Three cook off heats and a cook off final later, Prahran Market was judged the market that rules with Australian Pears! On Saturday 26 July Naheda Hassan brought Australian Pear glory to Prahran Market with her winning dish Poached Pears with Ricotta and Blue Cheese Cream.
Judge Alice Zaslavsky had her job cut out for her with Rhonda Tannous of Dandenong Market and Tony Pham of Queen Victoria Market putting up stellar dishes. In the end it was the classic match of pears and blue cheese that shone through in Naheda’s brilliant dish.
Interestingly, both Naheda and Rhonda chose poached pears as their signature dishes. The difference was they used different flavours in their poaching liquids. Naheda used a Western Australian full flavoured shiraz, 50:50 brown sugar and white sugar, cinnamon stick and cloves. Rhonda used pomegranate molasses, orange juice, palm sugar, star anise and sumac. Poaching pears seems to be a tried and true way to cook pears and even the audience members chimed in with their tips!
Tony Pham wooed the taste buds of Alice and audience members alike with his dish Australian Pear Salad with Crispy Tiger Prawns. They loved the freshness of the pear salad, and its flavour-packed Asian dressing, but it was the crispy tiger prawns coated in sweet green Vietnamese rice flakes that took the limelight.
The “My Market Rules with Australian Pears” initiative allowed much-loved traders at three of Melbourne’s popular markets to take up the challenge of cooking their signature pear dish on stage to inspire market shoppers and encourage them to get cooking with local produce and support Australian farmers.
Home cooks and chefs alike are encouraged to discover more recipes at rediscoverthepear.com.au