By Hilary McNevin
Chef Adam Wolfers made the move from Sydney to Brisbane in 2019 to lead the kitchen at Middle-Eastern-inspired venue, Gerard’s Bistro in Fortitude Valley. With stints as head chef of Monopole and Yellow – for Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt – alongside other significant positions, he honed his craft and developed his skill of being a leading chef and becoming a magician with vegetable-forward menus while developing creative, contemporary dishes for a hungry audience.
He also nurtured a love of Australian produce and using it well, which is why we’re thrilled to have Adam as this month’s Mount Zero Hero.
When Adam was establishing himself in Brisbane, he was put on to Mount Zero through a colleague.
“It was the olive oil, the Picual in particular, that really got my attention,” says Adam, “and I’ve been using it since I started here.”
Adam loves the fruitiness of our olive oils and uses them liberally. “They’re not overpowering and I like the slight pepperiness as well. I use the oils in everything, desserts, everything!” he laughs.
There’s a myriad of choices of oils and pulses out there, and as Adam says, "you can get from these products from anywhere but why would you when you can get this standard of quality [with Mount Zero] and the consistency is great. Mount Zero stands out and it’s obvious they take a lot of care with their products.”
As well as the olive oils, the team at Gerard’s Bistro utilise our chickpea flour, chickpeas, barley, lentils and farro, and “we also have a bar across the road and serve marinated Mount Zero mixed olives as a bar snack,” says Adam.
The recipes Adam has shared with us today celebrate our olive oils and our chickpea flour in delicious ways.
The Spanish Mackerel carries a punch of flavours - cumin, clove, cardamom, finished with a swish of lime and garlic, green chilli and fresh coriander; think, a coriander-based salsa verde.
The Potato Lahoh (a Yemenite pancake made with potato and chickpea flour) is the perfect vehicle to mop up sauces and dunk into dips. It’s also gluten-free so is a real crowd-pleaser.
To find out a little more about our Mount Zero Hero, we thought we’d ask Adam a few questions:
What was the last meal you had out in Brisbane?
I have small children so I don’t get out a lot but we had a great meal recently at La Lupa in West End. It’s an Italian restaurant and the food is simple, tasty and it was a very fast dinner. With little kids in your life, you can’t take too much time. They were accommodating and there’s an outside area where we go there with a couple of chef mates who have kids. It’s a good place to go with families at 5pm .
If you weren't carving out a career in food what would you be doing?
A couple of things, I’d be a musician. I used to play bass in a band but that was a while ago, I don’t play anymore. My pipe dream is that I’d be a professional cyclist. Why not!
Do you have any special projects schedule for 2021 or beyond?
I’m coming to Melbourne in June to cook with Shane Delia at Maha Bar, I’m really looking forward to that and then there’s the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival. I’ll be doing some cooking there, too.