Buvette Masthead

Canberra Chefs Do Christmas: Parlour

Belinda Neame

At HerCanberra, we love supporting local – including (and especially!) Canberra’s many bars, restaurants, cafes and food trucks.

This festive season, we wanted to bring a touch of our favourite restaurants into our homes to share with family from far and wide. So we asked four top Canberra chefs to share one of their favourite Christmas recipes.

“Without a doubt one of the best things about Christmas is seafood and nothing beats fresh Australian prawns,” says Brendon Sedaitis, Head Chef at Parlour in NewActon. “I like to grill the prawns with lemon, garlic and chilli and then combine it with crunchy pickled fennel. Then I add a light summer salad with rich crumbly goats cheese, Australian navel oranges, juicy kalamata olives and a vibrant salsa verde for the perfect Christmas crowd pleaser!”

Grilled Prawns with pickled fennel and summer salad


For this recipe, you’ll need about 25 minutes


300g large raw prawns, butterflied
• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed or sliced
• 2 teaspoons of Capers, drained.
• 2 lemons
• 1 tablespoon chilli
• 1 ½  cup flat leaf parsley leaves
• 1 cup basil
• 1 ½ tablespoons of sea salt
• 1 cup cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
• 1 small head of fennel, thinly sliced
• 1 orange
• Handful pitted kalamata olives
• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

To start, the salsa verde

  1. Combine the Basil leaves, 1 peeled garlic clove, 1 cup of flat parsley leaves, 2 teaspoons of Capers in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. With it running, add ½ a cup of Extra Virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice until well combined. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Next up the pickled fennel – that beautiful light crunch.
  4. Place the Cider Vinegar, a cup of Water, Caster sugar, and a teaspoon of Sea salt into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Once the liquid reaches room temperature place the thinly sliced fennel in a bowl and pour the mixture over the top. Leave to the side.
    The main event, the prawns.
  6. In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and bring it to a medium heat. Season your prawns with chilli and salt and set to the side.
  7. Add 2 crushed or sliced Garlic cloves. Once the garlic is brown, add your seasoned prawns.
  8. Continue to turn the prawns for 1 minute, after which you can add the juice of a whole Lemon. Toss until the prawns are opaque. Set aside and zest 1 lemon over the top with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley.

For the salad

  1. Slice 1 orange into segments, removing the skin. Combine with a handful of kalamata olives and any remaining herbs and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  2. Add segments of crumbly, goats cheese to finish (brie and blue cheese also work well but soft goats cheese is my favourite).
  3. Add a dollop of salsa verde to your plate, layer salad, pickled fennel and prawns. Enjoy!

Belinda Neame

Belinda is HerCanberra's Production Manager. A foodie and lover of handmade, Belinda enjoys nothing more than a good coffee and seeing Canberra businesses thrive. In her 'spare time', Belinda organises the quarterly Canberra street food event, The Forage with her husband Tim. More about the Author