Having worked at the likes of Ester, Paperbark and now gearing up to work in Europe, Victoria Scriven is all too familiar with creating mouth-watering dishes from some of Australia’s most sought after and sustainable produce.
Predating Roman times, wine and food pairing has always been a vital organ of a culture and cuisine experience around the world, however, it’s not often we take the time and thinking to do so.
Taking our love for wine with Victoria’s flair for food, it was only right that we put together something special.
Situated in a picturesque valley is the town of Chekura. There lies a small parcel of beautiful and strong vineyards as part of Daniella and Pablo’s farm, Mingaco. Daniella and Pablo live and breathe the phrase minimal impact. The couple are vegan, their buildings are made out of clay and mud, for both wine storage insulation and lowering their footprint, they avoid any use of fertilisers, glyphosates and irrigation across the land and work and use the native flora as a tea for prevention against pesticides and fungicides. Their entire life is synchronised to the lunar cycles.
The Chekura Mingaco Moscatel is a really special wine. Thought to be one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants and native to Chile, Moscatel de Alejaíandra were once eaten straight off the vine or dried into exquisite raisins. The Mingaco is powerful. She has strong stone and fresh fruit flavours and enough acid to hold structure in the mouth, with hints of mandarin zest and some other exotic fruits.
It was our pleasure to film, cook and drink with Victoria. A powerful, fruit forward and vibrant wine balanced against a subtle, creamy and slightly spicy tagliatelle. Below is Victoria’s recipe for you to all enjoy and you can find the wine here.
Australia’s coast is home to some fantastic food experiences, and sea urchin (uni) is something to be relished.
Uni itself is like an ocean flavoured butter, full and creamy with soft briny notes. A remarkable and wild ingredient which is made ultra-indulgent emulsified with a generous amount of tomato butter and egg yolks, lacquering thin sheets of tagliatelle. Its natural sweetness is enhanced with foraged honey grevilleas and would also do well with some salty coastal greens or chive batons. I like to add the uni at the last minute of this dish, the residual heat of the pasta warms and melts while still keeping the true flavour present, and when paired with the Chekura Moscatel it is transformed into a total umami bomb. This wine is delicately savoury, textural with strong stone fruit flavours and is a pure expression of Chilean native varietals like Moscatel.
1 tray sea urchin, crushed slightly, leaving some pieces whole
1 pinch preserved honey grevilleas, I picked mine a couple months ago and am storing in a salt water brine
100ml vermouth or dry white wine
15g karkalla, or chive batons (optional)
4 egg yolks
200g tomato butter
200g dry tagliatelle, or fresh, if you have time to make it
250g block of butter
3 tbs tomato paste
10 whole peppercorns
2 birdseye chilli, chopped
1 eschalot, chopped
Melt butter in a medium heavy based saucepan until foamy. Add tomato paste and aromats, continue to heat, stirring frequently until tomato paste cooks out and the milk solids in the butter slightly brown. The idea is for the butter to take on a bright red colour, and to be slightly fragrant from the aromats. When complete, cool slightly and strain out the solids. Any of the butter that you don’t use for this recipe can be kept and stored for another time.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add enough salt until it tastes like the sea. Cook pasta as per packet directions. Strain, and reserve a cup of the pasta water.
In a saucepan, add the vermouth, bring to the boil and allow to slightly reduce. Add the tagliatelle to the pan with the wine, then begin incorporating the butter, all the while tossing the pan to emulsify the fat. If the pasta starts to look dry, or the oil starts to split add a splash of the pasta water to keep it lubricated and loose. Add the grevillea flowers, karkalla or chive batons and keep tossing until evenly distributed. Remove pan from heat and add yolks and uni allowing the residual heat to slightly warm and set the protein. Serve immediately, perhaps by twirling the pasta with a pair of tweezers or chopsticks and pouring over large pieces of uni and remaining sauce.