Vic Cherikoff
Author Archives: Vic Cherikoff

Dining Downunder in the Media

Dining Downunder in the Media

Aussie chefs teach class on cooking with flair
Vic Cherikoff, a visiting Australian celebrity chef from the “Dining Downunder ” cooking show, was on island recently for “Dining Downunder, An Australian Food Festival” held at the Hyatt Regency Guam. Besides creating traditional and contemporary Australian fare during lunch and dinner, Cherikoff also taught a class in Australian cuisine on April 16 in the Hyatt’s Al Dente restaurant.

Aussie cuisine on display at Hyatt
If you’d to like to try out some authentic Australian cuisine, be sure to check out Hyatt Regency’s Dining Down Under Australian Food Festival at La Merienda this week. The festival also features celebrity chefs Benjamin Christie and Vic Cherikoff of the Australian television show Dining Downunder.

Australian festival features celebrity chefs and Aussie fusion cuisine
A little taste of Australia is waiting for you during “Dining Downunder, An Australian Food Festival” at the Hyatt Regency Guam’s La Mirenda restaurant. Visiting Australian celebrity chefs from the “Dining Downunder” cooking show Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie are on Guam, creating traditional and contemporary Australian fare.

Australian festivals brings a new world of flavors
If you’re interested in culinary exotics, the vibrant, unusual flavors from Australia make this a food festival not to be missed.

Cuisine from Dining Downunder™ goes international
A television series featuring native Australian cuisine cooked at iconic Australian locations has recently started on the ABC Asia Pacific network, reaching into approximately 10 million homes across 30 countries.

Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport this weekend
The cook-off offers all-you-can-eat “chowda” by award-winning chefs representing restaurants and institutional dining facilities throughout the country and across the globe, from Quito’s in Bristol to Dining Downunder in Kingsgrove, Australia.

It’s chowder time again
Outsiders might think the International Schweppes Great Chowder Cook-off is an afternoon of people sampling all-you-can eat two-ounce portions of chowder while they take in the salty sea air and stroll around the Newport Yachting Center. But the real deal is that it’s the longest running chowder championship in the world. And it just happens to draw thousands of people to the island each year.

Sheraton Grand Laguna’s Australian Food Festival
The Australian promotion gained extensive media exposure in the Phuket region with the event being broadcast by Anadaman Phuket News.

Wattleseed and Chocolate Palmiers

Wattleseed and Chocolate Palmiers


Serves: 6

Recipe By: Rhonda Christie

Preparation time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

50g milk chocolate chopped (good quality chocolate)
100g dark chocolate chopped (good quality chocolate)
2 tablespoons coffee crystals
2 tablespoons ground Wattleseed
extra ½ cup sugar
4 sheets prepared puff pastry

Preheat oven to 210c. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. In a small bowl mix together chocolate, coffee crystals and ground Wattleseed. Divide the chocolate and Wattleseed mix into 4 equal amounts.

Sprinkle a sheet of baking paper with some of the extra sugar, place 1 sheet of puff pastry on the sugar and lightly roll with a rolling pin to press some sugar into the back of the sheet of pastry. Sprinkle one amount of the chocolate mix onto the pastry sheet.

On the one side of a second pastry sheet, sprinkle a little extra sugar. Put the sheet (sugar-side down) on top of the chocolate mix on the first sheet press slightly. Sprinkle on top another amount of the chocolate mix. Gently press chocolate mix into the pastry.

Pick up the 2 sheet of pastry on one side and fold so the pastry edges are half way from the centre. Repeat with the other side. Fold the sides over again towards to centre, leaving a small gap in the middle. Press the folded sides of pastry with a rolling pin to flatten slightly, then fold one side of the pastry onto the other, roll slightly.

Trim ends, cut into 12×1cm thick slices. Press cut sides of rounds into the extra sugar. Place on prepared baking trays leaving room for spreading. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Keep watch as they tend to brown quickly.

Repeat with remaining chocolate mix and sheets of pastry.

Allow to cool on baking racks, serve with ice cream.

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Other Australian Recipes by Readers

Paperbark smoked duck with Illawarra plum sauce

Paperbark smoked duck with Illawarra plum sauce

Serves: 4

Difficulty: 1hat


For the dish

4×150g duck breast
1 bunch water cress
1 chopped chilli hot
4 serves shiitake mushrooms
4 serves enoki mushrooms
Paperbark Roll
1 teaspoon Alpine Pepper
30g Illawarra Plum Sauce


1. Use a cast iron or camp oven, line it with damp paperbark (Vic tells me he saves the off-cuts when thinning sheets for this) and set over a medium heat with the lid on
2. crust the duck breast with Alpine pepper
3. when the camp oven has heated enough to fill with smoke, place the duck breast inside for about 15~20 minutes or until the juices just run clear when the breast is pricked with a skewer
4. remove from the camp oven and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes this will help redistribute the juices in the meat
5. slice the duck into thin slices
6. slice shitake mushrooms and tease apart the enoki
7. wash the watercress


Place the cress in the centre of the plate and alternately, layer the mushrooms and duck. Garnish with the chilli and enoki mushrooms or some deep-fried vermicelli. Finish with the Illawarra plum sauce and serve with extra sauce to the side.

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Dining Downunder Cookbook

This Australian recipe of Paperbark smoked duck with Illawarra plum sauce is included in the Dining Downunder Cookbook which can be purchased online at the Dining Downunder Online Shop. Also available online is a wide range of native Australian herbs and spices, sauces, syrups, infused oils and bush tucker ingredients such as wattleseed and paperbark rolls.

2nd Series – Pre Production

2nd Series - Pre Production

Dining Downunder ™ is currently in pre-production for the 2nd series of our Australian cooking show. This follows on from our first 13 episodes which have aired in over 40 countries and are still being marketed in the USA.

Our new series will have 65 episodes and will be filmed on location around Australia and at various international venues as we feature Australian foods and their export market development. The focus is essentially on select Australian products (food, beverage, hospitality, innovation, services, individual success, culturally interesting and food related etc)

We are currently seeking venues to film episodes with our hosts, chefs, Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie. If you are interested in having Dining Downunder ™ at your restaurant, hotel, restaurant, factory, farm or tourist destination, then please, Email Sales and Marketing .

Additionally, we are looking for product to include in the series, which might be goods, services, expertise or historical and human interest, preferably within the wider food industry i.e. if you eat and a famous, then we may want to include you in our show.

Lastly, Dining Downunder ™ is also seeking underwriters and sponsors for the second series, for more information visit our “Advertising(Advertising): information page.

The Three Sisters and the Post Office Restaurant in Leura

The Three Sisters and the Post Office Restaurant in Leura

Vic Cherikoff visits Echo Point in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and drops in to the neighbouring Blue Gum and Leura Post Office restaurants. Echo Point attracts visitors from around the world and offers postcard views of the Three Sisters and out across the Jamison Valley.

Scientists provide the unimaginative explanation that the Three Sisters at Echo Point were carved from the surrounding sandstone cliffs over thousands of years by erosion which can still be seen in action today during a heavy rainstorm as water gushes down between the cracks between the pinnacles.

However the Aboriginal dreamtime story has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe. The three sisters fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe but their tribal laws forbade their marriage. The three brothers did not accept this law and tried to capture the three sisters by force. This caused a major tribal battle and the lives of the three sisters were thus threatened. In order to protect them, a kaditcha man (the tribal magician) turned the sisters into towering stone pillars intending to reverse the spell after the battle. Unfortunately, he was killed in mêlée and the three sisters remain as the enormous and beautiful rock formations until today standing tall at 922m, 918m, and 906m respectively.

After visiting Blue Gum restaurant at Echo Point and delighting in a Wattleseed bread and butter pudding, Vic takes us a short way over to the Leura village and the popular,Leura Post Office Restaurant where chefs Mark and David demonstrate their take on modern Australian cuisine. Drop in for a visit today and enjoy their new menus using native Australian foods. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Web links


Leura Post Office Restaurant
146-148 The Mall,
Leura, NSW, 2780

Banjo Patterson’s Restaurant on the Parramatta River

Banjo Patterson's Restaurant on the Parramatta River

Our chefs visit Hunters Hill on the Parramatta River, to dine at the well known Banjo Patterson Cottage Restaurant. Classified by the National Trust, “Rockend” is where A.B.’Banjo’ Paterson, the Australian poet and bard lived as a young man with his grandmother. This convict-hewn, sandstone block cottage, with its courtyard well, dates back to the 1830’s when it started out as an oil refinery and store for river freight.

Banjo Patterson who appears on the Australian $10 note, was a well known Australian bush poet and wrote famous poems such as The Man from Snowy River, Waltzing Matilda and Clancy of the Overflow.

Now, as a fine dining restaurant, the native garden and appealing surrounds make it a popular lunchtime and evening dining destination. There are good views over the river from the up-stairs dining room and after your meal there’s an easy walk along the riverbank as a digestive or to catch the ferry or water-taxi home.

Web links


“In the Park” End of Punt Road
Gladesville, NSW, 2111

Buderim Ginger and Bistro C in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast

Buderim Ginger and Bistro C in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast

This episode, Mark McCluskey takes us to the restaurant where he spends most of his time as Executive Chef, Alberts Lakeside Restaurant and talks about his menu, vision and style at this corporate by day, casual by night restaurant in the Hills District of Sydney.

Alberts Lakeside Restaurant is located at the Norwest Business Park, 30 minutes drive north west from the Sydney CBD. Norwest has in the past few years attracted over 400 businesses to relocate to this area. Right in the middle of this complex is a man made lake and overlooking this lake is Alberts Lakeside Restaurant. Parking and other amenities are conveniently nearby.

Given Mark’s classical English culinary training, the menu features well structured dishes combing European styles with native Australian ingredients. During this episode, Mark demonstrates two dishes, a pan seared emu fillet with summer greens and macadamia nuts and a Rainforest Lime Tart which both feature on the current menu.

Update: Unfortunately, Mark has moved on from this restaurant (see Mark’s bio) and Alberts Lakeside Restaurant is under new management with the current chef not using indigenous ingredients. Interestingly, the new owner describes his food offering as ordinary so we presume that’s what you can now expect. At least we have enshrined Mark’s innovative food style at the time in the show and in the cookbook so the good food may be gone but not forgotten.


Shop T36 Norwest Marketown
Norwest Blv
Baulkham Hills, NSW, 2153

Australia Day on Sydney Harbour

Australia Day on Sydney Harbour

For Australia Day, our chefs visit the Sydney Fish Markets, then board a cruiser for a seafood lunch on Sydney Harbour. Our skipper finds a sheltered cove and we cook on the BBQ off the back of the boat. It’s a great way to enjoy this amazing part of Sydney on an Australia Day long weekend or anytime.

Sydney Harbour, otherwise known as Port Jackson is the natural waterway of our busiest city and is considered one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. On final approach to a landing at Sydney airport the harbour is a sight to behold and you’ll often hear the sighs of pleasure from returning Sydneysiders aboard the aeroplane.

The harbour’s discovery by Europeans is credited to James Cook in 1770, who named the harbour after Sir George Jackson, Judge Advocate of the Fleet at the time. However, the harbour had been home to two Aboriginal tribes, one on each side of the waterway, for at least 26,000 years. Captain Arthur Phillip established the first colony of the invading Europeans in Australia at Sydney Cove inside Port Jackson in 1788. That colony grew to become the township and then the city of Sydney.

Sydney Harbour these days is also a very productive waterway in terms of a fishery, as a recreational resource and a working river system and the great views often enhance the food in the many restaurants around its foreshores.

Web links


Sydney Fish Market
Bank Street
Pyrmont, NSW, 2009

Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains

Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains

This episode, Vic Cherikoff heads off to the west of Sydney and visits the historical and heritage listed Mercure Grand Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains. This grand hotel is situated on an escarpment at Medlow Bath and offers magnificent, sweeping views of the Megalong Valley and Kanimbla Ranges.

Completed in 1891, The Hydro Majestic Hotel was originally operated as a thermal therapeutic centre with mountain baths of mineralised water for restorative health and relaxation. In 1902, Australian retailer, Mark Foy purchased the site and at that stage the town was known as ‘Medlow’. He successfully petitioned the New South Wales government to change the name to Medlow Bath, the current name. It is not known if he requested the name changed to make the name sound more prestigious, or if he wanted to avoid confusion with another town called Medlow, also in New South Wales.

Although never officially used for gambling, the casino building is an ornate, late Victorian, Italianate, wedding-cake structure which serves as the grand ballroom today. The highly decorative ceiling panels of beaten metal were shipped from Chicago after the World Expo in the early 1900s and assembled in 1903.

After many decades of decline and neglect the Hydro Majestic underwent a series of major refurbishments during the 1990s and it is now under Accor management and has been transformed into a unique, modern mountain retreat. In the dead of winter, beside a roaring open fire, you can order from an international class menu or enjoy warming drinks of your choice. Throughout the rest of the seasons, there’s bush walking to work up an appetite for the evening’s dining although the packed lunches provided for hikers removes the need to forage for sustenance from the valley tracks.

Web links


Great Western HwyMeadlow BathNSW 2780Australia

Crowne Plaza Newcastle

Crowne Plaza Newcastle

Benjamin Christie drives 2 hours north of Sydney to visit his mate, Nick Flynn who is Executive Chef of the new Crowne Plaza Newcastle. Nick, apart from looking after banqueting and room service also heads up the Crowne Plaza’s Breeze restaurant and bar. The menu presents a range of renowned Hunter Valley produce and native ingredients in a fresh, modern style. Two of the dishes Nick presents are Laksa lemak ayam (chicken with noodles in a spiced coconut broth) and Lemon aspen crème caramel with rosella compote.

The Crowne Plaza Newcastle is located directly on the foreshore of Newcastle Harbour and nestled amongst the historical maritime buildings of the Honeysuckle Precinct. The hotel has been built to reflect the harbour’s excitement, with most rooms looking directly onto the fascinating activity of ferries, trawlers, rowers and fishing boats. The harbour and Port of Newcastle remains the economic and trade centre for the resource-rich Hunter Valley and for much of the north and northwest of New South Wales. Newcastle continues to be the world’s busiest coal export port with over 3,000 shipping movements each year.

With the closure of the BHP steel works in 2000 many see the era of heavy industry as past. However, this vision contrasts with Newcastle’s role as a massive coal export point and the Hunter Valley’s ongoing role in coal and aluminium production. And in spite of the extractive industries prominence, Newcastle is a great place to visit to explore its coastal scenic beauty, night-life and great dining venues.

Web links


Cnr Merewether Street and Wharf Road
Newcastle, NSW, 2300

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