French cuisine reigns supreme at Sea Temple

Mon 17 May 

French cuisine reigns supreme at Sea Temple

Sea Temple played host to French Chef, Manu Feildel (of My Kitchen Rules fame), last Thursday and Friday, giving locals a taste of what has made him one of Australia’s favourite culinary masters.


Around 100 people were entertained by the affable Frenchman as he strutted his stuff at a lunch time cooking demonstration on Thursday at Sea Temple Golf Club.


Manu had the audience in the palm of his hand with his laid back style and sense of humour, and luckily his dishes were more tasteful than some of his jokes (which everyone took with a grain of salt).


Each dish being created on stage was in full view of the audience thanks to a strategically placed mirror above the bench top and a number of televisions providing close ups of the action. At the conclusion of the cooking, guests were presented with the meal prepared by Sea Temple staff under the close supervision of Manu.


Matt, a self-confessed “sweets man” and chef at Spinnaker’s at the Yacht Club, was most impressed with the brulee, and we might see it as an addition to their menu some time soon.


Check out our snappy interviews with Matt and Simon from Spinnaker’s at the Yacht Club, and with the man himself, Manu Feildel, speaking exclusively with on Thursday.


Friday night saw a more formal affair as 140 Port Douglas visitors and locals were treated to a five course meal in a stunning pool side setting at Sea Temple Resort. Manu chatted freely with guests who delighted in the fine food, fine wine, and fine company.


“It’s great to be given the opportunity to experience a night like this with friends” long time local Jodi Gibson said. “I almost feel guilty enjoying myself here while my husband looks after the kids…almost.”


As the popularity of cooking shows such as My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef continue to grow, Port Douglas may play host to more of Australia’s finest chefs in the not too distant future.


Port’s own master chef, Wayne Stapleton from Lure and Under Wraps agreed that events like this should not be a one off. “It’s a great opportunity for people to expand their horizons when it comes to cooking for themselves or their family” he said.


The making of Manu:


Is it any wonder Manu Feildel has become one of the world’s most talented chefs? His great grandfather was a pastry chef, his grandfather and father were chefs, his cousin is a chef in the U.S., and from all accounts his mother is a brilliant cook too.


But at the age of 13 he risked breaking with family tradition by joining an amateur circus with aspirations of becoming a professional clown.


By the age of 15, however, Manu began an apprenticeship at his father’s restaurant.


After moving to London and overcoming the language barrier which made for a challenging work environment at The Café Royal, his perseverance paid off as he progressed his career at a number of fine restaurant’s before becoming Head Chef of Livebait (which went on to receive a nomination for best seafood restaurant in the U.K. in 1998).


Manu has now spent 11 years in Australia working in Melbourne and Sydney. Evidence of his talents can be found at Bilsons, a restaurant he opened with Tony Bilson in 2004, where the coveted 3 Chef’s Hats accolade has been awarded for the third year running.


He now turns to his origins for cooking inspiration, where his restaurant, Manu at L’Etoile specialises in contemporary French Cuisine.


Manu has reached celebrity status in Australia through his work on popular television shows such as Ready Steady Cook, MasterChef Australia and, most recently, My Kitchen Rules.

Cook like Manu:

Here’s a dish that, according to Manu, can never be taken off his menu due to its endless popularity. Why not give it a go next time you’re entertaining friends.

Crème Brulee with a fresh mango salsa

Serves:            4

1 vanilla pod
500ml pure cream
6 egg yolks
50g castor sugar
Brown sugar

Equipment needed:   

Medium pot
4 brulee dishes
1 tray 3cm deep


Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the pod to the cream. Simmer the cream and vanilla in a pot for 15 min. Remove from the heat let rest for one hour. Strain the cream. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Slowly stir in the cream.


Optional – You can refrigerate the mix for a day to enhance the flavour and get rid of the foam appearing on the surface, or continue with the recipe.


Place your brulee dishes on the tray. Pour the mix gently into the brulee dishes. Place your tray into the oven pre-heated at 120oc. Add enough boiling water into the tray to cover half of the way up the sides of the dishes. Cook at 120oc for 20 min at low fan.


Check the cooking (remove one of the mould), shake it gently. The mix must be set as a “gelatine”.


Refrigerate for 6 hours. Cover the top of the custard with brown sugar and caramelise it using a burner.