Ready Steady Cook

I was contacted by the Grape Escape and told my name had been put forward as a local chef for the Ready Steady Cook competition. I was surprised and hesitant. After I sat on it for a bit, I called back and said YES!

Ness mentioned Fushy, a chef in Hamilton who runs his own restaurants and will be the other chef on the opposite team. 

We spoke with Pete Evans via skype and discussed what would happen. 

Fans of The Grape Escape were invited to enter a competition with a shopping bag filled with five ingredients, and why they wanted to be on stage and cook. My team's winner was Tya Lovett. Tya selected kangaroo, lemon myrtle, macadamia nuts, native aniseed, and plums.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tya a few weeks before the event, and we instantly hit it off. Bush food is one of his favorite things and he has travelled around Australia learning about different foods. During our conversation, we discussed flavours and ingredients in great detail.

When Saturday came, I was running my food stall and it was chaotic, the oil was smoking, our power was out, and I had to get to the stage by 2:30 pm in time to play at 3:00 pm. After leaving our food tent, I went to the toilet for the first time since 7 that morning, caught up with Caroline and went through the ingredients and checked, then Tya walked over and we relaxed behind the stage for a while with Pete. Then my friend Kylie came over and we talked with Fushy and his team. When we went outside to take a breather, I was exhausted and nervous all of a sudden. Kylie and I were sitting in the back, and my jaw was clenched and I couldn't find my third spot. After drinking my first sip of wine, Kylie offered me words of encouragement, and we were on our way.

Pete was his charming self on stage and enthralled the ever so loud crowd.

Tya, Kylie and I produced the following dishes in 40 minutes. 

We served

  • Kangaroo with a Saltbush, Macadamia and aniseed myrtle crust with a red wine Muntrie sauce and damper on the side
  • Vanilla bean and lemon myrtle risotto with Muntries and sweet honey damper

First Tya made two batches of damper, one sweet and one plain. The plain one went straight into the oven and the sweet batch was put to the side. I got Kylie to cut up the onion and prepare vegetables. I prepared the macadamia crust for the kangaroo. Tya was onto sealing off the kangaroo and then I started the risotto. After sealing off the kangaroo we added the crust and then put it into the oven. There was wine reduction on the stove top getting ready to add the Muntrie chutney. Kylie was cooking off the veggies and Tya was stirring the risotto. Then it was called. 5 minutes to serve. We started.  High fives all around and pats on the back.

It was such a hype and an amazing experience. Shout out to Tya and Kylie for being the best team members ever and also Grape Escape for inviting me to participate. 

Please view the Instagram posts below for more photos and thankyous!!


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