There has been a rising trend in modern chefs paying respect to produce, but Salted & Hung’s chef-owner Drew Nocente takes this more seriously than most. Having grown up on a farm, the chef learnt at a young age to value every ingredient and ensure nothing goes to waste. His ideal of ‘minimal waste cooking’ is not part of a trend-chasing fad; it is his belief.
Drew’s natural approach is to use an ingredient to its maximum potential – drawing out its flavour, while not forgetting about nutrition and enjoyment. His cooking showcases more finesse these days, compared to his earlier menus that placed emphasis on more hearty nose-to-tail dining, alongside techniques like curing, ageing and grilling. The chef is still determined to use every part of the animal and vegetable for his creations, along with trimmings to make broths, sauces and seasonings. To help guests understand some of the minimal waste processes, a pictorial summary of how the ingredients are used is placed on your table.
The well-thought-out tasting menu kicks off with a series of snacks. Munch on crisp potato and polenta chip dusted with a bright red beetroot powder, and perked up with mascarpone and a touch of yuzu kosho. The chef also makes pig’s head super tasty by brining it overnight and slow-cooking it for 12 hours. The meat is then turned into bite-sized rillette, battered and deep-fried, and offset with raw honey and celeriac mustard.