California Featured Chef: Faheem Nour

We’re very excited to be working with Faheem Noor of Empire Lounge. Faheem has designed eight inspired recipes which pair perfectly with the wines in the California Tasting Pack.
Clams

Clams in Miso and Jalapeno Butter

Pairing: Peay 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Check out this delicate and delectable seafood recipe just in time for summer. Paired with a bright, lightly oaked Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, it's a match made in heaven.

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Other recipes in the Somm Guide to California

These sophistocated recipes are surprisingly simple to prepare and certain to impress

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These sophistocated dishes are made with readily available ingredients and don’t require expensive equipment or professional training to prepare them.

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Profile: Faheem Noor

Having trained and worked in such London hotspots as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant, Harrod’s and Sunshinho, Faheem moved to Australia in 2011. Once here, he spent time at Tetsuya’s, Vicinity and Rose Bay Sailor’s Club before joining Pelicano Double Bay as Executive Chef in 2014. His latest venture, started in mid-2018, is a revamp of Sydney Seaplanes’ Empire Lounge at Rose Bay.

Born into an aviation family (his father and brother are pilots and mother is a stewardess), Faheem knew from an early age that he was meant to be on the ground. “I knew that creativity and creating was more my thing. My Mum and Grandmother inspired me to be a Chef. They love throwing big dinner parties and I can recall waking up early in the morning to help Mum and Grandma out. These little memories were a trigger point and made me pursue it professionally”.

Faheem is always working. He’ll tell you it’s because he needs to work to pay for his toys — he collects sneakers, watches and high-end fashion, and once lined up for three days to be the first person in the world to buy a new line of clothes from Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with streetwear giant Supreme. He on-sold the clothes and doubled his money in a couple of hours, and is still building the sneaker collection he started back in London (currently sporting 100 pairs and growing).

This dedicated obsession shows in Faheem’s approach to food too. Empire Lounge’s modern Australian menu is refreshed weekly, the result of Faheem working with suppliers to get the best local in-season produce. Seafood features prominently on the menu but there’s plenty for the carnivore to enjoy. “What inspires my cooking is the approach of less is more. Doing simple elements but doing them very well. Travelling plays an important role in searching for inspiration. I travel to Japan at least once a year to be inspired by the food and also the people. In Japan, they do one thing and do it very well. One can never have a bad meal in Japan.”