Chiswick is a Sydney institution. Well-loved for its extensive kitchen gardens, a meal eaten at Chiswick is always framed by greenery, the menu celebrating the seasons and the garden’s daily bounty. Midwinter, the rows display a wealth of root and cruciferous vegetables and herbs.
We asked Head Chef, François Poulard to share a recipe for a favourite dish from their current menu, and we watched him prepare a whole wood-fired rainbow trout with lemon, capers and burnt butter. We’ll take anything buttery and wood-fired come winter, and this dish is the perfect main to accompany bowls of steaming winter veg.
“Before I moved to Australia, I was working in various Michelin star restaurants in Europe” François tells us. “ I started at Solotel and Matt Moran when I arrived in Australia and have been with the company for 5 years now. 4 of those at Aria and then one at North Bondi Fish before starting at Chiswick in February this year. Chiswick has always been my favourite restaurant in Sydney, so I’m beyond excited to be here.”
“We are growing and enjoying an abundance of winter root vegetables at the moment; beetroot, turnips, brussels sprouts, carrots and broccolini to name a few.”
We also have many garden herbs, assorted lettuce and bitter leaves such as dandelion and endive growing in the Chiswick garden. Peas will be available soon – it just never stops, which is great for me as a chef – it means there’s always something new to be added to the menu and get excited about.”
François wears an IN BED linen apron in navy.
Table dressed using an IN BED linen napkin in stone.
Whole wood-fired rainbow trout, lemon, capers, burnt butter
“This dish really reminds me of a dish my grandmother use to make during my childhood. She used skate fish at the time. We call the sauce a burnt butter sauce here at Chiswick but in France, we’d call this “black eye butter”.
This dish really reminds me of a dish my grandmother use to make during my childhood. She used skate fish at the time. We call the sauce a burnt butter sauce here at Chiswick but in France, we’d call this “black eye butter.
“For me, this dish is screaming to be enjoyed with a side of roasted potatoes. Mashed root vegetables like carrots or swede would be perfect too, depending on what’s in season.”
“For a wine pairing, my go to would be Unico Zelo’s “River sand” Fiano, Waikerie, Riverland SA. Nice and textural yet still cuts through the richness of the fish.”
1 whole rainbow trout butterflied and pin boned (500g whole weight)
Toasted almond flakes 30g
Unsalted butter 50g
Capers in vinegar 20g
Lemon juice 20ml
In a warm copper pot, gently melt the butter, continuously stirring until the butter is lightly browned. Remove from the heat, add lemon juice and capers. Set your burnt butter aside.
In a warm copper pot, gently melt the butter, continuously stirring until the butter is lightly browned.
Chop the broccolini into 1cm pieces then blanch them in salted boiling water and set aside.
- Dry the skin of the trout with absorbing paper to avoid the oil spitting. This will also help the skin to retain crispy and to not stick to the pan.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper.
- In a non-stick pan, fry the fish in a little bit of olive oil on a medium heat (skin down).
- Once the fish is placed in the pan, do not move the fish at all. You won’t need to flip it either at any time.
- Keep an eye on the colour of the fish to check on how it is cooking.
- Once it’s turning slightly white, remove the fish from the pan and place on your plate.
- Garnish with the blanched broccolini and toasted almond flakes.
- Dress generously with the burnt butter.
- Eat straight away and enjoy!