Celebrity chef Matt Moran had a whirlwind stop in Broken Hill on Monday, touching base with the three major clubs around town as part of ClubNSW’s Perfect Plates competition.
On his first visit to the Silver City, Mr Moran was met by City councillor and general manager of the Musicians Club, Michael Boland.
“Very whirlwind visit,” said the chef. “We jumped in the car, went to Silverton, and had a bit of a look around, took some photos at some different places and went up to the Line of Lode,” Mr Moran told the Truth.
“Broken Hill is just fascinating. The landscape and the history of the place, just amazing.”
Once the touristy things had been ticked off the list, it was time for business sampling food at the three main clubs around town involved in the Perfects Plates challenge – the Sturt Club, Musicians Club, and Demo Club.
“Over at the Musos we had a spiced chicken and paella which was terrific, great flavour. And then we had the lamb shanks at the Sturt Club, which was a very good dish. It was a fantastic, big dish. Large portions. And we are off to the Demo a bit later tonight,” Chef Moran said.
The trip to sample dishes at our clubs is part of the regional leg of ClubNSW’s Perfect Plates competition where the judges will attempt to find NSW’s best club food.
It’s something that is close to the well known chef’s heart, having got his start in the kitchen at the Paramatta RSL when he was just 14 years old.
“It was only weekend work. But that’s where it all started for me, so clubs are dear to my heart,” Mr Moran said.
He pointed to the improvement in club and regional food over the years.
“Back in the day a lot of stuff just came out of the freezer and was just whacked in the deep fryer or whatever. We are way past that now.
“I think the days of just having a parmy or a chicken schnitty are gone. I think it’s so competitive that clubs have got to stretch it a little bit and be a bit more creative. And use as much fresh produce and local produce as they can.”
When we asked Mr Moran what makes the perfect plate of club food, he emphasised three things: freshness, balance, and seasonality.
“The perfect plate to me is something that is clean and fresh. Seasonality is really important, too and it’s got to have balance in it,” he said.
“If you can get the perfect balance of those three things, that makes a perfect plate.”
Check out our local entries to ClubNSW’s Perfect Plate competition, from a Chori Pollo at the Musicians Club, Masal Style Lamb Shanks at the Sturt Club and Chilli Garlic Prawn Fettuccini at the Demo Club.
To find out more about the Perfect Plate Awards, including details about participating eateries and what they are dishing up for the competition, visit perfectplate.com.au