No Fool in The Kitchen – April Theme Recipe

“For several years I have acted as Judge Coordinator for the Rotary Young Chef Competition. It’s often that very young students enter the competition, but they don’t tend to make it beyond the local stage. This year, Phoebe Webb a 12 year old student not only qualified to enter the District final, but she almost qualified for the Regional final too.

The Judges were so impressed by her performance that I decided she’d be the perfect example of what a young student is capable of achieving when they have a real passion for food. The skill required to produce her menu below would qualify her as a worthy chef in many restaurants I know.

– Giovanni Fontebasso





For The Pâté


  • 160g Chicken liver
  • 90g butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 shallot
  • 60ml madeira wine
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 15g butter, for frying


  1. Chop the chicken liver into medium sized pieces
  2. Finely chop the shallot
  3. Heat 15g butter in a pan on a low heat and sauté the shallot and thyme leaves for 2-3 min.
  4. Add the chicken liver to the pan, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 3 min until the liver is browned, but still slightly pink in the middle
  5. Remove chicken liver and shallots from the pan and leave to one side
  6. Place the madeira in the pan on a high heat and reduce to 2 tbsp.
  7. Place the liver & shallots, madeira, 90g butter, and the salt and spices in a blender and blend until smooth
  8. Place the pâté in individual ramekins and store in the fridge


For The Red Onion Marmalade


  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 30ml red wine vinegar
  • 30ml balsamic vinegar



  1. Chop the red onion in half and slice lengthways into long pieces
  2. Heat the olive oil on a low to medium heat and gently cook the onion for approx 20 min
  3. Add sugar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar and leave on a gentle heat for approx 30 min, stirring occasionally
  4. Place in small individual serving bowls to cool


For The Homemade Flatbreads


  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g natural yogurt
  • ½ tsp salt



  1. Place flour and salt in a bowl and mix with the yogurt until it forms a dough
  2. Knead for 1 minute
  3. Make in to 2 balls, roll each out onto a floured surface until around the size of small plates
  4. Cook each flatbread for 2 min each side in a hot griddle pan




For The Chorizo & Broad bean Risotto


  • 100g Arborio rice
  • 120g chorizo, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 10cm piece of leek, sliced thinly
  • 680ml chicken stock
  • 45g broad beans
  • 45g peas
  • 65ml white wine
  • 7g butter
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil


  1. Place a pan on a low heat with the olive oil, gently sauté the shallots, garlic, leek for 3 min
  2. Add the arborio rice to the pan and cook for 1 minute
  3. Turn up the heat and add the wine to the pan
  4. Cook for 1 minute until the wine has evaporated
  5. Make the chicken stock up with boiling water
  6. Gradually add the stock to the pan, a small amount at a time, gently stirring the rice
  7. In the meantime, place the chorizo in a pan on a low heat for 5 min to warm, allowing the juices to be released
  8. Add the stock until you have 100ml left – this should take around 20 mins – then add the broad beans and chorizo to the pan.
  9. Cook for a further 4 min and check to see if the rice is cooked – it is done when it’s al dente (soft yet still firm to the touch)
  10. If required, add the rest of the stock
  11. Once cooked, turn the heat off and add the peas, parmesan cheese, and butter
  12. Put the lid on and leave for 5 min before plating up


For The Pan Fried Sea Bass


  • 2 Sea Bass fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Dry the fish on each side with kitchen roll
  2. Cut each fillet into 2 pieces and score the skin by cutting 3 slices into each
  3. Season with salt on the skin
  4. Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and ensure it is really hot before adding the fish
  5. Put the fish in, skin-side down and press down to ensure contact with the heat, cook for 4 min
  6. Turn the fish over and cook for 30 seconds on the other side
  7. Place risotto in a large bowl/plate and arrange the sea bass fillets on top




For The Pastry


  • 90g plain flour
  • 45g unsalted butter, diced
  • 24g icing sugar
  • ½ egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp water


  1. Mix the flour and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl
  2. Rub in the diced butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Gradually add the egg yolk and water mixture until a dough forms (you may not need it all)
  4. Place the pastry in a bag and chill in the fridge for at least 20 min
  5. After 20 min, take the pastry out and roll until flat
  6. Place in to 2 individual tart tins – push the corners in gently and ensure the pastry sits a little proud to allow for shrinkage
  7. Prick the base all over with a cocktail stick
  8. Chill again for another 20 min
  9. In the meantime, turn the oven to 180 C and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up
  10. Once chilled, place the tart tins on the baking tray, and cover each one with a ring of grease proof paper, lightly weighted down with baking
  11. Cook for 9 min
  12. After 9 min, remove the greaseproof paper and, if necessary, press down on the pastry with a spoon and return to the oven for 4 min or until the pastry is cooked
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to one side for 2 min and then gently remove the pastry case from the tins and place back on the baking tray


For The Lime Curd


  • 2 limes 20g butter
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 ½ egg yolks
  • 140ml water



  1. Mix the cornflour with a little of the water to make a pourable liquid
  2. Zest limes and place with the water in a pan and bring to the boil
  3. Juice the limes
  4. Once the water and lime zest mix has reached boiling point, add the cornflour paste and sugar and bring back to the boil, stirring all the while
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring continuously
  6. Turn off the heat and beat in the egg yolks and lime juice
  7. Finally, add the butter and leave to one side


For The Meringue


  • 2 egg whites
  • 80g caster sugar
  • Coconut flavouring oil
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar



  1. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium sized metal mixing bowl
  2. Beat for 1 minute on a medium speed
  3. Beat for 1 minute on a high speed
  4. Add the sugar gradually at high speed for 1 minute
  5. Add a few drops of coconut flavouring
  6. Beat for 1 minute on a high speed until the meringue is shiny and thick
  7. Place the meringue in a piping bag with a closed star nozzle
  8. Place the lime curd in the pastry cases
  9. Pipe the meringue into swirls on top
  10. Place back in the oven on a high shelf for 3 min until the meringue is lightly browned


Buon Appetito – Giovanni Fontebasso

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