‘There’s no school like old school’ – Guest Chef Dinner at The Commoner

The commoner, Fitzroy

It’s no secret that we love The Commoner. Lazy Sunday afternoons, Friday date night, an easy and delicious mid-week meal – whatever the occasion, it always delivers.

We thought it couldn’t get any better, and then we went to ‘There’s no school like old school’. The men behind it? Jake Kellie of The Commoner and James Kummrow from Stage is Set, which is another chef collaboration that pops up every few months at Jorg – past chefs have hailed from Hare & Grace, Attica and St ALi – for more info see our Stage is Set blog post.

So what’s the deal? Six courses for $75 per person, with wine matches upon request. Here’s what we feasted on last month. Please excuse the smartphone images, somehow our proper ones got lost in the ether :

Pea and ham with crispy pig’s ear
Beef tartare, house made accompaniments and truffle
<paired with NY Pennyweight Woody’s Amontillado – Beechworth, VIC>
Jake Kellie

Two lovely little dishes to get us started from this insanely promising young chef, and it’s very hard to decide which was better. Bright green, silky-smooth pea soup with crispy pig’s ear and rich beef tartare – a bold and meaty beginning.

The commoner, Fitzroy

Smoked trout, rye, cultured cream and dill
<paired with 2012 Crittenden Estate ‘Oggi’ Friulano Savagnin Arneis – Mornington Peninsula, VIC>
James Kummrow

Earthy and sweet, smoky and creamy. The tangy crumb on top of the fleshy trout was given an added dimension with the addition of bright discs of beetroot, add to that an unusual blend of grape varietals and this was a deliciously different dish.

Roasted scallops, fennel and almonds
<paired with 2012 Golden Ball ‘Cherish’ Shiraz Rose – Beechworth, VIC>
Jake Kellie

Pretty as a picture, and it tasted great too. Perfectly cooked scallops on a well-balanced puree, washed down with shiraz rose.

 Ox tongue, clay-baked sweet potato and cured yolk
<paired with NV Domaine Bruno Sorg Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris – Cremat d’Alsace, France>
Jake Kellie

Another big, bold dish from Jake – a generous serve of earthy ox tongue and clay-baked sweet potato, with a ‘here’s one I made earlier’ demonstration from the kitchen – a very inventive way of cooking the humble tuber and it added great flavour and texture to the dish – as did the beautifully viscous cured yolk.

The commoner, Fitzroy

Roasted free-range chicken, stuffing, potatoes and onion
<paired with 2009 Nino Negri ‘Sasella’ Valtellina Superiore Nebbiolo – Lombardy, Italy>
James Kummrow

Did someone say stuffing? It wasn’t the highlight of the dish as every element was great, but it is hard to see past a decent stuffing – please can more chefs make great stuffing. That’s all. Oh and the cream covered potatoes where delightfully decadent.

The commoner, Fitzroy

Mandarin frangipane and chocolate
<paired with 2011 Le Pigeade Muscat ­– Beaumes de Venise, France>
James Kummrow

Dense chocolate cake with a refreshing citrus ice cream. With a sweet, thick muscat it was a great end to the meal.

photo 2-2

The boys are doing it all over again tomorrow night – Sunday 27 April – tickets might well have sold out by the time we press publish (we’ve been running behind this month) but there is alway next month. Get in touch with The Commoner for more details.

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