Luxebook July 2023

was put in front of us. We were like, they’re home cooks; they’ll try but won’t do well. And what we learnt very quickly was that if you’re passionate about something, if you’re driven about something, then of course you’re going to become very good. So, in many cases, unlike many professionals, the drive of a passionate home cook leads to much better fruit. And we saw that through the pandemic, people became obsessed with things like sourdough or banana bread. And it’ll be better than any banana bread from any café on the planet. So, it really does make a difference. A chef is under a separate set of rules: performance, accountability, responsibility. You get a hundred customers within two hours. And you must rely on speed, efficiency, and delivery. Whereas when you cook at home with a glass of wine, it’s a whole separate set of rules. And I like the fact that amateurs deep dive into something and often end up better than a professional. Did you watch yourself on MasterChef Australia? I never watched MasterChef Australia; I’m not going to watch MasterChef India (laughs). Because number one, I can’t watch myself on television, it’s very awkward. You know when you’ve been filming for twelve hours, and then you go home and hear yourself on television, it’s an awful thing! My father was a teacher, and he used to say, “I get sick of my own voice.” So, I never really watch it. The only time I watched it (MasterChef Australia) is if I was interested in how the story that developed in studio or out of studio — the integrity of that was kept through the edit process. But MasterChef was so well made that we were always thrilled. If I ever caught a glimpse of it, I was thrilled. And we always looked up the contestants and were thrilled they had a positive experience. And that is why we have stayed in touch. If you look at my phone, there are 50 contestants in there. Do you think MasterChef Australia had an impact on cooking shows or helped kickstart the trend of cooking shows? The kind of food shows I like are pure food shows, the ones that take you on a journey. I like in-depth content – food driven shows that might appeal to a small audience. MasterChef was, once upon a time in the UK, much like that.An Australian production company took it and turned it into the show we know today. And I’ve never been a fan of loud shows, like Hell’s Kitchen for example. He did a show where he goes into a restaurant and fixes it – Kitchen Nightmares. So, the original series was brilliant. Then it went to America and became sensationalized, and all done for effect. And I really didn’t like it. Most of the prime-time cooking shows, I as a chef, like the idea of people who love food. But they become more of a sporting event for entertainment than they are about food. That’s not my thing. Most of the content that comes out, like for example, Pastry Masters in Australia, I won’t watch it. I know all the people professionally, associates and friends that are on the show. One of them asked me if I think they should do it, and I said “Of course you should do it. Will I watch it? Probably no!” I’d rather go to their restaurant and eat their dessert. I think it’s my age. As I get older, I certainly prefer things that take a deeper dive, a quieter approach, something more meaningful. 22|LUXEBOOK|JULY 2023 JULY 2023 |LUXEBOOK|23