A few words from Elena : I migrated to Australia and fell in love with this beautiful country. I feel like I am in paradise every day I wake up. Today, in my restaurant I want to share some of what I have learned in my life of “Culinary” with my new country. It’s as simple as that.
Our restaurant Horn and Hoof – Fine Dining Restaurant has no recipes – it just has methodologies of cooking. Its not to say you don’t write things down, but it is about the art and what fresh products you have on hand each week.
Why did I start to cook? As a young girl my father used to take me to the Forests in the summer. His job was to do ecological surveys of the flora and fauna of various areas. As you can imagine, in the vast Forest there are no small villages or any civilisation. We needed to bring everything with us or find it in the forest.
If not, we would go hungry.
While out in the forests my father taught me how to gather foods including berries and mushrooms, what was safe to eat and what was not. He taught me which flowers could make teas and herbal concoctions. He also taught me how to cook the things we gathered and caught using only what was available in the forest.
He also taught me how to fish and how to hunt animals such as rabbits, deer, and even wild pigs. As I grew up, I not only had to hunt, but also learned to skin, gut, and preserve meat. I learned how to spot Bear and Tiger tracks and how to keep away from these animals.
Whatever we gathered if we could not eat it immediately, we needed to preserve it, I learned how to preserve mushrooms, berries, and many flowers. By the time I was a teenager, I was quite adept at cooking with all the rich tastes in the forest.
This gave me a solid grounding of what types of foods went together and how to understand the methodologies of cooking rather than by recipes.
When I completed my schooling, I went to university and completed a degree in the Economics of Hospitality and my Chef Qualifications., I worked in multiple roles beginning as Apprentice chef, Commis Chef, progressing to, Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and eventually to Head Chef in the Kitchens. I was promoted to become Head of Department (Restaurant) in one of the largest casinos in our region, responsible for the overall management of two, large scale à la carte Casino Restaurants and several bistros. When I migrated to Australia my qualifications were not recognised. I went back to school (TAFE) completed my Australian qualifications and worked in various Australian Restaurants. I was always searching for a place where I could cook the things I wanted, the way I wanted.
I opened Horn and Hoof – European Fine Dining with the specific focus of creating the foods I love to eat and in the way I love to see them. We have a Standard Menu focusing on high end cuisine, we have our house specialities, and we also have our degustation menu – which is different to our standard menu items – depending on what interesting things that are the markets each week, we make new and exciting dishes. Who knows when you come for a degustation, we may try out a new menu item on you before it gets to our list of standard items?
We try to cater to all food groups, interestingly having our menu focused on forest style foods and accompaniments – the menu is almost entirely gluten free – The only gluten we have is in the black bread and crepes!
Lastly Horn and Hoof Fine Dining has an outside area area under the veranda – this is where after dinner you can sit outside, with heaters in the colder weather and enjoy an after dinner coffee, cognac and cigar! Check out our range of fine cigars!
Thank you for coming to my restaurant and I hope you enjoy yourself here tonight