Peter Gilmore, of Quay and Bennelong, and Firedoor's Lennox Hastie have known each other for years, but they've never cooked side by side. That changes this month when the pair team up to cook a collaborative dinner, the first in a series to be held at Hastie's Surry Hills restaurant.
Don't expect a parade of dishes from their respective menus. "Anyone can go to Bennelong and eat something from one particular chef," says Hastie. "I prefer sharing what we do to combine and create something different."
They plan a true collaboration limited only by cooking with fire, with each bringing their specialities to the table. "I bring texture and layering of flavours," says Gilmore, "while Lennox brings purity of flavour. They are complementary."
This will be seen, for instance, in a reincarnation of Quay's famed snow egg, an orb of poached meringue filled with custard ice-cream, with Hastie adding his touch in the form of smoked ice-cream and grilled cape gooseberries.
Gilmore will add his own XO sauce - crafted over days for depth of flavour - to Hastie's grilled Australian pipis. "In terms of being downright delicious and tasty," says Hastie, "I think it's going to kill everyone."
Grilled abalone with umami butter and native greens.
There's a completely new creation, too: grilled marron over coals with mushroom chawanmushi and umami broth. Diners can also expect abalone cooked over stone-fruit wood as well as blistered pumpkin with wild rice and freshly grated truffle.
The pair will work their magic with Hastie's grills and wood-fired ovens in the open kitchen at Firedoor so there's some theatre on the menu, too.
Peter Gilmore x Lennox Hastie Dinner, 22 August 2016, 6.30pm for 7pm start. Price is $325 per person. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 8204 0800.
Firedoor, 22-23 Mary St, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW.