Jenolan Caves

Cooking Lesson - Make it With Mark – Hollandaise Sauce

April 28, 2020

In 1896, building began on the grand hotel, Jenolan Caves House, alongside the famous caves. As it grew, it became a fashionable mountain retreat for the well-heeled of Sydney.  At Caves House, we still showcase Caves House’s magnificent Grand Dining Room, now Chisolm’s Restaurant, where pleasure-seekers from all walks of life, including the rich and famous, and even royalty, have enjoyed the trendiest dishes of their day. 

The Jenolan Caves Historical and Preservation Society still has some old Chisolm’s dinner menus from years ago.  It’s fun to see how food fashions have changed over time.  Most modern diners would turn away in horror from some of the delicacies that were considered ‘très chic’ in the old days.  For example, Chisolm’s Christmas Dinner menu from 1930 lists a dish called ‘Sweetbreads Marengo’.  This 'delicacy' was meat from the thymus gland or pancreas of a lamb or calf, thankfully disguised in onions, tomatoes, wine and mushrooms. And the Chisolm’s Good Friday menu from 1968 includes a dish called ‘Fricassee of Honeycomb Tripe and Onions’. Oh dear! These days, you won’t see offal on Chisolm’s dinner menu!  

Mark Livingstone, Head Chef of Chisolm's Restaurant, Caves HouseAs far as breakfast menus go, none were kept from Chisolm’s opulent early years. However, head chef, Mark Livingstone, believes that Eggs Benedict, with Hollandaise Sauce, is highly likely to have been on Chisolm’s breakfast menu, since it has been a fashionable breakfast dish since the late 1800s.  

Eggs Benedict is still hugely popular today, all around the world.  It is a simple dish - toast, ham (or variations such as bacon, smoked salmon or spinach), and a poached egg, covered with creamy Hollandaise Sauce.  But it’s not as easy to throw together as it sounds. Practice and patience are required to make a perfect Hollandaise Sauce from scratch.  The first documented recipe for Hollandaise Sauce dates from 1651 and is considered one of the five ‘mother sauces’ fundamental for French cooking.

After learning and applying his skills as a chef in France, London and Sydney, and managing his own award-winning restaurant in Queensland, Mark Livingstone is now the Head Chef at Chisolm’s Restaurant.  Great chefs like Mark have a genuine interest in cooking and presenting the latest food trends for crowds of people.  Currently Chisolm’s is closed temporarily, due to COVID-19, so Mark is unable to use its huge kitchen. How can a great chef survive a pandemic shutdown? By taking advantage of technology - video and the Internet!

Mark was so keen to teach the world how to make basic, but perfect, Hollandaise Sauce, that with the help of family, he has created a video of himself making Hollandaise Sauce in his own home kitchen. We have provided it here, for you.

Every month, on ‘Make it With Mark’, Mark will demonstrate cooking a different ‘classic’ dish, so that you can learn how to cook it too. We will post his video on YouTube and on our website.

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4655 Jenolan Caves Road, Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains NSW. Ph: 1300 76 33 11 or +61 2 6359 3911

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