The trend in vegetarian eating continues to grow, with 2.5 million people (12.1% of the population) in Australia now eating all or almost all vegetarian and a total of 375 million vegetarians worldwide.
People turn to plant based eating for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare, the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.
Restaurants have inevitably followed suit with plant-forward menus.
Plant-forward is a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates, but is not limited to, plant-based foods and that reflects evidence-based principles of health and sustainability. It is about inclusiveness, expanding choices, and fostering innovation.
With Dinner’s vegetarian and vegan degustation menus we treat vegetables not as accompaniments to meat or fish but as amazing dishes in their own right.
As one of these dishes we are very proud to introduce the Truffle; an unctuous, savoury, umami filled mushroom parfait which is then covered in chopped Terra Preta truffle and dusted with shiitake powder.
The base of the Truffle is a mushroom puree cooked and enriched with a deep umami mushroom stock. The mushroom puree is blitzed with a sweet, jammy reduction of Madeira, ruby Port, white Port and brandy then cooked over a bain-marie in the oven. Once the mushroom parfait has cooled it is piped into small semi-spherical moulds and blast chilled until frozen. Two half spheres are joined together and the join smoothed so as to form a perfect sphere. The parfait is defrosted just before serving, rolled in black truffle, dusted with shiitake powder and served with grilled bread.
This is a new take on the Mandarin Meat Fruit, based on a medieval recipe called Pome Dorres which looked like an apple but it was in fact minced pork that had been fashioned into a ball and coated in a skin made from a paste of flour and green herbs. It was served to guests as a surprise among all the other platters of food at one of the biggest feasts of the period: the meal celebrating the coronation of Henry IV in 1399.