Fine dining at home: Scott Macfadyen & Arc. Est

This week is part two of our lockdown special, here on the column. In lieu of being able to head out for dinner, we’re embarking on a virtual tour of the coast’s best eating establishments. We’ve asked their head chefs to inspire us with recipes that we can make at home, bringing the fine dining experience into our own kitchens. This week we’re talking to Chef Scott Macfadyen from Arc. Est in Terrigal.

Chef Scott Macfadyen

Arc. Est was envisioned as a destination to enjoy quality dining at prices that didn’t make your eyes water. Owner Scott Macfadyen is a Chef with a cooking career spanning decades, with experience in dining from chef hatted restaurants to cafes and bistro style endeavours. 

In this latest venture with wife Ruth, they wanted to create a space that wasn’t fine dining or casual dining, but that wonderful spot in between that was welcoming and affordable to everyone.

Bali meets Byron styling with bistro style food creates an atmosphere within the venue that suits all styles of dining from casual lunch to special nights out.

This is a recipe that embodies that – good home cooking, with a fine dining twist by introducing duck as our protein of choice. It is homely and familiar whilst still bringing impressive flavours. A dish that can be enjoyed by the kids as well as the adults with a glass of Pinot Noir.

In this recipe, we layer the tender braised duck between sheets of fresh lasagne, roasted vegetables, creamy bechamel and finish with healthy layers of parmesan for a crispy delicious top.

Scott Macfadyen’s Braised Duck Lasagna

Makes 4 large servings

Braised Duck

• 4 Duck Legs (can be prepared the day before)

• Water

• 4 Sticks of Celery (finely chopped)

• ½ Leek (finely chopped)

• 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)

• 1 Large onion (finely chopped)

• 3 Carrots (peeled and diced)

• 1 Cup tomato paste

• 1 Cup dry red wine (don’t waste it, go ahead and fill your own glass)

• Olive Oil

Tomato Compote

• ½ Bunch Basil (roughly chopped)

• 2 Tomatoes (roughly chopped)

• 1 Garlic Clove (crushed)

• 1 med Spanish onion (julienne)

• Olive Oil

Béchamel Sauce

• 1 Cup Milk

• 1 cup Butter

• 1 Cup Plan flour

• 1 brown onion (diced)

• Salt and Pepper

Roast Vegetables

• 2 Large Capsicums

• 1 Eggplant

• 200gm Spinach

• Olive oil


• Fresh pasta sheets from your local supermarket or grocer – or use Chef Daniel’s instructions from last week.

Cooking the Duck

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Place duck legs, tomato paste, red wine and garlic in a suitable baking tray/ovenproof dish and fill with water till just covered. Cover tray/dish with greaseproof paper (to prevent sticking) and foil
  3. Place tray in the middle of the oven and cook for an hour, or until the meat is tender and releasing from the bone.
  4. Remove dish from oven. Leaving duck legs in the dish/tray, remove all the bones taking care as liquid and meat will be hot.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let cool
  6. Heat a medium sized pan over med-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Add leek, onion, carrot, celery and sauté with a wooden spoon until coloured.
  7. Add in the duck meat with half the cooking liquid and stir.
  8. Continue to add in cooking liquid until mixture has a thickened consistency that dollops from the wooden spoon. Remove from heat and set aside

Prepare Tomato Compote

  1. Heat medium size pan over med-high heat and add olive oil
  2. Add all ingredients together and sauté until tomato has broken down. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside

Making the Pasta

  1. Chef Dan from Baker St shared a wonderful recipe for homemade pasta last week. This can be reused for this dish by simply leaving the pasta in thin sheets and cut to the appropriate size.
  2. Alternatively, if you want to save time you can purchase fresh pasta sheets from your local supermarket and cut to size. (Hint: Use a curly cutter to create a fancy edge.)
  3. Bring a med pot of well-salted water to boil.
  4. Blanch pasta for 2-3 minutes (this will shorten the time it takes to finish the lasagne in the oven)
  5. Remove pasta from water and set aside ready to build your lasagne

Making the Béchamel Sauce

  1. Create a roux: using a non-stick pan, melt butter over medium heat being careful to work quickly so that it doesn’t start to brown. Add plain flour and whisk in small amounts until the mixture starts to thicken. Continue until it becomes hard to mix and becomes almost solid. Remove from pan.
  2. Replace pan and re-heat over med heat. Add in milk and onion stirring consistently as it heats to just starting to boil. Ensure it does not boil as it will overflow. Lower heat to low
  3. Over low heat, add in the roux in small amounts to the milk. Continue to whisk together as mixture thickens.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and set aside

Cooking the vegetables

  1. Using tongs, roast whole capsicum over flame if you have a gas stove. Once you have achieved a “burn” across the capsicum skin chill in refrigerator till cool. Once cooled, remove skin and julienne. (If you do not have access to a gas stove, you can roast the capsicum in the oven or saucepan.)
  2. Thinly Slice eggplant longways, place on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Pat dry
  3. Place oil in a pan and heat over high heat. Shallow fry the eggplant until golden and place on paper towel to soak up excess oil.

Building the lasagne

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Using an oiled oven proof dish, place ingredients as follows
  3. sheet of pasta first
  4. Béchamel
  5. Duck mixture
  6. Pasta sheet
  7. Béchamel
  8. Spinach, eggplant and capsicum mix
  9. Tomato compote
  10. Pasta sheet
  11. Drizzle a little olive oil on the last sheet followed by parmesan cheese
  12. Place in oven and bake until the cheese is brown and crisp and the lasagne is hot throughout.
  13. Plate with your choice of simple salad or steamed greens and serve alongside a glass of Pinot Noir.

Offerings during lockdown

After closing their doors for a few weeks in the beginning of lockdown, Arc. Est have re-opened under ‘Shuck n Chop’, focusing on gourmet meals ready to be enjoyed in your own home. Offering dishes such as beef cheek lasagne, lobster mornay, whole boneless chickens as well as oysters and more, they are allowing customers to enjoy restaurant quality meals at home.

Pre-orders are open Tuesday – Thursday (10am Thursday) to be collected Thursday-Sunday 12-5pm from the Arc. Est windows. You can also stop by Thursday-Sunday 12-5pm to pick up limited items that are available.

Ordering is available by texting or calling your orders to 0451 717 607. Menus and item availability is showcased over Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit the website on

Georgia Lienemann

Items can be collected from the Arc. Est window at 7 & 8, 18 Church St, Terrigal NSW 2260.

Georgia is a clinically trained nutritionist, wholefoods chef, columnist and mum. She’s been featured in Body & Soul and had TV appearances on ABC Breakfast and Studio 10 for her unique approach to food and health. She’s known for reinventing traditional foods for the modern kitchen and was instrumental in a radical new approach to sports nutrition with a program for the NRL Parramatta Eels, kickstarting their ascent on the ladder in recent years. Find out more at