An homage to the childhood dishes that inspired their culinary creativity and the women behind them, chefs at each of The Star Sydney’s signature dining venues – Sokyo, Flying Fish, BLACK Bar & Grill and Cucina Porto – are each introducing a dish inspired by their mum.
Here, we take a sneak peek into the childhood kitchens of each venue’s chefs and learn how hard it is to recreate a mother’s touch.
There’s nothing that brings a family together quite like food. So it’s no surprise that when we asked each of the chefs at The Star Sydney’s signature dining venues what inspired their love of cooking, each spoke of dishes that reminded them of their family – and namely, their mum.
To pay homage to this special woman in each chef’s life, just in time for Mother’s Day, we challenged them to recreate one of their mum’s best dishes and put it on their restaurant’s menu for the month of May.
For Flying Fish’s Executive Chef, Adam Hall, picking a recipe was simple with his mum’s signature cheesecake a shoe-in.
“It was a recipe originally passed down from my grandmother, Doreen, in the late 70s or early 80s, and was something my mum, Karen, cooked everytime we had guests over. She used lemons we had growing in our garden and passionfruits gifted to us by a neighbour, but would also supplement these with whatever was in season.”
“I got my love of the land from mum, who with dad, taught me about the importance of taking care of the land around me. So this modern twist on an old family favourite is in honour of her.”
A warming dessert made with a mother’s love also inspired Martino Pulito, Executive Chef of Cucina Porto, whose mum, Anna regularly made her Torta di Mele – an apple and cinnamon cake topped with raspberries and a dollop of vanilla ice – during the chef’s younger years growing up in Puglia, Italy.
Carefully designed to resemble the petals of a rose, the cake pays tribute to the gift Pulito usually surprises his mum with on Mother’s Day – her favourite flowers: roses.
“There is not a particular dish that exists for Mother’s Day in Italian culture, instead people usually give gifts. Flowers are very popular, especially roses. My mother loves roses and I thought I would make her favourite cake and decorate it so it resembles the petals of a rose.”
At Sokyo, Executive Chef Daniel Kwak is introducing Korean flavours to the venue’s usual combination of traditional Japanese cuisine and modern Australian ingredients with his Galbi with gochujang & sesame leaf.
A frequent staple of Daniel’s childhood, the dish features grilled marinated Angus short ribs charred in a sweet yet spicy sauce.
If we had a birthday or special occasion, my mum would always cook galbi for the whole family. Charred, smoky and sweet, it’s a dish I crave, and I always ask her to make it when I visit. It is the perfect dish for sharing with family and I think it is perfect for Mother’s Day.”
BLACK Bar & Grill’s Sous Chef Jamie Yoo has been similarly inspired by his Korean heritage to create the steakhouse’s limited edition Chuck Tail Flap MBS7+ with fermented black bean, perilla, ssamjang & barley emulsion.
“I have many favourites that my mum made, but I have particularly fond memories of her Korean sauces and various fermented soybean pastes she made.”
You can explore the delicious range of dishes The Star Sydney chefs have learnt from their mums now – visit The Star Sydney to book a table.