Winners go to 3 Hat restaurant as part of their prize

Winners outside Sepia small

The winners of NSSCC 2016, St John’s College (Hawke’s Bay) students, Sam Heaven and Daniel Moss, had a Degustation fit for our National winning team at Sepia Restaurant as part of their Culinary experience in Sydney.

Sepia Restaurant opened in 2009 and is in the prestigious Darling Park precinct, Sussex Street, Sydney. It is the creative collaboration between two of Sydney's highly regarded food identities – Sydney Chef, Martin Benn and renowned seafood wholesaler, George Costi.

The contemporary menu at Sepia is unique, utilising the best of seasonal produce and drawing inspiration from Japan. A restaurant reviewer once described Sepia as – “It's like the love-child of Tetsuya Wakuda and Rene Redzepi of Noma; a Nordic kaiseki.”

Glenn Fulcher, who accompanied the NSSCC 2016 winners and their teacher Craig Ireland to Sydney, said;

“We were greeted by more people than a family reunion. The Kitchen and Dining room teams had been briefed and treated our winning team like true champions. We booked for the 9 courses, however we received at least 12. Chef invited us out into the kitchen and we were met with a weird silence, as a brigade of about 15 chefs worked on their dishes. It was a true masterclass in how to control a kitchen with perfect harmony and precision for each component within each dish.

Our eyes didn’t know where to look first; at the chef on a mini char grill, the detail taking place at the pass, or the dry ice smoke marching down the bench over in the dessert section. Mind blowing! Chef Martin took time out to talk to both Sam and Daniel, sharing stories and an insight into how he runs his kitchen. A priceless experience we will all remember. As we left, Chef Martin gave each of us one of his cook books, a book of art that will take pride of place on bookshelves back home in New Zealand. Mind you, I think both Daniel and Sam will use theirs over many years, building their own set of menus.”

The food was simply brilliant and included:

  • House made goat milk chèvre, beetroot, rhubarb, rye, linaria
  • Charcoal grilled black lip abalone, kabu, lardo, cabbage and wakame, turnip flowers
  • Seared uni, smoked bone marrow, cauliflower, yuzu kosho, toasted milk bread, citrus soy, sobacha
  • Charcoal grilled David Blackmore wagyu, roasted onion and mustard, shiso
  • Comte, pear jelly, roasted endive, fried walnuts, plum, celery
  • Blueberry, coconut, beetroot, black olive, linaria