What’s Nicole Kidman’s favorite signature Australian dish? “A fresh seafood platter with Sydney rock oysters, tiger prawns, mudcrab and lobster,” the Aussie says. Luke Mangan particularly likes juicy, sweet Yamba prawns (a.k.a., shrimp) from New South Wales, but any variety of fresh, large shrimp will do. The mangoes, Thai chile and ginger in his sweet-spicy salsa are all ideal with a rich, fruity New Zealand Pinot Gris, such as the peachy 2006 Huia Vineyards; the lush 2007 Mt. Difficulty is also good.
“I loved a sausage sizzle with the family when I was growing up,” Kidman says. She’s referring to an Australian classic—barbecue. For this copious mixed grill, San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino sears sausages along with pork chops and rib eyes and serves them with vibrant red and green salsas.
“Australia has wonderful fresh produce, especially fruit and vegetables,” Kidman says. This is a serious autumn salad from Tom Fundaro, a California chef. He looks forward to fall, so he can eat Fuyu persimmons as sweet as sugar.
A variation on the Italian classic spaghetti vongole (pasta with clams). Australian chef Neil Perry uses green beans to make the dish fresher-tasting, and then finishes it with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano. As he says, "Serving cheese with seafood is not the norm in Italy, but I just love it here."
For this playful Australian twist on British roast lamb with mint jelly, Luke Mangan serves lamb chops with a piquant condiment of fresh mint and jalapeño. For a robust wine to match his chimichurri, he turns to Australia’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon region, Coonawarra, for Wynns’ black currant–rich 2005 Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon.