In Part 1 of our write up on Footscray Fresh Food Markets presents Adam D’Sylva (Coda, Tonka) & Frank Camorra (Movida), an event that The City Lane was invited to by the Maribrynong City Council and Haystac, we covered exploring the Footscray Market and the Little Saigon Market with D’Sylva & Camorra. In Part 2,we move to the kitchen, where Camorra and D’Sylva used the produce that they purchased at the Footscray Fresh Food Markets to cook up a variety of tantalising dishes.
The cooking portion of the event was held at Studio Raw Materials, an impressive warehouse conversion that houses a state of the art cooking studio complete with kitchen, dining area and showroom. Those in attendance waited in anticipation, Prosecco in hand, as D’Sylva and Camorra prepared.
The cooking demonstration was very informative and fun, with D’Sylva and Camorra’s banter and down-to-earth style hitting all the right notes.
D’Sylva’s first dish of the night was a yellow fin tuna, apple, wasabi and ponzu salad. The light flavours and Japanese influences made this dish an excellent starter and I loved the simplicity of the dish – it’s something that anyone can make at home.
The tip that we received from D’Sylva while he was making this dish was about the benefits of investing a julienne slicer. They can easily be found for $6.00 at most markets or Asian grocery stores and make achieving uniformity in sliced vegetables super easy. We purchased one the following day and have already used it several times. It always seemed like an unnecessary gadget but after using one our position has changed – and for $6.00 there’s no reason not to have one.
Next up Camorra prepared calamari cooked in olive oil with a spiced beetroot salad. This was our favourite dish of the night with the calamari cutting nicely through the sweet and tangy elements of the beetroot salad. The tip for home cooks here was to leave the calamari skin on rather than discard is as is usually the case. Camorra only learned of this technique a few years ago on a trip to southern Spain and has used it in his cooking ever since. It gives the calamari a more rustic appearance and, more importantly, intensifies the flavour.
We enjoyed this dish so much that we wanted to give readers the opportunity to try it at home. Thanks to Camorra and the organisers, we got our hands on the recipe which you can find here.
Next up D’Sylva prepared a Coda favourite – Hanoi style crispy paper rolls with nuoc mam cham dipping sauce. Unlike many rice paper rolls we’ve tried in the past these were deep fried however they weren’t greasy. The ingredients of this dish really shone through, highlighting the freshness of the Vietnamese herbs. A great dish with D’Sylva’s tip being that if you’re ever making rolls with rice paper and are finding it difficult to roll up properly just fold them into squares instead – it’s easier and, on a practical level, just as good as the more traditional roll shape.
To finish we were treated to Camorra’s milk soup with cinnamon bread dumplings and melon balls. Based on a peasant dish from the far west of Spain, this recipe uses stale bread (this is important – fresh bread won’t soak up the milk as well) as the base of a sweet, moist and crispy treat with the modern twist of adding melon providing a refreshing counterbalance to the rest of the components. Camorra told us that the melon balls were just something that he likes to do to make a dish look fancier – cutting the melon into squares like most people do is just as good.
Footscray Fresh Food Markets presents Adam D’Sylva & Frank Camorra was a great event that The City Line was glad to be a part of. The event was very well organised and it was a real treat being able to meet 2 of Melbourne’s top chefs and to learn from them (as well as eat their food!). Kudos to Haystack for designing the concept and to the Maribrynong City Council for being on board with the idea. The experience has made us more motivated than ever to get out to Footscray and discover more of what the area has to offer and we hope reading about it has done the same for you.