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Babbingtons Bar and Grill named Australian Pear Month Restaurant of the Year in celebration of Australian Pear Month in March

April 14, 2014 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Newcastle executive chef David Cross knows how to pick the perfect pear.

David Cross, Executive Chef of Babbingtons Bar and Grill at BEST WESTERN PLUS Apollo International Hotel (Charlestown, NSW).

David Cross, Executive Chef of Babbingtons Bar and Grill at BEST WESTERN PLUS Apollo International Hotel (Charlestown, NSW).

His restaurant, Babbingtons Bar and Grill at BEST WESTERN PLUS Apollo International Hotel in Charlestown, New South Wales was awarded the Australian Pear Month Restaurant of the Year as part of Australian Pear Month in March.

Cross’s winning dish, Crispy Hoi Sin and Five Spice Duck Wings with a Cucumber and Shallot Salad finished with a Chilli Pear Relish, competed with 200 other cafes, restaurants and cooking schools around the country vying for the acclaimed annual award, first launched by Australian Pears in 2012.

Cross said what the award really celebrates is Australia’s pear season.

“It’s an honour to win this award and be part of bringing back the classic flavour of the pear at this time of year,” he said.

The winning dish: Crispy Hoi Sin and Five Spice Duck Wings with a Cucumber and Shallot Salad finished with a Chilli Pear Relish. (Below Left) Babbingtons Bar and Grill restaurant.

The winning dish: Crispy Hoi Sin and Five Spice Duck Wings with a Cucumber and Shallot Salad finished with a Chilli Pear Relish. (Below Left) Babbingtons Bar and Grill restaurant.

Cross has won a number of awards including National Pork Chef of the Year (2007), Best Restaurant (2008 – 2009) and was one of the chefs awarded a Gordon Ramsay Scholarship (Regional Finalist London City restaurant) while working in London.

Cross encourages pears to be eaten on their own or cooked into a variety of dishes.

“Pears are such a versatile fruit, sweet and subtle and are often overlooked as an ingredient in a main dish.

“I’ve worked in many restaurants in London where I was able to perfect my skills using French, Spanish and Italian influences from some amazing head chefs. Pears can be used with sharp cheeses and haloumi, as a main sauce accompanying poultry and green leafy salads, and of course the poached pear on its own is a dessert winner,” he said.

When serving duck, poultry or game meats, a sweet sauce is a great accompaniment to balance flavours.

“Pears give a flavourful base to include other savoury herbs and spices and can really lift the whole taste of a dish.”

If the dish goes pear-shaped, Cross says there is always a fail-safe method to revert to.

“Make sure your pear is slightly soft, and the skin bounces back when pressed – then take a bite.”

To make a reservation at Babbingtons Bar and Grill, go to bestwestern.com.au/apollointernational or phone (02) 4943 6733.

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