Since yesterdays MasterChef Celebrity Chef challenged aired yesterday I have been very surprised by the impact!
For the most part I have been very humbled by the reaction, its not everyday that you get 900 messages in 1 day, plus my website came very close to crashing due to unprecedented amount of traffic in such a short space of time!
1 thing I would like to say which has surprised me a little is, if you spend your life looking backwards then you will miss the beauty of evolution and everything which is amazing in the future. There have been some people who have reacted badly to the dish I chose to present and have been making negative and baseless comments. The dish is not one which I am preparing today but actually an adaptation of one which I was doing 5 – 6 years ago. I chose this dish as it was going to be a good learning experience for both the contestant and also the viewing public, I was hoping to expose you to some new techniques and to give you an insight into what is happening at the moment outside of Australia. Please keep in mind that the dish was never supposed to be one which you could prepare at home, let’s leave those kinds of dishes to Jamie Oliver and let me show you what I as a fellow Australian do.
I love spirited conversation when food is concerned as I also study the Psychological and design side of food as well. But since when did people start thinking if it’s not to their taste then it is bad?
As I mentioned before, I have had an amazing amount of support from viewers and I hate to focus on the negative but I feel it’s my duty to explain the situation.
What I demonstrated was how 1 flavor (the pea soup) could be prepared in different textures and temperatures in a non confrontational setting by using 2 very humble products, Eggs and peas. If I was to come with a dish which was full of new techniques and also a radical flavor combination then this would alienate the consumer as they have nothing to reference this experience to. This is a rule I always follow without exception. It also demonstrates the importance of the base as if the soup wasn’t right then the whole dish would be wrong.
There were many comments on the combination of egg and peas………………… Was that really the hardest part of the dish to understand? How many people have actually tried Eggs, Peas and Fresh truffle? Normally I would smoke the egg for 24 hours using grape vines but I didn’t have this kind of time during the filming, how would you of reacted to a smoked egg? I can tell you first hand, this is a delicious combination and one which makes a lot of sense the moment it hits your palette.
My second is to address the people who thought Green was unappealing and artificial looking. I am not sure how to tell you this, there are a large majority of vegetables which are green and if cooked correctly they will also be bright green. So as we prepared the peas correctly they were a florescent green, if it was brown then this would be overcooked. I think thats enough said on that point.
In regards to the use of Chemicals, I didn’t use any chemical in what I prepared. All the food additives which were used are all extracted from natural products such as Sodium Alginate which comes from seaweed and Gellan which comes from another type of seaweed. Gelatin is widely used in the food industry and it is taken from the hoofs and cartilage of animals, which one sounds more natural the one which comes from animals or the one which comes from seaweed? How many of you have eaten Burger king onion rings? Did you know these are actually onion puree which gets formed back into perfect rings via the use of the same Alginate and calcium reaction which you saw on the show? Would this stop you eating them? Of course not!
I like to think as Chefs we have the responsibility to help our guests understand what we dedicate our lives to and make them more knowledgeable about what they are consuming and how it got to the state it is in, the consumer needs to have an open mind or else the most beautiful part of the dining experience will be missed.
Thank you for all the amazing feedback you have given through all types of social media and emails, I hope this post didn’t come across as negative, my aim was to take this as an opportunity to give you a little insight into why I did the dish I did and the thought process which goes into all creations
How boring would it be if we all spent our lives watching things on TV which we already knew how to do? Hollywood blockbusters would be a thing of the past as people would want to watch a movie which is full of characters just like themselves living ordinary lives. Food can be another form of escapism yet more emotional due to the sensory reaction which you have with every bite, thats if you are open enough to enjoy the journey.