NOOSAVILLE chef David Rayner has just returned from Hollywood where he was invited to cook a celebratory lunch for Naomi Watts and her A-lister industry friends. The bad news is he can't give us any goss about the who's who around the table - he signed a confidentiality agreement. The good news is, he can tell us about the lunch.
"It was a wonderful experience, something that doesn't come often in a chef's life," Mr Rayner said. "Naomi Watts was super friendly."
The lunch was a celebration for her Oscar nomination for her performance in the movie The Impossible.
"My (chef) friend Luke Mangan was invited to cook and he telephoned me and said 'There is this little thing going on in LA and I need someone to help me cook. It involves return first class air fares to LA, five nights at the Beverley Hilton, and cooking for Naomi Watts. Are you free?'"
The lunch was held in a sprawling Beverley Hills mansion.
"She wanted something clean and summery," Mr Rayner said.
"We shopped at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market and came up with three simple courses: sashimi of salmon with pickled ginger, shallots, soy and Persian feta to start, followed by roasted halibut, spiced pumpkin puree, warm tomato, tarragon and asparagus dressing. Desserts were simple. Californian berries are in season so we combined them with balsamic and vanilla cream to highlight the quality."
Although Mr Rayner enjoyed the experience and wouldn't hesitate repeating the culinary performance, he isn't overly starry-eyed, and quickly settled back into Noosaville.
"In a way it was a bit surreal, kind of fun, but Noosa is still home.
"We're lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world. No matter where you go or what you do, there is nothing like coming home to Noosa."
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