The last 6 years have been nothing short of amazing. Winning Masterchef was the catalyst for me to follow my bliss... after all, if you do what you love, you won't work a day in your life.
I have always loved food, and growing up with two brothers and my old man waiting hungrily, you took what you could get when you could get it! We were always allowed to help out in the kitchen but how do you go from being able to slice a potato to actually cooking dinner?
In our house, the development of my culinary skills can only be attributed to one person: the boss – aka my mother! Mum really is an amazing cook; I’m sure she could open any fridge in the country and cook a sensational meal from its contents without batting an eyelid.
While mum’s influence helped me learn important skills, it was through mum and dad’s travels that I was first introduced to new flavours from all over the world. From China to Chile, mum and dad brought home spice mixes and ideas to ensure we could relive their memories back home in our little family kitchen.
Mum and dad's passion for seeing the world and tasting new flavours ignited the same passion in me, and this was enhanced by anthropology studies at university. Here, food wasn’t just a meal – it was an experience of another culture. My studies spurred on years of travelling the globe, eating and learning the joys of another country’s food.
My inspiration for cooking and trying new flavour combinations stems from places travelled, more often than not on a shoestring budget… like most kiwi adventurers.
Food for me has become a re-creation of a memory and almost always involves precious time spent with family and friends.
My cooking style is tasty, fresh, seasonal and easily achievable. This food philosophy translates to the everyday recipes in all of my books. My most recent book CHOP CHOP heroes some of my most favourite Asian inspired recipes. Remember food doesnt have to be complicated to be delicious.