13/06/2006 - 22:00

Mozart makes music for the palate

13/06/2006 - 22:00

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January 27 this year marked the 250th anniversary of the birth Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Perth is about to appreciate that the great composer has more to teach us than music.

Mozart makes music for the palate

January 27 this year marked the 250th anniversary of the birth Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Perth is about to appreciate that the great composer has more to teach us than music.

It is well documented that Mozart was quite the gourmand. Not averse to eating and drinking the world’s finest delicacies at the time, he and his wife, Constanze, are said to have lived well beyond their means.

And it really isn’t too hard to imagine the talented musician having more than a penchant for the delectable. This is, after all, the man who composed lesser known works such as ‘Essen und Trinken’ (Eating and Drinking) and ‘Maenner suchen stets zu naschen’ (Men always look for snacks).

He is even rumoured to have died after eating a bad pork chop.

The truth of this may have been disputed, but Mozart’s culinary cravings are relevant to the upcoming production of Amadeus at His Majesty’s Theatre, to be performed in Perth for the first time in more than 25 years.

In a move to make the theatrical experience all that more enveloping, the theatre has given its group executive chef, Michael Fitzgerald, the chance to create a special Viennese menu fit for Mozart.

The menu will be hosted at Barre Restaurant, right next door to the theatre, as part of a pre-show option for the length of the play’s season.

A quick look at the menu suggests that Mr Fitzgerald has chosen a selec-tion of authentic Austrian favourites.

For entree, Mozart aficionados can enjoy rich Viennese potato soup with buttermilk. Or for mains why not try Zwiebelrostbraten with erdapfelalsat – that’s braised beef fillet with apple horseradish and parsley potatoes.

Similarly there is grilled barramundi liptauer with paprika and a triple brie cream sauce, and Eiernockerl, which is potato gnocchi served in a cream sauce with rocket.

“For the menu, I wanted to remain as loyal as I could to the traditional recipes of the Austrian/Viennese people,” Mr Fitzgerald says.

“The Austrians are not famous for the food beyond strudel and pastries, and there is a lot of braising in their cooking.

“But if you look at their cuisine and their country, they are in the centre of Europe and have pulled influences in from all over.”

The food boffins at His Majesty’s are also finalising details with regard to German/Austrian beers and wines for the wine list as well.

The imagination behind matching Mozart’s music to food comes from its venue caterer, Ogden IFC.

And this isn’t Ogden’s first successful foray with the theatrical. Its themed functions in the Concert Hall were part of several events that helped the group secure a number of awards at last year’s Restaurant and Catering Australia Awards for Excellence. These included the ‘national venue caterer of the year’ award and the prestigious ‘caterer of the year’ award.

No doubt more themed evenings are planned for the future, as is the possibility of popular dishes from the Mozart menu making their way onto Mr Fitzgerald’s regular list.

“Absolutely. If something takes off I’d love to incorporate it more readily in my menus,” he says.

“Plus, I think the schnitzel is coming back.”

Amadeus will run from Tuesday July 4 to Saturday July 15.

For those familiar with the production, it’s unclear whether Salieri’s favourite Italian cakes will be provided after the show.

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