Chef Alan Orreal brings Australia to the Atlantis  

Taste of Paradise Food & Wine Festival menu features the classics – kangaroo, barramundi, shrimp on the barbie, lamb chop, M10 Wagyu beef and blue cheese

Vice President of Culinary Chef Alan Orreal flexed his culinary muscles for a night – and what a flex it was – as he brought the flavors of Australia to the resort’s Café Martinique restaurant during the two-week Taste of Paradise Food & Wine Festival. And I can say it no better than to state succinctly, that I would pull up a chair to a table whenever this Master Chef is in the kitchen again.

But before even having my first taste of what was executed, I was excited going in to this activation for the simple reason that having had kangaroo meat during a visit to Australia a few years back, and enjoyed it, I was anticipating Orreal offering kangaroo meat in some fashion, as I’m certain no self-respecting chef would not bring kangaroo meat to an Australian meal. (And no, kangaroo does not taste like chicken, nor does it taste quite like a steak, and tends to be a stronger flavor than beef or lamb. And even though it’s a lean mean, cooked properly, it’s not tough.)

Orreal did not disappoint, showcasing a beautiful spice-rubbed kangaroo loin with raspberry, onion chili jam, blistered tomato-charred nage carrots and caramelized yams which he paired with a succulent Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, South Australia 2015, which played well with the rich and robust flavor of the dish.

He also featured classic Australian ingredients such as barramundi, the “it” fish, which is one of those fish you can and would definitely want to eat, shrimp on the barbie, lamb chop, Wagyu beef and an Australian blue cheese, for dessert.

Orreal’s Australian dinner stunned the palate from start to finish.

Leading off was a Sydney East Coast-style aromatic spiced crispy oyster, with reduced aged apple balsamic glaze, crispy prosciutto chips and apple salad. This one-bite starter, which offered a burst of flavors, paired with Penfolds Bin 144 Yattarna Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia 2019 that played well with a mouth-watering citrus acidity.

Orreal upped the ante on the firm-textured barramundi, a white-fleshed fish with a sweet, mild flavor, which he marinated with wild-herb and lemongrass, topped with a macadamia crush, lime gel and ginger slick which he paired with a crimson, dark core Penfolds Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz, California 2018.

Aussie shrimp on the barbie (slang for barbecue) showcased spiced Bowen mango salsa with roasted shaved coconut and XO aioli. What a flavor bomb! He served it with a juicy and intense Penfolds Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia and California, 2019.

Again, showing his deft hand with flavorings, a perfectly roasted stuffed Australian double lamb chop with foie gras and muscatels, pistachio herb crust and Penfolds was paired with a deep, inky blood-red Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, South Australia 2018 – a wine that can proudly grace any dinner.

Orreal rolled out the “Bentley” of Wagyu the M10 (extraordinary amounts of marbling which means a whole new level of richness with softness approaching stick-of-butter levels) for his Tajima Wagyu – sous vide and seared with a spice lacquered orange reduction and wild peppercorn. The succulent and juicy beef was paired with Penfolds Bin 95 Grange, South Australia 2015, a powerhouse of concentration and complexity.

Orreal completed a stellar showing, with a zing to the senses, opting for a trio of savory versus sweet finishes showcasing King Island Roaring 40s (a full-flavored blue cheese) Anisette served with Penfolds Club Tawny. The mini souffle, onion tart and honeyed cheese wedge wasn’t my perfect ending, in totality, the dinner was extraordinary.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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