Published on October 1st, 2012 | by Ultimate OmNoms3
Cooking with TriBeCa’s Hayden McMillan
Sachie Nomura is becoming a real household name in the culinary field. I first heard about Sachie from Sachie Kitchen’s famous Monday sushi, then realised she’s a regular on TV and foodie events too! We just caught her salmon salad demo at the Auckland Food Show and were amazed at how easy and delicious it was to whip up at home. Since then I’ve been wanting to learn more Vietnamese cooking. Easy to make with really appetising flavours!
Lucky at Sachies Kitchen, they’re running a series of cooking classes by your favourite Auckland chefs. Dubbed as Brigade 6, I present to you the talented team:
At the top of the game, the Bridage 6 are all Gen X and Y chefs so they’re young, contemporary and their culinary creations influenced by their travels around the world. These are the talented chefs that are already challenging the Auckland restaurant scene with new flavours to tantalise our tastebuds and extend our boundaries.
With classes from Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian to Japanese and Chinese, you can take your pick on what you want to be creative in.
The night I went, I had Hayden McMillan of TriBeCa as our chef and teacher for the night. Don’t be deceived into the Kiwi bloke stereotype by his tall muscular figure, his dishes are intricate and well thought out with an emphasis on smart seasonal cooking.
Having paved himself in New Zealand’s culinary scene by working in some of New Zealand’s top kitchens including Meredith’s, French Cafe, Huka Lodge and Vinnies, Hayden’s wealth of experience was evident in his style and teaching.
To spend the whole night with such a respected chef in the NZ culinary field was a real honour. Cozy in a group of 5, we started off with a glass of delicious sparkling sake.
At our own little counter, all the ingredients were already prepared for us at the sleek ding of the Fisher and Paykel fridge.
Vietnamese prawn and noodle salad
This has the perfect balance of sweet, sour and saltiness that I love about Vietnamese food. The trick is in the nuoc cham dressing – brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and red chili. Add the dressing before the vermicelli cools so the noodles don’t stick together. The final touch with the mint, coriander and basil leaves add the final zest. We were shown to pierce and bruise the herbs to get the maximum flavour. And for that fresh crunch, add the carrot and cucumber at the end.
Pork San Choy Bau (Pork Taco’s)
These lettuce wraps are a great alternative to using high carb wraps. These are great – cute as little entrees for your guests or quick snack for yourself. By adding oyster sauce and water chestnuts, it adds new flavours and freshness to your average stir fry pork.
Tip: For crisp lettuce leaves, put them in a bowl of iced water for 10 minutes before patting dry.
Bo Luc Lac (shaking beef)
This is my favourite. Seeing the appetising colours of purple, orange and green was enough to send my stomach growling. Why the name shaking beef? Literally because you shake the wok to cook the beef. You only need to cook it for 1-2 minutes over high heat so the outside is charred on the outside but juicy and rare in the centre. Whilst Hayden recommends sirloin, you can substitute it for a cheaper cut of beef. Just cut against the grain so the meat doesn’t curl up.
Random tip: For those emotional onion cutters, soak the onion in hot water before you set yourself to open the floodgates. That should take the sting away.
Hayden’s enthusiasm, raw energy and cheeky sense of humour is infectious! Though I doubt he’s normally this laid-back and forgiving at home in his TriBeCa kitchen, he took us through these 3 easy courses with ingredients we can easy find in our fridge.
For more details on the fully hands-on Brigade 6 masterclasses, check it out:
Ph: (09) 302-7680 OR +021- 244-5450
And if you haven’t found out about the BEST sushi in town yet, check out Sachie’s Kitchen for their famous Monday sushi!