We picked his brains about cooking in the kitchen and being involved in Tasting Australia in 2019.
Who on the Tasting Australia program are you most excited to meet?
Poul Andrias Ziska from Michelin starred KOKS in the Faroe Islands – the most remote restaurant in the world. We [cooked] together using fire in the glasshouse on April 5.
What are your impressions of Adelaide and South Australia?
I am an Adelaide boy and grew up with family all over South Australia. It’s home and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I choose to live and work on the Fleurieu; I love it’s perfect Mediterranean climate, proximity to country, coast and city. I haven’t travelled as extensively as some, but have seen enough of the world to know it doesn’t get much better than this.
What’s the first dish you ever cooked?
A couple of eye fillet steaks for me and my first girlfriend. Very romantic but a gastronomic disaster!
What’s the one ingredient you couldn’t live without?
What’s your favourite kitchen tool and why?
My chef’s knife, closely followed by my steel – because I really feel like I’m cooking when I pick it up. Running the restaurant (Olfactory Inn) requires me to wear a lot of hats, so when I’ve got a knife in my hand it means all the ducks are lined up and I can zone in on cooking. I’ve got three chef’s knives – a flash new Japanese one (a gift earlier this year…and yes it came with a coin), an old wooden handled Victoronix that used to be the ice-scraper in a walk in freezer down at Robe and now has its handle taped together with gaffer tape and a huge old Sabatier that isn’t so huge anymore as it has been sharpened so many times by Adelaide’s best knife sharpener – Pete Fellengari. Adelaide chefs will know! I also hate a big heel on my knife because I like to use the heel for a lot of jobs and if it’s too chunky it works more like a club than a knife. If I have to cook anywhere else, it’s usually all I take – my knife and steel wrapped in a tea-towel. Also because it is the most fundamental of kitchen tools. But I do also like my egg topper!
If you could have anything in the world for your last meal, what would it be?
Mmmmm, that’s a tough one – it would depend on so many things. It probably wouldn’t be very sophisticated though. It’s nine in the morning at the moment, so maybe a perfect tomato sliced on toasted wholemeal or rye with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper, or maybe a truffle omelette. No, actually a perfectly chilled tree ripened yellow flesh free-stone peach. My father used to grow them perfectly (he called them “million dollar peaches”) and the first one of the season would always be picked by him sometime in January and left in the fridge overnight to chill and we’d eat it in the morning.