with celebrity chef Gary Rhodes. His passion for food came across very clearly when he spoke so earnestly about how food brings people together, across all cultures. Of course, being British, the dry wit and humour peppering his presentation was another appealing aspect of his charming personality.
“An Evening with Gary Rhodes” was part of a series of special events held at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the month-long GREAT Festival showcasing the best of Britain.