I recently travelled to Melbourne for a special event hosted by chef Adam D’Sylva (of restaurants Coda and Tonka) in conjunction with Luv-a-Duck. The occasion was an invite-only 40-guest dinner held in a converted Collingwood warehouse appropriately re-named “Dux Kitchen”.
The room was nicely fitted out for the evening, with Luv-a-Duck trays cleverly used for ceiling decoration (I feel sorry for whoever constructed that). Guests included bloggers and media from around Australia, and ex-MasterChef contestants.
Here’s the menu for the evening. Yes…eight courses of duck!
Here’s those eight courses in all their glory. As you would expect from a chef of D’Sylva’s calibre, they were all of restaurant quality. My highlights were the gnocchi (which was a favourite of many) and the red curry.
BUT! At the end of the evening it was revealed that the dishes were designed by D’Sylva but cooked by a group of amateur cooks using supermarket Luv-a-Duck products. I don’t think anyone in the room guessed this, it certainly wasn’t evident in the food presented. It made for a very clever and surprising reveal. The point was to show that duck can be easily cooked at home, and the message came across loud and clear.
See below for some of my photos from the evening…
…and here are some of the official photos. I’m hiding in one of them 😉
Luv-a-Duck products are available in supermarkets nationwide, and as this event showed there’s nothing for the home cook to be afraid of. I decided to try the Luv-a-Duck experience for myself and purchased the Peking duck ten-pancake kit ($15 from ALDI).
There’s no messing about when you open the box – there’s duck, sauce and pancakes. The duck is pre-cooked, so simply needs heating up. It can be put in the microwave, but I elected to do things the hard way and threw it in the oven for 20 minutes. The pancakes take just 1 minute in the microwave to heat.
Slice the meat off the bone, add spring onion and cucumber and you’re done. The end result? Moist, tasty peking duck pancakes, and another surprising dinner from a pre-cooked supermarket product.