Lawrence stepped up to the role of executive chef last month after Nick Finn left for the US on sabbatical. The kitchen at 2KW is not new to Adelaide-born Lawrence, who has been head chef there since the restaurant started just over 12 months ago.
He has previously worked at Jolley’s Boat House and Enoteca (now closed), as well as travelling and working overseas.
“I still travel a lot to see ideas and find inspiration for my cooking,” Lawrence says. “I have some fabulous dishes for the season menu change, and as more autumn produce becomes available the menu will reflect this with new dishes.”
Dishes on 2KW’s autumn menu include goats cheese croquettes with Padron chilli (from the region of Padron in Spain), fried garlic and sherry caramel ($ 6 each); and spiced South Australian king prawns with iceberg lettuce, kisir (a Turkish style of cracked wheat), green chilli, stone fruit, mint and parsley salad ($48).
Here, Lawrence give us some more insight into what’s happening in the kitchen at 2KW.
The kitchen culture at 2KW is …
Positive and team-orientated. We have created a fun and relaxed environment in which we can focus on producing fresh dishes of high quality using locally sourced ingredients where possible.
Who are you cooking for?
Anyone who enjoys good honest flavours and who wants to try our share-plate concept while enjoying the company of friends and a wine or two.
Describe the current menu?
It’s food and flavours that I enjoy from my cooking and travel experiences. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spices teamed with a modern Australian-themed menu.
What does it seek to achieve?
A busy and full restaurant every night, and a great culinary experience that people want to tell their friends about and come back for more.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your cooking?
Local legend Tony Carroll, executive chef at Jolley’s Boathouse.
What are the hero ingredients?
The hero ingredient of the dish we have prepared today (Shawarma Saltbush Lamb Rump; $45) is the saltbush lamb, which is sourced from a farm near the Flinders Ranges owned by the parents of one of our staff members. The lamb is really tender and has a beautiful flavour.
We rub the lamb with a shawarma spice mix (ground cumin, allspice, sweet paprika, cloves, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, dried oregano, black pepper and salt) which works with the sourness and earthiness of the dish (which is prepared with mejadra – similar to a rice, onion and lentil pilaf – sour cherries, barberries, macadamias, yoghurt and coriander gremolata).
What is your favourite dish?
Buratta (umami salt, heirloom tomatoes, basil and bean salad; $28). I just love the beautiful oozy creamy goodness and simplicity of the ripe fresh tomatoes, beans and olive oil. The umami salt really brings out the flavour of the dish.
What is your favourite food and wine match?
A lovely French spring flush triple-cream Brie with a McLaren Vale Viognier.
What are you cooking at home?
Working so much I don’t eat at home a lot, but when I do I’m partial to a bit of Mexican. A taco or a burrito generally does the trick.
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