Brent Savage, part owner/executive chef of The Bentley Restaurant and Bar, first discovered black garlic in the famous Las Ramblas market in Barcelona. Matching the black garlic with one of his favourite ingredients, the pork cheek, he has created this inspirational dish which still features on his menu at The Bentley. "The rosé revolution kicks off all around Australia before too long, and you'd be mad not to raise arms and join the merry band. And, speaking of bands, how about this Pixies-inspired Adelaide Hills rosé from winemaker Taras Ochota (he uses musical/album references on his labels). It perfectly walks the line between savoury intrigue and friendly fruitiness. And that’s just what you need with this fantastic dish. Once again, dry rosé can provide the perfect foil to a complex, meaty dish because it’s a great wine for providing a textural component and a savoury nod. It perfectly props up and champions the complex flavours without compromising them in any way." - Dan Coward






Skill level

Average: 4 (7 votes)


  • 6 whole pork cheeks

Jamon crumbs

  • 150 g jamon
  • 50 ml kombu (shredded, salted)
  • 10 g fennel pollen

Fennel puree

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 baby fennel, keeping the tops aside for juicing
  • 1 star anise
  • 100 ml fennel juice (tops)
  • 15 ml pernod

Black garlic sauce

  • 100 g black garlic
  • 300 ml dashi stock
  • pinch of salt
  • 18 g ultrasperse (can be substituted with 2 g xanthan gum)

Dashi stock

  • 1.8 litres water
  • 30 g dashi kombu

Garlic and nori stock

  • 10 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 g garlic cloves
  • 600 ml dashi stock
  • 5 g nori paper
  • 6 ml soy sauce
  • pinch of salt

Nori gel

  • gelatine sheets
  • 200 ml garlic and nori stock
  • 1 g agar, powdered


  • 2 large calamari

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink Ochota Barrels Surfer Rosa Sangiovese Garnacha Rosé 2012, Adelaide Hills, SA

To make the pork cheeks, preheat the oven to 70°C steam. If you do not have an oven with a steam option, preheat the oven to 70°C.

Remove the skin from the cheeks and separate the two cheek muscles so you are left with the lobe and the cap. Leave a 2–3 ml layer of fat on the cap. Remove the access sinew from the lobe muscle. Season the cheeks and place into individual vacuum-sealed bags.

Either steam, or put into a large, deep tray and cover with water in the oven for 11 hours. (Alternatively, poach the pork cheeks in a fan-forced oven at 160°C for 4 hours in a deep covered casserole dish in milk, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs of thyme. If using this method, do not trim the cheeks beforehand.)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Before serving, place the caps in a hot frypan, and sear all sides. Carve each portion into three pieces. Remove the lobe from the bag and carve into two pieces. Roll those pieces in the jamon crumb ready to serve.

To make the jamon crumbs, finely dice the jamon and kombu. Dehydrate them until completely dry by spreading them out on a tray and leaving them on the lowest oven temperature setting overnight.

Blend in a spice grinder to make a fine powder. Add in the fennel pollen ready to serve.

To make the fennel puree, fry the onion in a medium-size saucepan over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Slice the fennel, keeping the tops aside for juicing, and add to the onions with the star anise. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the fennel is completely soft. Remove the star anise. Juice the fennel tops (alternatively, put into a blender with 2 tablespoons of water; blend then strain). Add in the fennel juice and pernod, and cook for 2 minutes.

Blend in an upright blender until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve. Set aside ready to serve.

To make the black garlic sauce, place the black garlic, dashi and salt into an upright blender. Blend until smooth and pass through a sieve. Place in a bowl and whisk in the ultrasperse, until the desired texture is reached. Place in a piping bag ready to serve.

To make the dashi stock, combine the water and kombu in a vacuum-sealed bag. Cook for 1 hour at 62°C. Alternatively, place the kombu in a large pot, pour boiling water over and seep for 1½ hours. Strain off the kombu and place in the fridge ready to use.

To make the garlic and nori stock, cut the garlic across the middle. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil and cook the garlic until golden. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a low heat for 40 minutes. Pass through a sieve and allow to cool.

To make the nori gel, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the garlic and nori stock to the boil with the agar and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Strain the water from the gelatin sheets and add to the stock mix.

Sieve the stock onto a warm 20 cm x 30 cm tray, lined with cling wrap. Allow to set in the fridge overnight. Once set, cut the gel into 2.5 cm x 6 cm pieces.

Make sure the calamari has been cleaned and the skin and wings removed. Using a sharp knife, score the calamari finely, first going across the flesh, then lengthways to create cross shape incisions into the flesh. Slice the calamari 2.5 cm wide x 10 cm long strips. Sear the calamari in a hot pan. Cut into 5mm strips for presentation.

To assemble, pipe dots of the green fennel puree across one side of the plate, followed with alternate dots of black garlic puree. Place the three pieces of cheek cap between the puree and alternate the lobe pieces in between. Place three slices of calamari over the top of the cheek. Carefully place the nori gel over the top of the calamari, then garnish with bronze fennel and rocket flowers.