Winter has arrived and it's the perfect time to indulge in hearty local winter fare. Ballarat Food was invited to a special preview dinner at The Bunch of Grapes Hotel to sample one of chef Jordan Green's new winter menu dishes, paella.
Paella is a Valencian-Catalan word which derives from the Old French word paelle for pan, which in turn comes from the Latin word patella for pan as well. During the 20th century, paella's popularity spread past Spain's borders. As other cultures set out to make paella, the dish invariably acquired regional influences. Consequently, paella recipes went from being relatively simple to including a wide variety of seafood, meat, sausage, (even chorizo) vegetables and many different seasonings.
Making a tasty paella takes time, quality ingredients and experience to create a perfect combination of flavours. It is an art rather than a formula. Jordan piqued our interest when he suggested a paella night for some of his food fans. We were not disappointed. Lashings of paella were served with generous amounts of seafood, chorizo and delicious pork that melted in our mouths. With a superb smokey flavour enhanced by lemon and coriander it was difficult to stop at two serves, so I had a third.
I have tried a few paella's in my time and Jordan's latest version is perhaps the heartiest I have had, Jordan really has created a tasty Ballarat variant of this classic dish. He has not skimped on the delicious chorizo and pork from Country Style Smallgoods and has used such a time intensive cooking method that the pork from the hocks melts in your mouth in a subtle smokey infusion. Then there's fresh seafood, fish, prawns and mussles. The night we sampled Jordan's paella he used gummy shark, but he really does tend to use the freshest fish available on the day.
The table were sold, we unanimously supported the inclusion of this amazing dish on the new Bunch of Grapes winter menu, which Jordan and the team will commence serving this Friday 6th June 2014 from lunch time onwards. We have been quietly awaiting this new menu which will be primarily based on local quality fare. It's the perfect time of year to enjoy some of the slow cooked delights Jordan has planned. For anyone curious about the new Bunch of Grapes winter menu, you can download a preview copy below, for bookings you can contact The Bunch of Grapes on 03 - 5331 4687.