“Monty Koludrovic grew up in an artistic family, heavily influenced by his Russian-born Nona. Inspired by her decadent feasts and food heritage, he travelled to Europe at the end of his schooling in search of authentic food and great inspiration. After training in the kitchens of esteemed establishments including The Grill Room at the Dorchester Hotel and La Trompette in London, Monty returned to Australia in 2005. Here, with dedication, innovation and a lot of charisma he has risen to the top of his field from working in the kitchens of The Boathouse Blackwattle Bay, to being named head chef at Becasse. In 2013, Monty moved into TV, both behind the scenes, on Masterchef The Professionals, and in front of the camera – as a recurring guest chef on Ready, Steady, Cook. In 2014, Monty joined the Icebergs’ fine dining team as head chef.”
Better still – he’s my baby brother! And, we’re totally keeping it in the family with the addition of my gorgeous sister-in-law, Monty’s wife, Jaci.
“Jaci Koludrovic (nee Nichols) grew up on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, 570kms off the east coast of mainland Australia. Renowned for its striking landscape and pristine beaches but with a tiny population of just a few hundred people, life on Lord Howe Island is a long way from the world of fine dining. It wasn’t until she was living in Sydney after finishing school that the idea of a career in food started to formulate and Jaci quickly found herself under the tutelage of accomplished chefs including Matt Moran at Moran’s, Damian Pignolet at Bistro Moncur, pastry queen Philippa Sibley at Circa The Prince and Justin North at Becasse. After a short break following the birth of her two sons, 2015 sees Jaci returning to the sweet life as Icebergs’ pastry chef.”
I’m already exceedingly proud of both of them, but I believe that this is just the beginning of the magic that they are going to create. Together they are a unique food powerhouse. Watch out Australia!
I flew down to Sydney last week to do my first food shoot with them, on location at iconic Icebergs (you can see some behind the scenes shots in my instagram feed here). It was a super fun and productive day – we managed to photograph the first eight recipes that we’ll be sharing with you – and a magic Tiramisu!
All of the recipes that Monty and Jaci are sharing with us here on The Beautiful Lens over the next few months shouldn’t be overly complicated for the confident home-chef. But I’m not so sure about the Tira-movie-su (as Monty fondly nicknamed it after first seeing the animated version yesterday ;) or #bestcakeintheworldever (as I personally like to call it) which does take it to another level!! So I thought that it would be a great dish to include with their introduction. And – hey – there’s no recipe this time, just instructions for 18-or-so layers to give you a step-by-step just in case you’re the adventurous type who feels inspired to pull your own layers together and give it a go. *
Are you ready? The magic is all in the preparation…
Start with a clean slate
1. A greased baking ring
2. Pepe Saya Mascarpone mousse
3. Flourless chocolate sponge cake circle
4. Marsala caramel sauce
5. Vanilla sponge cake bites
6. Cubes of whipped espresso & Marsala jelly
7. Meringue sticks scented with coffee salt
8. Frozen rum & espresso jelly
9. Crushed amaretti biscuits
10. Valrhona chocolate pearls
11. Milk coffee sorbet
12. Flourless chocolate sponge cake circle
13. Pepe Saya Mascarpone mousse
14. Spread it
15. Grated dark chocolate
16. Cocoa powder
17. Gold dust
18. Remove ring. Voila!
It’s all very exciting! The first actual recipe we’ll be putting up, later this month, is a beautiful Pasta dish.
But I’d love to know – what else would you like to see? x
Photography by Amber Melody | The Beautiful Lens
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