FROM gourmet burgers, Mexican morsels and French bistro fare reaching dazzling heydays across Perth in recent times, you can’t help ponder what culinary craze will make it to the table next.
Celebrated chef, food author and father of five (soon to be six) Paul Zammit, of Subiaco’s Llama Bar and Kitchen, has a good idea, and it’s probably not a cuisine you’ve considered too closely.
Chinese is his pick, but not the traditional Kung Pao chicken and beef in black bean sauce from your local suburban takeout.
The Asian cuisine will take on an innovative modern twist with a focus on quality produce.
Zammit moved from Sydney to Perth in ‘94 to open The Port Bouvard Café (now The Jolly Frog) in Mandurah. Taking up cooking as young as 12, he often popped down to the local Chinese restaurant after school to peel vegetables and chop chickens.
“My grandmother greatly inspired me, getting me involved in all the food preparation at home,” he said.
“She was particularly good at cooking apple pies and roasts.”
“She was my very best friend growing up and also my sparring partner – we’d have verbal disagreements about things – and she would often test my food knowledge.”
With a focus on healthy fare, the amiable chef recently introduced a new winter menu at Llama offering mostly share options for two to 250 people.
Dishes to look out for include barramundi with pumpkin, coconut, coriander and ginger (pictured), tea-smoked duck with apple, hazelnut and rhubarb, and steak tartare with pommes frites.
The winter menu officially launches at Llama’s Long Table Dinner on July 18.
Tickets are $48.