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Nicolo Renzi

Chef Nico is from Marche, Italy. He grew up in a small seaside town and was raised cooking and eating the fresh local catch. He came to Australia to travel but fell in love with Perth and never left.

He spent five years at C Restaurant, one at Bread in Common and three months at Vasse Felix before joining the team at Tiny’s last June. His favourite wine is a Sicilian orange, COS Rami, and he lives for Japanese food, Indie rock, his sausage dog, Otto, and the one true sport, soccer.

Serves 4

1kg Pork belly
1tsp Szechuan pepper
1tbsp Salt
1 Celeriac
2tbsp Activated charcoal powder
500ml Milk
500ml Beef stock
125ml Port
125 Red Wine
2 Shallots finely chopped
1 Rosemary sprig
600ml White wine vinegar
900ml Water
250g Caster sugar
1tbs Peppercorn
2 Bay Leaves
200g Grapes
5 Baby onions

Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and peppercorns to a boil. Take off the heat, add the bay leaves and refrigerate in a jar. When cooled, wash the grapes and place them in the jar to pickle for at least an hour. For a quick pickle cut them in half before you put them in.

Preheat oven to 220°C and place a wire rack into a roasting tray. Score the skin of the pork belly with a very sharp knife taking care not to cut through the meat and then rub the pork with the salt and Szechuan pepper.

Place on the tray skin up and cook for 30mins at 220°C, then turn down to 160°C and allow to roast for another 25mins until cooked or it has an internal temperature of 65°. Allow to rest for at least 10mins.

Wash the celeriac and then peel, cut into small cubes and place into a deep pot and cover with milk. Cook on low heat with a lid on until the celeriac is soft.

Strain and keep the liquid on the side. Place the celeriac with the charcoal powder in a blender and add a bit of the cooking liquid and blend till smooth. (if need more liquid use some thickening cream) Season the mix and cover to prevent a skin forming.

In a medium pot heat the olive oil and add the diced shallots and cook till soft. Add port, wine and herbs and reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce by half again. Strain the stock and season to taste and put to the side.

Half your baby onions from tip to root and place into a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil, cook on high heat until blackened. Reduce the heat to low and then cover with a lid and finish to cook until soft.

Start plating using the hot celeriac puree as a base, slice the pork belly and place on top of the puree. Finish with the onions, the pickled grapes (cut in half) and the hot wine jus.