O.M.Giovanni!

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ILVE favourite Giovanni Pilu (of Pilu at Freshwater) is the Fantastic Foodie in our ILVENISTA campaign! He’s so fantastic, in fact, that he’s served up five hot tips for dinner party hosts below.

SIMPLE PLAN
One of the most important things is simplicity, otherwise you’ll spend all night in the kitchen. If your menu gets too fancy, your guests will be teasing you while they’re drinking their cocktails: “Hey, how’s it going in there? Having fun?!” If you go for dishes that you can sort of pre-prepare – pasta, pizza, salad – when everyone arrives you can just put stuff in the middle of the table, get out of the kitchen, and enjoy!

And so it begins!

And so it begins!

DISH FULFILMENT
It’s worth keeping in mind that you may have a vegetarian or someone with a food allergy or someone who doesn’t eat fish (or all three) at your dinner party. I always try to do three or four dishes: a vegetarian pasta, a meat course, and a fish course – that covers virtually everybody who’ll be showing up.

SHARE PLAY
A dinner party is about sharing and bringing people together. The best part about sharing is that it’s also an ice-breaker: it allows people to interact in a relaxed way. Chill, share, eat, talk.

Another successful dinner party in the books.

Another successful dinner party in the books.

RED, WHITE, AND FOOD
I’m not great with wines, so I look to match food with a wine that comes from the same region. You need at least two wines – one white and one red. Nothing too big or strong, so you can drink it without food.

CHEESE DREAMS
A lot of people finish with cheese but I love to start with cheese and crispy bread. It can be as simple as ricotta or you could even go for something aged – Parmigiano-Reggiano is unbeatable.

Find out more about ILVE’s Freestanding Cookers here: https://ilve.com.au/products/freestanding-cookers/

And our Built-In Ovens here: https://ilve.com.au/products/built-in-ovens/

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Jen Bishop, aka @interiorsaddict, aka The Socialite from our ILVENISTA campaign, shares some insight into how to set the most stylish table for your next big dinner.

Family Dinner
Christmas and special occasions are a great excuse to go all-out with your table settings and embrace the theme, whatever it may be. Christmas doesn’t have to be tacky (although, if you secretly enjoy paper crowns and bon bons, why not, I say?). You can go low-key but classy festive by using brown kraft paper as a table runner, vessels generously filled with green foliage, and some metallic accents, like gold cutlery and candle holders. If you have lots of children coming, perhaps keep things a little less… breakable. Don’t get out all your best china and crystal if it’s likely to get knocked over!

When it comes to your dining table, always dress to impress.

When it comes to your dining table, always dress to impress.

Dinner With Friends
Share-style food is a lovely way for the host or hostess to avoid being stuck in the kitchen: just let everyone dig in and help themselves. While we all know we shouldn’t be on our phones at the dinner table, let’s be honest: we all feel a tad smug and satisfied inside when we see someone snapping our table-styling efforts to share on social media! Make your table more Insta-worthy by considering what it looks like from above, à la flat lay. Beautiful blooms will always make a table– and a photo – so don’t skimp on the flowers, as they’ll do most of the work for you. Invest in great stemware and simple but quality linen napkins – you’ll get a lot of use out of both.

It's all about the details.

It’s all about the details.

Dinner Date
This is all about the candles, which create a romantic mood and flattering lighting (also good for taking photos, though that’s really not the priority here). Be wary of anything fragranced, however, as it may be overpowering or at odds with what you’re eating. Make sure you don’t overcrowd your table, so you can gaze into each other’s eyes without obstruction!

 

Grin and Pair It

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Ben Moechtar, The Grape Crusader from our ILVENISTA campaign and a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, offers a masterful take on wine and food pairing, from sweet to spicy to… artichokes: the sommelier’s nightmare!

Yes, there is a science to pairing, but it won’t work without a little bravery. Let’s begin with the basics, though. Light dishes with light wines; heavy dishes with more robust of full-bodied wines. It doesn’t matter if they are white or red wines: match the weight and aromatic intensity of the wine to the dish.

Ben Moechtar, ready to pair.

Ben Moechtar, ready to pair.

Sweetness in food should be balanced by sweetness in wine. This is especially true with desserts. If one is sweeter than the other it will dominate. Both should be balanced and harmonise. The experience of eating and drinking should be improved or elevated.

Spices and chilli need a foil. The wine must provide this but be fresh enough to cleanse the palate. The freshness of a wine is provided by the wine’s acidity. High acid wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon can cleanse the palate, especially if the dish is a little oily. They also match raw elements in a dish.

Reds can be dry and tannic, or soft and juicy/fruity. Fruity/juicy wines possess a higher spice tolerance.

Pro tip: pair sweet with sweet.

Pro tip: pair sweet with sweet.

Ready for a quick chemistry lesson? Tannic reds are better with richer meats cooked medium rare: it’s about binding ‘free’ proteins. For another example, try artichoke, which contains cynarin. It makes water taste sweet, but doesn’t match well with wine… it creates a weird, metallic taste. Artichokes are a sommelier’s food-matching nightmare!

Pairing wine with food relies on people opening their hearts, minds, and palates to new experiences. Keep that in mind, and happy pairing!

 

Find out more about ILVE’s wine cellars here: https://ilve.com.au/products/wine-cellars/

 

Top 5 Kitchen Trends for 2017

Last year was all about blurring the boundaries between dining and living spaces, providing endless entertainment possibilities. Kitchen benchtops boasted white tones, ceramic tiles and copper appliances, with contemporary features defining the ideal model. This year, designers have observed how 2017’s kitchen ‘must-haves’ have shifted to encompass both traditional and modern features. We’ve compiled an exciting list of the top five kitchen trends in 2017.

 

‘Greenery’

Where kitchen design trends in previous years have deviated away from soft, neutral palettes to strive for a geometrical, modern look, the trend for 2017 embraces the former in a remarkable comeback. Consumers have become more adventurous by adding ‘pops’ of colour, opting for refreshing shades of green, yellow and blue as a point of difference in the kitchen and for their attention-grabbing effect.

 

Greenery is Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year. This fresh and zesty yellow-green shade, evokes nature’s revitalisation and restorative qualities. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, explains that by, “…adding colour to your kitchen not only will it enhance a dynamic living environment, but offer a sense of escapism from what can easily become a dull, domesticated space”.

 

 

Less is more

 

There’s much truth to the saying “less is more”, evident through 2017’s minimalist trends. Busy benchtops can instigate feelings of chaos and can often be inaccurately perceived as messy or cluttered. Maximising kitchen storage is an easy and effective way to store appliances out of sight, while also creating benchtop space in cramped kitchens.

 

 Smart kitchens

 

Getting out of bed to make your morning cup of coffee is a thing of the past. ‘Smart kitchens’ now enable us to wake up to the smell of coffee, adjust oven temperatures from a mobile phone app and receive a notification from a meat thermometer when dinner is ready. In the time-poor world we live in, kitchens are expected to become increasingly more convenient for those with busy lifestyles. Investing in smart appliances, such as steam cookers, is the first step to hassle-free meal preparation.

 

Mixed materials

 

In this rapidly-changing world, it can be difficult to keep on top of trends and unrealistic to constantly remodel your kitchen. Mixing and matching allows for the marriage of multiple different materials in one room. Think white tiles, marble benchtops, and light oak shelves. While unconventional, this is the perfect way to add a modern twist to your kitchen.

 

Kitchens of the past, featuring complete wooden fixtures and decor, now comprise of black, or white glossy features. Now used sparingly, wood is slowly reappearing, emphasising key elements.

Intentional blooms

 

Urbanisation often compromises nature for compact city dwellings. For the ‘outdoorsy’ person, a kitchen has the ability to bring the natural world indoors. Interiors with luscious succulents, standing herb gardens or fresh blooms invite a natural utopia into what can be the smallest region of an apartment. Whatever your floral preference, a kitchen’s environment can be transformed with a simple floral addition. It’s easy to see why blooms are a favourite this year!

 

 

Christmas with ILVE

Whether it be a sweetly-glazed Panettone, a Yorkshire pudding with all the trimmings or prawns sizzling on the barbie, we all have our favourite Christmas meals.

So we’ve compiled a list of festive dishes from our friends at Gourmet Traveller that are sure to send your loved ones into that oh-so-revered, post-Christmas lunch slumber.

CHAR-GRILLED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH APPLE AND PEPITAS

A twist on the old divisive Christmas favourite, these Brussel sprouts are sure to win over any non-believers.

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Ingredients

400 gm Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves discarded, tender outer leaves reserved separately, hearts thickly sliced lengthways

1 tbsp olive oil

2 Granny Smith apples, cut into julienne and tossed in juice of ½ lemon

4 radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin

1golden shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Toasted pepita dressing

1½ tbsp each olive oil and hazelnut oil

2 tbsp pepitas

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon

1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
Method

 

  1. For toasted pepita dressing, heat oils in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add pepitas and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to change colour (1-2 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat, stir in garlic and lemon rind, cool slightly, then stir in lemon juice and vinegar to taste. Season to taste and set aside.
  3. Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Combine Brussels sprouts hearts and oil in a bowl, season to taste and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Grill in batches, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly caramelised (10-15 minutes).
  5. Transfer to a bowl, add outer leaves and toss to combine.
  6. Add apple, radish, shallot and parsley, drizzle with toasted pepita dressing to taste, toss to coat and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

BAKED HAM WITH PINEAPPLE AND STAR ANISE GLAZE

 

As far as Christmas centerpieces go, the ham is always our favourite. Whilst your family squabbles in the kitchen about who has the best glaze, this pineapple infused knockout will settle any arguments.

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Ingredients 


100ml vegetable oil

35gm (4cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced

3 ripe pineapples

800gm dark palm sugar

500gm light palm sugar

4 cinnamon quills

1 tsp cardamom pods

12star anise

1 tsp ground cloves

Juice of 4 limes

1leg ham, bone in (about 8kg), skin removed, fat scored


Method

 

  1. Combine oil and ginger in a jar and set aside to infuse (2 days).
  2. Thickly slice two pineapples into rings, remove core with a cutter, set aside. Coarsely chop remaining pineapple, process in a food processor to a coarse purée, set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 200C. Strain ginger oil (discard solids) and heat in a large frying pan over high heat. Add pineapple rings in batches and cook, turning once, until golden (3-4 minutes), drain on absorbent paper, place in a large roasting pan.
  4. Melt palm sugars and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium heat (5-7 minutes).
  5. Add cinnamon, cardamom, pineapple purée and half the star anise, simmer until thick (15-20 minutes).
  6. Add clove and half the lime juice, strain (discard solids).
  7. Pour over pineapple and roast until caramelised (10-15 minutes), set aside.
  8. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 160C.
  9. Place ham in a large roasting pan, brush with pineapple caramel (from roasting pan), stud with remaining star anise, scatter pineapple rings on top and around pan and roast, basting occasionally, until ham is caramelised and warmed through (1¼-1½ hours).
  10. Season to taste with remaining lime juice and serve warm.

PAULINE KWONG’S PAVLOVA

Those who haven’t made the rookie error of over-exerting themselves at Christmas lunch, will be all over this pavlova from renowned chef, Kylie Kwong.

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Ingredients

 

4 egg whites

 

330 gm (1½ cup)caster sugar
1½ tsp white vinegar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
300ml thickened cream
500gm strawberries, hulled and sliced
To Serve: icing sugar

Method

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and a pinch of sea salt until soft peaks form, then, with the motor running, gradually add caster sugar and beat until sugar is incorporated, then add vinegar and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Spoon onto a baking paper-lined oven tray and form into a 22cm round.
  4. Reduce oven to 150C and bake for 1½ hours.
  5. Turn off oven and, leaving door ajar, stand pavlova in oven for at least 2 hours (but preferably overnight) to cool.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks form, spread over pavlova and scatter with strawberries.
  7. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Come on, Barbie, Let’s Go Party!

The mercury is hitting the mid-thirties, budgie smugglers are gracing our beaches, and the sound of cicadas is filling those long, balmy evenings. This can only mean one thing: summer’s almost here, and it’s prime time for outdoor entertaining!

So before you fire up that ILVE MY-Q SPACE-SAVING BBQ, take a look at these tips for honing your barbie skills.

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Bella Jakubiak showing us how to work the MY-Q.

  • Perfect your grilling technique! Have different areas of the grill set to different temperatures. By doing this you can get the surface of your food looking the way you want on high, then move it to the lower temperature to let it cook through.
  • PAY ATTENTION! As grill-master and science know-it-all Harold McGee told the Gourmet Traveller, “It’s so easy not to pay attention when you’re having fun and drinking with friends, but that’s also what generally gives the best results”. So move that Esky closer to your MYQ and get multi-tasking!
  • Be a frequent flipper! The age-old debate about whether to flip the meat frequently or once only has been a hot topic at many a backyard barbie. Science, however, tells us it’s best to be a frequent flipper, as it allows the meat to cook faster and more evenly on the inside.

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  • For the sake of convenience, skewer thin vegetables like asparagus to make flipping a breeze.
  • The hole truth! Pricking sausages on the grill means you lose a lot of fat out of the sausage, incite flames, and you could even end up shrinking your sausages!
  • Lastly, add a fistful of salt to your Esky. This lowers the freezing point of water inside, bringing a whole new level of chill to your bevvies!

For more about the ILVE M-Q SPACE-SAVING BBQ:  http://ilve.com.au/bbq/my-q-space-saving-bbq/

 

Happy 50th, AGT!

In 2016, Australian Gourmet Traveller is celebrating 50 years of exploring the best in food and travel, and ILVE has been lucky enough to celebrate with them.

Creating and tasting fantastic food is what we’re all about, so we jumped at the opportunity to join Gourmet Traveller and their readers as they wine and dine their way across the country as part of the Reader Dinner experience.

Starting off at Chef Nathan Sasi’s incredible Mercado restaurant in Sydney, we were treated to a spectacular Spanish spread. Sasi told Gourmet Traveller, “I fell in love with the cuisine, history and lifestyle while I was working around Spain… Anywhere that has siesta in the afternoon is a place I want to live.”

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Sasi and his team at Mercado in Sydney.

This passion is evident in the food at Mercado – with dishes such as Smoked Wagyu Tongue In Brioche – and there was no shortage of those intense Spanish flavours on the night!

From the streets of Sydney to the rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley, next up was Matt Stone’s stunning Oakridge Estate. With an abundance of amazing local produce, Stone’s menu is an ode to his beautiful surroundings.

Treated to Kangaroo; native fruits; herbs and spices alongside a roasted broccoli; and ancient barley and almond salad with beetroot (stalks and all), Stone’s commitment to ethical cooking is second-to-none.

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Main course at Oakridge Estate in the Yarra Valley.

Our next dining experience with the Gourmet Traveller had a French twist. This time we headed to Philippe, operated by – and the namesake of – renowned French chef Philippe Mouchel.

One of the true heroes of Mouchel’s menu is the Pâté en Croûte, a combination of pork, veal, foie gras, pistachios, and pickled vegetables.

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Pâté en Croûte at Philippe Restaurant, Melbourne.

Most recently we took a culinary sojourn to the sea at Cirrus,the new establishment from Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt, located at Barangaroo in Sydney.

Even though there is a heavy focus on seafood, Savage, speaking to Gourmet Traveller, explains there’s much more to the menu, “The palate is much broader. We’re using native ingredients, but there’s also umami and Asian undertones.”  

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The seafood platter to top all seafood platters at Cirrus, Sydney


Here at ILVE we’re all about spreading love for quality food and cooking, so are extremely proud to support such high-calibre cooking in restaurants across Australia.

Get To Know Your ILVE

So you’ve got your pristine, new ILVE oven sitting proudly in your kitchen. You’re the envy of all your friends and you’re ready to wow them with your cooking prowess.

But all these functions: static grill, fan forced, fan assisted, lower floor heating, upper roof heating… it can be a lot to process! That’s why we developed an ILVE Tuition Class: to guide you through the ins-and-outs of everything ILVE, and have you making the most of your new oven in no time.

You can check out some of our top tuition tips below – and don’t forget follow this link to sign up to one of our classes: http://ilve.com.au/cooking/class-bookings/

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Julie McKnight, our in-house cooking guru!
  1. ILVE ovens are so efficient that it’s recommended you reduce the temperature of your recipes by up to 10°C.
  2. Did you know the ILVE oven defrost function can actually be used to activate nuts?!
  3. Too busy to sit and watch your roast cook? The ILVE oven pre-programming feature allows you to set a time for the oven to turn off all on its own!
  4. ILVE ovens are specially designed to make life easier for you when it comes to cleaning. You are able to remove the entire oven door, giving you access to every nook and cranny.
  5. The ILVE Rotisserie Mode is a great way to cook various cuts of meats, but for a sweet twist try cooking pineapples and sprinkle over with cinnamon!
  6. Our ovens’ lower floor heating mode is the perfect setting for cooking crisp and crumbly pastries. You’ll be everyone’s favourite pastry chef!
  7. It wouldn’t be an Italian oven without its very own pizza mode. Specially designed to give your pizza base a crispy texture, when coupled with the ILVE pizza stone, this combo produces a result that will ensure you never need to order-in again.
  8. We recommend you burn off the catalytic liners in your ILVE oven at least four times a year. They absorb the fat and splatters in your oven, so can get pretty nasty if they aren’t attended to.
  9. Never use aluminium foil on the base of the oven, as it will reflect the heat back onto the enamel, causing irreversible damage.
  10. An ILVE multi-function oven can heat-up to 200°C in just six minutes!

 

 

Cooking With ILVE

For this week’s blog, we’ve handed the reins over to our in-house cooking guru: Julie McKnight. She’s put together a list of tried and tested recipes that are sure to leave your guests envious of the Italian stallion in your kitchen…. your ILVE, of course!

So it’s time to put those ILVE ovens to good use by whipping up some of these mouth-watering dishes at home.

The Mini Quiche

These bite-sized delights are the perfect accompaniment to your dinner party drinks. Light on the palate but full of flavour, the mini-quiche is the perfect starter.

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INGREDIENTS 

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg

150ml pouring cream

¼ cup tomato chutney

1 rasher finely chopped bacon

4 shallots, finely sliced

4 stripes roast capsicum, finely chopped

Finely grated parmesan cheese

METHOD

1. Pre-heat ILVE oven on fan assist to 200C.

2. Grease a 12-hole tart pan. Using a pastry cutter, cut 12 rounds and place in holes.

3. Coat each tart with tomato chutney and divide chopped shallots and chopped bacon

between them.

4. Mix egg and cream together and pour a small amount in each quiche. Sprinkle with cheese.

5. Bake for 12 minutes or until egg is set and slightly brown.

6. Serve warm as finger food or with a salad as a light meal.

Baby potatoes with Chorizo and Olives

When the main event comes around, ILVE ovens truly come into their own, whether you’re using our rotisserie function to whip up a roast or putting a spin on a classic side dish of potatoes – as we are here!

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INGREDIENTS

700g baby potatoes, unpeeled and cut into quarters

2 tbs oil

2 cloves garlic

½ bunch sprigs of thyme

100 – 150g chorizo sausage

75g pitted olives

Extra thyme leaves for serving

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Place potatoes and garlic on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and salt, sprinkle over sprigs of thyme and bake 40 minutes or until crispy.

2. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil to keep warm or place in lower part of the oven. Turn oven to fan grill at 180.

3. Cut sausages in half, drizzle with a little oil and fan grill for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and slice to bite size.

4. Combine potatoes and sausages and olives in a large bowl and mix together; remove any strings of thyme and serve with fresh thyme leaves.

Strawberry and Passionfruit Pavlova Roll

Ah, the pavlova, the age-old Aussie* dish that is always sure to cause arguments around the dinner table as to who gets the last piece. This fresh, summer pavlova roll is the ultimate way to show-off the sweeter side of your ILVE oven.

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*Apparently the Kiwis have laid claim to this one…

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs whites

1 cup caster sugar

½ tsp white vinegar

1 tsp corn flour

½ punnet of strawberries

3 passionfruit

1 tbs brown sugar

Cream to serve

METHOD

1. Set oven at 170C on fan force. Grease a lamington tin and line with baking paper to cover all sides.

2. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and slowly add caster sugar. Beat till sugar has dissolved. Spoon in cornflour and vinegar, then fold in.

3. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 14 minutes. Take out and dust a piece of baking paper with icing sugar and turn the pavlova out onto the paper. Roll up and cool.

4. Slice pavlova and place on plates.

5. Reduce ½ a punnet of strawberries with the pulp of 3 passionfruit with 1 tbs of brown sugar, then serve that onto the plates (any fruit that is in season would work).

6. Add cream to your liking.

Home on the Range

ILVE is uncompromising when it comes to style and substance, so it’s no surprise our latest Ceiling Rangehood is a picture of form and function executed with elegance.

Clean lines and premium materials make the CHR1000 one of the most intuitively constructed appliances yet. Designed to blend in with the kitchen ceiling, the subtle rangehood sleekly and subtly keeps your kitchen smoke, odour, and vapour free.

The modern stainless steel and white glass finish give a natural brightness, illuminating the cooking area. Powered by a sophisticated remote control, the rangehood ensures complete control when using the cooktop.

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The “Plug and Play” system means the hood can easily be installed in either air recycling or duct out modes; in other words, it’s extremely versatile. Reinforcing the fact that practicality remains a priority, the rangehood comes equipped with a washable, anti-grease aluminium filter and a light indicating when the grease filter needs cleaning – leaving you more time to cook!

 

The ILVE Ceiling Rangehood’s main features include:

 

• Adjustable and delayed self-switching off

• Perimeter extraction

• Washable anti-grease aluminium filter

• Charcoal filters supplied

• Commands: Radio remote control 3S+B

• Lighting: 2 x LED strip (4.3W)

• Max. Air flow (m3/h): 1200 gross

• Motor consumption: 350W

• Outlet: 150 mm, 360° direction

• European Energy Class: A

• Size: 100cm

 

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When it comes to kitchens, ILVE is renowned for their state-of-the-art appliances; the quintessential Italian kitchen brand for those who are passionate about cooking and design.
The ILVE Ceiling Rangehood’s RRP is $3, 499.

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INFORMATION

This is what ILVE is all about. We are passionate about cooking, about food, about cooking great food and maybe failing in the first efforts. Everything to do with cooking and eating is an experience to be celebrated and shared. We believe in getting lost in a food moment and making sure as many people know about is as possible. From recipes to kitchen design, live with ILVE will feature guest content, reviews, images, tips and more from many walks of life.