Five Questions With Dany Karam
March 28, 2022
Ahead of The Star Championship Day 1, we caught up with The Star’s BLACK BAR & GRILL chef, Dany Karam to find out a bit more about him and what punters can expect to be eating on track at The Star Championships.
1. What is your earliest or favourite memory of horse racing?
My favourite memory is from a couple of years ago when I first worked with the Everest Carnival as its culinary ambassador. We had a beautiful lunch and, luckily, I chose the horse that came in first place! The day itself was fantastic, everyone was enjoying themselves, the atmosphere was electric and it’s a day I will never forget.
2. What does a day in the life of dany karam entail?
I’m usually woken early by my young kids and first up is a coffee! I hang with them for a bit and get them ready so the mornings are always a little bit crazy, running after them. After dropping them off at school, I spend an hour or so with my wife and then head to the restaurant for around 11am.
During the day, I catch up with the team about menu items we have planned, and how we ensure service goes smoothly. I’m also lucky enough to often chat to some of the best producers in Australia like David Blackmore from Blackmore Wagyu and Nick Venter from CopperTree Farms. I love staying in touch to find out what new produce they have on offer, and how we can ensure that we are getting the best of the best quality ingredients.
I also frequent a number of farmer’s markets across the city to get a taste for what’s in season, and then it’s back to the restaurant to get the wood grill fired up around 1pm as it can take up to 3 hours to heat fully. After welcoming guests at BLACK from 5pm, we usually wrap late, around 11pm and close up for the evening.
3. How did you end up where you are in your career and what’s your favourite thing about it?
I am very proud to say that I grew up in Lebanon and have wonderful vivid memories of spending the summers growing vegetables in the back garden with my dad and the flavourful smells wafting across my village market. Those memories always come back to me when I’m in the kitchen, and they’re still where I take my inspiration from – my family’s traditions and culture.
The thing I love most about my career is the people, the stories and how food brings everyone together. It’s wonderful to watch.
4. what can guests expect to eat this star championships?
We’ve got some fantastic dishes on the line-up for this year’s The Star Championships – inspired by my Lebanese heritage whilst incorporating the very best Australian produce that we use at BLACK Bar & Grill
To start, racegoers will be able to enjoy a few deliciously-fresh Sydney rock oysters topped with smoked crème fraiche and caviar and a really indulgent steak tartare served with caviar and horseradish cream on toasted brioche.
We have also created a luxe DK steak sandwich with pickles and cheese on a light sesame bread and a moorish lobster roll with buttermilk dressing – both super indulgent dishes that will be a feast on the senses. And, to finish off, our divine caramelised banana tart with almond cream or chocolate truffles with carob molasses for those with an extra sweet tooth!
5. What’s your best kitchen hack?
Not so much a hack but the most important thing when cooking is to use the best quality ingredients. Nothing beats a premium cut of meat!
6. Bonus question: If you were a racehorse, what would you be called?
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