The Rockpool Files

Fridge files pt. 2

NEIL PERRY

Culinary genius meets domestic reality in the second instalment of Fridge Files, where our head chefs open the door to their home fridges and share their most dependable items plus their most frequented haunts for fresh produce. Think shelves and crispers brimming with a touch of the exotic nestled among the slightly more prosaic essentials. Oh, also beer. Who’da thunk it?

See Part 1 of Fridge Files here for a good snoop inside Neil’s fridge as well as the fridges of chefs Dan, Zac and Andy.

Corey Costelloe
Head Chef – Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney 

If we looked in your fridge right now what would we find?

A lot. Kimchi, fermented tofu with chilli, last night’s Mapo Tofu, cornichons, miso paste, milk, butter, eggs, Bega cheese slices for the kids’ sandwiches, parmesan, pecorino, Vegemite (in the fridge yes!), olives (Liguarian, Kalamata and green), green grapes, cutwater melon, Queen Garnett plum juice, cabbage, green beans, capsicum, carrots, shallots, tahini, mayo, oyster sauce, chilli sauce and raviolis for the kids. To drink we’ve got Cocchi red vermouth, Tanueray Gin, tonic water and a bottle of Ruinart Champagne.

What’s always on your weekly shopping list?

Butter, Parmesan, eggs and flour are a must. Pasta is so quick to make and if you have a good olive oil and Parmesan in the fridge you’ll always have something tasty at home. Gin and tonic water are also always on the list. Tanqueray is the favourite but occasionally we’ll splash out and get a fancy one like Four Pillars or West Winds.

Where’s your number one pick for fresh produce?

Warriewood Farmers’ Market on Friday mornings is awesome. They have a great organic produce section and a locally grown stall that has seasonal produce grown around the Terry Hills area. There is also a dairy company called Over The Moon that has great milk and cream.

What’s the one fridge or pantry item you just can’t live without?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

What’s your go-to snack to make at home?

Hummus with anything. Tinned chickpeas can be turned into fresh hummus in a matter of minutes. We always have it in the fridge.

What does dinner at your place usually look like?

Anything fast. By the time I get home the family needs to be fed quickly so if it’s something Asian I’ll ask my wife Kim to get the rice on before I get home, then I’ll punch out a stir fry very quickly. Andy Evans from Spice Temple put me onto this fermented tofu with chilli that we pair with green veg like Iceberg Lettuce or Water Spinach. It’s become my favourite way to have greens.

Make from scratch or buy ready-made?

  • Mayonnaise – my kids don’t like the one I make as much as store bought, especially when we have Kewpie in the fridge.
  • Pesto – we have basil growing in the garden so a la minute (prepared to order) all the way.
  • Stock – I don’t really use stock as I don’t have time to make my own and store bought is not always great. If I do have a left over chicken carcass I will boil it up and freeze the broth.
  • Jam – we did this once at home and never again. It just encouraged me to eat more scones, which ended up in some serious personal training sessions…
  • Pasta – we always have some dried in the pantry, but if I can I love making a quick 300g dough and rolling out some fresh pasta.
  • Pastry – see my answer to “Jam” question. I don’t make it as often as I should but I do bake cakes, scones, cookies… the list goes on.
  • Sausages – the first week of July a few of my mates and I get together and make some charcuterie for the year. We also pipe out some sausages that we have fresh on the day and freeze a few batches for later also. The Salami usually lasts up until the following year. They are best after 1 year of curing in the fridge.

 

Phil Wood
Former Head Chef – Eleven Bridge

If we looked in your fridge right now what would we find?

Beetroot and cabbage sauerkrauts with turmeric and ginger, Gruyere, Brillat Savarin or goat’s cheese and Champagne. There’s never a whole lot happening in my fridge as I tend to shop for things as I need them and cook them that day!

What’s always on your weekly shopping list?

 A loaf of sourdough from Iggy’s Bread – that’s about all I buy on the regular.

Where’s your number one pick for fresh produce?

Fruitologist on Bondi Road for fruit and vegetables. They also do a delicious salted caramel and cashew slice. Norton St Grocer for cheese, fruit and veggies. There’s a great local fish shop called The One That Got Away that’s just around the corner from me too. I’ll go there for whole snapper and whiting.

What’s the one fridge or pantry item you just can’t live without?

I don’t think there’s any one item I couldn’t do without. Maybe salt.

What’s your go-to snack to make at home?

Good cheese from Ocello or Simon Johnson on water crackers or marinated goat’s curd on toast with a pot of Jasmine tea.

What does dinner at your place usually look like?

Dinner is usually something called ‘staff meal’ at a restaurant called Rockpool Est. 1989! I work most nights and when I’m not working I tend to dine out. Perhaps that explains why there’s not much in my fridge?

Make from scratch or buy ready-made?

  • Mayonnaise – make it unless I want Kewpie
  • Pesto – make it, why wouldn’t you? It’s so easy – fresh herbs are so much better than what you’ll find in a jar with a long shelf life.
  • Stock – make it. I like knowing exactly what’s in it and there tends to be a lot of added salt in ready-made stocks.
  • Jam – buy. Although if I had my own fruit tree I’d definitely have a crack at it!
  • Pasta – make.
  • PastryCaremes make a great puff pastry. Anything other than puff I’ll make myself.
  • Sausages – buy.

 

Graeme Hunt
Head Chef – Spice Temple Melbourne

If we looked in your fridge right now what would we find?

Lot and lots of condiments. Different kinds of chilli sauces, pickles, mustard and hot sauces. Not much else apart from a few beers!

What’s always on your weekly shopping list?

We do most of our shopping at the market and there’s just the two of us at home so we never buy more than we need. Ice for drinks, eggs and lemons are usually on the list. I use lemons for seasoning and go through quite a few.

Where’s your number one pick for fresh produce?

South Melbourne Market. It’s my local. It’s so convenient and I’m able to do all my grocery shopping there. I’ll always pick up a few avocados from Rod’s and Georgie’s Harvest have amazing potatoes. Seafood I’ll get from South Melbourne Seafoods and the Willow Zen free range eggs from Babe’s Eggs are the best. I’ll pay a visit to Golden Dragon Grocery for anything Asian.

What’s the one fridge or pantry item you just can’t live without?

Sriracha (hot sauce) or fired onions. I had to pick both because usually I use them together. They can make anything tasty.

What’s your go-to snack to make at home?

Rice with oyster sauce, fried egg, Sriracha and fried shallots.

What does dinner at your place usually look like?

If it hasn’t come off the Webber, its usually something quick and tasty. I’m also trying to eat more healthily.

Make from scratch or buy ready-made?

  • Mayonnaise – buy
  • Pesto – definitely make
  • Stock – buy
  • Jam – buy
  • Pasta – you can buy great fresh pasta
  • Pastry – buy
  • Sausages – buy

 

Angel Fernandez
Head Chef – Rosetta Ristorante

If we looked in your fridge right now what would we find?

Lots of fruit and veg. Organic eggs from my local organic shop The Happy Apple; Salsa Macha hot sauce from El Cielo in Port Melbourne; ‘La Boqueria’ Chorizo from my local deli; Manchego and La Luna goat’s cheese for late night snacks.

What’s always on your weekly shopping list?

Things that don’t take a lot of preparation because I don’t want to spend all of my time off cooking. Lots of vegetables, organic eggs, quinoa, freekha and fresh fish from Ocean Made in Collingwood. Also beer for late night knock-offs when I get home.

Where’s your number one pick for fresh produce?

The Happy Apple in Ascot Vale for fresh, organic eggs. Provata Urban Larder for cheese and Mediterranean Wholesalers for pasta and canned goods.

What’s the one fridge or pantry item you just can’t live without?

It would be a tie between salami, Kewpie mayo and hot sauce!

What’s your go-to snack to make at home?

Portuguese peri-peri sardines with lemon juice and parsley on really nice toasted bread.

What does dinner at your place usually look like?

I cook simply during the week because I don’t have much time, but on the weekends it will be more elaborate. We have a lot of BBQs, I love grilling prawns or anything to share.

Make from scratch or buy ready-made?

  • Mayonnaise – I’ll make my own unless I want Kewpie.
  • Pesto – We have heaps of basil in our garden.
  • Stock – I don’t cook with a lot of stock, but if I do I’ll make my own.
  • Jam – buy.
  • Pasta – I make gnocchi at home, otherwise I’ll buy it from Mediterranean Wholesalers or Rusticella d’Abruzzoo pasta from Provata Urban Larder.
  • Pastry – make.
  • Sausages – I have a great recipe for chorizo, however I mostly buy from Casa Iberica Deli in Fitzroy.
THE ROCKPOOL FILES