Canberra chefs share their Christmas 2015 wishlist

James Mussillon.
James Mussillon. Photo: Graham Tidy

We all know Christmas is a favourite time to indulge in all sorts of foodie fetishes, and who better to grab some inspiration off than those who spend most of their time in or near a kitchen?

Here's what some chefs and food-venue-owners around Canberra are coveting this Christmas.

Owen Saddler
Owner, Dream Cuisine in Fyshwick and Little Dreams at the Hamlet in Braddon.

Jarrod Deaton of A. Baker in New Acton
Jarrod Deaton of A. Baker in New Acton Photo: Melissa Adams

Owen Saddler would rather enrich his memory bank than his actual bank this Christmas. And he wants to fill it with croissants and fruit. First on his santa wish list is a trip to Lune Croissanterie in Melbourne that has recently made global headlines. The bakery runs the Lune Lab - a glass cube with LED lights that looks like an industrial space station. Customers watch the chefs make croissants with unique flavours and then taste them fresh out of the oven.  

He also wants to go to a forest in Central Asia. "I also want to visit this mystical fruit forest on the far eastern edge of Kazakhstan which is the ancestral home of around 80 per cent of the fruit varieties that we have," Mr Saddler said. "This crazy organic orchardist dude that I know said 'you have to go to this fruit forest before it's all gone because it's in an area that is being industrialised'".

James Mussillon
Owner, Waters Edge restaurant in Parkes and Courgette restaurant in Civic

Owen Saddler
Owen Saddler Photo: Mark Sawa

For James Mussillon most Christmas must-haves come down to a mother's cooking.  He prefers his mum's roast goose, in all its golden richness and crispy skin, over a typical Christmas turkey. But wine would be the item he'd choose to compliment the supposedly mouth-watering dish. This year, he's hoping for a nice French Bordeaux (which needs little explanation for any wine-lover). He isn't fussed on which variety, as long as it's smooth and fruity. "I just find it a comforting drink, not as sweet as Australian wines," he said. "It goes really well with meat... it would absolutely compliment my mum's roast."

Jarrod Deaton
Owner, A. Baker in New Acton

Like James Mussillon, Jarrod Deaton is also a sucker for some homemade food, and would love some European-styled christmas bread. Its weight, character and complexity is what most appeals to him. "I certainty like moving away from all of that commercial stuff as it's so easy these days just to go and buy things," he said. "But I appreciate the time and care more than anything. You might be able to find better stuff than your family can make but the joy is in that making process of that lovely handmade delicious food." He is also excited to give out the secret fruit mint recipe that bakers at A.Baker have been working on, which has been ageing in all sorts of alcohol for a year. "Customers will get to experience it and give it as gifts as well," Mr Deaton said. "I can't wait to see how it goes."

Chef John Leverink of The Boat House by the Lake in Barton
Chef John Leverink of The Boat House by the Lake in Barton Photo: Supplied

John Leverink
Executive chef, The Boat House by the Lake in Barton

Micro-pureeing frozen foods into ultra-fine textures is what John Leverink enjoys doing over the holiday season. "On the wish list all year and especially at Christmas time is my PacoJet! It's changed the way we approach ice cream at The Boat House," he said. "We can make our ice cream, sorbet or other frozen food base and freeze it down to -22°C.  Then with the PacoJet we can 'shave' a micro-thin layer off the top resulting is instant silky smooth ice cream." It can also blend house made cultured butter and other savory foods like pate.