Sunday, April 24, 2011

Philippe Jacques Leban - Chef Extraordinaire

Last Easter the idea was born for a Web 2 lunch for Twitter and Facebook friends who had never met. Well this year it continued with a ferry ride, another visit to the MONA gallery and a late lunch for 10 at Philippe Leban's table at the Source. Philippe's chocolate dessert pictured above typifies his devotion to perfection.

Marc Bester, seated in the foreground above, was last year our master Easter chocolate maker but this year he became our very talented photographer using his (and my), favourite little camera, the Panasonic Lumix LX5 with a Leica lens with amazing macro capacity. The entrees - first below is my artichoke with slightly aerated goat's Tongola goat's cheese

Marc Bester's snow egg, with grated bacon.

Mary's green Spanner crab meat with PX jelly and foie gras.

Nathan's prawn bisque.

Sid's roast duck with Hassleback turnips.

My Yellowfin tuna with leeks and foie gras.

Veronica's John Dory with Tasmanian vongole and parsley foam.

Diane's roasted vegetables with powdered walnuts.

Marc's grassfed Cape Grim ribeye with bean shoots and Hassleback potatoes and green salad.

The wines - Gosset Excellence NV champagne, Francois Raveneaux 2008 Montee de Tonnerre premiere cru Chablis, Bruno Desaunay - Bissey 2005 Vosne Romaneee and a Philip Bouchard 2005 Gevrey Chambertin.

Fromage. Fou fou.

A Domaine de la Pigeade Beaumes de Venise muscat with the dessert course.

And the maestro himself who very kindly gave me a tour of his new lavish self designed kitchen. All modern high work benches and induction stovetops - not a gas ring to be seen and only one small sous vide bath. It was just amazing to see ducks slow roasting - resting on two wooden spoons in a pan atop the induction plates. A very lucky man and a very happy one.

Thanks Philippe. We'll be back - again and again. Merci beaucoup.


  1. Beautiful. Thanks Stephen :)

  2. Altogether a divine meal - the art beforehand, the thymeless martini in memory of Greg, the company, the food, the wine, the chef's creativity and dedication, the delightfully attentive waiting staff, and the irreverence of my small moo brew stout to accompany my ROOT (a wry nod to Damien Cowell and Co) vegetables in their ale sauce.

    DEFINITELY worth repeating Stephen and Mary.

    THANK YOU BOTH so much x

  3. It was a fantastic afternoon, thankyou so much.

  4. Looks delicious, and what a line up of wines!


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