Boardwalk Restaurant & Bar is located at Peppers Blue on Blue on the breathtaking Magnetic Island. In a true gastronomic experience, Boardwalk Restaurant & Bar endeavors to emphasize the flavours and local produce of each dish, with a specifically paired wine. Here, Nicholas Redsell the Executive Chef explains the importance of that pairing to the Boardwalk menu.
Nicholas, living in such a produce rich region of Australia, what is it that inspires you when developing your dishes?
I like elegant, clean menus that present the best in locally sourced produce where every dish on the menu stands out, rather than having a menu chocked full of competing flavours where only a few dishes really stand out. When designing a dish I try to match flavours that not only work together to complement each other but create a kind of flavour synergy that both delights and surprises the guest.
For example, we have an entrée dish on our menu – Pork belly with parsnip, fig and blood orange balsamic – the pork belly is infused with blood orange balsamic which brings out the flavours in the meat and matches with the orange-soaked figs and roasted parsnip. The citrus cuts through the richness of the meat and complements the flavours of the root vegetable. The sugars in the orange help the meat to cook nicely and bring out more flavour. In presenting a dish I consider colour, texture, placement and delicacy of touch – I love a rustic presentation but it still needs to look elegant.
A feature of the menu is that each dish has a suggested paired wine – in your opinion how important is wine pairing to enjoy a meal?
Wine pairing is so important because it can change the whole way you experience the dish. Some dishes work better with some wines, but there can also be some surprising wine matches that work really well. The wrong wine can impact a great meal and equally the right wine can lift it to even greater heights. We try to select a wine that complements and enhances the food but also allows the guest to experience something they might not have tried before.
For those at home – what are your suggestions for the best wines to combine with different dishes?
There are some tried and tested combinations that are true classics, such as steak and shiraz or fish and chardonnay. But the Boardwalk Restaurant and Bar’s wine list is extensive enough to allow the more adventurous guests to delve into wine selections they might not have tried before. Our wine list includes some outstanding wines selected by Nick Stock.
And finally, if you could pick your ultimate meal from the Boardwalk menu, what would you choose?
If it was me I’d choose the pork belly followed by barramundi with sautéed prawns, blistered cherry tomatoes, and chilli buttered cream…and for dessert I’d have the white chocolate pannacotta with chocolate soil and pistachio praline. They are all my favourite things! I’m just lucky I can put them on a menu for other people to enjoy to.