Darren Robertson – the laid back surfer who moved to Australia from the UK in 2001 – developed his cooking skills at the Michelin-starred Gravetye Manor; as the head chef of Tetsuya’s for three of the seven years he spent there; and is one of the brains behind Bronte’s award-winning café, Three Blue Ducks.
In his new series, Darren is taking a step back from the highly intricate fine dining skills he’s spent years honing, to develop a more wholistic approach to food that embraces the seasons and great ingredients cooked simply and beautifully over a fire or hot coals. No fancy equipment, no induction stoves or immersion circulators – just fresh ingredients, fire and imagination and the discovery of what these simple elements can create.
Darren said: “How good is cooking the old school way! Outside, over an open fire, or even on old beaten up BBQ. Great food really doesn’t have to be complicated”
The barbeque is an Australian icon, and in this brand new series, Darren Robertson’s Charcoal Kitchen, Darren shows us how to get the best out of this quintessentially Aussie cooking technique no matter the setting or occasion. The 9-part series takes us around Australia exploring different barbequing styles to suit both formal and relaxed entertaining, with a focus on sustainable cooking, while supporting local farmers and growers featuring the fresh produce from the area.
In the first episode, we begin, where just about everyone has lit a flame and charred a chop at some stage – the suburban backyard. But Darren shows us how to use our barbie for more than just the traditional steaks and snags. In between kicks of the footy, a few beers and a rematch for The Ashes, he shows us how to slow roast a shoulder of pork as well as char grill a delicious salad and even desert. He also uses the traditional fire pot to kick off the meal with some charred sticky ribs.
Darren Robertson’s Charcoal Kitchen is produced by Charcoal Kitchen Productions in collaboration with Chefs Ink and Fuzzy TV exclusively for Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD channel.
Darren Robertson’s Charcoal Kitchen Thursday, January 2 at 8.30pm on LifeStyle FOOD.