Disclaimer: I attended the dinner as a guest of San Remo.
You may have noticed that my blog posts recently have had a slightly non-Adelaide theme … I’ve just returned from three weeks in the UK visiting family and friends and fitting in a lot of eating and even some blogging. There’s more UK content to come but, before heading away, I managed to squeeze in the annual San Remo Diamond Dinner.
The dinner has become an annual institution: the Diamonds (that’s the Australian netball team) and a group of guests are treated to a meal created by Adam Swanson (Zucca) prior to the start of the Quad Series. This year the meal was held at the National Wine Centre.
The netballers, who are all very tall and listen very patiently to any stories you may have of C grade netballing prowess, are scattered amongst the guests, so everyone feels touched by a little bit of sporting glory. This year I sat next to Mo’onia Gerrard. As she is almost a foot taller than me, I was glad it was a sit down meal!
We started with pasta: torn lasagne sheets with sugo, basil and mozzarella, served in a coffee cup. Adam Swanson spoke a little about the food and this dish was inspired by one his nonna used to cook. Being served in a cup would work really well if you’re tucked up at home on the sofa, but it was a touch tricky to eat sitting at a table.
For main we had a choice between beef and chicken. The chicken was served with preserved lemon risoni so I was really tempted but the beef was sold to me on the promise of crispy gnocchi with burnt butter. How Adam got that past the Diamonds’ nutritionist/dietician I will never know. While the gnocchi weren’t particularly crispy (and with a room of about 100 people to feed that was always going to be tricky) as a dish it worked well. I was particularly interested in the use of the red wine herb butter because compound butters are something I rarely bother doing. Even though the red wine makes the butter an interesting colour, it does lend extra richness to both the meat and any gravy that it meets.
We finished with what was, for me, the best course. The mixed berry sorbet was absolutely excellent. After a big, hearty meal the sorbet, accompanied by fresh fruit and biscotti, was the perfect weight, but the mixed berries ensured it packed in a lot of flavour. It wasn’t just me that loved it – pretty much everyone was smacking their lips and oohing and aahing.
It was also a great opportunity to catch up with some other Adelaide bloggers: Debbie from dbites, Erin from She Cooks, She Gardens and Amanda from Lamb’s Ears and Honey. Blogging is not an inherently sociable kind of activity so actually talking to fellow bloggers, in the flesh, is always great!
Adam Swanson’s menu obviously did the trick, as the Diamonds won the Quad Series. All I need to do now is work out how to get my hands on the recipe for the mixed berry sorbet …