Issue Three Spring
Lamb
With guest chef editor
Paul Carmichael

Contents

Editor’s Letters

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Editor’s
Letters

Mary-Jane
Morse

This issue brings us into the regenerative season of spring and with it, peak supply of succulent Australian spring lamb. Spring is a time for transformation and new beginnings – so maybe now is the time to begin to rethink your menu in preparation for the warmer months ahead.
The Spring Lamb issue takes us on quite the literal journey – from our visit to lamb producer Michael Craig in western Victoria where Paul learnt to ride a motorcycle and mustered his first mob of sheep; to an epic road trip with my mate Mike Eggert exploring lamb on menus from Geelong to Goulburn.

We delve into the hearts and minds of the magical Momofuku Seiobo, voted number 6 in Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants – from the sassy smiling assassin in the front to the belly laughing Barbadian in the back; it’s a hell of a good time.

With a visual feast of lamb dishes to savour, we hope this issue inspires you to explore the endless opportunities of Australian lamb – because really, what spring menu is complete without a delicious spring lamb offering?

 

Mary-Jane Morse
Foodservice Marketing Manager
Meat & Livestock Australia
raremedium@mla.com.au
@_raremedium

Paul
Carmichael

Sydney is an amazing city, so much so that you can easily forget how beautiful the Australian countryside can be.

Enter Harrow, a small and beautiful town nestled somewhere in western Victoria. The farms were lush and green with so many old trees, the type of scenery that makes a city boy like me forget about the city.

It was my first time to a sheep farm in Australia and I was stoked to see and learn about the farming systems here. There I met Michael Craig the farmer and his wife Jane Craig who is an all-around badass.

Michael is extremely passionate about his industry and is the type of forward thinker that gets you excited about farming and where it can go. He is an innovator and focuses on making each of his farming practices sustainable. I totally geeked out and I learned so much about the industry, things like his theory of moving from a supply chain to value chain, and the crash course in mustering a mob of sheep was also epic.

I hope this issue can inspire you to look into the industry as a whole. Knowing where your food comes from is one thing, knowing how it gets there and how it all comes together is another. I am so grateful for all the hard work farmers put in. Thanks Michael and Jane for your hospitality and for sharing your knowledge and passion. So glad I got to tag along.

Big ups to MJ. Shout out to Macca.

 

Paul Carmichael
Executive Chef
Momofuku Seiobo
@momofukuseiobo

Copyright: this publication is published by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited ABN 39 081 678 364 (MLA).

Guest Chef Profile

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ALL
HAIL
KING
CARMICHAEL

Q. What do you call a restaurant based in an Australian casino; owned by a USA restaurateur and TV star; with a Caribbean tasting menu curated by a Bajan chef?

 

A. You call it awesome. Well, technically, you call it Seiobo.

Seiobo means goddess of west and so I am not exactly sure what that makes Paul Carmichael. As executive chef of Momofuku’s only restaurant outside North America – it could be said that he is the southern jewel in the Momofuku Empire’s crown. All hail King Carmichael.

 

But, really. 

 

Paul is the ultimate expression of laid back and at the same time the very model of mad-scientist crazy. Sometimes following his train of thought is like trying to follow a map for hidden treasure. Then he laughs; a laugh from the belly that reaches his eyes; and you forget what he was trying to say and just laugh along with him.

With Paul there is no rule book. Whilst it may seem like he is just going along moment-by-moment, learning from mistakes and pushing forward – there is a method to his madness. When Paul took reign of the kitchen in 2015, General Manager Kylie Javier Ashton struggled at first with his seemingly blasé approach.

“Paul was super frustrating to work with at first because he is all over the shop and I wasn’t used to working like that. I am super organised and he just shoots from the hip – I just had to trust him. I got to know him more and soon figured out, he might be crazy but he’s not an idiot,” she laughs.

"Me and Kylie work well together – we're like yin and yang. I am crazy and lost all the time and she is focused. She takes my external crazy and brings it into focus in a way that I can’t."

“Me and Kylie work well together – we’re like yin and yang. I am crazy and lost all the time and she is focused. She takes my external crazy and brings it into focus in a way that I can’t – I find it difficult to explain a vision because I generally don’t have one,” Paul said.

Coming to Australia to head up Seiobo was no exception and Paul said he never had a grand plan for what it would become – but together he and Kylie have shaped a dining experience unlike any other in Australia.

“Seiobo is a Caribbean restaurant which is something I have always wanted to do. I didn’t come here thinking that is what it would be, but once I got a feel for Australian ingredients and culture, it just kind of made sense,” he said.

“It’s the way he likes to cook and the Caribbean influences have slowly evolved the menu more and more. It is still fine dining but it is more committed to Paul’s journey and his Caribbean roots. I love Paul – working with him, his creativity and his food – it is always a fun journey,” Kylie adds.

Paul touts quite the resume – graduating from the Culinary Institute of America then moving to New York to work at a number of renowned venues including wd-50, Asiate and Aquavit. He was then executive chef at Perla in Puerto Rico before returning to New York to start his Momofuku journey – heading up Ma Peche for four years.

But for Paul, success is not necessarily about where he has worked or the accolades he has amassed along the way – it’s about creating an environment where his team can grow, where successes are shared and failures are used as a tool to learn.

“The biggest goal professionally is to have a successful restaurant. I want my staff to be happy in an environment where they can flourish and be the best person they can be. I want my kitchen to be a place where people can contribute and be a part of the entire experience for better or worse. It’s about being all in, all the time,” he said.

It’s a sentiment that Kylie shares. For her, success is built around communication – the ability for the team to be able to talk openly and honestly, to feel safe and respected.

“We have a small team, there’s 18 in total and it’s our little family, we are open and we can talk about anything. Seiobo is home for a lot of the team, many are not from Sydney and don’t have families here – we are their family. Creating a place where everyone feels safe and a place that everyone can be proud of is really important for us,” Kylie adds.

"Seiobo is home for a lot of the team, many are not from Sydney and don’t have families here – we are their family."

For Paul, cooking has always been a part of who he is – a lifelong obsession that has taken him all over the world. But it all began at home in Barbados where food was a huge part of his childhood and cooking and eating always involved family and loved ones.

“Mum and dad always encouraged me – they put me on a stool and I made my first thing alone when I was three years old. It is just something that I have always loved to do. It wasn’t necessarily easy for me but it was never something I had to think about.”

“Some kids grow up and they’re really good at putting things together or they see a violin and they can play it. Cooking always came very, very naturally for me, I was obsessed and it was never ever secondary. I honestly feel that there are some things that people are just born to do and cooking has always been the thing for me,” he said.
 

So what advice does Paul have for budding young chefs or those considering a career in the foodservice industry?
 

“I feel like if you want to be good, then you’ve just got to work hard at it. That is a belief of mine – regardless of where I am, I work very hard, I’m a workaholic. For the craft of cooking you definitely need to devote time, effort and focus. It’s not just going to be easy all the time.”

“Keep trying to learn, keep grinding and never think that you’re too good to learn. I’ve been cooking for 23 odd years and I feel like I can learn every day,” he said.

 

Paddock Story

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Finding

 

Balance

 

 

 

Michael Craig is not your average farmer – not that one can easily surmise an average farmer – so perhaps it is better to say, Michael Craig is not average. This tongue-in-cheek character with his big smile and no holds barred chat, was born and raised a city boy; but he is country to the bone.

Hailing from Adelaide, he was the youngest of five boys. When he was five, his father purchased the original block of land on which he and his family now live; and which Paul and I have come to explore over a stunning winter weekend in June.

As we pile into the old Landcruiser paddock basher, Jacinta the dog is not going to miss out and, as she manoeuvres from lap to lap, Mick shows us around the farm, pointing out the trees he and his father planted some 30 odd years ago.

This intricate history of stewardship, the tangible care of the land and the drive to continually foster and improve it for future generations weaves through all that Mick does and is abundantly apparent in all that we see and experience.

Despite not growing up on the land, Mick tells us there was always just something about the wide-open spaces that spoke to him.

“It is this acute sense of being involved in something bigger than the sum of its parts and having ultimate responsibility for something so precious. It always seemed like an incredible privilege to me and not something to be taken for granted,” he said.

Mick studied economics and accounting before commencing a career in agri-business based in Canberra. However, the allure of the land and his high school sweetheart Jane saw him make the decision at 26 to leave the city behind and give full time farming a go.

Fast forward to now and Mick, Jane and their two boys happily call Tuloona home. Located four hours’ drive west of Melbourne, the property encompasses 11,000 acres of mixed farming enterprise not far from the South Australian border.

“We still reside on the original parcel of land that my father purchased but have acquired surrounding land as our operations grew over time. We now run between 17,000 – 25,000 sheep depending on the season, 950 cattle and around 3,200 acres of mixed cropping,” Mick said.

As Paul and Mick share nuances about their individual businesses, making comparisons and learning more about each other’s end of the supply chain, Paul asks Mick why it is he wanted to start a farm in the first place.

“Paul, you being here has actually helped me to consider more succinctly what I am doing here and for me it is probably more about sustainability than anything else. It is as much about having a sustainable environment in which to bring up our kids, as it is about producing sheep or cattle – which is actually very uneconomic because the ability to actually generate the return is so far away,” he responded.

“To be a farmer you’ve got to be really long-term and that’s the advantage of succession and hopefully having our boys involved when they grow up. Being able to give something to the next generation and say, yep, I’ve done a good job – and that’s not a financial thing; it’s a pride in what you have done.”

"It is as much about having a sustainable environment in which to bring up our kids, as it is about producing sheep or cattle – which is actually very uneconomic because the ability to actually generate the return is so far away.”

For Mick everything at Tuloona is about balance – whether it’s balancing ground cover with perennial and seasonal grasses; stock numbers to reduce damage to the land; the genetics of his flock; or finding the sweet spot between sustainability and profit.

“What our business really works hard on is actually working with Mother Nature and finding equilibrium to ensure our pastures and our animal production systems are in balance. Farming is very much about observation, being observant to what animals are doing and what the system is doing and being able to adjust.”

“Unfortunately there is no play book for what the right thing to do is all the time. It’s a good lifestyle because you never actually get everything completely right in a sense – there’s always another part to the equation, so you’re always learning,” he said.

For Paul, that observation rings true and he likens Mick’s experience and business management to his own at Momofuku Seiobo.

“It’s true – we’re all just learning as we go, making mistakes and learning from them to continually improve. If we had it all right, all the time, it would be easy and that would be boring,” Paul said.

Talking of his sheep business specifically, Mick explains how it has evolved from a predominantly wool based enterprise to now producing sheep for both wool and meat – again to find that balance and mitigate risk.

“Having a spread of both wool and meat sheep gives us balance so if we get a really hard season and our ability to finish animals is restricted, we’re still getting wool production and managing risk.”

“We’re trying to find a dual-purpose sheep and so we join Merinos, renowned for their wool, to White Suffolk’s. This hybrid gives us increased weight and quicker growth but also better fertility while providing good eating quality characteristics,” he said.

One of the goals for the sheepmeat industry in Australia is to get to the point where every carcase can be objectively measured to determine and inform relevant attributes of eating quality.

“Here at Tuloona, we follow the pathways of Meat Standards Australia to underpin our product and to guarantee eating quality for our end user. We also use DNA to trace each animal’s lineage to help us understand where our genetics are going.”

“Using technology like this creates a pathway to determine better eating quality outcomes and the ability to make required changes on farm and through the supply chain to ensure consistency in our product,” Mick concluded.

 

Roadies

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Roadies

Geelong to Sydney

 

With Mike Eggert

Aussies love their lamb and we also love a road trip – we kind of have to, we inhabit the largest island in the world – accounting for 5% of its total land area.

So, we thought we’d combine the two and go on an epic lamb road trip from Geelong to Sydney through some of Australia’s lamb producing heartland.

Mike was in Geelong for a pop up at The Hot C****** Project (editor note – no chicken allowed) and so our journey began there and ended three days later in Sydney.

We travelled 1,346km and sampled eleven lamb dishes at nine different venues – all decidedly different and all delectably delicious.

Winding our way across the countryside, we had the “tough job” of sampling some of the country’s finest at local restaurants, bakeries, bars, pubs and cafes along the way.

It was one epic adventure jam-packed with lamb and lots of laughs – and what road trip is complete without some cheesy tourist stops?!

We hope you enjoy the Roadies journey as much as we did.

Menu

 

Moroccan Lamb Sausage Roll

That Place Patisserie, Geelong VIC

 

Lamb Shawarma

Sam’s Cafe, Geelong VIC

 

Braised Lamb Shanks & Mash

The Farmers Arms Hotel, Daylesford VIC

 

Lamb & Shiraz Pie

Tooborac Pies, Tooborac VIC

 

Lamb Tasting Plate – Chipolatas, Rissoles, Cutlet & Backstrap

Kinross Woolshed, Albury NSW

 

Lamb & Mint Pie

Jack’s Store, Corryong VIC

 

Lamb & Haloumi Burger with Jalapeno Pickle

Lake Crackenback Resort, Crackenback NSW

 

Lamb Shoulder, Risoni & Barley Stew

Lake Crackenback Resort, Crackenback NSW

 

Lamb Omelette

Cooma Cafe and Turkish Kebab & Pizza, Cooma NSW

 

Grilled Sweet & Sour Lamb Ribs with Puffed Buckwheat

Kokomos, Canberra ACT

 

Wood Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Pineapple Mustard & White Soy

Kokomos, Canberra ACT

 

Up Front

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Up
Front

 

Kylie Javier Ashton

General Manager
– Momofuku Seiobo

Kylie has always loved taking care of people and that’s a key reason why she ended up in hospitality. Growing up, food was always at the centre of everything for her family and when she first started working in hospitality, everything just made sense and fell in to place.

She says when she’s taking care of other people, that’s when she feels the most comfortable – to her hospitality is not a job, it’s just who she is. We chat to her about her career and her little Momo family.

 

 

Tell us about your hospitality career – where did it start and how did you get to where you are today?

 

I started working in bars as a second job when I was studying. When I saw an ad to work in the reservations team at Tetsuya’s, I applied but ended up with a job in the restaurant. I didn’t even know how to carry three plates and had never worked in a restaurant. But it was an amazing place to learn, and I worked my way up to be a food runner, then a section waiter, a host and even did a week work experience in the kitchen.

I’ve been really lucky to work with amazing people throughout my career – including Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt at Bentley, and went on to open Duke Bistro with Mitch Orr and Thomas Lim. There is a great community of people you meet in hospitality that essentially landed me where I am today. Ben Greeno and Su Wong would come to Duke and have late night snacks when they were setting up Momofuku Seiobo. I remember thinking how awesome it would be to work there, and when I left Duke the opportunity came up to join the team.

It’s been a six-year journey so far. In that time, I took over as the General Manager and Paul Carmichael took over as Executive Chef, and I’ve seen the restaurant through a lot of change. It’s honestly my dream job and I love what we’ve created.

What does a day in the life look like for the general manager of Momofuku Seiobo?

 

 

It really depends on the day! I think that is what I love most about my job – it’s pretty dynamic and no two days are the same. For the first part of my day, I focus on admin. Whilst that might sound mundane, there’s always a pretty broad scope of things I’m working on. This could range from managing the finances to menu design, event planning, reservations, press requests and the list goes on.

Then, of course, service is the fun part. It’s great to work in a job where you get to see the results of your work immediately – and the fast-paced environment of a restaurant keeps me on my toes and thinking quick.

Tell us about your Momofuku family – how do you keep all the kids happy and humming along?

 

 

Our Momo family is exactly like any family – we’re a little bit dysfunctional and a little bit crazy – but we have a lot of fun doing what we do, and we have each other’s backs. It’s a really diverse team with people from so many different backgrounds which keeps things interesting and adds extra layers to our team. Most of the FOH team have been with me for a long time, and I’m grateful to have such a solid crew to work with and learn from.

We have tonnes of systems in place because I’m a little OCD – but it means you never walk into a shit-show and we can focus on putting on a seamless service. We try to have a strong focus on training. At the end of the day, we want to produce the best industry leaders and people who can think about the bigger picture – not just teach people how to get through service.

You’re a judge of this year’s Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter award – what advice do you have for young people keen to pursue a FOH career?

 

 

  On-the-job training is one of the most valuable tools to have. Nothing beats experience and the best way to learn and develop is to pay attention to what is going on around you – not just to what is in front of you. This industry has a lot to give, but only if you take it for yourself. And, like other industries, education is so valuable. Study wine, business, management, or anything hospitality related. It will give you extra tools to develop your skills and knowledge.

So, you’re a vegetarian being interviewed for a red meat-focused emagazine which probably isn’t PC but it’s a reality for our industry. Tell us about your red meat journey.

 

 

  Being a vegetarian is a new thing for me, and I do eat meat on very special occasions. I still love meat, but I guess the main reason for being a vegetarian is about being more conscious about my consumption and my choices. I don’t want to be disengaged from what I consume. I feel there is a social responsibility to understand and respect the animals, farmers and land that our food comes from.

We are incredibly privileged to have unlimited access to what is essentially a luxury item for most people around the world. So, I try to be mindful of what and when I eat meat. To enjoy and savour it, and not be wasteful or complacent when I do choose to treat myself.

Cut Showcase

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Lamb Chump

 

HAM 4790

Derived from the lower back area at the top of the leg, there are two chumps per animal, accounting for around 3% of the carcase. Lamb chump is the equivalent of a beef rump and comprised of the same muscles. Offering tender, flavoursome and textural roasts, steaks and chops, this versatile primal has application potential across venue and cuisine types.

 

Two Under Ten

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Take two Seiobo sous; add Australian lamb and here’s what you get – awesome. Cian and Veronica channel Caribbean flavour and frivolity to plate up two deliciously different dishes. One is a banging bar snack with punch-in-the-face flavour encased in crispy fried bread; and the other a perfectly balanced, delicately plated play on a traditional raw fish dish.

1.

Lamb Ceviche

Plantain, Okra & Habanero

 

Cian Mulholland
Sous Chef
Momofuku Seiobo

 

@chefdices

In an epic clashing of cuisines and cultures – Cian, better known as Irish – takes the popular seafood dish and issues it a new identity with delicate slices of dry-aged lamb saddle. Star boy takes your taste buds out to dance with some Caribbean spice and flavour.

2016 Cobaw Ridge ‘il Pinko’, Macedon Ranges Australia

This rosé has everything going for it. It’s savoury, textural and is a serious rose without losing any of the fun. You want something fresh and vibrant to match the acidity of the ceviche and let all those pretty herbs do their thing. This is a wonderful food wine that will let the lamb do the talking.

Ingredients

 

Dry-aged lamb saddle
Shallot
Plantain
Habanero
Mint
Chives
Coriander
Lime
Olive oil
Okra
Onion
Garlic
Ginger
Tamarind

 

Total cost — $3.50 per serve

2.

Jerk Lamb Bakes

Curry, Parsley & Habanero

 

Veronica Trevizo
Sous Chef
Momofuku Seiobo

 

@trevizo_veronica

  We be shakin and bakin baby – make sure to make some room for dis tasty ting! Victoria rolls out and fries up traditional Caribbean bakes – crisp on the outside, soft and doughy inside – then loads them up with jerk-spiced lamb mince grilled over coals, habanero mayo and fresh parsley. Get some.

Can of Moritz Lager, Barcelona Spain

When you have meat wrapped in bread, there’s nothing more satisfying then a cleansing ale to go with it. Not only are Moritz cans super crushable on their own, they are the best way to cut through rich smokey lamb that’s been cooked over coals.

Ingredients

 

Lamb mince
Capsicum
Red onion
Ginger
Garlic
Parsley
Allspice
Clove
Cinnamon
Habanero
Marjoram
Kewpie
Curry powder
Bakes

 

Total cost — $1.75 per serve

 

On The Menu

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With spring in the air and the seasonal peak in lamb supply approaching – now is the time to start planning a spring clean of your menu. Create your own lamb masterpiece with inspiration from some of our favourite lamb dishes around the country – from a fusion of Aussie Chinese favourites to a tasty AF lamb intercostal on a skewer – there is nothing quite like the flavour of Australian lamb.

Koji Marinated Lamb Intercostals

 

Ester – Chippendale
Mat Lindsay

For this skewered snack, lamb intercostals are marinated in koji to tenderise and amp up their rich umami flavour, then slowly cooked on a skewer over charcoal, turning constantly for about eight minutes. The cooked lamb is then glazed in a burnt honey sauce infused with desert oak – a relative of wattle seed that lends caramelised, nutty flavours to the dish. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of fennel salt and served with house made hot mustard and wood-fire smoked garlic.

Lamb Spit Roast & Sangiovese

 

Baccomatto Osteria – Surry Hills
Valerio Boncompagni

On Wednesdays, local one-hatted Italian eatery Baccomatto runs a Spit Roast + Sangiovese special with a changing selection of feature roasts each week. When we visit, whole lamb shoulders have been boned and marinated for 24 hours in yoghurt with cumin, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic. The shoulders are then slow spit roasted over coal for 5-6 hours and basted with the yoghurt mixture throughout the cooking process. Served with a choice of sides – we opt for Brussel sprouts and crispy roast potatoes – and a glass of Sangiovese of course.

Moroccan Lamb Sausage Roll

 

That Place Patisserie – Geelong
Ashlea Allen

 

At That Place, an Aussie favourite gets an upgrade and we’re not complaining – is there anything more satisfying than succulent lamb encased in homemade pastry? We think not. Head pastry chef and owner Ashlea trained in France and her technical skills are evident in the crisp buttery folds of puff pastry that take the humble sausage roll to new heights. Using locally sourced lamb shoulder mince, Ashlea mixes through quinoa for texture and tomato for moisture along with a range of Moroccan spices; then adds currants which bring a balanced sweetness to the roll. Go full Aussie and dunk it in Ashlea’s house made tomato sauce – seriously good times.

Mongolian Lamb San Choi Bao

 

Queen Chow – Enmore & Manly
Patrick Friesen

What started as a menu special has fast become one of Queen Chow’s most popular dishes and they just can’t stop selling it. A nostalgic blend of two classic Aussie Chinese dishes – the dish talks to an era of Aussies that grew up when Chinese was the only ethnic food offering and a special occasion was a night out at the local Chinese. Not a fan of the original Mongolian lamb, Pat thought he’d freshen things up and lighten the dish by serving it San Choi Bao style – and it is working a treat. Lamb leg is minced in house using a coarse grind then wok fried with a classic Mongolian lamb sauce and served with lettuce cups to stuff and smash. Share if you care, or don’t.

Crumbed Lamb’s Brains

 

Press* Food & Wine – Adelaide
Andrew Davies

 

Press* Food & Wine has always had a dedicated offal section on its menu. Executive chef Andrew Davies is committed to respecting the whole animal and utilises a range of secondary cuts and organs – from tongue to sweetbreads and everything in between. The lamb’s brains are first cleaned and then poached in an aromatic broth before dusting in flour and pan frying, basting with butter throughout. The brains are served on creme fraiche with freshly grated horseradish; confit onions adds sweetness to the dish and a garnish of pickled onion, watercress, frisee and red-veined sorrel helps to cut through the richness of the dish.

Fast Facts

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Fast Facts

Since 1998, 37.2 million sheep have been processed following the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) pathways

For the first quarter of 2018, national lamb slaughter tracked 4% higher than the same period last year, at 5.8 million head

Lamb carcases in NSW, recorded a 5% increase year-on-year, averaging over 25kg in the first quarter of 2018

Lamb production for 2018 is forecast to reach 524,000 tonnes carcase weight (cwt), up 3% year-on-year

For the first four months of 2018, Australian sheepmeat exports grew 11% year-on-year on the back of higher lamb and mutton production

Next Issue

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For our next issue, Summer Beef, we are excited to welcome into the chef editor role, Merivale executive chef, Jordan Toft.

Heading up the 2 hatted Bert’s Bar & Brasserie and overseeing the numerous food offerings of The Newport, The Coogee Pavilion and The Collaroy; Jordy takes time out of his busy day to day to explore Australian beef with us in all its hot, summery glory.