Gabriel and the assisting chefs take a bow.

Gabriel Gate makes a duck at Queenscliff Cricket Club

Celebrity chef Gabriel Gaté was the drawcard at a fundraising lunch for the cricket club held at the Queenscliff Community Sports Club presided over by club president Michael Limb and Farm Foods Julian Melican.

Over 180 diners, cricketers and lovers of fine food enjoyed a 4-course meal created and introduced by renowned chef Gabriel Gate. The menu was tested at the Vue Grand by chefs Georgina Low and Jesse Hughes and delivered by Georgina Low, Damian Flouch, Dale Penn and a well-disciplined staff. It took 40 minutes to serve the diners during which time the level of happy chatter rose.

Delicate canapés were followed by pea soup garnished with prawns and goat cheese served, surprisingly, at room temperature. “It’s about texture,” said Gabriel, as we relished the smooth cream of peas against the crunch of the lightly curried prawns dusted with ground chestnuts.

The main course, confit duck leg and green peppercorn sauce on a bed of finely mashed carrot contrasted well with apple. Gabriel revealed the secret of achieving a succulent bird with a crispy skin. The duck was twice cooked. “The chef must control the level of water remaining in the meat. This is the way to achieve tenderness. Over cooking makes the meat dry.” Indeed the duck was succulent. Merci. Dessert of blueberry tart and vanilla ice-cream ensured that all diners were well satisfied.

Born in the Loire Valley of France where his father grew all the family’s fruit and vegetables and made wine from the small family vineyard, Gabriel learned the joys of eating and cooking from his mother and grand-mother who were excellent cooks.

Gabriel is a chef with an inter-national reputation as a cookery author, television presenter and cookery teacher, so it behoved us to listen to his words of advice. “La pratique, de la patience et la persévérance sont nécessaires.”

“Watching TV shows does not make you a cook. Practice, patience and persistence are needed. You must start young, with simple tasks. Don’t wait. Teenage is too late – they already know it all.”