Latitude 36.50, 272pp.
by Jean-Michel Gerst
New Holland Publishers, London, 2012
Cooking on page 32–33
When I first grabbed this book, I assumed it was full of recipes from the Northern Hemisphere. On closer inspection I found that the collection is from a French chef (from Alsace) who ultimately came to Australia to run a restaurant in the beautiful Snowy Mountains.
It’s not surprising that Gerst pursued his career. His grandfather and mother were chefs, and he helped in their kitchens from a young age. His apprenticeship was in France, and before arriving in Australia he worked in Switzerland, the Channel Islands, Thailand and London.
He says the Snowy Mountains make him feel at home—he’s been in the region since 2000—and is currently chef/manager at the Knickerbocker in Thredbo.
The recipe on page 33 (the photo is on page 32) tempted me because the main ingredient is rhubarb. I have a huge plant in my backyard. Gerst says that 20 per cent of his parents’ large garden was devoted to rhubarb.
600g (21 oz) rhubarb
80g (2 1/2 oz) brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Cut the rhubarb into 5cm (2in) pieces. Wash them and place in a sieve to drain. Line a baking tay with baking paper. Mix the rhubarb and the sugar and place on the tray. Cook in the over for 25 to 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
Once cool. Place in a container and store in the fridge.
How it played out
I made two-thirds of a batch and just sprinkled the brown sugar over the rhubarb. I even had to buy rhubarb because my current crop was so scraggly and meagre.
It’s a tasty concoction that’s obviously for rhubarb lovers. Poor John and I had it finely chopped with ice cream and my homemade muesli (granola). Yummo! A great addition to colour on the table at Christmas time.