We're publishing selected recipes from the new MUNCHIES cookbook, and if this one doesn't steal the show this holiday season, you need new friends.

November 22, 2017 ● 2 min read


Chef’s Night Out usually has a star, and it’s not always the chef.

So even though Andrew McConnell is a big reason we dig dining in Melbourne, one of his friends totally stole the show. It makes sense, since McConnell is that rare bird who runs multiple, influential restaurants (Cumulus Inc. and Supernormal, to name two) and puts out a cookbook but prefers to dodge the spotlight. We were lucky he agreed to let us tag along in the first place. 

Perhaps acknowledging his own penchant for chilling in the cut, McConnell brought Frank Valvo, who has the opposite preference: He’s the creator of where-all-the-artists-go salon Fur Hairdressing, dead ringer for Mike from Twin Peaks (except for the missing arm), and the man who decided that a group of chefs, McConnell included, strolling down the street in a pack should go by the title “One Erection: The Oldest Boy Band in Town.” When they made it back to Cumulus’s wine bar, Frank finally got to make the dish he’d been talking about for an entire year. While McConnell whipped up mushrooms on toast—with porcinis as big as your head—and waffles with caviar (or more appropriately, caviar with waffles), Frank lived his dream, breading and deep-frying Camembert cheese, then drizzling it with maple syrup. Under the watchful eye of McConnell, a killer collabo was born—the slightly stinky, oozy cheese made even oozier, encased in a crunchy shell. If McConnell is Harry Styles, Frank is so Zayn.

Deep-Fried Camembert 

Andrew McConnell, Cumulus, Inc., Melbourne, Australia   
Serves 2 to 4  

⅓ cup heavy cream 

1 large egg 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1¼ cup panko breadcrumbs 
1 (9-ounce) wheel camembert, cut into 6 equal wedges 
Canola oil, for deep frying 
Kosher salt 
Maple syrup, for serving   

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream and the egg. Put the flour and breadcrumbs in 2 separate bowls. Working with 1 wedge at a time, add the camembert to the flour and toss to coat lightly, dunk it in the egg mixture, and add to the breadcrumbs and toss to coat well. Set the wedges on a plate as they’re breaded.   

Heat 2 inches of oil in a large saucepan to 400°F. Line a plate with paper towels. Working in batches to avoid crowding the oil, fry the wedges until golden, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the paper towels and season with salt. Serve immediately with maple syrup.   

Get this book, NOW. It rules. Reprinted with permission from MUNCHIES: Late Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs by JJ Goode, Helen Hollyman, and the Editors of MUNCHIES, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.” Photography credit: Brayden Olson © 2017 Illustration credit: Justin Hager © 2017