Chef Annita Potter has launched the fabulous Viand Club in Darlinghurst and McLeish Wines are excited to be the featured winery, sitting alongside her world class Thai dishes.
We were lucky enough to sit down and ask Annita a few questions while curating an amazing menu to be paired with McLeish Wines.
1: What was it that reeled you in to a love of Thai cuisine?
I couldn’t say for certain what it was – it certainly wasn’t just one thing, I guess it was more of a feeling then anything else.
After completing my training and qualifications in French cooking, I moved to Paris for a job and rented an apartment in the 13th arrondissement – the Asian Quarter. Wandering the neighbourhood on days off, I discovered so many hole- in- the- wall restaurants serving freshly made dumplings, noodles, curries and the most incredible fresh produce markets – I couldn’t get enough. Flavours I had never experienced before, produce I had never seen or understood how to cook. It opened my western eyes to another world. I decided while I was living and working there that my time cooking western food was coming to an end and a new beginning cooking Asian food was on my horizon. Shortly after I moved to Thailand and from then on it’s been a constant reel of love for everything Thai.
There is something about the poetic harmony of cooking a Thai dish that has so many ingredients, all as strong and unique but when marryied together creates an incredible experience. I wanted to cook and eat like that.
2: How important is wine for you when it comes to food?
Wine is as essential as food is for me, the relationship between the two is such an exciting experience.
3: What is your favourite wine styles with Thai/Asian food?
It depends on what kind of Asian food I am eating. The complexity and flavours differ a lot between the cuisines. With Thai food, I usually head towards a Semillon, especially if it has a little age on it. Rieslings or Gewürztraminers of course especially if they have a little spritz, Unwooded Chardonnay’s and Soave and definitely Champagne. Fruit driven whites and with little residual sugar usually work the best. When it comes to reds, I find it becomes a little more complex almost precarious. The tricky part is choosing a red wine to drink and complement not dominate the food. I usually tend to stay on the lighter side of things. Gamay or Beaujolais with lots of fruit, a juicy Grenache or Burgundy is sometimes quite delicious or a Shiraz – especially the Hunter Shiraz. Its light compared to the Barossa Shiraz whilst still having a beautiful structure and an incredible lasting flavour. What an experience!
4: What can you tell us about the up and coming menu at viand over the next few weeks?
For me it always starts with one dish with everything else falling into place after that. Also being heavily driven by seasonal produce it depends on what is at its prime on the day. It certainly makes for an exciting procurement adventure. I could set out in the morning with a menu in mind and by the time I get back to the restaurant it will have completely changed, based on what I have gathered. Sometimes I think I am mad, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. While I was having a glass of the 2016 Reserve Chardonnay the other day, I was thinking stir-fried asian mushrooms with fermented bean curd and Thai basil, but then the following day when I was at the market I came across fresh torch ginger and turmeric leaves and my menu changed. Now, thinking a southern curry of Skull Island Prawns with toasted coconut, pickled torch ginger grilled with turmeric leaves, a stir fry of dried chillies and salted beef perhaps accompanied by the elegantly fruit driven Shiraz and thoughts of bringing back the delightful cuttlefish in its own ink with garlic flowers. I would love for you to come and join me for a dinner experience.
- McLeish Wines will feature at Viand Club til the 24th of February
- Bookings are essential Visit : https://www.viand.club/bookings