Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Weekend Recipe: Bimbadgen Shiraz Poached Pears:

Pears abound! So we sought a recipe to combine with another favourite, an Australian Shiraz - from Chef Mark Bennett.
By Motherpedia
Date: September 14 2013
Tags: recipe,
Editor Rating:

When Mark Bennett joined Esca Bimbadgen at the Bimbadgen Estate in the Hunter Valley (pictured below) as Head Chef in January this year, he promised to cook up a storm and deliver tantalising new dishes for the restaurant’s guests.

Among many accolades, one of Mark’s career highlights was working alongside one of Sydney's best-known chef /restaurateurs, the flamboyant Tony Bilson.

Mark joined Esca Bimbadgen from C Restaurant (within Caves Beachside) where he worked alongside renowned and talented Chef Jamie Ryan. It was at C Restaurant that Mark developed his affection for classical French cuisine with a modern twist. During his time at the restaurant, Mark’s knowledge of molecular gastronomy flourished.

In 2008 Mark gained international culinary experience at Fairmont Chateau in Whistler, Canada. It was during this time that Mark’s vision to run his own successful kitchen was born. With 550 rooms, 80 kitchen staff, five food outlets and numerous functions rooms, The Fairmont Chateau, Whistler captured the essence of Whistler's vibrant lifestyle and food culture.

Mark’s plans for the future encompass introducing a seasonality calendar and getting ahead of the vegetable planting. Mark has requested heirloom varieties to be planted in the Esca Bimbadgen garden for upcoming menus. 

Fast facts about Mark Bennett:

  • Obsessive compulsive about:  Learning, developing and evolving
  • An ingredient Mark can’t live without: Smoked paprika
  • Style: French modern Australian with Spanish influences
  • Greatest culinary inspirations: Raymond Blanc and Magnus Nilsson


4 pears (peeled)

1 bottle Bimbadgen Estate Shiraz

1 stick cinnamon

3 clove

2 star anise

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ cup sugar


1.  Place all ingredients into a pot and bring up the heat to a gentle simmer.

2.  The pears are cooked when you can just pierce them with a skewer with no resistance. This could take anywhere between 30-90 minutes depending on the size of the pears or strength of your burner.

3.  Allow the pears to cool in the syrup as the spices will continue to develop flavour and the pears will absorb this.

4.  Serve with fresh yoghurt.



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