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KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Meet Tony Stewart, the man behind one of the most ambitious pop-ups ever, Waiheke Island Yacht Club Restaurant & Bar on San Francisco’s waterfront. This 100 seater restaurant at Pier 29 on the Embarcadero serves up a taste of Waiheke, a small island in New Zealand where fresh surf and turf with seasonal produce are the main order of the day.
This KIWI restaurateur, owner of Clooney on Waiheke Island was inspired by America’s Cup and his fellow countrymen who ventured west to take the cup from TEAM ORACLE USA. We know how that story ends so I will leave it alone. Tony ventured to San Francisco with an idea, to serve up a taste of his homeland for people in town for the world’s biggest boat race.
The man from the small island with a big idea transformed the disused Pier 29 into an inviting restaurant and bar. With it’s rustic timber floors, sheepskin covered bar stools and laid back leather chairs, it really IS a piece of New Zealand along the San Francisco shore.
Movie star Tom Cruise popped in for a taste at the pop-up. He was wowed by the food and the stellar hospitality. His visit went viral and overnight the word about WIYC was out.
At the helm in the kitchen is a young, brilliant and incredibly tall chef Hayden McMillan. His philosophy is built around seasonality, purity in flavour combined with an element of innovation and fun. He was given an honorable mention as Chef of the Year at the NZ 2012 Cuisine awards. The evidence of his talents is on every single dish that comes out of the kitchen at WIYC. The dishes are works of art on the plate and yet pleasing on the palate.
My WIYC recommendations; begin with thick, creamy NZ coromandel oysters, have the knockout NZ lamb for your main and wrap up with the deconstructed TCHO crunchie bar dessert. ….a sweet and happy ending if ever there was.
My Foodie Chap Chat is with Tony and Hayden. Tony is the visionary, the man with the plan who may greet you as you arrive, perhaps even bus your plates or serve you a glass of wine. He is the ultimate host, gliding from table to table, making sure his customers are happy and by all accounts they very much are. Hayden works the line AND works his young kitchen team, the other KIWI team who battle every night to deliver results worthy of a trophy. (Lunch & Dinner Mon – Sun).
Waiheke Island Yacht Club has given local and visiting foodies another good reason to visit San Francisco’s waterfront long after the boats, the pavilion bands and the billionaire playboys have packed up for other shores.
“COME ON Team WIYC, please stay and make San Francisco Bay your permanent home!”
Enjoy the tasty talk and the delish lamb recipe and ***PLEASE note….no sheep were harmed during the taping of this interview.
“5 Questions with Restauranteur Tony Stewart”
Lamb Rack w Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette, Olives, Feta & Basil
Slow Roasted Lamb Rack
- 4 Lamb Rump (fat cap on) New Zealand sourced available from Golden Gate at Ferry Building
- 4x sprigs rosemary
- 1x zest of lemon
- Olive oil
- Sea Salt
1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Trim silver skin off fat cap on lamb rump ensuring to leave a layer of fat over meat this adds a lot of flavor and also protects the meat whilst cooking, turn over and trim any silver skins off meat and discard.
3. Rub rosemary off the stalk and finely chop, add to a small mixing bowl and add lemon zest and at least 4 Tbsp olive oil mix to combine and set aside to infuse.
4. In a large mixing bowl add rumps and pour over lemon and rosemary marinade and rub marinade into meat well and leave to marinate for 30 hours in refrigerator.
5. Bring a large roasting pan to heat, add olive oil and insure pan is hot the oil should dance and slightly smoke, place the rumps in fat side down and lower temperature to slowly caramelize, once a nice golden color has come through turn and caramelize for 2 mins then back onto fat side and into oven for 18-25 mins.
6. Rump will be cooked when you can push on the flesh and it springs back if it doesn’t spring back it’s to rare and if you can’t push it’s overdone. So once it has sprung back take out of pan and onto a cooling rack for 5 mins to rest.
NOTE: Meats should always rest at least half of its cooking time before carving!
Heirloom Tomato & Olive Vinegarette
- 4-5 Mixed Heirloom tomatoes (large)
- 3 Tbsp pitted nicoise olives
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- Cracked black pepper
- Sea salt
1. Evenly dice your mixed tomatoes into quarter size pieces and place into a small saucepan, add nicoise olives, sherry vinegar, enough salt and pepper to season well. Add just enough XVO to cover by 3/4′s.
2. Place saucepan on a low heat and heat very slowly the whole idea is to pull all of the sweet tomato juices out of the tomatoes without reducing them and turning them to soft.
3. Once it’s just come to a low simmer take off the heat and leave to serve checking seasoning to taste, add more sherry vinegar if you want a little sharper sauce.
Note this is a chunky sauce it’s shouldn’t be blended, the sauce comes in the XVO, water from tomato’s and sherry vinegar. It should have substance.
Cow’s milk Feta
1. Slice lamb rump across the grain into 4-5 slices and place on serving dish.
2. Roughly tear fresh basil into tomato vinegarette, a good amount also make sure sauce isn’t to hot I find if I tear it by hand and add just before serving I get a fresher and more prominent basil flavor come through.
3. Crumble the feta over the sauce and lamb make sure to be generous.
4. Garnish with more fresh basil and drizzle of XVO
5. Bon Apetite!
Waiheke Island Yacht Club
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)