You’d have to think there was at least a chuckle when Mountain Goat brewery was selected as the venue in which to launch the first cookbook by Masterchef contestant and former beer merchant, Chris Badenoch.
Badenoch is, after all, known as much for his use of less-than-fashionable cuts of meat as he is for his penchant for Trilby hats and suppressing his smile. It’s not outside the realms of possibility that he just might cook up a mountain goat and pair it with, perhaps a Rare Breed IPA or Imperial Pilsner.
Alas, no goat. And perhaps, not surprisingly, there was also no grumpy or glum facade.
The general public are probably more than a little aware that the persona presented on television ‘reality’ shows is crafted by the editors rather than recorded by the cameras. And so it was that a smiling and gracious host presented his cookbook, The Entire Beast: from Ear and Beer to Ale and Tail, to a small group at one of Richmond’s favourite Wednesday watering holes.
Affable and almost charming he worked the room and happily dedicated copies of the book, which was available for sale at a special ‘launch price’. Partner and fellow Masterchef contestant, Julia Jenkins, was seen to correct a spelling error for him – in his own name – indicating that fame doesn’t necessarily make you immune from typos.
The recipient of this ‘special dedication’ was Renata from Temple Brewing who was delighted to have a limited edition collector’s item.
The cookbook gives a hint of what you might expect to see on the menu at Josie Bones, the new joint venture project with business/romantic partner Jenkins and which Chris describes as a “high-end beer bar” with food matching and Chris’ trademark ‘nose-to-tail’ approach to food.
He hopes to have the restaurant open before Christmas but he might need to flash more than a smile to the tradesmen in whose hands his dream project rests.
As the bar tab ran out and the guests slowly made their way out – many to The Royston Hotel across the road – we shared recipe tips for pig’s ears and promised to meet again for a beer. He’s a nice bloke really, although he has a reputation for having a stern dislike of ‘the media’. My company must have been excepted as it was fairly clear that I was merely pretending to be ‘media’.
The Entire Beast: From Ear and Beer to Ale and Tail is available now and is published by Penguin Books at a recommended retail price of $39.95. It has some terrific recipes, many incorporating beer as an ingredient and all featuring a beer matching suggestion. The accompanying photography alone is worth the cover price and will have ‘food porn’ addicts salivating.
Chris forthcoming restaurant, ‘Josie Bones’ will seat around fifty and opens at 98 Smith Street Collingwood as soon as Chris and Julia and the tradies are all happy, hopefully before Christmas.
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