Winter Wonderland at Cotton Duck

Past Events

Winter Wonderland at Cotton Duck

Sometimes you see things in life that make you stop, step back and stare. You can attempt to capture the moment with a photo but you’ll never truly reenact what you’ve experienced. When it comes to food, that photo can’t recreate the aromas, the taste or the memories it evokes.

It’s a shame we can’t rewind time and hit play because I’m sure my photos from last Wednesday’s Secret Foodies at Cotton Duck with Head Chef/owner Jared Ingersoll will not do the experience justice.

‘Wonder Winterland’ was the theme for our dinner, a celebration of all things warm, cosy, comforting and wholesome. Escaping the chill guests arrived at 50 Holt St, the heart of a developing precinct for hot new restaurants and bars. Two doors down is the authentic Thai serving Muum MaanVini and 121 BC next door and a few streets away you’ll find Orto Trading and new Japanese tapas bar Izakaya Fujiyama.

There is a calm aura when you arrive at Cotton Duck, the kitchen is busy but a well-trained team makes it look effortless. A sophisticated fit out includes recycled timber and warm lighting and a separate casual bar area gives the place a relaxed vibe.

We started the night with Hot Toddy’s, a short glass with 10 year aged Bushmills scotch, spice and honey. A scorching hot stone was placed in the glass to heat the liquid. Something so simple was a clever and quirky touch. The winter vibe was reinforced with roasted chestnuts with Pepe’s cultured butter laid out for guests to crack and help themselves. I remember my mother making chestnuts for my brother and I when we were younger and it brought back nice warm memories.

Jared takes his inspiration from everyday living around the Surry Hills area and is an advocate for sustainable produce. Our next dish was View of Surry Hills and Autumn Leaves. Potato, potato puree, crisp root vegetables, duck skin, enoki & carob were matched with a 2009 Chasing Clouds Merlot also from Orange, NSW. Every little element on the plate had been thought about. The soft puree with the crisp flakes of root vegetables that looked like potpourri worked well and the cage of enoki mushrooms was fun and tasty.

No wintery feast would be complete without hearty meat. The Pot Roast of lamb shoulder braised with chestnuts, kingbrowns & sprouts was enough to send me into a self-induced and welcomed food coma. The chestnuts gave the meat a thick, dense flavour that I wans’t sure about at first but the sprouts lightened the dish. The 2008 Thistle Hill Shiraz from Mudgee, NSW was a perfect match.

To top off a delicious dinner plates of Hot Chocolate Fondant with Pomegranate, caramel & mint were then brought out and laid before us. The gooey rich chocolate in the centre was delicious and I’m not going to lie, I was grateful the person next to me wasn’t a big dessert eater. Apparently they’re sweet enough!

Jared took the time to share his passion and experience in the food game while we ate petit fours and fired questions at him. He has already won the hearts of Sydney foodies with Dank Street Depot, now in it’s 10th year (or 70 years in dog years). Cotton Duck is a welcomed addition to Surry Hills, the menu is continually changing and you never know what beautiful delicious creations they’ll create next. Best take your camera and at least try to capture the moment.

But enough about what I think, let’s hear what our foodies have to say…
  1. Miss Shiny
    If I looked excited by the chestnuts, you should have seen my face when the rest of the dishes came out! My first Secret Foodies, my first trip to Cotton Duck and it really was incredible. From the moment the sizzling stone raised vapours of whisky and spice from the glass, to the last morsel of pomegranate at desert, the service and food were superb.
    Fabulous night out, thanks to Ms Darlinghurst and Miss Freakie. Big thanks to Jared and the team in the kitchen and the front of house staff. I’ll see you again!
  2. Jack
    I LOVED the winter garden
    it looked and tasted amazing! :)
    awesome event, and Thanks to Jared for coming had having a chat with us after
  3. Kerryn
    Wonderful night, amazing flavours, hilarious and interesting company, an exceptional menu by a gifted chef and his team and terrific service – it was an inspirational evening and Cotton Duck will definitely be on my ‘recommendations list’ for the future!
    Thanks for another great experience, Ms Darlinghurst and Secret Foodies – see you again soon!
  4. The Hot Chocolate Fondant is love! Oh how I want to taste the chocolatey filling. I want to have Pot Roast, too. I just want to taste all the food in the pictures!
    The restaurant must be truly amazing, right? Your faces are a living proof how wonderful the whole experience was.
  5. Miss Freakie
    What a great Feast… It was kind of like eating Christmas dinner the way it should be in the colder months, and with this amount of fabulous food and wine that by the end you feel you can’t move off your chair. Yes I am not one to stop eating when the food is this good.
    Jared, you have created a great restaurant and intriguing menu. I love the warm personal touch you put to each of the dishes especially the Winter Garden and View of Surry Hills and Autumn Leaves. It was like eating ART! I Didn’t want to destroy the sculpture you had created. I have never had Chestnuts like this before and seriously l have been missing out- amazing stuff.
    Thanks to Jared and his team and Ms D xx
Winter Wonderland at Cotton Duck