Turns out cooking a really good French meal is akin to performing classical music; you can’t fake either of them.
I can’t quite believe it, but I am going to spend most of this Soapbox on the subject of duck. I’ve always loved eating duck at restaurants, primarily because I’ve always been frightened of cooking it. My good friend Wendy Roberts makes a superb duck and I’ve always thought that there must be something mystical about the preparation of the bird and the way that the fat is handled or removed whilst leaving the meat tender and succulent. I’ve wanted to leave it to the professionals.
Then in Bielefeld in Germany last year I had a sensational roasted duck and shortly after a confit of duck in a little Parisian restaurant, so lip-smackingly delicious it will go down as a monumental Dish of Legend – one of those meals that you talk about for years to come and eventually assumes mythological status along with unicorns and a surplus in the Federal Budget.
Then in Brisbane recently I wandered into a French restaurant, lured by the promise of confit of duck on the menu. There were pretty French waitresses speaking in...