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Gordon Ramsay scholar and our Newcastle executive chef, David Cross knows how to pick the perfect pear. His restaurant, Babbingtons Bar and Grill at Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel in Charlestown, New South Wales has just been named the Australian Pear Month Restaurant of the Year in celebration of Australian Pear Month in March.
David’s winning dish, Crispy Hoi Sin and Five Spice Duck Wings with a Cucumber and Shallot Salad finished with a Chilli Pear Relish, went up against dishes 200 other cafes, restaurants and cooking schools around the country vying for the acclaimed annual award, first launched by Australian Pears in 2012.
It sounds like a complicated entrée, right? We thought so too – until David shared his award winning recipe with us. Duck, pear sauce and salad. Who would have thought this easy pear sauce was a secret ingredient for acclaimed chefs worldwide? (Recipe link below).
So what foods do your pair with a pear? David shares his favourites.
“Pears can be used with sharp cheeses and haloumi, as a main sauce accompanying poultry and green leafy salads, and of course the poached pear on its own is a dessert classic.
“When serving duck, poultry or game meats, a sweet sauce is a great accompaniment to balance flavours. Pears give a flavourful base to include other savoury herbs and spices and can really lift the whole taste of a dish.”
If the dish goes pear-shaped, David says there is always a fail-safe method to revert to.
“Make sure your pear is slightly soft, and the skin bounces back when pressed – then take a bite.”
Click here to read David’s award-winning recipe in Chef’s Feed.
David has won a number of awards including National Pork Chef of the Year (2007), Best Restaurant (2008 – 2009) and was one of the chefs awarded a Gordon Ramsay Scholarship (Regional Finalist London City restaurant) while working in London.
To make a reservation at Babbingtons Bar and Grill at Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel, go to bestwestern.com.au/apollointernational or phone (02) 4943 6733.