WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS: Lisa Atkinson
It was an afternoon of inspiring women, beautiful food and sparkling wine. What's not to love?
I was lucky enough to be asked to style and host a delicious lunch to celebrate the collaboration between Danish design house Georg Jensen and Tasmanian winery Heemskerk. Together they have created the Georg Jensen Hallmark Cuvèe by Heemskerk, a premium Australian sparkling in a sleek, stylish bottle with a resealable closure. It's the ideal drink for Summer entertaining during this festive season and makes for an elegant gift idea that I would be happy to see under my Christmas tree!
My task was to host a beautiful Christmas lunch for a group of inspiring women in business and media, style the table and help create a menu to compliment the crisp, delicate aperitif-style Hallmark Cuvée. My aim was to keep this lunch setting simple, striking and calm, drawing inspiration from the Hallmark Cuvèe bottle itself; my table setting was a palette of black, grey, silver and white.
I started with a crisp white tablecloth and white plate plates from Provincial Home Living as my base, to make all the other elements stand out. Atop my white plates I placed a smaller black plate that complimented the stunning black dining chairs and streamline the look. I then decorated the table with blooming white Hippeastrum from Flowers Vasette, all sitting in silver vases by Georg Jensen. I cannot tell you how much I love these Hippeastrums; they were from Amsterdam, and being so unique they added flair and elegance to the setting. Amongst this I placed geometric vases full of velvety silver Lamb's Ear and pine cones painted in white, then added a sprig of Lamb's Ear tied with a small black bow atop everyone's napkins. What do you think of the overall look?
But of course, a beautiful setting is not complete without beautiful food, is it? The main dish was a gorgeous roast salmon with artichoke, garlic yoghurt and ras el hanout. This dish may look complex, but it is actually quite easy to prepare.
Roast salmon with confit artichoke, garlic yoghurt and ras el hanout
- Salmon fillets (approximately 160g each)
- 50ml olive oil
- Salt flakes
- Artichoke barigoule (see below)
- Roasted artichokes (see below)
- Garlic yoghurt (see below)
- Place salmon fillets on a tray skin side up, score the skin. Leave overnight.
- Sprinkle the skin with salt, heat the olive oil in a pan, and place salmon skin side down until golden.
- Once skin is crispy, place in the oven at 190 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.
- 750g good quality tinned artichoke hearts, quartered
- 4 whole long stemmed tinned artichokes set aide for roasting, quartered
- 1/2 carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 300g kipfler potatoes, steamed
- 90ml white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 pinch caster sugar
- 1 pinch fennel seeds, roasted and ground
- 125ml vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Small handful of parsley, chopped
- Salt and white pepper
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan and sweat carrot and celery for 2-3 minutes making sure they do not colour.
- Turn up the heat, add wine and garlic and reduce until almost dry
- Add the fennel seeds, chicken stock and caster sugar. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add artichokes and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Chop the kipfler potatoes into coins and stir through the barigoule.
- Season and stir through some chopped parsley.
Garlic ras el hanout yoghurt
- 250g natural yoghurt
- 10g roasted garlic
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
- Hang the yoghurt overnight. No longer though, as it should still be a spreadable consistency. If yoghurt becomes too thick, ass some whey back in until you reach the desired consistency.
- Blend the roasted garlic till smooth and add to the yoghurt with the ras el hanout and season with salt to taste.
- 4 long stemmed artichokes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Place artichokes in a roasting tray and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast for 10 minutes until golden and tender.
- Sear the yoghurt onto the base of the plate.
- Spoon the barigoule and some cooking liquid onto the plate
- Lean the salmon fillet against the barigoule and garnish with roasted artichoke quarter.