It’s a name that I kept hearing within food blogging circles. So much so that it makes me wonder what all the fuss is about. For those that have experienced Zumbo, there was nothing but fanboy/fangirl-like fanaticism. For those that had not, it was high on their list of things to experience. For me, I never got the whole Zumbophilia that had swept Twitter and the Sydney food blogs. Well, that is until recently.
“What the hell is this Zumbo that he keeps referring to”?
Surely, you jest…
Adriano Zumbo, the man behind the mania, master artisan of the self named Adriano Zumbo Patisserie . Before we get into the works of art that are Zumbo, let’s have a little look at the man himself.
Adriano presents himself as a bit of a quiet fellow, a little shy and perhaps still getting use to his niche celebrity status. The attention he attracts with his works of art draw hordes of food blogging fans and gushing women alike (he’s somewhat popular with the ladies). However, once he opens up and gives you a little insight into the man and the ideas behind his creations, you start to see the genius behind it all.
However, I only ever caught a glimpse. When he lets you in on the inspiration behind one of his creations or a future idea, he’s like a kid, snickering as he lets you in on the secret details of a hilariously ingenious prank. However, even when he does so, there’s a nagging feeling that there’s more to the prank than he’s letting on, as if he’s only telling you part of the joke while he alone is privy to the true depth of genius behind it all.
His ideas are as playful as they are clever, going places that I would have never contemplated or thought possible. Yet somehow he’s able to not only pull it off, but does so with style and an air of fun. The kind of fun that takes you back to your preteen years when life was all about playing, eating lollies and going on adventures, free from the burdens of society and responsibility.
Before we move onto his winter collection of cakes, an apology in advance for the poorly executed flash photography to come.
Thanks to Reem, a number of food bloggers gather at Cafe Chocolat to sample the recently unveiled winter collection entitled “40 Days and Nights in Paris“. Numerous platters such as the photo above and below are laid out within the cafe for the gathered food bloggers to fawn over, photo and later sample and/or take home.
As there is much variety and artistic appeal in the appearance of the various cakes, so too is there an equivalent variety and appeal in the flavours and textures of these desserts. However, there are still tweaks to be made with the final presentation and flavours of his latest collection. There are also names to be sorted out as well.
The cake are (clockwise from the top) 6/11/81 (after Zumbo’s birth date), Ed Rock the Cradle, x, z (ingenious combination of olive, olive oil and citrus flavours), …….., m a.k.a. Upside Down Cloud, v and Escape from a Colombian Rain Forest (centre).
See what I mean? :)
If you’re wondering, yes that is a sheet of nori wrapped around the cake and yes, it is meant to resemble a maki sushi roll. The combination of carrot and seaweed was inspired by a Japanese salad that Zumbo once had. It’s an ambitious combination of flavours, especially in dessert form.
Though I liked the taste of what was essentially a dressed up carrot and walnut cake as it is, there is more that could be done with this. The seaweed within the caked lends a subtle flavour to the overall cake, which was nice. However, I felt that the nori sheet wrapped around the cake could have done with a little work. As it was, it make it hard to cut the cake and was difficult to portion pieces of the nori sheet as you’re eating the cake.
I’d raised the suggestion of toasting the nori, making it more brittle to get around this problem, as well as add a crispy texture and slight smokey aroma. Regardless of whether he takes up my suggestion, I’ll be curious to see how this cake evolves. I’ll be certainly be keeping an eye out for this one over the coming weeks! :)
It’s a moist cake that has an unmistakable pleasant smokiness to it. A chocolate marshmallow log tied in a knot sits upon greyish-blue sugar confection that resemble coals. Embedded within the top of the cake are more marshmallows, lending a gooey contrast in texture to the rest of the cake.
S – Tea & passionfruit soaked pears and savarin, lavender saffron mascapone creme, crumble, raspberry jelly, coconut rehydration pipette. Not to be confused with S – Tomato, chocolate, olive oil upside down cake.
S looks to be an interpretation of a trifle. The coconut rehydration pipette is not only an interesting novelty but likely a way to get the sponged soaked just right so that it’s not too soggy at the point of consumption. Attention to detail. Nice.
The price includes the glass, which you get to keep. Bonus!
This one is spectacular! Everything is great about it; from its visual appeal, to its flavours as well as its textures (especially with the pop rocks). The incorporation of pop rocks introduces a surprising popping sensation to the unwary, which can be a bit much for some.
I hear that this is the latest Ed-ition to the Ed series which includes Ed Knocked Me Up and Ed, It’s Twins but… With Ed Rock the Cradle, though visually it appears to look like a baby in swaddling clothes and a milk bottle on top of what I imagine to be the cradle, the flavours are inspired by the humble Chokito chocolate bar.
As stated above, this one was named after Zumbo’s birth date. The variations in flavour, texture are quite interesting as each layer brings with it a distinct flavour, texture or both. Though there are distinctive layers, they harmonise well with each other.
This millefeuille was a popular one with the crowd, with flavours that are not too challenging to the palate. The flavour and aroma of the pine nuts are reasonably subtle but are also not lost in amongst the other flavours.
A big thanks to Adriano Zumbo, Rachel and the staff at Cafe Chocolat. Thanks also to Reem for organising this event and a shout out to the attending food bloggers Karen (Citrus & Candy), Trina (Foraging Otaku), Anita (Leave Room For Dessert), Belle (Ooh, Look…), Lili (pikelet & pie), Stephanie (raspberri cupcakes), Susan (Something to nibble on). A special thanks to Chris (the way it crumbles) for saving me having to hunt down all the names and associated blogs! :)
Rather than my usual Google map, I’ve just borrowed the image from the Contacts page on the Adriano Zumbo website as it looks far more interesting. Click on the Contacts page link for specific details like address, phone number and trading hours.