Melbourne Cup Lunch

Today was the day that they say ‘stops the nation’.  Stops it for a couple of minutes while we all turn on our tellies and hope that the horse we have bet on crosses the line first.  While the first Tuesday in November is a public holiday in Victoria, (where the race is held), for the rest of us it’s business as usual.

I’ve previously mentioned that I work freelance for a small company and they were hosting a Melbourne Cup lunch in their boardroom.  The caterer was to be that notorious guy I’ve previously mentioned who’s so pleasant and charming normally but when he dons his apron and claims the kitchen he turns into Gordon Ramsay.  He would like me to say that the chef in the kitchen is Sydney’s most eligible bachelor but here at Hotly Spiced Headquarters we aim to tell the truth so I’ll just say he’s a bachelor and he’s eligible.

The tiny kitchen

Cooking a Melbourne Cup Lunch for 12 in this office does have its challenges.  The bachelor chef posted this today on his facebook wall:

“So it’s Melbourne Cup tomorrow and I’m the appointed cook for 12 guests in a kitchen that does not have an oven or cook top!  My challenge is to serve a 7 dish degustation with every dish prepared on the premises.

Can it be done?

I say shit yeah – watch it evolve tomorrow.”

Here he is in action and I’m trying to keep my distance so I don’t get sprayed!

When I arrived at the lunch I saw the bachelor and greeted him and to welcome me he said, ‘What are you doing here?’  And that’s a typical greeting so I knew things in the kitchen must be going well.  I did a quick tour of the tiny space capturing the bachelor in action and I asked, ‘What’s on the menu?’  and he said, ‘You’ll be surprised’.  During my short visit there was only one swear word uttered so things were looking promising.

Sneakily got this photo before he knew I was there

You can’t have a Melbourne Cup lunch without a sweepstake so I stuck my hand in the bowl and pulled out two names.  One was Americana who was supposed to be the favourite and the other was Cavalryman.  Both turned out to be duds coming no better than 11th and 12th and I lost all my money – every cent of the $7.00 I gambled.

I did offer to help but was told to get out of the way

With limited space and equipment, this is what the bachelor served while we sat in the boardroom watching the TV and sipping champagne.

Thai Sang Choi Bow served on prawn crackers

Salad of potatoes cooked in duck fat, rocket, haloumi cheese, tomatoes, broad beans and prosciutto

Salad of mango, avocado and bacon with a hot English mustard dressing

Marinated prawns tossed in a sweet chilli dressing

Salmon wrapped in prosciutto and lightly pan fried

Baby sausages served on bread with a chilli hot onion marmalade

For all those good at maths wondering where the 7th dish in this degustation is, it was decided we were all too full to have duck breast and so that recipe is being held over for another day.

And that was our impressive Melbourne Cup lunch.  Everything was cooked in that tiny space using an electric frying pan.  A big thanks to the bachelor for a varied, exciting and fabulous menu.

Should I have offered to clean up?

Now would be the right time to leave!

And as for that bachelor, he placed a bet on Green Moon and can you believe, that horse won the Melbourne Cup, winning him around $12,000.  Perhaps this Gordon Ramsay style chef is a ‘most eligible bachelor’ after all.

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  1. Hehe I was too jetlagged to go to the Melbourne Cup lunch that I had all intentions of going to! Now wouldn’t it be funny if he did meet someone through your blog?

  2. He’s certainly got enough money to shout a woman a fine dinner 🙂

  3. Now that is impressive pulling together all those delicious looking dishes out of that little kitchen. Surely there is a suitable lady out there that would be eager to snap him up 🙂

  4. He can come and scream and shout at me in my kitchen, just so long as he produces scrumity dishes like these – oh and I have a dishwasher so the cleaning up shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  5. Haha… Amazing feat! I wouldn’t be able to pull off anything close with an office kitchen like that. Scrumptious meal nonetheless hope you guys had a great time. I presume productivity might’ve slowed down a tad after all that yummy food? Haha!

  6. That meal looks delicious! Super impressive in that tiny kitchen! And what good luck to win that money, for the bachelor!

  7. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Impressive especially in that kitchen! We didn’t pick a winner until the last race which after betting all day we came out in in front by $10!

  8. The food looks divine and NO way you should have offered to clean up.
    I spent the cup alone in a very quiet office. Not too bad really. I had a little picnic!

  9. No one cleans up after me in the kitchen. I’d just walk away from the mess. He won $12,000? Wow. And how much did he bet?

  10. Wow, very impressed with what he cooked up in such a teeny space! Although honestly, it’s about the size of most NYC kitchens…except for the fact that they have a stove usually. Not a bad prize he won!

  11. Lucky chap, $12,000 pretty good. I too would love to know how much he bet. Impressive the dishes he produced in that tiny kitchen. Creative use of pawns crackers, I always thought they tasted like styrofoam but with a topping I can handle it.

  12. The bachelor might not be the friendliest person but he is a talented cook and lucky besides.

  13. Aw, I missed the Melbourne Cup! And all of this deliciousness? Prawns prawns prawns…

  14. I would say he’s a bit magician! It all looks amazing except it seems that the magic wore off when it came time for clean-up, huh? 🙂

  15. Darn if I do not already have a husband! The prawns and salmon look sinfully good. Isn’t it funny how territorial of our kitchen working space we are, regardless of how small it may be?

  16. Everything looks delicious! He’s more like a magician 😉

  17. That looks like a fun way to spend the afternoon, and too bad you didn’t win anything, but then again, I’d be in the same boat as I’m not much of a gambler either.
    Dr. Jekyll certainly served up a lovely meal, too bad about the duck, though.

  18. Delicious-looking food. Impressive that the chef pulled it all together in such a tiny space. I love the idea of a Hot English Mustard Dressing on the salad.

  19. Swear as much as he wants as long as he produces these incredible dishes 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. Very impressive Charlie, it;s remarkable what this man did in this tiny kitchen.
    Hugs and Kisses

  21. Other than those evil tomatoes which seemed to have jumped into a couple of the dishes, everything looked amazing and very tasty. You can tell a man cooked though … heavy on the meat. 🙂

    My compliments to the chef nevertheless and as far as offering to clean up … umm NO. No WAY!

    Finish off your glass of champers and wave goodbye. 🙂

  22. Lol! I don’t know why i still bet on the Melbourne Cup, it is a sure fire way of
    Making the horse come last! I had Americain and Dunedin.

    Anyway I would be more interested in the food and bubbly anyway 🙂 looks like a delicious spread… So how is it the eligible bachelor is still baching it with kitchen skills like that??

  23. Oh, my…you had me at potatoes cooked in duck fat…

  24. That’s quite an impressive feast especially cooked up in that little kitchen. He and the Indians from Adelaide should get together. Imagine what they could create?!

  25. He did pretty well considering the resources available. Even lady luck was on his side:) Very creative to serve Sang Choi Bow on prawn crackers

  26. I cannot believe the dinner he put together without a cooktop. Yes, he may have some issues but he sure can cook! And even though your Man wasn’t first to cross the finish line, it sounds like you had a great afternoon. Good for you!

  27. I thought “the bachelor” did extremely well. Most enjoyable degustation! Sorry I couldn’t face the roast lamb dinner!

  28. —The salad w/ MANGO looks Out of the World goooood. X

  29. I think this would be an appropriate feast for those betting on the US Presidential election tonight! I’m shocked at how much he could cook without a “real” kitchen.. kind of makes me realize the potential of my own;) xx

  30. I miss office parties! They were so fun!

  31. For those who asked I placed a $500.00 AUD bet on the nose.

    The staff have been busily congregating around the fridge feeding off the left overs and I must say one on the chilli hot onion marmalade – is even better! I suspect it will be even better tomorrow! Every fridge should have chilli hot onion marmalade as it goes with every possible food combination. Sensational on poached eggs!

    Thanks for your comments 🙂

  32. Sounds like a lot of fun, and the food looks pretty impressive given the facilities.

  33. Looks like the “Batchelor” will have some spending money on his next trip to Thailand…. Forget living like a King, more like The Sultan!!

  34. He won $12,000!!! I guess after his cooking feats he deserved it.

  35. Sounds like the batchelor deserved a bit of a win after all that hard work for you guys 🙂
    Very impressive with such limited equipment indeed!

  36. What an impressive effort! Between those dishes and his big win, I think the eligibility is increasingly steadily 😉

  37. hey robert, good for u to serve up all those amazing dishes, and on top of that to win the grand prize….not a bad way to end the day….i guess being voted as an elegible bachelor has enabled yu over the years to become a master chef at least your not a “Chef ramsay”…i don’t think he could cope in such small spaces….anyway cheers and I’m pleased you had a great day!!

  38. Very impressive to create all that on an electric frying pan. It must be fun to all get together at work and watch the race, shame about your non winners, but friendly sweepstakes are fun. GG

  39. Cooking under those conditions is crazy, but those sausages look amazing!!

  40. WOW that’s impressive to be able to cook all that food for 12 people in such a such tiny office kitchen! I’m glad and surprised the smoke detectors didn’t go off 😛

  41. You have some of the most unusual opportunities, Charlie. I’m not sure if this was fun or not, but it was indeed different–and I’m glad you didn’t clean up! Ha! The prawns looked particularly good to me! 🙂


  1. […] a better offer.  So, to the rescue came Rob, a friend of ours of over 20 years.  He’s been well featured on this blog before and he added an interesting slant to our evening.  I’m sure the reason we have so much […]

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