Chef Aaron Turner Surprised Us With an Ambitious Menu of Flame-Seared Hits

Hosted at Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs' home in Brooklyn, New York, the dinner brought together a crowd of food and media personalities to celebrate the launch of Turner's debut cookbook

Fire, smoke, meat. True to the ethos of his critically-acclaimed Geelong, Australia restaurant IGNI, chef Aaron Turner delighted and surprised us with an ambitious menu of flame-seared hits at last night’s SAVEUR Suppers. Hosted at Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs’ home in Brooklyn, New York, the dinner brought together a crowd of food and media personalities to celebrate the launch of Turner’s debut cookbook—and his rise as one of the best and brightest names in Australia’s food scene.

Dinner, sponsored by Tourism Australia and Wine Australia, started with pickled mussels wrapped in zucchini blossoms and fired on Sachs’ home grill. Guests also munched on raw vegetables dipped in caviar-laced yogurt, before moving onto oysters slicked with Turner’s house fermented chili. Next were raw scallops and a jerky-like dried beef, all washed down with a superb Tasmanian bubbly.

Adam Sachs
From left to right: tourism Australia Vice President Regional General Manager Jane Whitehead, SAVEUR Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs, Chef Aaron Turner, Tourism Australia Editorial Director John O’Sullivan, and Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson pose for a group shot. Matt Taylor-Gross

For main courses, Turner unveiled an Australian specialty of lobster with pickles—his version seasoned the crustacean with butter and finger lime. Squab was likewise given a burst of acidity from plum, thrown on the fire next to the bird, which had been prepped outdoors on a wood-fire cauldron. A final meat entree was revealed to be suckling pig—including shoulder, legs, saddle, and head—flame-roasted and served with an apple sauce and grilled greens. To cap off the night, an assortment of berries and pineapple were splashed with warm honey.

Attendees left full of food and booze, to say the least. And now that we have your attention, snag your copy of Igni: A Restaurant’s First Year for a no-holds-barred diary of Turner’s challenges and successes in opening a high-end restaurant in the backstreets of Geelong.

Chef Scott Conant, Chef Seamus Mullen
From left to right: Chef Scott Conant, Chef Seamus Mullen, and his girlfriend CJ Frogozo are all smiles for the SAVEUR Supper Matt Taylor-Gross
Writer Peter Meehan
From left to right: Writer Peter Meehan and his wife Hannah Clark pose with Writer Oliver Strand for a photo Matt Taylor-Gross
Klara Glowczewska
From left to right: Town & Country Executive Travel Editor Klara Glowczewska posing with Writer Nilou Motamed and Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs for a quick photo Matt Taylor-Gross
Danielle Pergament
From left to right: Allure Executive Editor Danielle Pergament, Writer Devin Friedman, and SAVEUR Deputy Editor Andrew Richdale pose for a photo Matt Taylor-Gross
Alex Stupak
Chef Alex Stupak and Chef and Spice Blender Lior Lev Sercarz raise a glass Matt Taylor-Gross
Greg Gatto
From left to right: Account Manager Scott Stewart, SVP Managing Director Bonnier Corp Greg Gatto, Associate Publisher Jeff Timm, and Tourism Australia Vice President Regional General Manager Jane Whitehead are all smiles for the Saveur supper. Matt Taylor-Gross
John O'Sullivan
From left to right: Tourism Australia Editorial Director John O’Sullivan, Bonnier Corp Editorial Director Anthony Licata, Field & Stream Editor-in-Chief Colin Kearns and Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson pose for a photo. Matt Taylor-Gross
Jim Nelson
GQ Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson and SAVEUR Deputy Editor Andrew Richdale sparking up a conversation Matt Taylor-Gross
Tarajia Morrell
Writer Tarajia Morrell tasting the meal at the Australia in Brooklyn SAVEUR supper. Matt Taylor-Gross
Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner tasting his meal with Chef Tom Colicchio Matt Taylor-Gross
Adam Sachs
SAVEUR Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs and Field & Stream Editor-in-Chief Colin Kearns enjoying each other’s company Matt Taylor-Gross
ice-cold bubbly
Enjoying some ice-cold bubbly, wine provided by Wine Australia Matt Taylor-Gross
Pickles and lobster
Pickles and lobster? This Australian fusion is a wild combination of flavors prepared by Chef Aaron Turner. Matt Taylor-Gross
Seamus Mullen
Chef Seamus Mullen and SAVEUR Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs capturing the memories on social media Matt Taylor-Gross
Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner’s small batch house-made wine with a unique label Matt Taylor-Gross
Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner prepping to grill lobster with lime and fermented cucumbers Matt Taylor-Gross
bubbly
Pouring some bubbly provided by Wine Australia Matt Taylor-Gross
Chef Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner grilled a suckling pig Matt Taylor-Gross
wine
Our tasty wine accompaniment provided by Wine Australia Matt Taylor-Gross
Ben Eisendrath
Grillworks’ Ben Eisendrath chatting with Chef Aaron Turner Matt Taylor-Gross
Chef Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner uses his own house-fermented hot sauce from Australia before fire-roasting his oysters Matt Taylor-Gross
white wine
Pouring some white wine provided by Wine Australia Matt Taylor-Gross
Shane Mitchell
SAVEUR contributing editor Shane Mitchell and Deputy Digital Editor Dan Dao are all smiles while celebrating the cookbook launch. Matt Taylor-Gross
Chef Seamus Mullen
Chef Seamus Mullen checks out Chef Aaron Turner’s new cookbook, while Turner masters the grill. Matt Taylor-Gross
Fire-roasted squab and plum
Fire-roasted squab and plum plated for the Australia in Brooklyn SAVEUR supper. Matt Taylor-Gross
IGNI Chef Aaron Turner's first cookbook
Saveur supper for the launch of IGNI Chef Aaron Turner’s first cookbook Matt Taylor-Gross
Firing up the grill
Firing up the grill for our Saveur Supper with Chef Aaron Taylor Matt Taylor-Gross
Chef Aaron Turner
Chef Aaron Turner prepared a suckling pig head for the Australia in Brooklyn Saveur Supper Matt Taylor-Gross