Gord grew up in Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada. With European parents and a North American upbringing, his memories of meal times were a combination of traditional European and the various cuisines from Vancouver’s diverse population.
If you love seafood, scroll down to check out Gord’s char-grilled octopus recipe best served with local supplier Fremantle Octopus. If you’d prefer to dine out than in, enjoy a taste of homegrown goodness from Gord Kahle’s kitchen at the Heritage Wine Bar in Perth’s CBD and keep supporting local businesses.
Gord’s journey to the kitchen – how did it begin?
My mother always appreciated good food, and with European parents, we ate differently from my friends growing up in Canada, like escargot. But we also ate other foods, like really good Indian and Chinese food.
I really loved old cooking shows when I was a kid, it looked like a glamorous job. I started working in restaurants, tasted some of the food, and saw how hard everyone was working I thought that was pretty cool, and this could be a cool life, and it is.
Regional events and WA’s climate and produce – what’s great about WA?
I really like to cook in different regions in WA. I think it’s more I enjoy what they have on offer, especially at the regional events I’ve attended.
Obviously, the Gascoyne Food Festival offers something completely different from what events in the Great Southern offer, and even from within regions, for example, the Truffle Kerfuffle, in Manjimup. Getting to go to these areas and cherry-pick what you want to cook with is always just a lot of fun.
I love native produce, available dried or fresh and seasonal. It’s easy to insert or replace typical flavors with native alternatives; like replacing black pepper with pepperberry, or a citrus with the finger lime, or even Geraldton Wax.
What I really love about WA in terms of the fresh produce is the lack of seasonality. Because WA stretches so far, there is no real distinctiveness of the season to limit you in the kitchen.
If tomatoes have run out in Perth and down south, they’re still available because they’re grown up in Carnarvon too. It makes for a really interesting variety of products from the sub-tropical produce like pineapple down to colder climates where vegetables like potatoes are grown.
You always have access to great seafood, and the classic Mediterranean medley of pumpkin, zucchinis and tomatoes as well as fruits and melons as well as heirloom vegetable varieties and great wine.
Moving to a more sustainable mindset – what’s Gord’s take on it?
The best stuff that you’re going to get is always going to be the best reared, the best grown, sustainably managed, and sustainably raised.
The more care someone takes in producing the product, the better the raw products going to be, the easier it’s going to be for any one of us to cook it and enjoy it, and that’s from food to wine.
At the end of the day we should all be a bit of a hippie at heart too, so the more we can minimise any kind of impact out of what we’re doing, is good. The better practices we have, the better the outcome.
Chargrilled Fremantle Octopus, barbecued Great Southern Groves olives with honey, salsa verde and fresh and fermented chilli.
Preparation time: 35min overnight preparation, plus 20min | Cooking time: 15minutes | Serves 4
Gas tip! You can do this on your barbecue or on a gas cooktop. If you don’t use gas in your kitchen, you can prepare it on your barbecue. Just make sure you’ve got the Kwik-Gas ready to go.
- 500g Fremantle Octopus
- 150g Whole olives
- 4 tablespoons local honey
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup dill
- 1 cup basil (reserving the smallest leaves for the final garnish)
- 1/2 cup coriander
- 1 star anise pod
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 lime (juice & zest)
- 1 large shallot
- 3-4 fresh red chilli (used mostly when cooking octopus, not in final plated dish)
- 1 teaspoon fermented chilli powder or alternatively use Korean chilli powder “‘Gochugaru”
- Salt, pepper, butter, and cooking oil
- 100-150 ml olive oil
Day 1 – cook octopus.
- Wash octopus very well.
- On a stove in suitable size pot place 3 litres of water, a lemon, star anise and the chilli (to your liking) and bring to a rapid boil.
- Add octopus – the water will stop boiling.
- When water is brought back to a boil, set a timer for 30 minutes – letting the octopus cook.
- After 30 mins, drain octopus and place on a large tray, and evenly coat with olive oil.
- Let cool overnight in fridge.
Day 2 – cook dish.
- Cut the octopus into 1cm pieces and place on metal skewers for easy cooking – set aside.
- Finely chop the shallot, parsley, dill, basil and coriander.
- Add olive oil, lime juice, lime zest and dijon mustard.
- Add more olive oil to the bowl for desired consistency, a thick but slightly runny texture.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grilling the octopus.
- On a flat plate of the barbecue or a large frypan turn on the heat to medium.
- Coat the octopus with cooking oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Consistently stir and turn for approx. 8mins until caramelised and heated through.
- Remember: Octopus is already cooked, so aim is to char-grill and warm through evenly.
- Place a small pan on medium heat.
- Add whole olives and splash of olive oil, let them sweat for around 4 minutes.
- Add honey and fermented chilli to pan with olives and stir through. Remove from heat.
- Place warm octopus into bowl and add the salsa verde. Ensure it’s evenly coated.
- Plate up Octopus.
- Add olives and honey mixture, and mix through with octopus.
- Dust with remaining chilli powder and add fresh basil leaves.
The Heritage and Gord Kahle.
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