A Sunday Lunch

My mother always told me to choose my friends wisely and I certainly did that when I chose a chef to be my friend and better than that, a chef who loves to invite friends over for a very fine feast.

Stumbling out of the Hilton on Sunday morning then foolishly filling up on Eggs Benedict, we drove to the Northern Beaches to have lunch with our friends where the husband is a chef.  Normally a Sunday lunch would be off limits as he would be up at his restaurant taking charge of the lunch service but he’s just sold his restaurant so can now catch up with friends on weekends.

The kitchen with two ovens, two dishwashers and an in-built bar-be-cue!

The kitchen with two ovens, two dishwashers and an in-built bar-be-cue!

On Sunday the weather was glorious and perfect for dining al fresco.  When we walked into the house and admired the stunning kitchen, I could see nothing going on.  There was no cooking happening and no food out on the bench waiting to be prepared and nothing going on in the oven.  This is the thing with chefs; they make entertaining look effortless.

Bar-be-cue action

Bar-be-cue action

We started with a glass of Champagne that we enjoyed while helping ourselves to an antipasto platter and taking in the view of Curl Curl Beach.

All eyes are on the chef in his kitchen

All eyes are on the chef in his kitchen

Then the chef moved into his stainless steel kitchen (I was only a wee bit jealous of his stainless steel kitchen complete with all its appliances and gadgets), and started up the built-in bar-be-cue.  Then he reached into the fridge and pulled out numerous containers and onto the BBQ went prawns and scallops and green and white asparagus.  Then he took a large platter and piled it with lettuce and red quinoa then when the seafood and asparagus were cooked they were arranged on the platter and everything was topped with avocado.  He dressed the salad with a homemade vinaigrette and it was taken to the table as the entree to be served communal style.

The picturesque setting

The picturesque setting

I love watching professional chefs at work – you can always learn something like how they bring a dish together.  We enjoyed the seafood entree with a very crisp and dry French white wine.

The main course of green beans, confit goose legs, pancetta batons, mushrooms, foie gras and toasted walnuts

The main course of green beans, confit goose legs, pancetta batons, mushrooms, foie gras and toasted walnuts

The main course was also plated onto a large platter that you could help yourself to.  The chef had bought whole geese then taken the legs and made confit goose legs.  He reheated these on the same indoor BBQ along with some pancetta batons and a variety of mushrooms.  This was piled onto a platter along with some steamed green beans, foie gras and toasted walnuts.  The platter was dressed then brought to the table with some hot and crunchy freshly made baguettes that we broke into pieces and dipped in olive oil.  The main course was served with a Pinot Noir.

Ms Hotly Spiced in hot pink very ready to launch into the platter with the tongs

Ms Hotly Spiced in hot pink very ready to launch into the platter with the tongs

No one was hungry after that.

Confit goose with pancetta batons, grilled mushrooms, green beans and toasted walnuts

Confit goose with pancetta batons, grilled mushrooms, green beans and toasted walnuts

But there was dessert.  And it was raspberry ripple where homemade raspberry sorbet had been swirled through vanilla ice cream and we again helped ourselves to this and it was served with a berry salad, homemade biscotti and fresh cream.

Raspberry Ripple.  Vanilla ice cream swirled with raspberry sorbet.

Raspberry Ripple. Vanilla ice cream swirled with raspberry sorbet.

The meal so was fabulous that I just had to share it with you.  It was such a lovely way to spend a Sunday and we certainly felt relaxed and refreshed by the time we arrived home.  But so full we couldn’t eat any dinner!

Raspberry Ripple with berry salad and fresh cream.

Raspberry Ripple with berry salad and fresh cream.

The good news is that they love entertaining and next month they’re having a Christmas party and we’re on the invite list.  I’ll be first through the gate!

Raspberry Ripple with berry salad and cream

Raspberry Ripple with berry salad and cream.

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  1. I am so jealous – I want friends like this – yesterday it was bubbles today a feast!

  2. Hehe you definitely look ready with the tongs Charlie! And what a lovely way to spend a Sunday 😀

  3. Wow, what a splendid feast & what a fine friend to have!

  4. I want to be his friend too!

  5. Note to self – definitely make more friends who are chefs!!

  6. I’m glad your friend has time to relax now – running a restaurant is hard yakka! And what a picturesque location, Charlie! Looks and sounds like a stunning afternoon! xx

  7. I want to be his friend, too, although it would be a little far to travel.

  8. Looks like a great time and a great meal. I need to find me a chef friend.


  9. Yep, friends like those are absolutely keepers. I’m also jealous of the kitchen – the trouble I could get into if I had a workspace like that… 😀

  10. That raspberry ripple looks terrific.

  11. He has a bbq in his kitchen!! How cool is that?!!

  12. I think you chose wisely indeed! Great food and great views 🙂

  13. So great that you shared this lovely Sunday and gorgeous meal with us, Charlie.
    Everything looks so luscious and sophisticated. Confit goose with mushrooms and foie gras…sounds like culinary heaven:)
    And not to speak about the dessert- yummy!

  14. What is remarkable here is that the ingredients are so simple. Sometimes, it is the simple dish that is hardest to put together. Ask me. I tried to put together a Lebanese sandwich yesterday, and failed spectacularly! I learned so much today just from this post. Will I be able to apply any of it? No clue. But thanks so much for sharing.

  15. What an extremely pleasant day! I love watching pros cook too – like you, I’m always learning something. Great food, fun picture, entertaining post – thanks.

  16. I am super jealous! You did choose your friend wisely! Joke aside, what an amazing meal. I have a friend who was working as an executive chef at a very famous restaurant in SF (now he has his own). He always works crazy hours but my husband and I totally enjoyed his home cooked meals when he invited us for just get together. You know it’s just a get together, but the level of food he serves is like a feast!!! I can totally imagine how fantastic this meal was, Charlie!

  17. Oh, my gosh. I think I need to make some chef friends! What a glorious meal…every morsel looks incredible!!! Lucky you.

  18. Um, jealous comes to mind, yip that’s it, jealous of that fabulous kitchen, the setting and having a chef friend like that! Awesome Charlie. Can’t wait to read about the Chritmas meal.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  19. You’re very fortunate in your friends … I’m certain they weren’t chosen with any ulterior motives. Everything looks SO delicious. I want to make duck confit with the legs of one of my ducks … not sure if it’s going to be the smaller or the larger of the two ducks and this meal is a definite inspiration.

  20. I am so jealous right now, this takes a sunday lunch to a new level 😀


  21. I have no doubt that you also make entertaining look effortless, my dear.

  22. What a sumptuous meal and wine pairing, not mention the stunning view. I am looking forward to hearing about the Christmas party.

  23. I’m just loving the hot pink sweater! Would have loved to see the shoes 😉 ! What a treat to be invited to a chef’s home for dinner! I love an antipasto platter too. Today was a glorious day Charlie, we sat on the front porch sipping wine (I know it’s only Wednesday, but it WAS glorious!). Our lovely neighbour popped over and had a beer with us. Tomorrow they (who are the beasts) are predicting rain and cold. I’m am sooo envious of your spring!

  24. G’day Charlie! Nothing like gathering of friends!
    The laughter, memories, food stories, wine matching…never ends…priceless!
    Cheers! Joanne

  25. What a fabulous and memorable lunch!

  26. Oh man, can I borrow your friends some time please 🙂

  27. What a treat for you, and so well deserved after all the giving out that you do.

  28. I literally, LITERALLY laughed out loud when I read: ‘No one was hungry after that. But there was dessert.’
    I can absolutely relate to people who have as much respect for food as your chef friend does, I’m taking a few notes from your friend and definitely getting a built-in barbecue in my first home as well as an extra oven.

  29. What a wonderful kitchen – inside and out. Major envy 🙂 You choose friends well, Charlie 🙂

  30. What a fantastic lunch! I love the family-style, platter serving. Clearly, I need to get myself invited to some chefs’ homes!

  31. Such a comforting meal! Love this!

  32. Yummy! There’s nothing quite like fresh seafood. Jealous!!!

  33. That kitchen is dream worthy!

  34. i could do with a few chef friends 😉 lovely meal you had!

  35. Have a great weekend!

  36. Dearest Charlie and all of your amazing fans, the comments are humbling and so very much appreciated. Bring on more long Sunday lunches!! :-)) TX

  37. Those shrimp and those berries! So delicious looking!

  38. Though I would normally say that you could never foolishly fill up on eggs Benedict, maybe if I were having that fabulous food afterwards I might ease up more than would be normal for me. Great looking food!

  39. MMmmm, dessert looks lovely. And the shrimp?? Shut up!!! 😉

  40. All that great food, friends and THE SCENERY! I am so envious.

  41. Chef friends are awesome friends! I have a friend who is a pastry chef and I love all the things he makes 🙂 We’re always so spoilt hehe!

  42. —–Charlie,
    You like the life of a rock star. I want some of that, girl.

    I lo000ve how you bring us into your adventures with you.
    Thank you. Xxx KISS from MN.

  43. Ok, I am on my way out to look for a chef friend!

  44. Nice, it must be wonderful to have such a talented friend! I often wonder how cool it would be to have a chef, lawyer, doctor, car mechanic, and dentist as friends or family members… then you’re covered for pretty much everything! 😀

  45. Omg I wish they were my friends too. What a stunning lunch. He must appreciate the fact you were so into the food……absolutely superb.

  46. What a glorious feast, Charlie! Amazing food and gorgeous scenery! I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend your Sunday 🙂 Now I just want to dive into that bowl of Raspberry Ripple with berry salad and cream 😀

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