I loved interviewing chef Jock Zonfrillo at Melbourne’s Gastronomy Congress in April 2017. He was one of four top chefs presenting to an audience of his peers and it was a great opportunity to gain an insight into what drives him. His inspiring cooking demonstration centred on the indigenous Australian produce that he champions – I was lucky enough to hop up on stage to eat a morsel of magpie goose, a native Australian bird.
In my chat with Jock, we talk about chefs and home cooks and particularly about recipes and cookbooks and how we might approach them. I enjoy what he says about recipes: that they’re a starting point, a base reference that we should feel free to build on, diverge from and recreate. It’s a message I try to push home in my cooking classes too.
Jock also speaks about the way ingredients differ so much from place to place, day to day, farm to farm, and that you really need to appreciate their own particular qualities: good cooks relate to their ingredients as much as their recipes. I love this idea of the recipe as a living thing, changing from cook to cook, year to year, carrot to carrot!
I’ve embraced Jock’s approach with his green smoothie idea. I seized on three key elements: use a whole lemon, add macadamias and feel free to throw in whatever else you’ve got that’s green and fresh. The zinging result is a Lemon Bomb Smoothie that’s thick enough to eat with a spoon, so you can serve it like a smoothie bowl. Otherwise, add more water to create a slurpable consistency.
Jock Zonfrillo’s Restaurant Orana is known for its focus on indigenous Australian ingredients: it’s fascinating and culturally rich, but it makes me feel uncomfortable that it’s so revolutionary. Once you start thinking about it, it’s actually really obvious that Australians should be eating the food that grows here naturally. I hope that a broader appreciation of native produce will flourish, thanks to the leadership of people like Jock, and chefs at restaurants like Oakridge, which I reviewed recently. One of the reasons I keep an eye on what chefs are up to is that their approach inevitably trickles down to us at home. We’ve touched on that ever so slightly with the native Australian macadamias in this recipe. If you happen to have warrigal greens, please do use them instead of the spinach and lettuce!
If you want to see more Gastronomy Congress action, check out my chat with chef Albert Adria then make his Lettuce Sauce & Oysters.
Makes: approx. 1 litre, or more if thinned
Time: 5 minutes
- 150 grams ice
- 1 lemon, skin on, halved
- 100 grams celery, including leaves if desired
- 10 grams fresh ginger, peeled
- 100 grams spinach leaves
- 50 grams lettuce
- 80 grams raw macadamias, unsalted
- 20 grams coriander stems (or leaves)
- 2 tablespoons Chlorophyll Paste (optional)
1. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl and blend for 1 min 30 sec/speed 10, using Thermomix spatula to assist in initial mixing, if necessary.
2. Check consistency and add 100-300 grams water if desired. Mix for a further 10 sec/speed 10.
Serve immediately, or transfer to a jug or container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Use an unwaxed, organic lemon if you can.
- I use coriander stems and celery leaves because they are perfectly usable but often end up in the compost bin: waste not want not. I was inspired by the ‘compost dessert’ I ate at Oakridge.
- This smoothie stores surprisingly well; it’s best refrigerated before diluting.
- Use whichever greens and herbs are available.
- Swap the macadamias for other nuts.
- Use coconut water instead of water
- Add cinnamon for a warming spiced kick
More about this video
- As you watch the interview, you’ll hear Jock talk about garums. What is this garum he keeps talking about? Originally, it was a fermented fish preparation popular in ancient Rome (think of it like a stinky, flavoursome ketchup). Garums are having something of a revival with modern chefs. For more, see this article and, if you’re really keen, watch Heston Blumenthal enthuse about fish guts.
- Look deeper into Jock Zonfrillo’s journey in his explanatory video.
- See more advice from top chefs for home cooks.
Looking for more green smoothies? Try my Matcha Smoothie Bowl – a quick, easy and healthy breakfast that also works as a jarred meal on the go, or my power-packed Chlorophyll Smoothie.
For another delicious smoothie option, try Julie McKie’s Mint & Choc-Chip Hemp Smoothie or Jo Whitton’s Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Smoothie – two deliciously luscious dairy-free smoothies.
If you love hearing tips and tricks from inspirational chefs, check out my chat with some of the world’s best and see Why and How Chefs Show the ThermoLove.
Did you know Dani Valent gift vouchers are available right here? They make the perfect present for the Thermo-lover in your life.