What sort of qualities should our aspiring home cooks possess if they want to go all the way in the competition?
They need to have passion, they need to be persistent and learn from their mistakes.
This year we see supersized instant restaurants where teams have to cook for 16 guests. How tough is that and what should teams be mindful of?
Teams should cook what they know, always have a Plan B in case something goes wrong and TASTE, TASTE, TASTE!
What are your Top 3 kitchen rules?
Keep your work bench tidy, communicate and taste everything.
Can you remember the first dish you ever cooked at home?
Confit rabbit. I didn't do it well though, it was tough. My Dad threw it in the bin. I think I got a 2/10.
What is your favourite, go-to, home cooked meal these days?
Soy ginger poached chicken with steamed rice.
What are your tips for hosting a successful dinner party?
Do all your prep the day before so all you have to do is cook and assemble. Then you can relax with your guests and have a drink. Buy ice cream for dessert!
Every Australian home cook should own...?
A cook's knife, a sharpening steel and a microplane.
What is your most recent food discovery?
I learnt to cook in the desert for 80 people with one oven.
Which food trend would you like to see the back of and why?
The use of tweezers in the kitchen! If you can't put the food on a plate with your spoon or your hand don't bother. Also, gimmicky food, get back to real food!